Stonybrook 2020: the revolution WILL BE TIE-DYED

WARNING (again):  This page is LAVA.  There are MAJOR SPOILERS HERE.

The Netflix Babysitters Club logo, in purple toy blocks with stenciled white letters.

This page is going to be mostly a play-by-play of my reactions and reflections on each episode.

Ep 1:  Kristy’s Great Idea

So, it kind of sucks to be at a point in my life where I can feel both the child’s and the adult’s pain.  On the one hand, yeah, it would suck to be “asked” for your opinion on your parent’s plan to bring a new adult into the family, only to be told they already made the decision and only “checked with you” as a formality.  I totally get how powerless Kristy feels.

On the other hand, yeah, Elizabeth doesn’t need anyone’s permission to get married.  That’s Feminist 101.  Of course she’d take her kids’ views into consideration if there was anything truly objectionable about Watson, but in the end, she’s the grown-up and she gets to decide this for herself.

I do kind of miss the awkward fondue scene, but I only just remembered it as I was writing this, so I guess it’s not such a glaring omission.

Also, Holy Unprofessionalism, Kristy….you’re lucky Watson is such a devoted self-appointed PR manager, because you could’ve tanked your whole business with that first phone call.

The purple B block from the Babysitters Club Netflix logo.

Ep 2:  Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls

Don’t you love it when parents are like, “Ahhhh, ok, we were being unreasonable in our overbearing expectations of you as an individual with your own strengths and weaknesses, and we really do love you for who you are…but yeah, you’re still grounded because lying about your test scores is wrong.”

Also, Karen is the MOST ADORABLY HILARIOUS SPOOKY KID EVER.  I mean, if you did the lighting and the background music a little different, this could totally be a horror scene.  Except she’s way too adorable!!!

The purple B block from the Babysitters Club Netflix logo.

Ep 3:  The Truth About Stacey

Wow.  This Mean Girl Agency is next level.  They make Regina George look sweet.

Anyway…have the good people of Stonybrook really never heard of diabetes?  And was that Watson, joining in the worried whispering during the Truth Meeting?  Nah, I’m gonna say he was annoyedly whispering about the other parents:  “Can you believe these people, Liz? It’s diabetes, not a meth addiction!”

Ok, yes, I can buy that there’d be one or two people who don’t know, and who might legit be worried about leaving their kids with a thirteen-year-old who, from their p.o.v., might have a medical emergency at any moment.  But come on, is Dr. Johanssen really the only adult who knows how diabetes actually works?

The purple B block from the Babysitters Club Netflix logo.

Ep 4:  Mary-Anne Saves The Day

THIS IS THE EPISODE THAT RAISED THE SHOW TO A 10 OUT OF 5.  First of all, Dawn is awesome.  Second, Morbidda Destiny is an actual fleshed-out character with a strong sense of humor.  Third, I love Mary-Anne’s comment about how some people want to feel emotions while others want to solve them, and isn’t that just the cause of so many conflicts in life?

But most importantly, I love how non-chalant this show is about what could have been a heavy-handed Very Special Episode.  The show is already so representative anyway, so when episode 4 introduces a transgender child, it’s really not that big of a deal.  Yeah, Dawn and Mary Anne have a conversation about what it means to be transgender, but it feels like natural dialogue, not a lengthy Teaching Moment.

On the other hand, yes, Mary-Anne’s stand-up moment at the hospital got me totally choked up.  It was the Tearfulest of Tearful Moments.  It apparently got the doctor and nurse choked up, too, because their expressions and quick exits were like, “We are the biggest jerks ever and we’re going to fix this ASAP.”

My headcanon is that, off-screen, Kristy makes a point to change her policy of not letting parents specify which babysitter they want, because obviously Mrs. Delvecchio had a legit reason for wanting to bring only one new person into Bailey’s life for a while.

That said, going back to the nonchalance, I love how the whole community is, like, “Well, duh! Of course Bailey’s a girl and of course Mary-Anne was right to defend her! Moving on, now!”  In other words, there’s really no controversy in this episode.  Two people make a mistake and atone for it immediately, while the rest of the community carries on as though it’s just a Tuesday.

The purple B block from the Babysitters Club Netflix logo.

Ep 5:  Dawn and the Impossible Three

All I’m gonna say is that Sharon is an awesome mom.  Yes, she’s absentminded.  Yes, she’s free-spirited.  And she will PUT HER FOOT DOWN when another parent legit neglects her own children and expects Dawn to clean up after her.  There’s no uncomfortable compromise at the end of this.  Sharon tells Mrs. Barrett to get her ish together before she calls in another babysitter.

