Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Baby-Sitters Club Movie

Memory Reaction
I didn’t see this movie until it was out on video, because at 14, I was too embarrassed to see it in the theaters. Maybe if I could have driven and gone by myself without telling anyone I would have done it, but I was just a bit too young for that. I think I did see it right after it came to video though.
But anyway, I have this really vivid memory of a joke in the trailer for the movie. Mallory and Jessi have an exchange about how they’ll have enough money to buy a car, and end it with “And in five years we can drive it.” That really stands out to me. I also remember a scene in the movie where Mary Anne kisses Logan while he’s lying down on a bench or something, and thinking it was super-risqué, even though I think it was just a peck. I was kinda naive back then.
I thought it was such a big deal that the movie was going the route of bringing back Kristy’s dad though (I somehow knew this ahead of time), because him leaving is such a big part of her backstory and the books never even touched on him returning, at least not at that point. I did think it was weird her dad never mentioned his three other children and that it was out of character for Kristy to keep it a secret.
I also remember reading a review that talked about how one of the adults in the film was played by someone really famous, and I had no idea who it was.  This was EllenBurnstyn. I wouldn’t have recognized her now if I didn’t look that up. Hair color makes a big difference.
Oh, and I was really glad that Larisa Oleynik was playing Dawn because I loved The Secret World of Alex Mack.  So much I apparently didn’t mind that she really doesn’t look very much like Dawn was supposed to. I think she’d have been a better Stacey.
Revisited Reaction
Kristy has an idea to run a BSC day camp in Dawn and Mary Anne’s yard, because then they’ll all be able to be together every day of the summer, instead of having to sit at separate houses. Also, they want to make money. All’s seemingly going well, but Dawn and Mary Anne’s new neighbor, Mrs. Haberman, gets really annoyed at all the noise and chaos the day camp brings and keeps threatening to get them shut down. Eventually, Dawn bonds with her a little and gets her to soften.
The girls plan to use the money to find a real “office” for the club to do business in. They find an old greenhouse they think they can use. It’s owned by the town, and they’re told they can use it if they clean up the place and get it approved by some civic committee. So they spend a lot of time working on that.
Meanwhile, Kristy’s father, Patrick, shows up and is just waiting for her on the street when she gets home one day. He claims to miss her and asks her to spend time with him, but says she can’t tell anyone, especially her mom.  Because he’s an awful person. For the next few weeks Kristy starts sneaking off to meet him, even leaving camp early and blowing off other plans (helping Jackie Rodowski learn to hit, helping Claudia study, etc). She even forgets that she’s supposed to bring David Michael home from camp one day.  The rest of the BSC, Kristy’s mom, and Watson are all pissed at her for sneaking around.  Mary Anne was with Kristy when she first saw Patrick so she knows what’s going, but Kirsty made her promise not to tell anyone. Since Mary Anne doesn’t, the rest of the club (especially Dawn) are pissed at her too. It’s kinda immature, but typical for 13-year-old girls.
On Kristy’s birthday, Patrick’s supposed to take her to an amusement park before dropping her off for the party the BSC’s throwing her. He never picks her up and when Kristy calls his hotel she finds out he checked out without telling her. Again, because he’s an awful person. She goes to the amusement park hoping he’ll be there, but he’s not. It starts to rain and Kristy’s stuck out there. The BSC realizes something’s wrong, and Mary Anne tells them the truth. They manage to go and pick her up at the park and have a nice bonding session. Then Kristy tells her mom about Patrick, and she’s appropriately annoyed.  Kristy’s dad sends her a few letters with lame sounding apologies, and she voice overs about how this is progress because she only has to wait a few days to get his letters, instead of years. She doesn’t sound as sarcastic as I think she should be with that comment.
The girls do get approval on the greenhouse cleanup, but are told they can’t use it because they’re a business and not a non-profit club. Neighbor lady’s on the committee, and when Stacey admits they only profited $168, she says they should let the BSC use the place. But then the BSC decides they don’t really want to leave Claud’s room and give the greenhouse to neighbor lady to use with her garden club.
  • Claudia flunked science and has to go to summer school. If she doesn’t pass her final exam her parents will make her quit the club. I guess the script writer didn’t have the energy to give her an original storyline and just stole from the books. Kristy feels bad she hasn’t been helping as much as she said she would, so she makes up a stupid song to teach Claud about the human body. She performs it along with the whole camp, which apparently works because Claudia gets a B- on the test.
  • Stacey starts dating Rosie Wilder’s cousin, who’s in town for the summer from Switzerland. He’s 17 and thinks Stacey’s 16.  Then they try and go to a teen club in NYC and Stacey’s real age comes out. He’s horrified and Stacey’s embarrassed. Then suddenly he’s showing up at her house playing a harmonica to woo her back and Stacey doesn’t want to talk to him? It’s weird. But she calls him when they need a ride to find Kristy and he tells her how he wants to see her when he comes back next summer. When he’ll be 18 and the age difference is an even bigger deal.
  • Cokie Mason tries to hit on Logan and when Mary Anne puts a stop to it, spends the whole summer spying on the BSC and trying to sabotage their camp and greenhouse cleanup. But she and her minions ultimately fail, obviously. Mary Anne does stay mad at Logan for ages because he didn’t immediately turn Cokie down, but they make up.
