100% score on Rotten Tomatoes but I guess that just wasn’t good enough for some people. At least it went out on a high and told some excellent stories along the way. (Still not over how well Janine’s character development was done.) Honestly? It was better than the books.
A tremendous grudge against Netflix’s cancel-happy execs has been forming for some time now and now I suspect it’s here to stay. They better not cancel Raising Dion next (although I strongly suspect they will.)
Nice to see Netflix’s The Babysitters Club give a (mostly) accurate representation of living with type 1 diabetes. Stacey trying to “win the numbers game” and be in perfect control but her sugars going crazy anyway is something every diabetic knows. And I especially appreciated the moment where her doctor said that’s the nature of the disease. There are good and bad days and it sucks. That is the truth but that is not the message most diabetics receive. Most of us learn early on to dread our doctor appointments and getting the speech about the importance of control. And all of us like Stacey try and try and sometimes this disease just does whatever the hell it wants. And no one tells us it’s okay, we’re doing our best. They tell us to try harder. They tell us the risks of complications we’re in store for. They tell us to avoid summer fruit. 28 years I’ve lived with type 1 diabetes and it so often feels like a lonely battle with no support, especially from my doctors. But maybe there’s new hope for future generations.
You absolutely must read this. It’s a work of art.
The four girls were friends. In a small town, friends make the days long and the sadness short, though it is still there. The turtlenecked girl wore a cap and a ponytail. She sat in the beautiful girl’s room; the beautiful girl’s vices tucked in the nooks and the folds and the curves of the room. The beautiful girl offered another girl, the shy girl, a Snickers. The shy girl offered to break the thing in half and give half to yet another girl, the new girl. The new girl shook her permed hair no and sat on her hands. She thought of the needle in her bag.
Well I didn’t get to watch the rest of Babysitters Club as fast as I wanted, adulting always gets in the way, but NOW I have watched it!
Episode 6: Claudia and Mean Janine
Aaaaah no Mimi! This is the episode where she has a stroke which I think I remember happening from the books? Then Janine keeps being weirdly emotionless even by her standards and Claudia is obviously upset and I keep thinking, she is DEFINITELY gonna die by the end of the episode, isn’t she?
Nope instead she can’t understand what’s going on around her which is super awful! So Claudia has to deal with that and Mary-Ann not liking the new room Claudia eventually got to design for her and adults asking her questions about her art show which sound much too demanding for a 12-year-old, whyyyy. Poor Claudia. (She was always my favourite I think.)
THEN IT TURNS OUT MIMI WAS ONCE IN AN INTERNMENT CAMP. Oh god. Janine tells Claudia about it in an absolutely heartbreaking scene. It’s so awful and then Janine reminds Claudia (but really us the audience) that internment camps very much still exist. This show is so good and I’m so glad it’s making all these points.
The episode ends on Claudia creating art of a young Mimi with her internment number hanging off her. Oh god these poor kids, I wish they got to keep their innocence a little longer, I guess.
(Mimi’s actress Takayo Fischer was also sent to an internment camp during WW2.)
Episode 7: Boy-Crazy Stacey
(I know these titles are taken direct from the books but they just do not sound right in the modern day, I’m sorry.)
MALLORY is in this one! Oh my gosh I remember her, she was one of my favourites too. And her sister Vanessa the weird poetry kid.
While on holiday with the Pikes serving as their babysitters (this seems weird to me but who knows?) Stacey starts talking about bikinis and stuff. NO you’re much too young for bikinis. Stop it! Oh wait I had one at about that age too. Or a tankini at least. Okay never mind.
Then she starts crushing on a seventeen-year-old lifeguard. Wait seventeen seems far too young to be a lifeguard as well. Oh my god I’m so old. Thankfully it doesn’t go anywhere. Dude calls the obviously very young Stacey “cutie” which just sounds super creepy? Hey I mentioned in the last post that most people in this who aren’t the Babysitters or their families are absolutely terrible.
Episode 8:Kristy’s Big Day
Oh here we go PERIODS! Periods are obviously the worst. So are issues of money and class which also come up in this episode.
Everyone dresses up super nice for Kristy’s mum’s wedding to her obscenely rich boyfriend, I love everyone’s dresses, I want them all. Mimi is also there and she’s doing a lot better. Please don’t die next season Mimi! Please!
This episode contains the line “When a child says something, believe them” (or something to that extent) and that nicely sums up this entire wonderful little show.
Episode 9:Welcome to Camp Moosehead Part 1
Ahh last episode with the wedding seemed like it should be the season finale but there’s more! Nice! Oooh I remember the books where the babysitters went to various camps and I guess this is one of those!
Karen is here! She’s so fucking weird, I love her.
Honest to god I do not understand the camp thing! I went to “camp” a few times as a kid and I HATED it. It was miserable and the food sucked and it rained constantly due to y’know England. Why do people send their kids to those things?!? What’s the deal? THIS particular camp is especially terrible because kids have to pay for activites and the counsellors are dicks to the ones who can’t afford it. Dawn and Claudia take exception to this, as they should. Not even the godawful camps I went to were quite that bad and one of them made us put on wetsuits which were already wet.
JESSIE! omg I remember Jessie! The ballerina! She’s at the camp with Mallory and I am THRILLED to meet this new generation of babysitters!
Mary-Ann makes friends with another girl and it turns out to be Stacey’s ex-best friend who (accidentally?) bullied her because of her diabetes. That’s messed up, kid. (If it happened like that.)
Episode 10: Welcome to Camp Moosehead Part 2
Stacey gets poison ivy rash! Okay that I DO remember from the books and very clearly, because I had never heard of poison ivy before and it was a horrifying concept. (We don’t have it here in the UK, hurrah.)
Karen goes missing (she’s fine don’t worry) and none of the adults give a crap! This camp is terrible! Why why why would you send a child here? How are they not all dead already?!
This episode is big on musical theater, hooray! The babysitters put on a play that is obviously inspired by Les Miserables but we don’t get to see the whole thing, booo. Actually many elements of this episode appear to be inspired by Les Miserables! And that puts me in my element. Ba-dum-tish.
This episode ends with Kristy yelling at the mean camp leader lady for letting Karen wander off. Gosh Kristy it would be handy if there was an “extremely wealthy and presumably well-connected stepfather” card you could play here. I guess not? Ah well.
Yay the episode ends with Mallory and Jessie being welcomed into the club! But they are eleven! TOO YOUNG TO LOOK AFTER KIDS! YOU ALL ARE! I think I might be stuck on this point. I’m so so old.
This is a WON DER FUL show you guys! It’s everything I could hoped for both as a reboot of a beloved classic and a show for young girls. But it’s not just me extolling its virtues! See?
It’s fantastic and thoughtful and wholesome and so very very just, for lack of a better word. You gotta watch it.
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…
The Baby-Sitters Club is officially back in business. Netflix announced the cast of the upcoming television adaption of The Baby-Sitters Club, on Thursday. Club president Kristy Thomas is set to be played by newcomer Sophie Grace, while Malia Baker (Mary Anne Spier), Momona Tamada (Claudia Kishi), Shay Rudolph (Stacey McGill), Xochitl Gomez (Dawn Schafer) make…
WHAT? When did this happen? I am delighted of course, since I read almost every Babysitters Club book and almost every Babysitters Club spin-off book as a kid (You go Claudia! Solve that art museum mystery!) but I had no idea this was a thing.