The purple B block from the Babysitters Club Netflix logo.

Ep 6:  Claudia and Mean Janine

Did I say ep 4 was the Tearfulest?  Yeah, no.  It’s this one.  This one was tough, and I can’t find the words right now.

The purple B block from the Babysitters Club Netflix logo.

Ep 7:  Boy-crazy Stacey

Yep, the lifeguard is still a borderline creep for flirting with a 12-year-old, and I’m positive someone connected with this show either listens to or is otherwise connected to the podcast.  Why else would they throw in that line about Stacey being “a very special mollusk”?  *whispers* Seafood Theory is real.

The purple B block from the Babysitters Club Netflix logo.

Ep 8:  Kristy’s Big Day

Oh hai, Judy Blume moment!  Also, Karen.  Also, how much money does Watson have to throw around???  On that note, I love when characters get to be complicated and wrestle with their own values.  Kristy makes such a big point about economic inequalities and how no one should take luxury for granted, but then she has a chance to throw money at an inconvenience and she takes it, and realizes how uncomfortable it is to be called out.  And also, did I ever mention how much I love a good dance party ending?  I don’t know why, but “Boom, Clap” is just such a perfect Friendship Outtro.

The purple B block from the Babysitters Club Netflix logo.

Ep 9:  Welcome to Moosehead, Part 1

Oh.  My goddess.  Dawn doing the Mockingjay salute for Claudia was the Second Greatest Moment in this whole show.  And OH HAI LAINE CUMMINGS AWKWARD REUNION IS AWKWARD.  And does anyone else remember that 90s Disney Channel show, Flash Forward? I’m having major flashbacks to an episode involving morning announcement shenanigans (apologies for the video quality…it’s the only one I can find, so far).

The purple B block from the Babysitters Club Netflix logo.

Ep 10:  Welcome to Moosehead, Part 2

This episode pretty much sums up the essence of this utopia.  Because even the “villain” is never truly a villain.  You can always tell she REALLY CARES and she’s been doing this for SO LONG and she’s SO TIRED and she’s got a dang TOOTHACHE, and when you’re an adult you kind of HAVE TO BE UNFAIR SOMETIMES…until the moment she realizes her insistence on handling everything herself has put a child in danger and she’s like, “Oh, god, no, of course that’s terrible! Some things are definitely more important than money!  Rock on with the free art classes!”

And yes, they did end with a re-enactment of the cover of Super Special #2.

Cover of BSC Super Special number 2: Baby-sitters' Summer Vacation. It's a white background with the classic Baby-Sitters Club logo at the top in light brown vintage toy blocks with blue trim and red letters. The inset image shows a forested campground with a few cabins. In the foreground are the seven babysitters: from left to right are Kristy, Dawn, Jessi, Mary-Anne, Stacey, Mallory, and Claudia. They're standing in a straight horizontal line with their arms around each other's shoulders, their knees slightly bent so they're almost falling down, but it's all good fun. They're all wearing short-sleeved white polo shirts and green shorts. The tagline says "Good bye, Stonybrook...hello, Camp Mohawk!"

You may all bow down before the Princess of the Prince of Towns and her Netflix minions.

The purple B block from the Babysitters Club Netflix logo.

Claudia’s wearing a bra now, and the way she talks, you would think that beautifully updated literary adaptations with wholesome 21st-century messages that make you feel just a little more optimistic about life in general had Just.  Been.  Invented.

6 comments

  1. Ooo! I have not watched this yet, so I dare not venture to page two, but I will make my way over as soon as I finish the season! I’m really excited for this TV show. We’ve had a lot of interest in the series thanks to the graphic novels and I really feel Netflix was smart to make it into a TV show. Can’t wait to watch this! Great Post!

    • It’s so amazing! And the girls actually look like preteens rather than 20-year-olds! (although, someone in Baby Nation posted something about how the girls in the 90s HBO series really were in the 11-13 range…somehow, middle-schoolers in 2020 look younger than their 90s counterparts?? Or the make-up crew isn’t trying so hard to age the girls up? I rewatched a few episodes on Youtube and I’m not quite ready to remove my skepticals just yet…)

  2. I haven’t heard of this, but as I have begun running out of GOOD shows, this has certainly drawn me in. I am avoiding page 2 for now as I don’t want to ruin anything.

    Also, LOVED THIS!
    “P.S. Can we just stop saying “politically correct” when we really mean “respectfully realistic portrayals of people who aren’t necessarily straight/white/cis/abled men”? And if you still don’t think the characters in this show are realistic, you need to meet more people.”

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