  • Alan Gray spends the whole summer hitting on Dawn, who seems to think he’s just trying to annoy her. Eventually he tells her he seriously wants to go out, and she says yes.
  • Mallory mentions she’s writing a novel a dozen times, but gets no real subplot. Jessi doesn’t even get a running gag like that. Poor junior members.
  • There’s this cute thing in the opening credits where we see pages of the club record book and hear clips of clients leaving messages with weird sitting requests. But they all seem out of character. The Rodowskis want someone to dog sit and the Wilders want someone to dress up as a clown for a birthday party?  I don’t believe either client would do that. Also, record book page we see says June while we hear a voicemail saying it’s August.  
  • Kristy wears a Krushers shirt at the beginning that looks totally wrong. It’s white with red sleeves, and has the word “Krushers” written in blue script.  Very inaccurate.  But later Kristy’s birthday cake’s decorated with a red and white baseball hat, which does fit with the books, or at least Kristy’s shirt having red letters.
  • We see Stacey catching a cab in downtown Stoneybrook to get to the BSC meeting. And later Kristy takes a cab to the amusement park. These girls never took cabs in Stoneybrook. I would expect a small town like that wouldn’t even have them, unless you called specifically for service to an airport or something.
  • Also, if there are cabs, why can’t Kristy take one when stuck at the amusement park?
  • It annoys me that we see a BSC meeting, and Kristy just puts her hand over the phone mouthpiece while they decide who’s going to sit.
  • It seems weird that they’d make Luca a cousin of Rosie Wilder, who was such a minor client in the books.  But since they did pick her, they should have used the right description. She was a redhead in the books right?
  • The kids they sit for seem so much younger than they did in the TV series. The kid playing David Michael looks about four. But maybe I haven’t been around enough seven-year-olds to know what they look like?
  • Also, except for Jackie, the kids don’t really get personalities. And even Jackie’s is pretty weak.
  • The actors as the main girls all look much younger than the actors in the TV series, but they do look age-appropriate to me. They were just too old in the show.
  • Kristy’s wardrobe’s really off. Her dad gives her a dress so she wears it every time she goes to see him. She usually changes beforehand so no one will see the odd choice, but they do notice. It’s got plaid in it and she keeps wearing it over stripes like she’s Claudia and can do things like that. She also wears lots of stripes and overalls, which do not fit with what’s in the books.
  • When Kristy has the idea to have a camp, the other girls act like Kristy’s always having crazy ideas and are surprised the camp’s a good idea.  But they never thought she had bad ideas in the books, they thought they were legitimately good ideas. 
  • They also had a bunch of different camps in the books, so this isn’t really a new idea.
  • Kristy’s mom seems pretty disinterested in doing anything with her on her birthday.
  • Dawn’s mom doesn’t want the little kids going into her house, so they rent port-a-potties.  Port-a-potties? 13-year-olds can rent port-a-potties? WTF? I mean, I guess it’s nice the mention the need for bathrooms at all. But I think I’d rather kids use my bathroom than have gross smelling port-a-potties in my yard.
  • I’m trying to figure out how the BSC can charge $250 a kid for their camp, have what looks like over 20 kids and only profit $168.
  • We see Kristy riding horses with Jackie.  Mary Anne, Logan, and Cokie and her minions are also at the stables with them.  It’s really random. I know there was that Mallory horse book, but the other girls never rode.  Maybe they just wanted a different backdrop, but it just seems like such a weird choice for normal kids to be riding horses.
  • They show a lot of BSC fliers, but none of them have the club name written in blocks.  That was on the cover of every book, how much work would it have been for the prop people to get that right?
  • It’s so weird when people on TV/Movies all sit on just three side of the table so that the camera can show them all at once.
  • Mary Anne’s played by Rachel Leigh Cook and I looking back I thought she was already famous then. But according to IMDB it’s her first role. So, I guess when she became more famous I just remembered her from this?
  • In a nice moment of book continuity, we hear about Pizza Express and that Kirsty likes anchovies. Although, I think the anchovy thing’s only consistent with some books, there was one where she didn’t like them.
  • There’s a thing early on where Watson can’t find Karen or Andrew and Kristy makes a joke about it saying “it’s Coronel Mustard in the library with the wrench,” before opening the door to the closet where they’re hiding.  Then later we see Kristy and Mary Anne playing Clue and a close up on those exact pieces being in the library on the game board.  That seems like a weird thing to make an effort to include.
  • Alan’s portrayed very differently in the movie than the books.  They have him being more of a geek here.  He even wears a bow tie. He’s supposed to be obnoxious, not geeky.
  • Stacey goes on a date with Luca where they go on a hike.  Her mom’s all worried about her not eating and Stacey lies and says she brought something with her, then almost passes out. I thought this was out of character because in the books Stacey (almost) always did take care of her diabetes, but her parents still worried obsessively.  Here her mom had good reason to nag her.
  • Cokie Mason was played by Marla Sokoloff, who at the time I knew from guest starring on Full House and Party of Five.  I remember a (more recent) interview with the actress where she joked about being the bad girl that corrupted all the “good girls” on TV in the 90s. 
  • The girl who plays one of Cokie’s minions is a red head and I thought I was remembering her from this old show Hang Time. But it turns out I must be remembering her from Alex Mack and Boy Meets World. I loved that Hang Time show though.
