A Recap of the First Five Babysitters Club Episodes, or “most folks over 12 in this town are nightmare human beings.”
This is a little snarky at times, but honestly this show is SUCH a perfect adaption I could cry. It’s on Netflix right this minute! If you were a pre-teen girl in the ’90s you will love it I promise.
(Or if you were a pre-teen boy!)
Episode 1: Kristy’s Great Idea
Oh it’s pronounced CHRIS-TY not KUR-STIE. Yeah I’ve literally been pronouncing it wrong my entire life.
Welcome to Stoneybrook! Everyone is super rich with huge houses. However this Stoneybrook is quite a bit more diverse than in the books. In those every family except Claudia’s and Jessie’s (not introduced yet) were white. And they faced crap all the time for not being white and lemme tell you in the book the population of Stoneybrook are DREADFUL. GODDAMN. PEOPLE. The books taught anti-racism whenever they could and as far as I know they taught it well but now I think back on the sort of shit that went on in those books/that town and I’m like, what the fuck.
Anyway here Kristy starts the Babysitters Club. She also angsts about her mother getting remarried, because her dad was a deadbeat who abandoned her, I forgot about that. I bet he shows up before the end of the season. Also all the child actors in this are really really good.
Episode 2: Claudia and the Phantom Caller
Oh here is Karen! When I was a kid there were all these spin-off books about Kristy’s stepsister Karen and I might have read them before the actual BSC books even? Here Karen is an unnecessarily Creepy Child, I like her.
And here is Mary-Anne’s dad and he is MARC EVAN JACKSON! To picture his character imagine Kevin from Brooklyn 99 except with a daughter and dead spouse. (Hopefully that will never happen on Brooklyn 99.) He’s kinda overbearing and aloof and he keeps Mary-Anne’s room all pink and doll-like which is weird, even accepting that he’s still grieving his wife. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL THESE ADULTS x1.
We also get to know Claudia’s teenage sister Janine a bit and she’s kind of a jerk, gotta admit I don’t remember her being like that in the book.
Completing the quartet of newly introduced family members is Claudia’s grandmother Mimi. And I remember Mimi from the books and she was lovely and great now I’m gonna be awaiting her inevitable death because she does die IIRC fairly early on in the books, oh man.
Episode 3: The Truth About Stacey
Well this is a trauma tour of ableism! Turns out Stacey had undiagnosed diabetes and the kids at her school took a video of her having a medical fit (!!!??!) and put it on the internet (!!!!!!!!!?!???) and the bullying got so bad she had to move (!?!?!?!?!?!?!?????!!!!!)
Stacey spends the whole episode dealing with this and at one point when her blood sugar gets low and she almost faints her mother is like, “Did anyone see you?!” Oh gosh lady I’m so sorry the world granted you a IMPERFECT CHILD instead of a dress-up doll! WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL THESE ADULTS x2.
Anyway eventually the BSC’s rivals, an agency of horrible teenage babysitters, find the video of Stacey ALMOST DYING and put it on the internet to SHAME HER, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL THESE
ADULTS TEENS x3. Seriously that is like… not normal teen behaviour, being that cruel to a ill twelve-year-old girl. Or maybe it is normal teen behaviour, I’m not exactly optimistic about the world right now. God it probably is isn’t it.
Anyway having had enough of this Stacey shows the video of her having a fit to the neighbourhood mothers she was babysitting for, and they’re all sort of like, “well sorry you were discriminated against by other kids but we kinda want to discriminate against you too?” and here we go again, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL THESE ADULTS x4. I mean yeah Stacey might have a diabetic fit in their house but that’s the sort of risk you take if you’re gonna hire a 12-year-old to look after babies and toddlers anyway?
Also none of the teens face any consequences for a) neglecting one of their charges so much he ends up playing in the road and b) looking up a video of a twelve year old girl which was taken without her consent and spreading around that video to shame and humiliate her. I hate this town so much.
Episode 4: Mary-Anne Saves the Day
So this is the Mary-Anne episode. She’s the shy, anxiety-laden one. I think she was my favourite from the books and here she is VERY. RELATABLE. And this episode shows her babysitting and validating a child who is transgender! (As does the child’s mother!) And that is such a rare plot to see on TV, any plot involving a trans kid, let alone a storyline that’s dealt with so casually and normally and non-painfully, and I’m just, I LOVE THIS SHOW.
Anyway this episode introduces DAWN! And Dawn is perfect and so is her mother, FINALLY some decent people who aren’t the BSC and a handful of others in this terrible town. And I can’t remember the details from the books about how Mary-Anne’s dad and Dawn’s mum get together so I have that to look forward to! I don’t think it’s gonna go well.
Episode 5: Dawn and the Impossible Three
Dawn tries to join the club and Kristy is super mean and childish towards her probably because she is indeed an actual child, and also Dawn has a dad (who is gay in this version!) and she doesn’t.
Dawn is assigned the job of dealing with a messy, awkward family with an awful mom. WHY ARE YOU LETTING A 12-YEAR-OLD look after a BABY and TWO OTHER CHILDREN AT THE SAME TIME? This woman is nuts. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL THESE ADULTS x5. Dawn is really good at it of course and that makes the awful mom treat her as unpaid labour. Until the kid suddenly vanishes out the back door and Dawn has to call the cops and she goes through an afternoon of panic and horror before the kid shows up with his dad. The terrible floozy mom never even mentioned anything about the dad coming to pick up his son and wow I hate her, WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL THESE ADULTS x6. Also this all triggers Kristy’s dad issues and she trashes a bag of crisps (sorry, America, chips) before character development happens.
Anyway then Dawn’s mother gets on the phone with Ms Neglectful McTerribleFace and tells her that Dawn is in fact a child and not an underpaid nanny/assistant/cleaner. Thank god, someone in this town with some sense, maybe Dawn’s mum will redeem this town’s adult population yet.
Give me a day or so and I’ll have bingewatched the rest…