The Baby-Sitters Club (2020 TV series)

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The Baby-Sitters Club
The Baby-Sitters Club 2020 logo.png
GenreComedy-drama[1][2]
Created byRachel Shukert
Based onThe Baby-Sitters Club
by Ann M. Martin
Starring
Music byJesse Novak
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes10
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Meg Schave
  • Ann M. Martin
  • Lyle Friedman
  • Ashley Glazier
CinematographyAdam Silver
Editor(s)
Running time22–27 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorNetflix
Release
Original networkNetflix
Original releaseJuly 3, 2020 (2020-07-03)
External links
Official website

The Baby-Sitters Club is an American comedy-drama web television series created by Rachel Shukert, based on the children's novel series of the same name by Ann M. Martin. It was released on Netflix on July 3, 2020.[3][4]

Plot[edit]

The series follows the friendship and adventures of five middle-schoolers as they start a babysitting business in Stoneybrook, Connecticut.[5]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Sophie Grace as Kristy Thomas, the president of the club who frequently calls out social injustices.
  • Momona Tamada as Claudia Kishi, the popular vice president of the club who has a passion for art. She is Japanese American, but never learned to speak Japanese.
  • Shay Rudolph as Stacey McGill, the treasurer of the club who is from Upper West Side of Manhattan.
  • Malia Baker as Mary Anne Spier, the shy secretary of the club and Kristy's best friend.
  • Alicia Silverstone as Elizabeth Thomas-Brewer,[a] Kristy's mother.
  • Mark Feuerstein as Watson Brewer,[b] Elizabeth's wealthy fiancé and later husband.
  • Xochitl Gomez as Dawn Schafer, Mary Anne's new friend who recently moved to Stoneybrook from Los Angeles and the alternate officer of the club.

Recurring[edit]

  • Takayo Fischer as Mimi Yamamoto, Claudia's maternal grandmother.
  • Aya Furukawa as Janine Kishi, the smart, aloof, older sister of Claudia.[6]
  • Marc Evan Jackson as Richard Spier, Mary Anne's overprotective father.
  • Benjamin Goas as David Michael Thomas, Kristy's youngest brother.
  • Dylan Kingwell as Sam Thomas, Kristy's older brother and Stacey's crush.
  • Sebastian Billingsley-Rodriguez as Andrew Brewer, Watson's son.
  • Sophia Reid-Gantzert as Karen Brewer, Watson's daughter.
  • Rian McCririck as Logan Bruno, Mary Anne's love interest.
  • Jessica Elaina Eason as Sharon Porter, Dawn's free-spirited mother.

