Saturday, May 23, 2015

BSC TV Series Episode # 5: The Baby-Sitters Special Christmas

Memory Reaction
I was convinced I never saw this episode, but I predicted the end pretty early in.  So either I did see at least part of it once, or it’s just really predictable.  Or both.

Revisited Reaction
It’s Christmas, so guess what the BSC is doing? Planning a party for some sick kids at the hospital.  Because that’s the kind of girls they are.  They also do a Secret Santa gift exchange since they don’t have the money to get everyone in the club a gift.  That part’s just an excuse to see a montage of them all bumping into each other at the store and spying on each other.

We also get a couple of side plots.  Kristy really wants a fancy new baseball mitt and asks if her mom will get it for her for Christmas.  It’s “very expensive,” so her mom only agrees to pay for part of it if Kristy does extra chores around the house.   We get several montages of Kristy washing windows and doing yardwork where she accidently steps in a bucket of water and dumps a wheelbarrow full of yardwork stuff on the ground.  She gets her glove on Christmas Eve and is super excited about it. But then at the hospital party she gives the glove to a little boy whose parents have so little money they have to work all the time and can’t visit him.  That was the part I predicted.

Meanwhile, Stacey’s having trouble sticking to her diet with so many holiday goodies floating around all the time.  She sneaks some sweets, but Dawn catches her, acts all judgy, and lectures her.  Stacey ignores this saying it’s no big deal, but she starts to feel sick.  Dawn keeps being judgmental. On Christmas Eve Stacey feels so bad she gets brought to the hospital.  On Christmas morning the rest of the BSC finds her there when they go to the party and she gives some silly confession about how she sometimes hates not being normal but knows she shouldn’t eat sweets.

  • These girls say “wow” a lot.  During the opening credits we see them walking around a store talking.  The director must have told the actors to act amazed or something, because they all keep pointing to things and picking them up.  And saying “wow.”  Constantly.
  • Also during the credits we see all the girls gather around Santa Claus at some department store.  As they all come around him he actually rolls his eyes at them and their chatter.  That made me laugh.
  • The creepy part of the Santa scene is that Jessi starts to stroke his beard. 
  • This is another episode where a client, in this case Mrs. Rodowski, asks for two sitters even though she never did in the books.  They say it’s because someone needs to sit with Shea while he practices piano and someone else needs to watch Jackie and Archie.  But it’s really an excuse to let Dawn watch Stacey eat a Christmas cookie she made with the boys.
  • I was somewhat pleased at this explanation because Shea totally played piano in the books and I love good continuity.
  • Speaking of cookies, why would you bake cookies with Jackie “The Walking Disaster” Rodowski? That seems like asking for trouble.  Although, in this episode Jackie seems extremely un-klutzy.
  • When Kristy asks her mom about the glove, her mom asks her how much it costs.  Kristy just keeps saying it’s expensive, then finally whispers her the price.  It seems really weird because no one else is there, so why whisper? I guess they didn’t want people watching this 20 years in the future hear a price that sounds cheap now and laugh at it being called expensive?
  • This kid at the hospital, Ned, watches the girls set up for the party a few days before Christmas.  When he says he’s not that into Christmas, Kristy’s all, “what? How can anyone not be into Christmas?”  I don’t know, Kristy, maybe he’s Jewish?  And okay, this kid isn’t Jewish.  But he could have been, so it seemed like a rather insensitive comment.  The books were much more aware of diversity stuff like that.
  • Ned seems to have a broken leg.  Why would a kid have to stay overnight in the hospital so long for a broken leg? He’s moving around in a wheelchair so it’s not like he’s in traction or anything.
  • Charlotte seems younger in this episode than I pictured her reading the books.  I don’t remember that about her other episode.
  • We see Claudia, Jessi, Mary Anne, and  Mallory go into a store to Christmas shop.  They all say to the saleswoman, “I’m looking for a gift for my Secret Santa.  Where’s the hats/perfume/etc.”  By the time the last girl comes in, the saleswoman guesses that she’s shopping for a Secret Santa.  She seems amused by the whole thing.  Why not just say friend?  And if you know what you’re getting, why not just ask where the hats/perfume/etc. are? Why does the saleswoman care who you’re buying it for?  But anyway, I guess this scene is to make up for the fact that these four characters didn’t really have anything else to do in this episode.
  • It’s very convenient that Kristy’s family always opens presents on Christmas Eve, so that she already has the glove to give to Ned when she got hit with the Christmas spirit.
  • It’s even more convenient for the producers that Kristy and her mom actually exchange gifts alone in a room without their huge family around.  Fewer actors to pay.
  • When the girls are at a restaurant, Stacey keeps drinking water and talking about being thirsty.  Now, I know thirst is a symptom of diabetes.  But I have to say, my mom’s diabetic, and has been all my life.  I have never seen her drink a ton of water like that or complain about being so thirsty.
  • It’s good to see that the show follows the lead of the books and shows Stacey having to go to the hospital because her blood sugar is high once.  They should have showed Stacey being in much worse shape if they wanted to have her end up at the hospital.
  • Kristy’s mom tells her she doesn’t need a baseball glove because she already has three.  Kristy points out that Karen has a ton of dolls, but her mom and Watson still got her a new one for Christmas.  Kristy’s mom yells at her for snooping instead of explaining why it’s okay to spoil Karen, but not Kristy.
  • Awe, at the party Jackie and Charlotte are there and when Jackie stands under the mistletoe, Charlotte kisses him on the cheek.  He’s annoyed about it, cause he’s a 7-year-old boy.  But they are cute kids.
  • Stacey keeps “sneaking sweets” throughout the book and Dawn’s a total jerk to her about it.  She keeps acting all judgmental about how Stacey isn’t supposed to eat that stuff.  Now, while Dawn has a point, she should be nicer about it instead of having it come across like a lecture. 
  • The worst part’s at the end Stacey basically tells Dawn she was right.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

