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. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

BSC TV Series Episode # 7: Dawn and the Dream Boy

Memory Reaction
I never saw this episode as a kid.
Revisited Reaction
Dawn has a crush on this boy at school, Jamie Anderson, but doesn’t really know him.  Mary Anne sort of knows him because he coaches Jackie Rodowski’s soccer team, so Mary Anne offers to talk Dawn up to him when she’s picking up Jackie (coincidentally happening the next day).  She does this, and in the process mentions that she and Dawn are sisters.  The next day at school Mary Anne introduces Dawn to Jamie, then leaves to go to class.  Jamie asks Dawn if she’s going to the big soccer game coming up, then asks for her phone number.  Dawn’s super excited.

Later, Dawn and Mary Anne are at home talking about Jamie.  Carol yells “telephone” from off screen and Dawn rushes to pick it up.  It’s Jamie.  He asks her to go to the game and she says yes. However, when Jamie comes to pick her up we find out that he THOUGHT he had been talking to Mary Anne on the phone and that the date was with her.  Dawn’s understandable embarrassed, but also pissed at Mary Anne.  Mary Anne tries to nicely point out it’s not her fault, but Dawn keeps refusing to talk to her, so Mary Anne gets pissed herself.  They keep fighting, and this causes a scene when the BSC’s decorating for a school dance.  Kristy intervenes and makes them talk to each other.  Dawn realizes she was wrong to think Mary Anne would do something like that, but Mary Anne still ends up apologizing to her.

Anyway, the BSC all goes to the dance as a group, but Jamie ends up asking Dawn to dance.  It sort of looks like Mary Anne joins them in a little dancing threesome, but she could also be dancing with someone else. The guys on this show all look alike.  In fact, all the girls get asked to dance.  Because that’s the only way to have a happy ending, I guess.
  • Dawn has bangs.  For some reason I never pictured her like that, I pictured them just as long as the rest of her hair.  I can’t remember what was on the book covers.
  • Mallory says that her cousin calls guys and pretends she’s calling them back.  Like actually just say has a message from them as an excuse to call.  Interesting.
  • When did Mary Anne get bold enough to talk to a guy she barely knows about Dawn?
  • Jamie’s supposedly coaches Jackie’s junior team, but at practice there’s only three people.  I know very little about soccer, but I know you need more people than that.
  • Having someone say the line “you’re blushing” doesn’t work on a TV show when the actress isn’t actually blushing.
  • Dawn wears a big pink hair barrette in her hair when she has a red shirt on. Red and pink? Who does she think she is? Claudia?
  • They don’t specifically say, but I guess this Jamie kid is new. Otherwise he would have known Mary Anne and Dawn were step-sisters and that Mary Anne had a boyfriend.  I always got the feeling that everyone knew everyone in Stoneybrook.
  • Dawn asks an unnamed client how long she’ll be gone because she wants to be home for an important call.  First, wouldn’t she already know how long the job was for? Second, way to be unprofessional.
  • Dawn worries that she looks terrible before her soccer game date.  She does, but it’s not her fault fashion was so bad back then. 
  • Wow, the actress playing Dawn is awful.  When she realizes the guy thought he was asking out Mary Ann her line readings made me cringe.
  • Kristy calls the food in the school cafeteria gross.  Yay, points for book continuity.  Except only a few, because in the books she always bought it anyway, here she has a bag lunch.
  • Dawn and Mary Anne do that annoying telephone game cause they won’t talk to each other.  Like they’ll be right next to each other, but ask someone else to ask the other person a question, so we have to hear everything 2-3 times.
  • Kristy has a mature way of mediating the fight.  I’m serious.  She says they both get to tell their whole stories then the rest of them get to talk about it. 
  • Why does Mary Anne apologize? Ugh.  She did nothing wrong.
  • The BSC volunteered to be the decorating committee for a school dance, which makes sense, but it’s weird because Jackie Rodowski is there when they are setting up. I thought it might be because they had a sitting job and brought him along, but they also bring this other girl, Emma, who also “wanted to help.”  I don’t remember any kids named Emma.  There’s no reason for little kids to be helping them with middle school stuff.
  • At the end when they show the girls dancing, Mal’s dancing with red head and Jessi with black guy. That seems….weird.  