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
1"Kristy's Great Idea"Lucia AnielloRachel ShukertJuly 3, 2020 (2020-07-03)
Kristy realizes the potential profit in babysitting agencies when her mother Elizabeth is unable to find a sitter, so she decides to form a club including herself, best friend Mary Anne, Claudia and Stacey. Elizabeth announces that she is getting married to her long-term boyfriend Watson, which causes Kristy to express her unhappiness. When Watson calls the Baby-Sitters Club asking them to look after his children, Mary Anne agrees to do it since Kristy refuses. Stacey says that she cannot do it since she will be in New York with her parents for a last-minute trip. Kristy however, later sees her in town and realizes that Stacey has lied, but keeps it to herself. Watson recommends the club to his friends and they receive a surge of babysitting jobs.
2"Claudia and the Phantom Caller"Lucia AnielloRachel ShukertJuly 3, 2020 (2020-07-03)
Claudia gets asked to a school dance by classmate and crush, Trevor. Claudia's parents learn that she is failing in algebra, and her older sister Janine informs them of the dance she wishes to attend. She suggests that Claudia only be allowed to attend if she passes her upcoming algebra exam. When she fails, Stacey suggests she take her passed test and claim that it's hers. Claudia initially goes along with the idea in order to see Trevor at the dance, but she later tells her parents the truth and is not allowed to go. Mary Anne's father is angry when she returns home from babysitting twenty minutes late, and he swaps her smartphone for an older model. Kristy expresses disapproval of his overprotective treatment to Mary Anne, who makes a jab about Kristy's absent father. While at the dance, Stacey learns of a rival agency of older girls that are stealing the club's clients.
3"The Truth about Stacey"Andrew DeYoungJoanna CaloJuly 3, 2020 (2020-07-03)
The Baby-Sitters Club begins to deal with the rivalry with The Baby-Sitters Agency. The Baby-Sitters Agency is made up of older teenagers compared to the Baby-Sitters Club, who have no curfews and can drive themselves. Due to this advantage, the Baby-Sitters Club slowly begin to lose their clients. Meanwhile, Stacey is revealed to have type 1 diabetes and has an insulin pump. Due to insecurity, she keeps it a secret from the girls. Soon, the Agency shows their immaturity when Stacey catches one of their assigned kids playing in the street, as his uninterested sitter is with her boyfriend. Stacey, recognizing the danger of such carelessness, calls the child's mother to report the incident. The Baby-Sitters Agency retaliates by sending a video of Stacey (while she was living in New York) having a diabetic seizure, to the BSC's clients. Stacey is forced to admit her condition to the girls, who are sympathetic. They contact all their clients for a sit-down meeting and Stacey explains her situation to them. After being assured that Stacey has her condition properly managed, the parents decide that they prefer the mature and educational technique of the Baby-Sitters Club compared to the laziness of the Baby-Sitters Agency. Thus, their club business is revived once again.
4"Mary Anne Saves The Day"Lucia AnielloLyle FriedmanJuly 3, 2020 (2020-07-03)
The club receives a job specifically asking for Mary Anne to babysit a child named Bailey. A timid Mary Anne agrees to the job, despite the rule that requests for specific sitters is against club guidelines. Her passive nature makes the club members frustrated with her. Returning home, she vents to her father about how the girls supposedly think badly of her. The next day, Mary Anne learns her father called the girls' parents for allegedly bullying her, and they're all now grounded. Mary Anne sits alone at lunch and is approached by new girl Dawn, where they bond. Meanwhile, while babysitting Bailey, she learns that Bailey is transgender. On a social outing with Dawn and her mother, Mary Anne becomes overwhelmed and runs away and Dawn comforts her. During her babysitting gig, Bailey becomes sick and Mary Anne takes Bailey to the hospital. At the hospital, Bailey becomes upset when the medical staff misgender her. Mary Anne confronts them about their mistake. Mary Anne's father oversees, realizing her maturity. The club members hear the news, and they reconcile. Mary Anne invites Dawn and her mother for Thanksgiving, where it is revealed that Dawn's mother and Mary Anne's father were high school sweethearts.
5"Dawn and the Impossible Three"Heather JackRheeqrheeq ChaineyJuly 3, 2020 (2020-07-03)
Mary Anne brings Dawn to a club meeting, where Kristy reluctantly agrees to make her a member if she can deal with the difficult Barrett family. Richard invites Sharon for dinner, where he allows Mary Anne to make tweaks to her bedroom. However, he's angry to learn they are changing the room completely, since his late wife had originally decorated it. Dawn struggles with the Barrett family when Natalie, a newly divorced mom, begins to take advantage of her services. She asks Kristy for advice, who tells her to be sterner. When one of the kids goes missing while on the job, a panicked Dawn calls Kristy, who runs over as the police are called. The girls learn that the boy's father had picked him up for his routine swimming lesson, and they realize Natalie forgot to inform them. An upset Kristy confides in Dawn that her father left and has not talked to her in over a year. After this, Dawn is made an official BSC member and her mother tells off Natalie for being irresponsible.
