Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Wonder Years

What would you do if I sang out of tune?

I recently watched The Wonder Years on Netflix (thank goodness I was able to watch them all before the show was taken off Netflix or before my computer went kaput!) and wanted to share my 10 favorite episodes from the 6 seasons (technically they had five and a quarter seasons since the first season was only six episodes!



I'm going to say it: I think Fred Savage is the best TV child actor ever. Sorry, Frankie Muniz. Sorry, JTT. Sorry, Ron Howard. Sorry, Finn Wolfhard. But it's just true!

Did you know that Fred Savage was the youngest person to be nominated for an Emmy when he was 12? And he is the third youngest person (13) to host SNL after Macaulay Culkin (11) and Drew Barrymore (7). 

So here are my ten favorite episodes The Wonder Years:

10. The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (Season 3, Episode 14)

Okay, I admit, I may only have this episode on my list because Cory Matthews is in it. I knew Ben Savage was in an episode of The Wonder Years (only makes sense since Fred was in an episode of Boy Meets World!), but I just didn't know what season or when he would show up, but as soon as I saw him, I knew it was him. But even without Fred Savage's real-life little brother, I still would have liked this episode. Kevin's trying to win Winnie Cooper back and makes her a Valentine's Day card. Ben plays a student dressed as Cupid and Kevin tells him which locker to put the Valentine. There is a funny exchange between the two of them as Kevin (who is in 8th grade) is skeptical that the kid is in 7th grade (in real life, Ben is four years younger, so he would have been 8 or 9), but he says he skipped a grade. Uh, more like a couple of grades! Unfortunately, Ben (I don't think his character had a name), puts the Valentine in the wrong locker. Not only does it not get to Winnie, but it ends up in Becky Slater's locker. She is Kevin's ex-girlfriend/nemesis and she thinks Kevin wants to get back together. Whoops!

9. Don't You Know Anything About Women? (Season 3, Episode 11)

You know nothing, Kevin Arnold! This is just one of many episodes where Kevin is a total jerk. He has a crush on a beautiful blonde named Susan who is already taken and his lab partner, Linda, who he calls "comfortable" and "a great guy" gives him advice to ask Susan to a dance. Kevin tries to, but loses his nerve. Linda suggests that they go to the dance together "as friends" since neither of them have dates. Kevin agrees. Of course as soon as that happens, Susan reappears and tells Kevin to "save her a dance" at the dance and he is elated. He's trying to think of a way to weasel out of going to the dance with Linda, but decides he can't let a friend down. He even mentions it's "like going to the dance with Paul...only not at all" once he sees Linda in her dress and she's all made up. He almost seems like he made the right choice in going with her, but he gets his dance from Susan. Afterwards, when he's getting them both a drink from the punch bowl, Linda comes up and starts to take the drink, thinking it's for her, but he tells her it's for Susan and that she will be back soon. Clearly hurt by this, Linda leaves to look for the guy who initially asked her to the dance. He justifies this by thinking that while Linda was a great girl, he didn't like her the way he liked Susan...only to look up and see Susan dancing with her boyfriend, who she made up with. I thought the girl playing Linda looked familiar and she also played Sara Andrews in Adventures in Baby-Sitting, you know the one obsessed with Thor?

8. Carnal Knowledge (Season 5, Episode 19)

The Netflix synopsis of this episode spoils what happens, but I'll get to that later. Kevin and his friends are 16 and they are excited about a new movie called Carnal Knowledge (I looked it up, and yes, it is a real movie directed by Mike Nichols and starring Jack Nicholson, Candice Bergen, and Ann Margaret and it came out in 1971 which would coincide with the timeline of the series) which features a lot of sex and apparently, according to one of Kevin's friends, it shows "everything". Since they are only 16, they plan to sneak into the movie with fake IDs, only problem is there is a misunderstanding and the guy who was suppose to get the IDs doesn't have them. Before that we get a funny scene where Kevin's mom is trying to get her husband to see the movie (the same showing he was planning on seeing), but Kevin convinces his dad to stay home and watch the John Wayne marathon instead. Kevin and his friends try to get Paul to see the film with them, but he can't because his mom's friend from college is visiting with her family which includes a college-aged girl who we meet briefly. They are annoyed with him because what teenaged boy wouldn't want to see this movie? Well, it turns out he lost his virginity to the college girl while the other guys were trying to see the sexually explicit movie. Which is pretty ironic if you think about it cuz they were giving him grief about not wanting to see it. This is spoiled in the Netflix synopsis because it says something like "Kevin tries to sneak into an R-rated movie, while Paul is having his own R-rated night." Or something like that. It pretty much implies he has sex, so I wasn't as surprised as Kevin when it is revealed. After his failed attempt at seeing the movie, Paul comes over and is trying to tell Kevin what happened and Kevin sarcastically says, "Did you make passionate love on the kitchen table?" and Paul says, "Well, it wasn't in the kitchen..." which Kevin wasn't expecting at all.