Sunday, June 14, 2015

BSC TV Series Episode # 6: Claudia and the Missing Jewels

Memory Reaction
This episode has a special place in my memory.  I think I’ve mentioned before that when I was a kid I had a BSC-themed birthday party.  One of the games we played was this BSC version of those mystery games where everyone plays a part and then tries to guess the killer (or in this case thief).  My mom used the “mystery” in this video as a set up for it and wrote a whole script for us to act out.  So that it would be fair, she changed the person who took the earrings.   We acted out a bunch of scenes, guessed who did it, then read the conclusion.  We even gave out sunglasses to my friends so they could wear them to match the “disguises” the girls wore in the video.

Revisited Reaction
Claudia’s selling some jewelry she made at a craft show/flea market.  A woman who owns a store shows up and says she wants to buy a bunch to sell in her store.  She gives Claudia a $50 down payment for the order of 6 earrings. Claudia brings the finished earrings to Kristy’s house when she has a sitting job for Karen. Kristy’s around later and they look at the earrings with Karen, then they leave them in a box on Kristy’s dresser.  A couple days later the girls are ready to bring the earrings to Miss Olga (the store owner), when they find the box empty.  Rather than ask the other people in the house who was messing with her stuff, Kristy does the logical thing….she calls a BSC meeting.

Kristy says that the only people around when she left the earrings in the box were Karen and Julie. Julie is some kind of maid that Kristy’s family has hired to help out.  Kristy hates her for no real reason that I can see.  But we did see Julie looking at the earrings when she was putting away laundry in Kristy’s room, so we are clearly supposed to suspect her.  Anyway, the girls follow Julie around town all day, and eventually see that she’s wearing Claudia’s earrings.  At home, Kristy wants to confront Julie, but Karen tells her she’s gone for the day.  Then Karen tells Kristy she wants to show her a “treasure tree.”  Kristy’s annoyed and says she doesn’t have time for that.  Karen looks sad.  I actually feel bad for her, even if she’s really annoying in this episode.  Kristy snaps at her a lot.

Eventually, Kristy does confront Julie who tells her that Karen gave her the earrings for her birthday.  When Kristy talks to Karen, Karen tells her she was going to give them back and tried to tell Kristy, but she kept ignoring her.  Kristy apologizes for not having time for her, but does tell her how wrong it was to take things.  Karen then brings Kristy to her treasure tree and returns the rest of the earrings.  Later Kristy and the rest of the BSC throw Julie a birthday party to make up for accusing her of being a thief.