6"Claudia and Mean Janine"Linda MendozaJade ChangJuly 3, 2020 (2020-07-03)
Claudia and Dawn redecorate Mary Anne's room, who claims she likes it but secretly doesn't. She tells them that the room does not feel right, and after some thinking, they decide to re-hang up a caricature of Mary Anne's mother. While playing a game with Janine and Mimi, Claudia gets into an argument with Janine about her lack of compassion. Stressed from the argument, Mimi leaves the room and suffers a mild stroke. She is taken to the hospital, where she wakes up speaking about her experiences in Manzanar, a detention camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II. Claudia is upset that Janine can communicate with Mimi in Japanese, while she cannot. At an art fair, Claudia is told by an industry professional that her art should mean something to her, so she decides to draw Mimi as a young girl in Manzanar. The club receives a call requesting a week-long babysitting gig.
7"Boy-Crazy Stacey"Linda MendozaDan Robert & Lisha BrooksJuly 3, 2020 (2020-07-03)
During spring break, Stacey and Mary Anne go out of town for a week-long babysitting job. While Stacey is babysitting on the beach, she forms a crush on an older lifeguard, leaving Mary Anne to handle the kids herself. Mary Anne warns her that he is too old for her, but she continues to chase after him. Stacey is upset to learn he has a girlfriend, but realizes that she was being delusional. She apologizes to Mary Anne and makes matching t-shirts for the pair of them as an apology. Watson asks Kristy to babysit his children while he is out of town with Elizabeth, to which she agrees. When his car gets damaged during a car wash-gone-wrong, she tries to pay for it to be repaired. Watson learns of the damage, but reassures Kristy that it is fine.
8"Kristy's Big Day"Kimmy GatewoodRachel ShukertJuly 3, 2020 (2020-07-03)
The club discuss their plans to attend summer camp together, with the exception of Claudia who will be attending art camp. Claudia later decides to postpone art camp so that she can be with the club over the summer. Kristy is shocked by the lavish lifestyle that Watson is exposing her family to, including buying her brother a new BMW (which her mom reluctantly permits), an expensive wedding and moving the family into a much larger house. Kristy tries on her dress for the wedding, but is uncomfortable with it. Watson reassures Kristy that it can be changed to suit her liking, buying her a new dress. Upon learning the original dress cost $800, Elizabeth accuses Kristy of being spoiled, to which Kristy claims she did not want her mother to get married at all. While at the afterparty, Kristy gets her first period and hides in the bathroom. All of the club members support her as she copes with her life's new changes. Elizabeth and Kristy apologize to each other and reconcile just before she leaves for her honeymoon.
9"Hello, Camp Moosehead! Part 1"Luke MathenyJoanna CaloJuly 3, 2020 (2020-07-03)
Arriving at Camp Moosehead, the girls are disgruntled to learn they will not be in the same cabin together as requested. Mary Anne befriends Laine, who shares her interest in Broadway shows, and they decide to put on a production at the camp. Stacey later reveals that Laine is her former friend from New York who betrayed her when the online video of her was posted. Stacey is given the lead role in the production as Mary Anne runs into crush Logan, who is Stacey's co-star. Claudia and Dawn realize that some kids at the camp are unable to pay expensive prices to partake in fun art activities, so they run their own unauthorized art class. However, their efforts are cut short by the camp leaders, resulting in Claudia being taken to her cabin as punishment. Kristy is scolded when she repeatedly tries to take charge of the younger camp kids as a counselor, unable to relax when being refused to be taken seriously.
10"Hello, Camp Moosehead! Part 2"Luke MathenyLucia Aniello & Ariel KarlinJuly 3, 2020 (2020-07-03)
Stacey gets rashes from poison ivy, as well as Laine. While stuck in the medical room together, the pair reconcile their friendship. Mary Anne fills in for Stacey in the show and eventually, shares a kiss with Logan. Kristy notices that Karen has gone missing, soon finding her at a bus stop trying to go home. Karen confides in Kristy that she feels too weird to make friends, but Kristy reassures her camp will be fun. In order to get justice for kids who cannot afford expensive activities, Dawn and Claudia enlist campers to protest the unfair arrangements. This causes tension between Dawn and Mary Anne, due to the protest causing problems for her hard-worked play, but the girls make up. When the camp leader threatens to send them home, the BSC explains the unnoticed issues with the camp; such as no one but Kristy noticing Karen had gone missing. Finally being listened to, they are made Counselors-in-Training.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In February 2019, Netflix ordered a 10-episode reboot based on The Baby-Sitters Club with Ann M. Martin as producer, Rachel Shukert as showrunner, and Michael De Luca and Lucia Aniello as executive producers. Aniello also directed.[5]

