Monday, February 23, 2015

BSC TV Series Episode # 1: Mary Anne and the Brunettes

I only saw some of the TV episodes/videos as a kid and this wasn't one of them.  But from what I can recall, they were usually original plots that seemed like they could have taken place in a book.   But this first episode has a plot that seemed similar to a combination of books, but with the characters acting less likable.  

This girl at school, Marcy, who’s basically Cokie with a different name, is into Logan even though he and Mary Anne are already dating.  Marcy flirts with Logan in the store and says they should go to a party together.  Logan doesn’t say yes, but he doesn’t really give a firm no either, so Marcy thinks she has a chance.  Kristy witnesses this and tells Mary Anne to watch out and talk to Logan.  Mary Anne says she trusts Logan and doesn’t need to ask him.

Marcy continues to flirt with Logan and taunt Mary Anne about it, and Mary Anne keeps telling the BSC girls she trusts him.  They finally talk her into talking to him, and she practices doing this in the mirror, but thinks that she sounds dumb (and she’s right).   The next day they’re at a fair at school and Logan asks Mary Anne about details for a baby-sitting job they were supposed to be doing together that afternoon.  Mary Anne’s all, “If you’d rather go to the party that’s fine with me.” And Logan’s all, “WTF?” and totally doesn’t know how to answer her.  Then inside the fair, Marcy makes some snarky comment to Mary Anne about how Logan’s a good kisser.  Mary Anne throws a pie in her face, it’s kind of awesome. She just happened to have a pie in her hand because there was some kind of pie throwing booth.

Later Mary Anne’s sitting for the Rodowsky’s (at the job Logan was supposed to help with) and he shows up.  Mary Anne’s kind of rude to him, but when he asks what’s wrong she says nothing, instead of asking if he really kissed Marcy.  So Logan leaves, but then Jackie talks some sense into her.  That’s right the “Walking Disaster” talks sense into Mary Anne.  Maybe because he’s played by Little Pete he has more wisdom?

Anyway, I guess Mary Anne goes to find him to talk about it (after Mrs. Rodowsky is home), and while she’s doing that Logan comes back to look for her.  But they ultimately find each other and talk and work things out.  Meanwhile, Kristy and Marcy argue at the party and Kristy ends up squirting Marcy with a hose.  Then Kristy and the other girls go to look for Mary Anne to tell her Logan’s a jerk, but find her already made up with Logan who has proven himself to not be a jerk afterall.  So all is well.

  • I really like that when they show a BSC meeting, all the girls are sitting exactly how they are described in the books.  Kristy’s in the director’s chair, Stacey’s backwards in the desk chair, Mary Anne, Stacey, and Claudia are on the bed, and poor Jessi and Mallory are on the floor.  Here we see Jessi and Mal on big pillows on the floor, which is not how I pictured it.   But still, it’s really accurate.
  • At the beginning of the episode we get a little introduction to the girls by hearing Kristy talk about a crazy sitting job they’ve had recently.  Mallory’s job involved sitting for someone named Christopher, and I honestly can’t think of any kid they sat for that was ever named Christopher.  The other names mentioned are all very specifically people from the books.
  • Kristy’s intro has her being surprised to find out she had to watch a pig.  Literally, a pig.  But I don’t buy that because after the first book where she accidentally had to watch dogs, didn’t she always insist on getting lots of information from the parents?
  • Mary Anne’s super-wimpy in this episode.  In the books she was always shy but not really wimpy.  And she usually didn’t have an issue telling people why she was angry, but I guess that was more with the girls than Logan.  It did take her an entire book to break up with him.
  • Mary Anne’s also weirdly passive aggressive, I wouldn’t have blamed Logan if he dumped her.  She says she doesn’t want to ask Logan about Marcy, but then acts all snippy with him and says he should go to the party if he wants.  When Logan asks what’s wrong she won’t even tell him.  Sigh. 13-year-olds.
  • While Mary Anne’s wimpy and passive aggressive, Logan still shouldn’t let other girls be so flirty with him.
  • The party Marcy wants Logan to be her date for is a costume party.  She and her friends dress as hippies and the BSC dresses as football players.  I can see Kristy dressing like a football player, but not the rest of the girls.  Especially not Claudia and Stacey.  Claudia would dress like children’s book characters as part of her daily routine, there’s no way she would wear a costume as mundane as a football player.
  • It’s very convenient that Mary Anne happened to have a pie in her hand when Marcy taunted her.  I have never been that lucky.  But this also brings me to a very important lesson, which is never insult a person who’s holding a weapon (or something that could get used as a weapon).
  • Speaking of that, there are two incidents of physical attacks in this episode that happen on school property.  Mary Anne throwing the pie and Kristy using the hose.  In re-reading some childhood books as an adult I have seen lots of incidents where the main characters actually do pretty crappy things to the so-called villains.  Marcy was a bitch, and it’s fun seeing her get comeuppance, but objectively, the attacks seem kind of over the top, and I’m sure if they happened in real life both girls would get in trouble. God, I’m getting old.
  • For a TV show, I think the casting here is generally pretty good.  Most people look how I pictured them.  However, it really bothers me that the girl who plays Mary Anne is so tall.  I think she’s one of the tallest of the girls on the show, which is just not right.  She otherwise does seem to look like I pictured Mary Anne.  But I don’t get why they couldn’t find someone who looked similar and was shorter.  It’s the first episode so it’s not like the cast a short girl and she grew.  And I can’t believe this girl was so much better as an actor than everyone else who auditioned.  She’s not bad, but she’s nothing fantastic either.
  • Also, the girl who plays Claudia doesn’t look at all Asian.  I know there’s not just one way to look Asian, but the way Claudia’s described in the books, it is as looking pretty traditional Japanese-American.
  • Logan also says he was only doing a science project with Marcy and never said he was into her.  But he could have been less hesitant.  And he said he never agreed to go.  So that means either he just never answered her at all and/or Marcy’s just delusional.
  • Marcy has two mean girl underlings, and all three have brown hair.  Hence the stupid title of this episode.