So the remaining episodes on my list all made me tear up or flat out bawl!

7. The Hardware Store (Season 5, Episode 3)

I thought this episode was from an earlier season, but I kinda watched them all in a big clump, so that's probably why I thought that. I guess since this episode is about Kevin's very first job, I thought he was younger than 15, but I suppose that is pretty young! But in Wonder Years years (heh), 15 is on the older spectrum for Kevin since we first meet him when he's 11 and the show ends when he's 16 (or maybe he's 17...I don't remember). Anyway, this episode shows us Kevin's first job, which you may have guessed, is at the local hardware store. He just sorts stuff and helps out his boss, Mr. Harris, who is a curmudgeon. Kevin hates his job and wants to get a job at the mall food court, where his other friends work, and the pay there is....get this...$1.60/hour and he's thrilled about this. I was like, huh. I mean, it IS 1971, but that still doesn't seem like enough. This is ten cents more than his job at the hardware store and when he tells Mr. Harris this, his boss tells him he'll give him a 15 cent raise, thinking this is about money, although it's not, so Keven is forced to stay at the job. However, it doesn't last too long and he quits to take the job at the mall so he can hang with his friends and have an easy job. It turns out Kevin did learn a lot while working at the hardware store because his dad needs to fix something and Kevin seems to know exactly what kind of tools he will need, thanks to his apprenticeship. Looking back, adult Kevin narrates to us, "When I left [the mall job] a month later, no one cared, but every time I pick up a flat head screw, I think of Old Man Harris and how those cowbells clanged as I walked out that door. And even though I can't say exactly what I gained, I know I can't measure what I lost." Uh, that made me lose it and I started to cry!

6. Grandpa's Car (Season 5, Episode 12)

Kevin's grandfather (Jack's dad) has been a recurring character throughout the series. In this episode, he has been having trouble with driving safely and he is furious when Jack and Norma want to take his car away from him. He tells him he's leaving so Kevin drives him to his house and will take a bus back. Once they are out of sight from the Arnold house, Grandpa Arnold makes Kevin pull over and get out so he can drive. They visit many sites along the way which annoys Kevin at first, then realizes that all of these places serve as important memories for his grandfather and learns to appreciate spending time with him. Grandpa Arnold also realizes that he really shouldn't be driving after he has a near collision (which really wasn't that bad...Kevin was totally overreacting when he said they were nearly killed) and sells his car to Kevin for a dollar. What a great deal...even for 1971! The last line made me a little teary-eyed. Kevin says he remembers his first car "not because it was my first car, but because it was my grandfather's last." ::SNIFFSNIFFSNIFF:::

5 . A Very Cutlip Christmas (Season 4, Episode 9)

The 4th season takes place during Kevin's last year in junior high as a ninth grader. In another episode from this season where he says he's a ninth grader and was still in junior high, I was very confused. I had no idea that back in the day 7-9 was junior high and 10-12 was high school. Now I knew that sixth grade used o be part of elementary, but I just assumed junior high was only 7 and 8! I guess it would make more sense to have three grades in each school. This is also our last season with Coach Cutlip, Kevin's gym teacher who is a major hardass and nobody likes him. One day, while at the mall, Kevin sees a familiar man dressed up as Santa and recognizes him as his gym coach which shocks him because it's such a different side to the tyrannical coach. Cutlip sees that Kevin sees him and the next day at school he tells him "Kids like me when I'm Santa." He doesn't want Kevin to tell anyone, so he starts being really nice to him, which makes the other kids suspicious. Kevin doesn't plan on telling anyone, but he does let it slip that Cutlip "works at the mall" and the others are determined to go and find him and laugh at him. I'm assuming they think he works at one of those kiosks or somewhere at the food court. I really have no idea why they want to waste their time going to the mall just to look for their teacher, but then again, they are teenagers and it is the mall and teens love hanging out at the mall. When they see Santa, they are also like Kevin in that they see this guy giving small kids joy and they can't make fun of him. Maybe not the most memorable Christmas episode, but a very sweet episode, nonetheless.