Casting[edit]

Alicia Silverstone and Mark Feuerstein joined the cast in August 2019.[7] In March 2020, Sophie Grace, Malia Baker, Momona Tamada, Shay Rudolph and Xochitl Gomez joined the cast of the series.[8]

Design[edit]

Cynthia Ann Summers is the series' costume designer.[9] She told Vulture, "We definitely wanted to make sure that, whenever we could, we'd give a nod to the style of the '90s and even some of the book covers."[9] One notable piece is Claudia's yellow plaid pantsuit, a reference to Clueless.[9][10]

Summers told Refinery29, "Most of the characters' [looks] were purchased from places these girls would shop in real life: Zara, H&M, American Eagle, Gap, Urban Outfitters, Aritzia, Topshop, Kate Spade, Alice + Olivia, Anthropologie, Nordstrom . . . Because we shot in Canada, 80 percent of everyone's fashion was purchased at Simons in Vancouver. Also lots and lots of vintage shopping and upcycling.”[11]

Reception[edit]

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 100% based on 38 reviews, with an average rating of 8.56/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Sweet, sincere, and full of hope, The Baby-Sitters Club's grounded approach honors its source material while updating the story for a new generation."[12] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 87 out of 100 based on 18 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[13]

Meghan O'Keefe of Decider praised the fourth episode of the first season for its portrayal of a transgender child. She wrote that the series is "unabashedly feminist", and that it "does more than just affirm that transgender children exist and matter and are worthy of respect; the show argues for these children's rights."[14]

Rebecca Onion, writing for Slate, said, "The new show is indeed adorable—the multiracial group of suburban middle schoolers earnestly booking gigs from their perch in Claudia Kishi's colorful bedroom is just as plucky and kind as ever . . . The new show has gotten plaudits for its diverse cast and plotlines, but in many important ways, the whole idea is a pure fantasy: of suburban community, of gentle coming-of-age, of meaningful work that teaches responsibility and pays just enough for fancy new paintbrushes."[15]

Writing for The Guardian, Lucy Mangan said, "What could have been a sugary nostalgia-fest or worse a reboot that indulged the apparently insatiable urge to sex up material from a more innocent time, regardless of the age and/or continued innocence of its audience, is in fact a funny, fresh reimagining. Building on Martin's solid, good-hearted tales, it maintains a contemporary feel without losing the old-fashioned charm at its heart."[16]

Petrana Radulovic of Polygon said, "Like their book counterparts, all the girls in The Baby-Sitters Club are more in-depth than their one-word trope descriptor (tomboy, goody two-shoes, artsy kid, prep, hippie) implies, thanks in part to the skillful performances from the young actresses. As spunky, outspoken Kristy, Sophie Grace adds nuance to her bossy, bratty attitude, grounding what could be an over-the-top performance with some tender moments. Momona Tamada, of To All the Boys I've Loved Before fame, captures Claudia's quirkiness and energy, but not without pangs of isolation because she feels her family will never understand her."[17]

Writing for the Hollywood Reporter, Robyn Bahr called the show "not only warm and effervescent, [but] downright among the best shows the streaming platform has produced to date."[18]

Kelly Lawler, writing for USA Today, said the show was "optimistic but not deluded, youthful but not juvenile and sweet but not mawkish. Its quintet of young actresses (the original four sitters and one mid-season addition) are talented beyond their years, but the dialogue never makes them sound like 40-year-old Hollywood scriptwriters."[19]

