Shana Elmsford

Shana Elmsford
Character Analysis
Shana is a character who has been vastly underestimated. I have seen her labelled 'shy', 'reserved', even 'boring' and I admit that in the beginning I did not see that there was much to her, overshadowed as she appeared to be by the more vocal Aja and Kimber.
But on closer inspection, it becomes clear that Shana is a lot more than just the additional Hologram. Aside from her obvious talent for fashion design (In Stitches, Rock Fashion Book, Talent Search, Straight From The Heart), she appears to be very 'into' her music and her band as a whole. I don't believe that she is the most musically gifted character - though she can and does play drums and bass guitar - but she always does her best for the band and she's important enough to the other holograms that even when she is more or less superfluous (after Raya joins), they still want her to be part of the Holograms. She also does not bear any kind of malice toward Raya, even though essentially Raya has 'taken her place' on drums. In some ways, in fact, she is perhaps the most amiable towards Raya of the group.
She takes a lot of pride in being a Hologram, but is exceptionally sensitive - this is alluded to in the early part of In Stitches when Roxy gets Shana riled up over how good her designs are, and also in Scandal when snippets of Kimber's diary are read out. She is also loyal and quick to forgive, but she does have a temper, which, when roused I don't think I'd want to mess with. In 'In Stitches' she gets angry at the Misfits, talking about 'pulverising them' and wanting to take action to retrieve her stolen outfits - this does not sound like a shy character to me. Equally, she is fairly cynical and often makes dryly humourous remarks such as 'Your Phyllis sure has been a pain in our backsides' to Harvey Gabor in Father's Day, and 'I care a lot more about my neck than I do about my reputation' in Culture Clash.
Perhaps the reason Shana does not always appear to be actively taking part in things in the show is because essentially she's not as into the same things as her bandmates. When the girls are fixing the car in Intrigue at the Indy 500 she looks totally bewildered and Synergy has to give her a vote of confidence. She is also not keen on keep fit like maybe Aja and Jerrica -when they are in the mountains in Tibet she's excited by the prospect of a rest, and doesn't seem all that keen on doing the hike in the first place.
Shana also doesn't like to take any nonsense from anyone - in Island of Deception she squares up to Pizzazz and says it how it is - the quote is 'listen up Pizzazz...just this once we're gonna work as a team...a team, do you hear?' and the other characters evidently take notice because after that little speech Roxy agrees to help Jem build a shelter and Stormer volunteers to go hunt for firewood (although Pizzazz does have a bit of a sulk...). This side of her can also be seen when she quits her designing job because of Liz Stratton's unreasonable behaviour. She's a girl of principles, basically!
Another reason perhaps why Shana is overlooked is the apparent attempt in the cartoon to undermine her main roles. She is the group's percussionist, but then is replaced by Raya and forced onto guitar, which is essentially superfluous to the group's needs. Then, with the introduction of Regine, Shana's fashion initiative is less needed by the band. Yet, despite all this Shana is never bitter or resentful. Her friends matter a lot to her - in Talent Search the Holograms have to trick her into leaving because otherwise they know she never would have tried for the designing job, and she is very upset at the thought that they don't want her in the group any more.
Just because Shana does not speak as often as maybe some of the others doesn't mean that what she has to say isn't just as relevant, interesting and important, and in a lot of ways I think she is the most mature member of the group since she has her life pretty much settled, both in terms of her career prospects and her love life.

It's difficult to say, in all truth, who Shana is closest to within the band. I already cited her bond with Raya - in the All's Right With The World video (Talent Search) it is Shana who reaches out to pull Raya on board when the train is leaving her behind, which is very symbolic of the fact that Shana bears Raya no grudge for joining the Holograms as percussionist. Equally, she is close to Aja, in early episodes there is a definite unity between these two.
I'm not sure about her bond with Jerrica or Jem. In the flashback episode to the girl's childhood, Jerrica seems fairly reluctant to even talk to Shana, but eventually a friendship is formed, probably from the fact they grow up together and get closer that way. She misses her friends badly in Talent Search - at the start of the Show Me The Way video she is looking at a photograph of them all together.
Shana's relationship with Anthony Julian is the most secure relationship on the show and one you could see only winding up with wedding bells. It manifests itself right at the beginning of the series, on the Countess Du Voisin's yacht, and it continues right through - even as late as Mardi Gras Shana is loyal to Anthony despite the flirtings of another man and she reveals that she carries his picture in a locket. The relationship is equally committed from his side - he is totally supportive of her in every way, and what hurts her hurts him and vice versa - Shana is miserable after Anthony quits the Starbright production and Anthony helps Shana regain her position in the band in Talent Search.
Of the Misfits, Shana perhaps has the least to say except when they affect her directly. She doesn't have much love for Roxy, especially in In Stitches but also it manifests itself during Hot Time In Hawaii in the bike race. The rest of the Misfits she has little contact with apart from on the island itself, and as far as the Stingers are concerned she makes little or no remark about them that can be read either as a positive or a negative.