  • Alan Gray offers to help at the camp for free, because he likes Dawn. And Kristy just lets him.  Kristy would never let Alan help at the camp unless there were really extenuating circumstances. And even then she’d put up a fight about it.
  • At one point Mary Anne points out that Kristy’s “almost 13.”  So is she supposed to be 12? Because then there should only be five girls in the club. They should have just said she was 13 and ignored that her birthday was approaching in that scene.
  • Logan was played by Austin O’Brian from My Girl 2. I remember liking him, although now I can’t remember why.
  • Kristy and Mary Anne are looking at old pictures, and Mary Anne says that her mom looks like Jo from Little Women. How can you look like a book character? I’m assuming most editions of Little Women aren’t illustrated.  And if she’s talking about what would have been the most recent movie wouldn’t she have said Winona Rider?
  • Kristy makes a sandwich and the Jiff peanut butter she’s using looks exactly like the jar I have in my kitchen right now. 
  • Kristy shows up late for a meeting, and the girls say they’ve been waiting for over 30 minutes and should start it themselves. But if Kristy’s 30 minutes late for a meeting, isn’t it over? That’s such a dumb mistake. Did the writer read chapter two of even one book?
  • Nina Marshall has an imaginary friend named Jimmy Tony. That sounds really familiar. Was it in the books?
  • Claudia and Stacey go to NYC, where they’re going to have a night out with Luca. We hear that Mr. McGill questions Luca about where he’s taking Stacey, so you’d think he would have realized Luca’s 17 and that they’re going to a 16 and over club.
  • You’d also think that Mr. or Mrs. Wilder would tell Luca how old Stacey is.
  • I find Patrick showing up, only contacting Kristy, and being pretty physically affectionate with her kind of creepy.
  • Patrick says he needs a job before telling Elizabeth he’s in town, so that she doesn’t think he’s a loser.  Because being employed will make a woman forget her husband walking out on her and her 4 children.
So, seeing as how this is pretty much the last BSC item I had left to write up, I think this will be my last post for awhile.  I know they're have been some requests to recap the Little Sister books, but I just don't have the energy/desire to take that on at this time, and it wouldn't be nearly as much enjoyable since I only ever read a few of them.  If I ever change my mind I will start posting them here. 
Thanks for everyone who stuck around and kept reading. I've had lots of fun and really appreciate you reliving my childhood with me. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

BSC TV Series Episode # 13: The Baby-Sitters Remember

Memory Reaction
I don’t remember seeing this before.
Revisited Reaction
I read the episode description of this a few weeks ago and saw that it was about the BSC reminiscing and was worried it was some kind of clip show.  But all the reminiscing was new footage. It’s the end of the school year and the BSC’s having a sleepover before the girls all go away and separate for the summer.  They chat about important times in the clubs history and their friendship.  Some of these discussions are just them mentioning things, but we also get flashbacks.  The flashbacks are pretty much recreations of book scenes, which I thought was really fun.  They were actually pretty accurate with the details, so someone who worked on this show was obviously a fan, or really dedicated to their job.
First up is Kristy getting her great idea for the club.  We see her in school on a really hot day and then cheering when the bell rings, leading to her teacher making her write an essay on decorum. Which all happened in the first book. They even get the name of the teacher right, it’s Mr. Redmont.  I looked that up, because I wanted to see how thorough they were being. Anyway, then we see Kristy later that night, with her mom telling her she can’t find a sitter for David Michael and how has she’s been calling all over town.  However, we don’t see her making phone calls while the Thomas kids are eating and her pizza gets cold. So, they get a few points off for that. 
Next we see Kristy talking about her first sitting job for the club, for Buffy and Pinky who turned out to be dogs.  This is really close to how it happened in the books too, we even get the awkward questions where Kristy things they’re talking about people and the other person thinks they’re talking about dogs.
The next flashback’s about the “snobs.”  We see Stacey sitting for the Delanys and getting them to clean up by making a mess in their playroom.  This scene seems really familiar, more than just reading it in the books.  I almost think I saw part of it before.  But I definitely didn’t see this whole episode, so I’m not sure how.  But anyway, it’s another scene that gets the book details very accurate. 
We get one flashback that’s totally made up.  It’s the girls having traditional Japanese tea with Mimi. They all wear kimonos, Kristy can’t walk in hers, they drink the tea, Mimi says some wise old lady things about how great their friendship is, etc.  All seven girls are there, so I’m not sure when it was supposed to happen.  Mimi died before Stacey moved back to Stoneybrook.  So either she or Mal and Jessi shouldn’t have been in the scene.  Probably Mal and Jessi since it seemed to be before her stroke.
They also talk about the fake wedding that they staged with the kids they were sitting for right before Watson and Elizabeth got married.  This also appeared pretty accurate, they had Karen and David Michael as the bridge/groom, they had the vows be about TV and riding bikes, and they had the kids running off at the suggestion they needed to kiss.  The only thing off is that it took place outside, and I think in the book they had it inside.  The whole reason they did it was because they were looking for something to do while stuck inside in the rain.