Hank Stuever, writing for The Washington Post, noted "the show's remarkably talented cast of young actresses, all of whom either never learned the kidz-show style of overacting ('schmacting,' we sometimes call it), or were never afflicted with it to begin with. They are wholly believable in the roles of these idealized youths, with especially good performances from Tamada and Baker."[20]

Jenny Singer, writing for Glamour, called the show "both unbelievably wholesome and seriously entertaining. The girls buy a landline phone on Etsy, hit up local parents with targeted Instagram ads, and make comments like, 'Art shouldn't be only the province of the privileged!' Their comedy is funny, their trauma is real, their style choices (by costume designer Cynthia Ann Summers) slay."[21]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Alicia Silverstone is credited as "Special Guest Star" but is a Series Regular.
  2. ^ Mark Feuerstein is credited as "Special Guest Star" but is a Series Regular.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Spencer, Ashley (July 3, 2020). "'The Baby-Sitters Club' was always progressive. Now, Netflix's version is empowering a new generation". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  2. ^ Bell, Amanda (June 22, 2020). "Netflix's The Baby-Sitters Club Trailer Will Give You Serious '90s Nostalgia". TV Guide. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  3. ^ Bucksbaum, Sydney (May 8, 2020). "Exclusive: Netflix's 'The Baby-Sitters Club' reboot gets premiere date and first teaser trailer". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  4. ^ Keegan, Kayla (May 12, 2020). "'The Baby-Sitters Club' Netflix Reboot Series - Cast and Episode Info, the Release Date, and More". Good Housekeeping. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  5. ^ a b White, Peter (February 28, 2019). "Netflix Brings Back 'The Baby-Sitters Club' For Ten Episode Order". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  6. ^ "Review: 'The Baby-Sitters Club' Is Wholesome Good Fun". Forbes. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  7. ^ Haylock, Zoe (August 6, 2019). "'Baby-Sitters Club' Netflix TV Show Casts Alicia Silverstone". Vulture. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  8. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (March 12, 2020). "'The Baby-Sitters Club': Cast Set For Netflix Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c Goldstein, Jessica (July 8, 2020). "Styling The Baby-Sitters Club for a New Generation". Vulture. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  10. ^ Hoo, Fawnia Soo. "The Costumes in Netflix's 'The Baby-Sitters Club' Are Peak Cool Tween™ (With a Dash of Nostalgia)". Fashionista. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  11. ^ Grechko, Irina. "The Baby-Sitters Club Leans Into '90s Fashion — With A Gen Z Twist". www.refinery29.com. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  12. ^ "The Baby-Sitters Club: Season 1 (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  13. ^ "The Baby-Sitters Club: Season 1 (2020)". Metacritic. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  14. ^ O'Keefe, Meghan (July 4, 2020). "'The Baby-Sitters Club' Episode 4 Sticks Up for Trans Rights in a Beautiful Way". Decider. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  15. ^ Onion, Rebecca (July 3, 2020). "Netflix's Baby-Sitters Club Is Ready to Teach a New Generation About Work". Slate Magazine. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  16. ^ Mangan, Lucy (July 3, 2020). "The Baby-Sitters Club review – tween reboot delivers good, old fashioned fun". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  17. ^ Radulovic, Petrana (July 3, 2020). "Netflix's Baby-Sitters Club adaptation transcends its era". Polygon. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  18. ^ "'The Baby-Sitters Club': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  19. ^ Lawler, Kelly. "'The Baby-Sitters Club' on Netflix will lift you out of quarantine doldrums". USA TODAY. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  20. ^ Steuver, Hank. "Review | Netflix's fresh take on 'The Baby-Sitters Club' celebrates the best qualities of a new generation". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  21. ^ Singer, Jenny. "Netflix's 'Baby-Sitters Club' Reboot Will Make Any '90s Girl—And Her Daughter—Proud". Glamour. Retrieved July 8, 2020.

External links[edit]