Zero Distraction / An Anthology of Examined Nerdy Things

I May Not Succeed, But I Won’t Fail

Jem movie still

This week I launched a podcast called the JEMcast, which marks my foray into producing a show of my own. While I’m not new to podcasting—I co-host The Impromptu and have been fortunate enough to be a guest on countless other shows, including Internet Outrage Machine on 5by5—there’s been a void in my heart that needed to be filled. Setting out to produce not only a very specific niche show but one that has a smaller audience means it’s unlikely that I’ll recoup any invested time in the form of monetary gain. I’m okay with making nothing from this new venture since the primary goal is to make something that satisfies my own needs.

Every weekend from 1986 to 1988, my sister and I would head straight to the living room in the morning to watch Jem. It was one of those 80s cartoons that not only made a lasting impression on me, but on countless of other people. We, the children that grew up with the show, are now adults and still talk about it. Every year we have JemCon, a convention that gathers fans from across the globe to celebrate their favourite TV show. Like most cartoons created in the 80s that were based off of toy lines, I don’t think any of the cast and crew expected the show to survive after 30 years. There’s been a resurgence lately of old properties being retooled and rebooted for a new generation. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic has been the most successful example of an antiquated show that’s been modernized with intelligent writing and high production values. My Little Pony has become a cultural phenomenon in that not only is it incredibly popular, but a large portion of its viewership is adult males. It only seems fitting that now is a perfect time to bring Jem back into the world for a new generation. The cogs in the great machine are moving as Hasbro found a way to make an upcoming live action movie happen and sign a deal with IDW to produce an ongoing comic. The next logical step is a new animated series and toy line.

With Jem being in the news again, I think it’s a perfect opportunity to produce a podcast series that gives the show and characters due justice. When I conceptualized it I began searching the iTunes directory to see if someone had gotten ahead of me. To my surprise I didn’t find a single podcast dedicated to the 80s TV series. My plans are to release a weekly show where you relive the journey, episode by episode through all three seasons. There will be plenty to discuss in addition to the TV show such as what’s going on in Jem fandom. The IDW comic series will land in comic shops next month and the movie is generating lots of buzz (with a release in October), so I’m excited to start talking about it with other people that are equally passionate.

I don’t have anything to announce yet, but I’m working on bringing guests on the show and plan on making it gender diverse. Although Jem was marketed to younger girls, plenty of boys ended up watching the show because of the intense action and adventure, which was a brilliant creative decision on the part of the writers and producers. I suspect that this podcast will have a relatively small audience, but I hope to build it up over the coming months. Even in the worst case scenario where only a couple of people list to it, that will not dissuade me from continuing to produce the show on a regular basis. If no one listens, I won’t consider it a failure. I put in the work to make something of high quality that I respect and would want to listen to myself, and that’s good enough for me.

You can subscribe to JEMcast in iTunes or via the RSS feed. Make sure to follow @JEMpodcast on Twitter for show updates. If you’re an outrageous Jem fan and want to be a guest on the show, please contact me.