I never saw this episode before.
At the start of this episode, the girls are busy planning some father-daughter dinner to honor their dads. But poor Stacey’s father won’t be coming….not because he’s a workaholic, but because she didn’t bother inviting him. Her dad doesn’t like coming to Stoneybrook because of her mom and the divorce and she didn’t want to make him deal with it.
Instead, Stacey whines about how difficult her life is because she can’t talk about one parent in front of the other without them insulting the other. She also finds it annoying to have two homes. She sometimes forgets to pack things and ends up wanting a certain clothing item in New York when it’s actually in Stoneybrook. I think Karen Brewer made the same complaint in the Little Sister books. Very mature, Stacey. Also, I know teenagers are self-involved but you’d think it would occur to Stacey that when she whines to her friends about this, she’s complaining to people who 1) was raised by one parent because her mother died when she was a baby, 2) was raised by one parent because her father abandoned her family, and 3) is separated from her father by the entire country and can’t just hop a train to go visit every weekend. But Stacey sometimes can’t wear the clothes she wants, so we should all feel sorry for her.
Stacey goes to New York for the weekend, and her dad suggests she think about moving to NYC full time and going to high school in New York. As if she’ll ever get to high school. Stacey’s all angsty about this and calls the BSC to vent. They go to New York to visit her and cheer her up, because all middle schoolers are allowed to go to the city by themselves. The BSC convinces her to talk to her dad and she does, but off screen. She reports that he tried to be understanding, but she doesn’t think he really gets it.
Later, her mom’s complaining how awful it is that Mr. McGill didn’t make time to come to the father-daughter dinner thing. Stacey admits that she didn’t invite him and tells her mom why. Mrs. McGill seems to understand and get that she shouldn’t be trashing Mr. McGill to Stacey. At the dinner, we see all the girls’ fathers, even though Watson’s the only one who gets lines. Stacey’s kind of moping, and I’m wondering why she even went if she wasn’t going to bring her dad. But then Mr. McGill arrives and surprises her. Mrs. McGill called him and told him about the dinner. He was upset that she didn’t think she could invite him. Apparently the parents both also promised to trash each other to her, and her dad said she doesn’t need to worry about moving to New York.
- The girls keep trying to figure out what to cook for their party. Finally, Kristy gets the brilliant idea to make it a potluck dinner, and they’ll each cook something with their dad’s to eat. So they’re basically making the people they invited do the work.
- The girls also perform a lame dance that Jessi taught them as entertainment for their fathers. It’s a boring dance.
- They don’t say if the dinner’s supposed to be for Father’s Day or something else. That would make sense as a reason to have a special fathers’ dinner, but then you’d think Stacey would have just stayed in NYC with her dad. It’s kind of crappy to not invite him to the dinner AND leave him alone.
- There’s a silly subplot with Buddy Barrett. He keeps acting like he’s “man of the house” and in charge of his sisters. Dawn and Stacey tell him they’re in charge since their the sitters, but he insists. But eventually, Dawn convinces him it’s okay to be a kid. It takes up more screen time than you’d think from this description.
- We get another case of two girls baby-sitting for three kids (the Barretts). It’s especially awkward because Suzie and Marnie don’t get any lines, so it is just the two sitters chatting with Buddy.
- Charlie drives the BSC to NYC to see Stacey and then picks them up four hours later. Was he hanging out somewhere in NYC too? I want to know what Charlie does for fun. Also, how did he fit 6 girls in a car that isn’t a van/SUV? They show all 6 of them getting in, but there can’t be that many seat belts.
- Kristy had to promise to wash the car every day for a year in exchange for Charlie’s services. Do you really need to wash a car named the “junk bucket” every day?
- In New York, the girls row boats in Central Park and Stacey points out she didn’t do that in the 11 years she lived in NYC. Except she lived their 12 years before moving the first time.
- Stacey’s NYC friend calls it “Stoney River.” That kind of made me laugh.
- I wish the NYC friend was Laine, but instead it’s just some guy. Stacey was supposed to go with him and his little sister to a museum. I guess this was so Claudia could get his name wrong when asking about him and make Stacey all sad that her friends don’t know about her other lives.
- They say Kristy’s awful at the dance Jessi’s teaching them, but I actually think she looks better than some of the other girls.
- Stacey makes a pro/con list about moving to NYC. New York Pros are “Dad” and “Museums.” Her Stoneybrook pros are “Mom” and “the BSC.” Her list in the book was much better.
- It’s kind of crappy of Mr. McGill to bring up Stacey moving to NYC without talking to her mom. Especially since they went through a whole ordeal with her picking where to live in the books.
- Stacey’s dad takes her to see Guys and Dolls. Her mom hears this and is all shocked he had time, but her dad was always doing stuff like that in the books, and her mom knew about them.
- At the beginning there’s this weird sequence where we see one girl walk through a park, then another runs in and they greet each other like they haven’t seen each other in ages. Then a third girl comes in, etc. All as they’re walking. It’s kind of weirdly staged. Because who meets up walking through a park? Wouldn’t they all be going to the same place and meeting there? And if they just all see each other before they get there, why do they seem so surprised? It’s more visually interesting this way, but it just looked odd to me.
- At least in the books, Stacey’s angst about her parentsseemed a bit more genuine. Especially when you factor in the diabetes thing. In this she just comes off like a brat that’s making her own problems.