BSC TV Series Episode # 4: Kristy and the Great Campaign

Memory Reaction
I actually owned this video as a kid so I saw it a bunch of times.  What stands out to me is that they made these super-elaborate ice cream sundaes.  I remember watching with my friend talking about how no one would ever have that many toppings in their house.  But maybe we were just deprived kids with healthy-eating parents.
I also remember that the BSC gets Courtney to wear her hair in a ponytail for most of the episode, but then at the end she pulls it out right before her speech.  It’s supposed to be symbolic of her being herself or something.
Revisited Reaction
The BSC has this new client, an 8-year-old girl named Courtney.  She’s a nice, shy girl who really likes animals.   Meanwhile, Kristy hears that this annoying kid, Jeremy, is running unopposed for third grade student council and that Courtney doesn’t really like him.  Jeremy’s the little brother of Justin Marver, a guy who Kristy has a rivalry with (even though he wasn’t in the books).  Kristy convinces Courtney to run to beat Jeremy and to help make friends.  This is a bit of a hard sell, but Kristy manages to pull it off by saying everyone deserves to know how great Courtney is.  Kristy enlists the whole BSC to help.  They make campaign posters for her, help her with her speech, and even give her a makeover.  They put a lot of effort into all this.  I don’t think that anyone who ran for student council in my high school put so much effort in.
Anyway, Justin’s also helping Jeremey with his election.  Since Kristy kind of hates him, and is rather competitive, this pushes her to go a little overboard with Courtney’s campaign.  She doesn’t let Courtney hang out with a new friend she has made, she ignores Courtney’s ideas for posters and speeches, and just acts overall pushy with the whole thing.  Eventually, Courtney blows up and says she doesn’t even want to run.  But Kristy realizes what she did wrong and talks to Courtney to tell her she’s a great kid and would do great in student council, but should just be herself.  The rest of the BSC doesn’t know this and runs all over town trying to find Kristy and tell her to talk to Courtney.  I don’t know why they didn’t think to look at the school where the election was happening, but I guess no one in the club’s supposed to be a genius.  Anyway they get to school in time to realize Kristy already talked to her.
Courtney gives a nice speech about how even though she doesn’t talk a lot she has good ideas and is a good listener and would be good in student council.  Then Kristy starts chanting in support, followed by the rest of the BSC and then actual elementary school students.  So, Courtney wins.
  • At a club meeting, the girls are talking when the phone rings.  Kristy picks up the phone and loudly says “shhh” to the rest of them before answering.  Shouldn’t she have shushed them before picking up the phone?
  • The BSC’s getting together with all their clients on a particular day to watch a video together.  But they take all the kids to the store with them.  In what universe did they think taking a bunch of kids to pick out the video was a good idea?  Of course they’re going to argue about what to see. The sitters should have picked out the video ahead of time.  Luckily Courtney was there and was able to find a good compromise.
  • Kristy refers to the “grade school” elections.  Who calls elementary school grade school?  That’s kind of outdated, isn’t it?
  • Mallory comes up with the slogan “Count on Court” for the campaign, which they end up using. I guess they gave that win to Mallory the writer, but I liked Mary Anne’s “Westin’s the best one” better (Courtney’s last name’s Westin).
  • Courtney’s makeover consists of putting the front of her hair in a high ponytail, and dressing her in leggings and a baggy sweater.  I totally tried to imitate that outfit when I was a kid.
  • But the ponytail scene reminds me of the scene in Not Another Teen Movie where they give the nerdy girl a makeover by taking OUT her ponytail.  And doing nothing else.
  • This is the video where they are talking about the Arnold Twins and Jessi announces how she uses Pig Latin on them.  I remember her saying that so well, even if I thought it was in a different episode.  
  • While they’re helping Courtney plan her campaign, they’re making ice cream sundaes.  Kristy scooped all the ice cream, but then Courtney put on toppings.  And when she’s finished they all tell her how amazing she is for doing such an awesome job.  It was a bit over the top, but I guess they were trying to build her confidence.
  • Jackie Rodowski’s in Courtney’s class and has a bit of a crush on her.  But he doesn’t want to admit it, so when Jeremy asked him to play a trick on Courtney, Jackie agrees.  The only problem is that the trick’s dropping the class pet garter snake on Courtney’s foot in the middle of some kind of “meet the candidates” thing.  Everyone freaks out (including Jeremy for some reason), but Courtney is calm because she’s already been established as an animal lover.  She ends up looking like a hero.
  • The Science teacher’s nearby, and he just ends up carrying the snake back to his classroom instead of yelling at anyone or wondering which kids were behind the trick.
  • Why’s Jackie in third grade with Courtney? He’s supposed to be 7.
  • When the rest of the BSC finds Courtney at the end, right before she’s supposed to give her speech, Dawn stops and says, “I’m so glad we found you.  We have something very important to tell you.” Followed by a big pause, during which Courtney gets called to the stage.  Why didn’t she just say it without preamble?
  • The election seems to happen at some kind of after-school assembly.  What kind of kids would stick around for that? My school always did them during school hours (although I guess then the BSC couldn’t be there.
  • Jeremey Marver’s campaign posters all say “Marver-lous.”  That’s kinda cute.  I’m probably not supposed to think that, but I do.  I’m also jealous that my last name isn’t anything that could be turned into a catchy campaign slogan like that.
  • I wish Courtney’s opponent was the little brother of Alan Gray or someone we actually knew.  All these new characters invented for the show don’t work as well as the pre-established ones.