4. Birthday Boy (Season 2, Episode 13)

Kevin and Paul's birthdays are only four days apart and they usually have joint birthday parties, but this year (1969) is different because they are turning 13 and that means Paul, who is Jewish, will also be celebrating his bar mitzvah. Kevin is livid when Paul tells him it's on his (Kevin's birthday), March 18. (I always like it when we know the birthday of a TV character...makes them more real). Paul invites his best friend to one of the most important events of his life and Kevin is a total jerk and tells him no, that's HIS birthday and HE has plans. Kevin, calm down, it's not like you can't celebrate your birthday another day. It is clear he is jealous that his best friend is having this HUGE party filled with tons of guests, tons of food, and tons of presents on his birthday. On March 18 we see that Kevin really didn't have any big plans and both of his older siblings leave as soon as Kevin has opened his presents and his mom seems to be the only one who wants to make the day special for her son. We cut to Paul at his bar mitzvah ceremony and Kevin enters the synagogue and Paul sees him. This is when I start crying and then we see Paul and Kevin celebrating and dancing with Paul's family and I am still crying.

3. The Accident (Season 4, Episode 20)

This was during the time Winnie Cooper went to a different junior high because her family moved. She's hanging out with new friends and acting very erratic and Kevin is worried about her. The accident the title is referring to is when Winnie gets into a car accident. What I really love about this episode in particular is the music. We have "Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson playing when Winnie is skating with her friends at the  roller rink (while I knew the song, I had to look it up to find out the title). It goes very well with the 1970 vibe of the scene. But most of all, I love the inclusion of "We've Got Tonight" by Bob Seger at the end. Although I looked it up and that song came out in 1978 (according to Wikipedia) and this episode takes place in 1970. In fact, it's 1973 when the series ends. Huh. Oh, well, I think it's the perfect song and I love that song. After Winnie comes home from the hospital, Kevin is waiting at her house to see her, but her parents tell him that she doesn't want to talk to her. This song plays as Kevin sneaks up to her bedroom window to mouth "I love you" and she does the same. It's a very sweet moment and you can bet it brought tears to my eyes.

2. Square Dance (Season 2, Episode 15)


This episode introduces a character named Margaret Farquhar who is only in this episode but leaves a huge impression. She's this really weird, nerdy girl who wears glasses and has three braids. She's into bugs and even has a pet bat. She doesn't have many friends and is often shunned. Kevin refers to her as the least popular girl in their grade. She's annoying because she is constantly asking really stupid questions. She also didn't seem to have any self awareness that nobody liked her which made me cringe. Throughout the series, Kevin has always been worried about being cool, but more so when he's in the seventh grade. In this episode, the boys and girls gym classes are working together because the kids are going to learn to square dance, so they're going to partner up together and this will last for a week. Kevin and Paul are total jerks and tell each other they hope they don't get stuck with any loser girls. Paul is thrilled when he is paired with a pretty girl, but Kevin's worst nightmare comes true when he is partnered up with Margaret Farquhar. After all, he tells us, being paired for a week in middle school is equivalent to eleven years! Everyone makes fun of him and Kevin is worried about his reputation. Kevin does dance with her because his mom tells him to be nice to her, but then she starts talking to him in the hall and cafeteria and he doesn't know what to do. His classmates start teasing him that he's in love with her. At the next gym class, he snubs Margaret by telling her that he sprained his hand so he won't be able to hold hers. He thinks she's gotten the message, but she comes over to his house that afternoon and brings her fruit bat named Mortimer. He tries to get her to leave, but Mrs. Arnold comes in and tells Margaret to stay. Kevin spends an hour with her and finds her very interesting "in a weird way". When Kevin asks her why she has three pigtails, she replies, "Cuz you never know when you're going to need an extra rubber band." He learns a lot about her and they seem to bond. In a haste to get rid of her before Wayne got home and started teasing him, he promises that he'll come over to her house for dinner. He does arrive at the house, but then starts freaking out that somebody is going to see him (even if they did, do they know that's the Farquhar house?) and runs away after ringing the doorbell. The next day at school Kevin tells her that they can talk to each other, but not at school or at his house or in front of anybody. Basically, they can be "secret friends". He is super proud of his "solution", but Margaret, is rightfully pissed off. She doesn't understand why he doesn't want to be friends and starts yelling at him which causes a commotion and Kevin's classmates start making fun of both of them. Narrator Kevin tell us he wished he had been braver and he could have stood up for Margaret and been her friend, but instead during their last square dancing lesson he said he danced alone as Margaret wouldn't look at or speak to him. He talks about her being one of the kids in his yearbook that he will never forget. She became a professor of biology, a mother of six, and remained a friend to bats. This episode definitely made me cry!