  • When they are setting Claudia’s table up at the flea market, I was admiring how pretty the top was.  It had this nice star pattern on it.  And then they just cover it up with two different table clothes.  Such a waste.
  • Claudia’s earrings are kind of ugly, but I guess they might have been fashionable in the early 1990s.
  • Miss Olga describes a “village shop” where she wants to sell the earrings.  That seems like a weird thing to say if the shop is just in Stoneybrook.
  • I don’t totally get what Julie’s job is supposed to be.  Apparently they still need a baby-sitter when she’s in the house, so she’s not a nanny.  Kristy also tells us she doesn’t cook.  We only see her do laundry, but I guess she’s some kind of maid?
  • Miss Olga gives Claudia a $50 down payment without discussing actual total cost.  That seems unprofessional.
  • The girls are at Claudia’s and Kristy answers the phone “Baby-Sitters Club.”  Then later she calls the meeting to order. Why answer the phone like that if it wasn’t 5:30 yet?
  • We see the outside of Kristy’s house. It definitely looks big, but I wouldn’t call it a mansion.  Definitely not like I pictured it.
  • It’s really weird that so many scenes take place in Kristy’s house and the only other people we see are Karen and Julie.  Ten people live in that place. This show clearly had a low budget.
  • Kristy snaps at Karen because Karen’s being loud when Kristy’s doing homework.  Karen explains to Julie that Kristy’s in a bad mood and thinks she talks too much.  Julie’s all, I don’t believe in bad moods and there’s nothing wrong with talking if you have something to say.  Now, I get that she wanted Karen to feel better, but how do you not believe in bad moods? People have different moods, some of them are going to be bad.  And maybe tell Karen it’s okay to talk, but maybe consider your surroundings.
  • Claudia does let Karen try on a pair of earrings.  So…are these clip-ons? Or does Karen have pierced ears?  If they are clip-ons, I am surprised someone would want to sell them in a store.   And I’m surprised if Karen has pierced ears, because even though I had pierced ears at her age, the BSC always acted like you needed to be really old to do that.
  • Claudia’s baby-sitting for Karen.  Kristy’s home, but had to do a book report and couldn’t sit.  Claudia and Karen are sitting on a bed paying Go Fish, in what I assumed was Karen’s room.  But when Kristy shows up later we see that it’s her room.  So, why would Claudia and Karen be hanging out in Kristy’s room without her?  There’s a zillion other rooms in that house.
  • Kristy makes a point of saying Julie and Karen were the only ones in the house the last time she saw the earrings.  But since this was several days before she noticed they were gone, I’m not sure why that matters.
  • There’s this weird moment where Jessi and Mallory check out this girl walking past them.  They are talking on a pay phone in their lovely sunglasses disguise.  This girl walks by and they both pull off their glasses to gawk at her.  I feel like I must be missing something.
  • Mary Anne, Dawn, and Stacey are following Julie, and decide to “shoot” to see who has to get close to her for something.  I was wondering how they did that with three people, but apparently there is a way to do that.  I also never knew there was a name for that “game,” but Wikipedia tells me it’s called Morra.  I do wonder why they never called who got odds/even, even if they were playing the multi-person version they would have needed to do that when they got down to two people.
  • If Kristy really thought Julie stole the earrings, why not mention it to her parents?  Also, if something disappeared from my room, I would assume my brother or parents moved it.  And Kristy has a lot more siblings than I do, I don’t get why she wouldn’t consider that one of them took it.  Or that Julie moved it accidentally.
  • In case you were wondering, in my birthday party version of this mystery, the culprit was Charlotte. She thought that the earrings were Stacey’s and that selling them meant she wouldn’t have time to baby-sit anymore.  Then when she found out she was wrong, she gave the earrings to Jamie because he was worried about Claudia not having time to sit.  And he gave the earrings to Julie for her birthday, because she worked at his house too.  Jamie wasn’t even in this episode, and Charlotte barely was, so I must have actually explained who the character was to my mother for her to write all that.  It was really dedicated of her. (And for the record, I didn’t actually remember all that about the plot, I had to go looking in my mom’s old photo albums where she stuck a copy of the script.  I just remember everyone wearing sunglasses while we read it). 

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.

Monday, April 6, 2015

BSC TV Series Episode # 3: Stacey’s Big Break

Memory Reaction

I actually saw this episode when I was a kid, so I thought I’d do this memory section again.

I remember Stacey making a big deal out of how she had to wear shorts outside when modeling.  And that first the rest of the BSC thinks she was wearing them inside, and got all impressed when they found out otherwise.  It was winter, obviously.  I also remember how Stacey clicks her tongue to give Charlotte confidence or something when she’s in a play.  I thought it was really sweet at the time.

Revisited Reaction
The girls are putting on a play with the kids they sit for, because, why not? It’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the BSC thinks Charlotte’s perfect for the part, despite her ridiculous stage fright.  Stacey says Charlotte trusts her and will do it if she asks.  Nice manipulation of a kid, Stacey.  She tells Charlotte they'll have a special signal that should help Charlotte not be scared when she hears it.  This special signal’s just Stacey clicking her tongue, so I don’t know how secret it is.  But Charlotte’s eight, so whatever.  

Anyway, it's also a big week for Stacey elsewhere, because she gets spotted by some kind of modelling agent who wants her to meet with a photographer.  That turns into a test shoot, and then some actual modelling gigs.  She even gets to be the local store’s representative in some "New Faces Competition."  And she wins! Of course, this comes with a price, and that’s that Stacey misses a bunch of Snow White rehearsals.  Charlotte’s not happy about this and says she can't do it without her. The other sitters try to help, but Charlotte won’t tell them about the secret magic tongue clicking thing.  But eventually she does agree to let Dawn help her learn her lines.  Then Stacey’s all annoyed that Dawn’s taking her place.