The last flashback’s about the time they all had to have pretend egg babies for school.  This doesn’t show any exact scene that they had in the books, but it does get things right, like the names they all gave their babies and who the fake husbands were.  And we see Mary Anne getting upset that Logan doesn’t seem to trust her with the egg baby.  This flashback’s focused on Dawn though.  We see her being careless with the egg baby (putting him loose in her backpack?) and arguing with her fake husband.
After they finish remising it’s midnight and the girls all go to bed.  But they talk about how great/important their friendship is and promise that even if they move apart when they’re older they’ll still be friends and have reunions every year.  It’s very idealistic, but sweet.
  • They also talk about how Jessi and Mallory had to take a written test to join the BSC, but that one isn’t accurate.  Mallory had to take a written test, which she failed.  Then the older girls reconsidered and asked her and Jessi to join, with the only requirement being they get observed on a sitting job.
  • We see the girls cleaning out their lockers at school, and I have to say, they have really in character decorations inside them.  Kristy has a BSC flier and baseball stuff, Jessi has dance stuff,  Stacey has dried flowers from some dance, Claudia’s is artsy, etc.
  • At the sleepover, Stacey keep brushing/styling Kristy’s hair.  I feel like that would never have happened.  Stacey brushing hair seems in character, but Kristy being the subject without complaining seems wrong.
  • The girls say the BSC’s phone number is KL5-3231, just like it was in an earlier episode.  I know some current TV shows that don’t have continuity that good. And just for the record I looked that up to see if it matched.  My memory isn’t that good.
  • Kristy’s going to softball camp for the summer, and talks about wanting to pitch a no hitter.  But I don’t remember her as a pitcher.
  • Jessi’s also going off to some exclusive dance camp for the whole summer, but they don’t mention what the other girls are doing.  Just that they’ll be apart. It seems kind of weird for them all to be going somewhere for two whole months.
  • Another nice piece of continuity….Mary Anne has braids in her hair in the flashbacks to the early years.
  • Jessi says how even though she isn’t diabetic she has to watch what she eats because of dance.  Mary Anne tells her “it isn’t like that anymore” and that succeeding in dance is about talent, not body type.  I’m pretty sure that’s not true, especially in ballet.
  • One weird thing that distracted me is that during this sleepover, Claudia’s bedroom door’s open.  Wouldn’t they have shut the door so her parents didn’t hear them?
  • I can’t get over Dawn putting an egg loose in her backpack.  She originally put it in the inside pocket of her jacket, but her partner thought it was unsafe. So she just drops it in her bag.  Then later it somehow falls out and is rolling on the floor.  Miraculously, it doesn’t crack. 
  • The Delanys look a lot younger than I pictured in their flashback. But I guess all kids seem younger when I see them as adults versus picturing them as a kid myself.
  • Stacey mentioned how she was nervous about making friends with Kristy, Claudia, and Mary Anne at the start of the club, and Mary Anne’s surprised because of how sophisticated Stacey seemed.
  • They also talk about the first time Mimi tried pizza.  Which I don’t think happened in the books, but I feel like one of the girls once mentioned seeing her try it in the books. Am I making that up?
  • One thing that doesn’t totally match the books in this show.  Here, the girls keep talking about how they’re all best friends and super close and all that.  In the books they always made a point of saying that Mal/Jessi and Claudia/Stacey were actually best friends within the group.  And Mary Anne/Kristy were also best friends originally, but then Mary Anne/Dawn were too.  They show makes it more of an even “group” thing.  Which I guess is nice and gives the show even more of a dream-like angle for tween girls.
One note….this is the last episode in the series, but I am planning on recapping the movie, so that should be posted fairly soon.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

BSC TV Series Episode # 12: Stacey Takes a Stand

Memory Reaction
I never saw this episode before.
Revisited Reaction
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.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

BSC TV Series Episode # 11: Dawn Saves the Trees

Memory Reaction
This is one of the few videos I actually owned, and yet I don’t have any really strong memories of it.  I just know it’s kind of similar to the book about Dawn getting all environmental, except with a cute boy thrown in.  I think the boy’s mother is Dawn’s nemesis over the trees that need saving and it causes all sorts of conflict.  But no scenes or moments stand out to me.  I must not have watched it that often.
Revisited Reaction
The girls are all at some park with Charlotte, Becca, and Jamie Newton.  I don’t know why all seven of them need to be there to watch three kids, but I guess they didn’t want to hire more kid actors.  They’re by some pond having fun, but when they leave they see some park officials measuring something.  They go talk to them and find out the town’s putting a road through the park. This means they will be committing the unforgivable sin of cutting down trees. The BSC, especially Dawn, is horrified at this and decide to they need to stop it.  They go to town hall and get a huge pile of information on the proposed road.  Dawn decides they’re just trying to stall her, so she tosses the info and the girls plan a protest, with the kids of course.  They seem to get a positive response from the media and plan to go to some town meeting to argue against the road.
Meanwhile, Dawn meets a friend of Logan’s named David Cummings.   David’s played by a young Zach Braff.  Dawn thinks he’s super cute and is excited to find out that David wants Dawn to come with him on a triple date with Mary Anne/Logan and Kristy/Bart.  But when David comes to her house to pick her up, he sees the posters for the protest.  David says he thinks the road will allow more people to enjoy the park.  Dawn doesn’t like that at all and is suspicious that he knows so much about the road.  David admits that his mom’s the head of the Commission of Public Works and behind the whole thing.  So, Dawn storms upstairs and the date doesn’t happen.  This is the second episode where Dawn has had a guy pick her up for a date that didn’t happen.   That’s not a good precedent.
