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.