Stacey’s sure she can go to the performance, but winning the contest has led to more jobs, including an opportunity to be in a commercial and go on a trip to Hollywood.  But Stacey finds out she'll have to miss the Snow White performance.  She quits the modelling and shows up at the play just in time to see Charlotte freezing on stage (and by stage, I mean someone's living room).  She clicks her tongue and Charlotte remembers her line and all’s well.  Stacey says she's okay walking away from modelling because anyone can do that, but not just anyone can be in the BSC.  Which is kind of cliquey if you think about it.

  • There’s a mention of the Little Miss Stoneybrook pageant and how Charlotte totally flamed out during her performance.  And yet, the girls still think it’s a good idea to cast her as the lead in the play.  Just because she looks the part? They must have a bunch of dark-haired girls who would love to do it.  Why force Charlotte to do something she doesn’t want to do?
  • When Stacey gets a sitting job for Charlotte, Stacey’s all, “great, she’s my favorite.”  As if the other girls in the room didn’t already know Charlotte was her favorite.
  • There’s a line about Stacey liking Bill Cosby, which I think is actually good continuity with the books.  I remember one where she and Becca are watching The Cosby Show.  I have no other comment on Bill Cosby…. 
  • Kristy says how she would hate modeling, because she even hated to pose for pictures at her mom’s wedding.  But I remember her being surprisingly excited about getting to dress up for that wedding.  I know that’s not the same as posing for pictures, but still.
  • Stacey spends ages deciding what to wear for the first meeting with the photographer, and then we see her getting her picture taken in it.  Wouldn’t they give her something to wear? I can see picking out a nice outfit because she wants to make an impression, I just think they’d have her change for the photos, even if it’s a test.
  • It’s a cute scene, but I can’t believe Stacey would ask the other BSC members what to wear.  She’s Ms. Fashionista, would she really need to ask Mallory or Kristy how she looked?  I can only see that happening if she ignored their advice.
  • There’s a young boy who refuses to wear tights in the play, but I can’t figure out who he’s supposed to be.  It’s bothering me.
  • When Stacey walks into the Snow White performance, it sort of seems like Charlotte’s first scene, because you’d think that’s when stage freight would start.  Except it’s the scene where Snow White wakes up at the dwarves’ house.  So did she perform fine at the beginning and then just lose it?
  • Jackie Rodowski’s supposed to be one year younger than Charlotte, but the actor looks a lot older to me.
  • Surprisingly absent in all this is Mrs. McGill.  Stacey goes to the test shoot and all her jobs by herself.  Her only supporter at the contest is the BSC. And even when she quits she’s alone.  Wouldn’t there be contracts and stuff a parent was needed for?
  • There’s a scene where the BSC’s eating at a pizza place, and Charlotte comes in with her mom.  Stacey walks over, has this whole conversation with Charlotte and Dr. Johanssan doesn’t even acknowledge her.  It’s kind of funny, actually.  We do hear Stacey saying good-bye to her, but I guess that actress wasn’t allowed to talk or something, because she doesn’t say it back or even smile at her.
  • I wouldn’t expect the BSC’s play to be in some big theater, but it’s literally in someone’s living room.  Stacey shouldn’t have needed to click her tongue, Charlotte would have just seen her.  And I don’t think I see any parents in the audience for this play, which seems odd.  Do they have a maximum number of adults they can hire?
  • Kristy plays Prince Charming in the play.  In case you are curious.
  • The woman who seems to be Stacey’s agent seems to work for Bellairs (that department store in Stoneybrook).  Because she picks Stacey to be the store’s representative in the contest.  Then she also seems to be hosting the contest, which seems like an unfair bias.  But maybe I misunderstood and it was a contest to pick the face for the store?

Friday, March 20, 2015

BSC TV Series Episode 2: Dawn and the Haunted House

The title of this episode’s kind of misleading.  It’s called Dawn and the Haunted House but is really about Dawn thinking some old woman’s a witch.   Witches are not the same as ghosts, and ghosts are who haunt things.  It starts with the girls are on their bikes, we see them go past a house that Mrs. Slade, this older woman, lives.  Dawn thinks she’s a witch because….she’s old, I guess?  Gives off a creepy vibe? It’s not really elaborated on. 