At the town meeting Dawn makes her statement and Mrs. Cummings is all, I appreciate your passion but did you even read the proposal? It turns out the road’s being built to give the handicapped access to this pond and is meant to make more people enjoy it.  It will also have bathroom facilities and proper trash/recycling containers.  It also will only require 12 trees to be cut down within a 50 acre wooded area.  I don’t think that’s so bad.  It isn’t like they’re planning to destroy the entire park or something.  The commission votes to move forward with the plan, and Dawn leaves all upset.
After the meeting the rest of the BSC tells Dawn she should have considered a compromise and can go a bit overboard with things.  They also tell her she was kind of bitchy to David (who was watching her during the town meeting).  Anyway Dawn does some research and finds out about parks that used wooden planks or packed dirt to give handicapped access to places, and she comes up with a plan to make the dirt idea work in Stoneybrook.   Because they teach skills like that in middle school.
She calls David and apologizes to him and asks him to bring their idea to his mom.  I would have been kind of insulted if someone apologized and followed it up with asking for a favor.  But he’s a teenage boy and she’s a girl.  David tricks his mom into going to the park where Dawn presents the idea.  She says she’s annoyed at being tricked but likes the idea and brings it to the commission.  They vote to accept it.  It seems kind of unrealistic, but whatever.  In BSC-land horrible things like trees being cut down aren’t allowed to happen.
  • They refer to Jamie liking peanut butter and honey sandwiches.  I feel like that’s a reference to the books, and that being his favorite sandwich.  I hope I’m wrong though, because I hate the fact that my brain has retained that detail for 20+ years, when it could have been remembering something more useful.
  • Stacey refers to when she used to go to camp and get homesick…it sounds like she’s talking about when she was a kid.  But we know that Camp Mohawk was her first (and only) camp experience.
  • Who sees an official prepping for construction, and walks up to ask what he is doing?  I think most people would just ignore them?  Then while Dawn goes to talk to him, we see a reaction shot of every single BSC member looking at one another asking what he could possibly be doing.  They act like it’s the most intriguing mystery ever.
  • Claudia says the town will never listen to a bunch of kids. Dawn says they have just as much a say in what happens to public land as adults.  But they kind of don’t. You have to be 18 to vote.  And they certainly don’t pay taxes on their baby-sitting money.
  • After meeting Zach Braff, Kristy asks Dawn if she thinks he’s cute.  It seems kind of out of character for Kristy to be the one pressing Dawn about the cute boy.
  • Some of the kids are helping the girls make posters for their protest.  Jessi tells them to take a break and they start playing Mother, May I.  A couple minutes into it, Dawn walks up and asks them to start helping her again.  Now, I didn’t exactly want to watch a never-ending game of Mother, May I, but it seemed kind of mean for Dawn to not even let them finish one game. 
  • The posters they make for the protest look a lot like the ones from the one with the student council election.  They do this weird thing where they write on the posters, then stick on what looks like really big stickers or something to decorate.
  • I noticed during this episode that the actress playing Dawn has brown eyes.  Then I noticed that the actress playing Mary Anne has blue eyes.  Who cast this show?  There must have been hundreds of blonde blue-eyed girls that could have played Dawn.  It’s not like the one we got is super-talented.
  • When they mentioned a group date involving Bart, I thought we might get to meet him.  But Kristy says they’re meeting him downtown.  I guess that makes sense for ease of casting, but I still would have liked to see him.
  • Dawn thinks compromise is giving up.  Great attitude, Dawn. 
  • These girls always have to win don’t they? Not only does the town change their minds, they talk about forming a youth committee with the BSC involved.  That’s just out and out winning, there’s no compromise involved at all.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

BSC TV Series Episode # 10: The Babysitters and the Boysitters

Memory Reaction           
I didn’t think I’d seen this one before, but there were two scenes that made me flashback to seeing them the first time, so I guess I must have seen the whole thing.  The first is a scene where Jackie spills milk on the table, and Pete Black proceeds to crack on egg on the table, dip bread in it the mixture, and make French toast.  It’s how I learned what ingredients go into making French toast.
The other’s a scene where Lagan and Mary Anne were studying, and Logan pulls her up to start dancing. At the time I thought they seemed older than they were supposed to in that scene.  Now, I think the actors are all clearly older than 13 so they all seem too old in every scene.
Revisited Reaction
Logan has to cancel a sitting job and all the other girls are already busy.  Alan Gray and Pete Black offer to help out with some jobs.  Kristy doesn’t like this idea at all, but the other girls convince her it will work.  They “train” the boys and let them take a couple jobs.  At first they think it goes okay, because the kids liked them, so the BSC votes to let the boys keep serving as back up.  Kristy’s the only one still against it.
Then the girls realize that Alan taught Becca and Charlotte to play poker and let them eat lots of candy.  They also find out that Pete taught Shea and Jackie Rodowski to climb trees, a skill the kids later use to climb on the roof.  So, the BSC tries to tell the boys they shouldn’t have done those things, and Alan and Pete say no one got hurt, so what’s the big deal?  They walk out of the meeting and say they’re going to start their own baby-sitters club.  They apparently follow through with this to some degree, because Stacey sees Alan and Pete sitting for Becca and Charlotte, where they’re taking the girls to see a scary movie.  Stacey also finds out that Alan and Pete are taking Becca, Charlotte, and the Rodowski boys to the Game Center on Saturday. 
