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. 

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).