The girls get a sitting job for a new client thatlives next-door to Mrs. Slade.  Dawn and Stacey both go on the first job, because apparently on the TV show they send two sitters for 3 kids. While sitting, the little boy that lives there says he thinks Mrs. Slade’s creepy.  Stacey and Dawn take this as some kind of evidence or something.  Then they see a “weird” rock garden in the woods behind her house and think it’s an animal graveyard or something.

Meanwhile, Claudia failed a test at school and her parents are insisting she buckle down and get better, otherwise she’ll have to quit the BSC.  She doesn’t tell the rest of the club.  But her parents to get her a tutor to help.  We don’t  hear who the tutor is, but it is obviously going to turn out to be Mrs. Slade.

At the second job at the Slade’s, Mary Anne sand Stacey see Claudia inside Mrs. Slade’s house.  They think she’s been kidnapped or something, so they come up with a plan to “save” her.  Stacey calls Mrs. Slade to say she saw a hurt dog outside, and Mrs. Slade goes to look for it, since animals are her thing.  Then the rest of the club goes into her house to get Claudia.  Claud’s all, “guys, she’s my tutor. She’s really nice.”  Then Dawn and everyone else feels guilty and they go to find Mrs. Slade so she doesn’t spend all night looking for the imaginary hurt dog.  They apologize and Claudia kind of insults them when telling Mrs. Slade they thought she was a witch.  And Claudia aces her science test so she gets to stay in the club. 

  • These girls use “KL5” in the poster they put up for the BSC.  Isn’t that a bit….dated?
  • For the record the full number is KL5-3231.
  • It occurred to me that it’s kind of creepy for 13-year-olds to just go to the house of someone they never met to baby-sit.  It could be some pervert who just wants to lure young girls to their house.  Perverts must have had some way of finding young girls before the Internet.  If I had kids I wouldn’t let them sit for people I didn’t know.
  • When biking at the beginning, Kristy says they shouldn’t do it because it’s creepy.  They should have given Mary Anne that line, Kristy was never one to get creeped out easily.
  • Claud’s house is white with blue shutters.  That isn’t how I pictured it.
  • At the BSC meeting the girls ask Claudia how she did on her test, and she’s all, “yeah, I did fine.” Then two minutes later someone notices she looks upset and asks if she’s sick.  Seriously, girls, learn to pick up some cues.  She was obviously lying about being sick.  Maybe the script called for Claudia to be a better liar than the actress could pull off.
  • For some reason I had thought this episode was about Dawn’s secret passage, and that she found old letters in it.  I don’t know if I am thinking of another episode, or if I made it up.
  • Someone really studied their BSC history in this episode.  Someone asks if Mal ever had the chicken pox (I guess the kid she’s sitting for had them), and she points out she had them twice.
  • The new clients want two sitters because they have a baby and two little kids but so did the Perkins and the Papadakises.  They never needed two sitters.  It’s obviously because they wanted the girls to be able to talk to each other (they can’t have an inner monologue like in the books), but they should come up with a better excuse.
  • If the Kishi’s hate junk food why do they have a full cookie jar in their kitchen?
  • Another piece of continuity with the books….Mrs. Kishi mentions she talked to Mr. Kingbridge at school, which was definitely the name of the Vice Principal in the books.
  • These writers are even good with continuity on the show. They talk about the treasury being low because they just spent money on kid kits, which they totally did in the last episode.  But in that episode, they had a surplus, so they should be even now, unless they overspent.
  • The girls are buying supplies for a sleepover, which includes flashlights and candles to make it “spooky.” Okay, that’s weird enough.  (Not the wanting spookiness, but wasting money on flashlights when your parents must have them at home). But then we have Stacey say she loves hardware stores.  Which just seems so counter to everything we know about her.
  • When Dawn’s talking about Mrs. Slade being creepy, she mentions a shovel.  I guess she thinks she uses the shovel to dig her pet cemetery? I don’t know, but when Claudia suggests it’s for gardening, Dawn calls her dumb.  Dawn does not come off very well in this episode.
  • It seems like anytime Claudia got a tutor or spent extra time studying, she did well on tests.  Not to sound all parent-y but she should have just done that all the time.  Don’t just stop using a tutor after one test.
  • Is it me, or is this episode practically the same plot as the first Little Sister book?