Kristy thinks this is crazy, because the Game Center’s filled with video games and play areas for kids, and is always super crowded on Saturdays. The other girls think they should tell the boys it’s a bad idea, but Kristy decides they should let them do it so they learn how unprepared they are to really deal with kids.  The BSC shows up at the Game Center to watch it all go down.
Alan and Pete turn their backs on the kids to play a video game, and when they turn back the kids have disappeared. The boys run all over looking for the kids but can’t find them, probably because the kids are deliberately hiding when they see Alan or Pete.  The BSC’s watching the kids though, and see Charlotte, Becca, and Archie getting their picture taken in one of those things where you put your face in the hole over a picture of a clown (or whatever), so it looks like your head is on someone else’s body.  The BSC takes a couple of the pictures and drop them in front of Alan and Pete, so the boys see where the kids are.  They find them, but then Charlotte runs off and Becca goes to the bathroom and doesn’t come out.  At this point, the BSC shows themselves and starts helping out with the kids.  The boys admit they don’t know everything about kids.  Kristy suddenly turns very mature and tells them no one could handle the kids at the Game Center and that doing things different from her isn’t necessarily wrong.  It is so different than how she was acting all episode so it was kind of weird to see.  But I guess these always end with the BSC doing the right thing.
  • Kristy throws out a line about how Shannon Kilbourne’s out of town so that we don’t wonder why the girls aren’t calling her when they’re so backed up.
  • While training Alan and Pete, the BSC makes them practice diapering a doll and feeding a baby (Mallory role playing). Which seems kind of unnecessary, considering the jobs they had lined up were for older kids.
  • At the beginning, it seems like Pete’s a bigger foil/adversary with Kristy than Alan, which is definitely not the case in the books.  Pete always seemed like the nice one. But Alan gets more screen time at the end, so maybe that was just to balance out their time.
  • Charlotte and Becca make Alan dress up like a baby, and he lets them.  Which isn’t something you’d expect based on what you hear about him in the books.
  • Wow, we see all three Rodowski boys in this episode.  I guess they had a budget increase or something.
  • Becca and Charlotte tell Stacey they want to play poker instead of go fish.  When Stacey starts asking how to play, Becca and Charlotte look at each other like it’s an impossible task and suggest doing something else.  I guess they thought she wasn’t smart enough?
  • I actually don’t think it’s bad to teach kids to play poker, I learned how to play when I was little. As long as they’re not really gambling or anything.  But what is weird is that Charlotte and Becca both have acquired visors to look like dealers or something.  Maybe Alan has them in his Kid Kit?
  • Jackie and Shea climb onto the roof while Kristy’s sitting for them, and tell Kristy that Pete taught them how to do it.  Pete says he only taught them how to climb a tree and didn’t leave them alone while they were doing it.  I’m on his side here, isn’t Pete’s fault the boys got it in their heads to climb onto the roof. This is Jackie we’re talking about.
  • What’s weird is that Jackie and Shea use a rope to climb on the roof.  So…do the Rodowskis’ just have a rope hanging down from their roof? Because if they boys could have climbed up to hang the rope, they wouldn’t have needed the rope in the first place.
  • Would Dr. Johanssen really hire Alan and Pete instead of the BSC after one job with them?
  •  The BSC drops these pictures in from of Alan and Pete, and the boys see the kids are by the clowns.  They assume the kids are the ones who dropped the pictures.  But if the kids dropped them wouldn’t that have meant the kids had left the clown area?
  • Alan brings some of the kids to the snack bar and asks what they want.  Becca says ice cream, Archie says hot dogs, and Charlotte says popcorn.  So Alan buys three of each.  Which seems to be a bit much….. why not just give each of them the one thing they asked for? But anyway,  it doesn’t matter because then Becca has to go to the bathroom, and Alan leaves all the food on a table while he walks off to take her.  So wasteful.
  • At the beginning, the BSC’s practicing for field day, an upcoming event at school.  Alan and Pete laugh at them for falling, which leads to Kristy and Pete making a bet about who will win.  The episode ends at field day, but we don’t see who wins.  It’s kind of annoying.  It actually looks like Kristy ends up partnering with Alan, so maybe it’s a moot point.  Maybe that was supposed to show they all matured, but they had reaffirmed the bet towards the end of the episode.  It made kind of a weird transition.
  • Isn’t it kind of weird to refer to Alan and Pete as the “boysitters” in the title of the episode?  If “babysitters” describes how the girls watch little kids, “boysitters” should be people who watch boys.  At least when used in the same sentence. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

BSC TV Series Episode # 9: Jessi and the Mystery of the Stolen Secrets

Memory Reaction
All I remember from this is how we find out Matt Braddock’s learning to lip read.  After I saw this episode, I kept waiting for them to reference this in one of the books and I don’t think they ever did.  I guess book to TV continuity is easier for them than TV to book continuity.  Ann M. Martin and her ghostwriters probably never watched the series, while I’m sure the TV writers familiarized themselves with the books.
Revisited Reaction
At the beginning, the whole BSC’s at a Krushers’ practice helping out.  We find out that Charlotte has a crush on Buddy Barret and has only told Stacey about it.  But then later, Jackie Rodowski starts teasing her about it.  Charlotte gets mad at Stacey for telling people, even though Stacey swears she didn’t.
Later, Jessi’s sitting for Matt Braddock at her house when she gets a call from Mrs. Masters in Hollywood.  Derek’s going to be in town for the weekend and needs a sitter, but it needs to be kept a secret so no reporters show up.  But at the sitting job, of course reporters show up and try and take pictures of Derek.  Mrs. Masters blames Jessi for this and threatens not to use the club again.
The BSC decides that since none of them told either secret, someone must be reading the BSC notebook, where both Charlotte’s crush and the Derek thing were mentioned.  The girls identify three kids that had an opportunity to read it recently – Vanessa, Karen, and Jackie.  They try and set up each of them with a chance to read the notebook again to see if they snoop.  Vanessa doesn’t look and criticizes Mallory and Jessi for acting silly in the library (trying to set her up).  Karen doesn’t look either, and tells Kristy and Dawn they should have a lock on the book if it’s so private.  Jackie doesn’t look, but wants to when he finds out the BSC has a book where they write about him.  He wants to see what they said about him. Jackie tells all the other kids and they also get upset about the sitters writing about them behind their backs.
When the kids try and confront Jessi and Dawn about the notebook, Matt Braddock’s there.  Jessi realizes that he’s following the conversation even though people had forgotten to sign, which is when we find out he’s learning to lip-read.  He was nearby when Stacey and Charlotte were talking about Buddy and was there when Jessi was on the phone with Mrs. Masters.  He didn’t know that these things were secrets and that people would be upset if he repeated them.  He mentioned Charlotte liking Buddy to some other kids and told his uncle (a reporter) about Derek. Jessi talks to him about this and how he needs to be careful.  And Dawn manages to calm the rest of the kids down by comparing the club notebook to doctors’ or teachers’ records.  So all is well.
  • At the Krushers’ practice, we see all the kids wearing purple shirts with white letters of the team name.  I know in the books they wore white with black letters.  I can’t imagine all the boys being okay with purple.
  • Kristy does have red letters on her shirt, which matches the books, but the fact that it’s on purple make it almost impossible to read.
  • I like that they remembered Jessi had the special relationship with Derek, and that’s why Mrs. Masters called her directly.  Sometimes they forgot things like that in the books so that they could feature certain characters.  It used to really annoy me.
  • It seems kind of weird that the Masterses would come all the way from California for a weekend and then not let Derek leave the house the whole time. 
  • Derek comes off nerdy than I remember in the books.  Wasn’t there a whole thing because his character wore glasses but he didn’t and it surprised everyone? But he has glasses on here.  And I’m not saying glasses makes a person nerdy, the kid just seems nerdy.
  • Dawn says that Karen had access to the notebook when she (Dawn) went to get ice cream at a Krusher’s game.  Since when does Dawn eat ice cream?  Maybe she was getting it for Karen, but then wouldn’t Karen have gone with her?  What kind of sitter leaves the sittee alone like that anyway?
  • I don’t know why the girls didn’t just ask Jackie who told him about Charlotte’s crush.  It would have been much easier than spy stuff.
  • This show must have a really small budget.  Whenever they have the girls on a sitting job for a kid with siblings, there is just one kid there with a quick explanation that the others are somewhere else.  We also hardly see any adults. 
  • There’s an article in the town paper about Derek being in town, with the subheading , “Baby-sitter denies press access.”  It’s kind of hilarious. Like….did the paper call Jessi and get a comment from her about that? Also, the paper would know she didn’t tip them off, and even if they don’t want to reveal their source it seems silly for them to talk about how they got access. 
  • Charlotte and Stacey have a heart to heart where Stacey apologizes about the Buddy thing getting out.  She says she wrote about it in the club notebook, and Charlotte’s pissed because she only wanted Stacey to know, not the rest of the club.  But she forgives Stacey.
  • Matt claims he didn’t know Charlotte would get upset if he told people she had a crush on Buddy.  Now….really? I think it’s completely realistic for a little kid to spread gossip like that, but did he really not realize people would tease her? And did he really see every word of Jessi’s conversation with Mrs. Masters EXCEPT the part where she said it was secret? And why was he keeping the lip reading a secret anyway? Jessi was probably a little too forgiving of him there.
  • The actress playing Jessi is the only one of the main girls I remember seeing in something else.  She was Clarissa’s friend in an episode or two of Clarissa Explains It All, which I also totally loved as a kid.
  • The title of this episode makes me realize that Mallory’s the only girl in the club to not get an episode with her name in it.  Poor Mallory.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

BSC TV Series Episode 8: Claudia and the Mystery of the Secret Passage

Memory Reaction
I know I saw this once as a kid, but I remember nothing about it.  Just that they find a note in their house from someone who used to live there, and I always wanted to do that.  Sadly, we were the first people to live in the house I grew up in so there was no chance of that.
Oh, and I totally mixed this up with the earlier mystery/type episode a few months ago. 
Revisited Reaction
Dawn and Claudia are in Dawn’s secret passage and find a note that some girl wrote a long time ago. It’s about how she’s never going to speak to her awful, mean sister again, because Bettina (the sister) thinks the girl writing the note lost her (Bettina’s) diamond ring.  The BSC takes this literally, and think that the sisters must have feuded for the rest of their lives, and assume the note’s over a hundred years old. They hold a séance to try and contact the sisters, and fail, but they do find a small diamond ring in the passage, which they think proves the sister writing the note didn’t lose it.
Claudia shows Janine the note and tells her how old she thinks it is, and Janine kind of rudely points out that it’s covered with transparent tape, which was not invented hundreds of years ago.  Claudia goes to the library to look up the exact year it was invented, cause they couldn’t just Google things in 1990. It turns out it Scotch tape was invented in 1930, so the girls decide the sisters may be alive.  They take the ring to the town jewelry store and ask the jeweler if he knows who bought it.  He’s all, “we sold tons of those rings in the fifties, I can’t help you,” but when they throw out the name “Bettina,” it rings a bell. He says she married the grocer’s son. The girls go to the grocery store in question and find out the current owner bought it from the old grocer a few years ago, and that his family went on to open a flower shop. So, the girls go to flower stores in town and find one run by a woman named Bettina.  However, they’re scared because no one remembers what happened to the little sister, and think this means Bettina could be a killer.  Because these girls have over-active imaginations.
Anyway it turns out Bettina and her sister Flora own the flower store together and actually have not been feuding for 40 years. The girls give them back the ring and they argue a little about whether it was actually Flora’s fault, but then are all, “oh, that was ages ago, who cares.”
  • I checked and transparent tape was in fact invented in 1930, by a man named Richard Drew. In case it ever comes up on Jeopardy.   Googling “when was transparent tape invented” brought up more than 600,000 results.  I can’t even believe there’s that much to say about tape.
  • The BSC’s also working on some town project, where they put old photos of the town and themselves on a community bulletins board.  It’s all a plot device to get them talking about the past and family, I guess.  They are very impressed that Dawn came up with the very boring title of “Stoneybrook Through the Years.”
  • Vanessa and Becca are in this episode, because they have a sister theme going.  For a minute I thought Vanessa was a recast Karen.  She’s rather blonde looking and wears glasses.  I thought the Pike’s all had brown hair (except for poor red head Mallory).
  • The secret passage looks nothing like I pictured it. It’s way too nice and neat looking. Also when they go in from Dawn’s room there are stairs up, but I think in the books the steps are supposed to go down. How else could you get from Dawn’s upstairs room to under the barn?  The cover of one of the books shows stairs going up, but the covers were never accurate. 
  • The BSC decides to throw a little sister party for all their little siblings to show they appreciate them.  They feel bad that they never sit at their own houses or something.  It’s sweet, I guess.  Stacey invites Charlotte (but I don’t think we see her), and Flora and Bettina come.  And even though Claudia and Janine were fighting in this episode, Janine hears about it and says she wants to come because Claudia is her little sister.  Awe.
  • Kristy has a Sherlock hat on while she reads the note out loud at a club meeting.  Do you think they just keep that in Claudia’s room so it’s there when they have a mystery to solve? Or maybe Claudia thinks it fashionable? Either way, I find it hysterical that Kristy stopped to put it on before reading the note.
  • Of course Bettina and Flora talked again.....what kind of siblings don't fight? And aren’t these girls supposed to be good with kids? They should know a little kid swearing to never talk to her sister doesn’t really mean anything.
  • Claudia says Janine talks with big words because she’s preparing for her “college entrance exams?"  I guess she means SAT/ACT? I don’t remember anyone ever calling them entrance exams.
  • We get a shot of Claudia opening her hollow book to get candy.  Yay for a book reference! I really wanted a hollow book as a kid.  I kind of still want one.
  • Janine tells Claudia having séances are a waste of time, and Claudia says to leave her alone and that she doesn't criticize Janine for loving math. But, she criticizes Janine for being a genius/dork all the time. Janine’s not usually in the room, but it still counts.
  • The girls go to the town hall to try and get the names of all the people who lived there before Dawn.  They are disappointed to learn that it will take 6 weeks, which actually seems like a quick response to me.  That must be a sign of me getting old.  But anyway, they also ask if the deed will have the name of children on it, and the clerk says no.  Obviously.  But the BSC knows one of the kids names from the note. All they’d have to do is take all the last names from former residents and see if they can find any Bettinas with those last names.  They don’t do try that though.
  • Of course the jeweler actually remembers who they are talking about and makes it easy for them.   Seriously, what are the chances? Bettina’s a rare name but we’re talking about 40 years.
  • No one remembers what happened to the sister from 40 years ago and the BSC think that means Bettina killed someone.  Did it occur to them that if some local girl had gotten killed/gone missing people it would have been news? That’s the kind of thing people remember.
  • Claudia starts telling Janine how they found the sisters, but like two thirds of the way through gives up and just says it’s a long story.  Once you get that far just finish. 
  • So, Netflix stopped streaming this show as of June 30th.  And I don’t remember seeing any kind of notice this was happening when I watched the last episode at the end of June.  I was really annoyed, but then I discovered that Hulu now (or maybe always) has the whole series.  I love the internet.