1. Goodbye (Season 3, Episode 20)

There is an arc in season three with Kevin struggling with his math class. He doesn't much care for his teacher, Mr. Collins, and is appalled when he suggests that he come to his tutoring classes because only the uncool people go to those and Kevin doesn't want to be associated with them. In another episode, he cheats on his math test because some of the other boys in his class are doing it after finding a book in the library that has all the teacher's answers. He and Mr. Collins do find a respect for each other, but in this episode, Kevin resorts back to being a jerk to a reasonably fine teacher. Kevin has been getting C's on his papers which he thinks are pretty good for him, but his teacher tells him he knows he can do better. He starts to tutor Kevin, but about a week before the test he tells him he won't be around and won't be able to tutor him. This makes Kevin angry and he feels betrayed by his teacher. When the test is given, we know Kevin knows all the answers, but to be a huge jerk, he writes responses like "Who cares?" and "I don't know" for the answers and when he gives Mr. Collins the test, he tells him something like, "Don't even bother grading it". This happens on Friday and by Monday, Kevin has regretted what he's done and Monday morning he tries to find Mr. Collins and asks the vice-principal where he is who has to give the Kevin the sad news that Mr. Collins had died. Even though I didn't know that is what happened, I could sense that was coming.
Even before he heard the news, we know that Kevin feels horrible for what he did, but after hearing that his teacher died and he never got the chance to apologize...oh, man, what a gut punch! The VP is the one taking over the math class and after handing out the math tests, he tells Kevin that Mr. Collins doesn't have his test and asks Kevin what he thinks he should do to which Kevis isn't sure. The VP tells him that Mr. Collins had a thought and gives him a brand new test with his name on it that Mr. Collins had written, so his math teacher had given him a second chance on the test posthumously. Kevin takes it and tells the VP he knows it's already an "A", then we see him look back at the teacher's desk where he sees an image of Mr. Collins and says, "Good job, Mr. Collins." Cue the tears! This episode had be BAWLING!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Say Hello to Your Friends!

The Baby-Sitters Club 
Director: Melanie Mayron
Cast: Schuyler Fisk, Rachael Leigh Cook, Larissa Oleynik, Bre Blair, Marla Sokoloff, Ellen Burstyn
Released: August 18, 1995




When I was in elementary and middle school, I was obsessed with the Baby-Sitters Club. I had the books. I had the videos. I had the calendars. I had the day planner. I had the board game. I had BSC postcards. I had the Chain Letter and Secret Santa thing-ies (if you're a BSC fan, then you know what I'm talking about!) I was first introduced to them when I was eight and my aunt gave me a few books for my birthday. While I don't remember which book was the last one I read (I think somewhere in the 60s), I will always remember "Dawn and the Impossible Three" was the first one I read. Don't ask me why the fifth book in the series was the first one I read; I must not have been given "Kristy's Great Idea" for that birthday. I actually started reading the Little Sisters series, the spin off series with Kristy's stepsister, Karen Brewer, first because she was closer to my age at the time, but within a few months I was reading about the much more mature lives of the 13-year-old members of the Baby-Sitters Club. I remember I always had to go to my mom and ask her to read any entries Claudia wrote because I could never read her awful cursive handwriting. I once wrote a BSC fanfic and I had a lot of fun writing her letters because all you do is just spell everything atrociously. Here are a few examples from my fic:


Dear Mom, Dad, and Janine,
I am haveing the best time in NY! Alredy we have bean to the Nashural Hestory Moozeum and Times Schware! There are lots of grate shops in Times Scware! There was one that suld lots of chaclite!
Love, Claudia


Daer Ashley,
Oh my Lurd! Yoo our nefer going too baliv wut I did! I haf a chilly noo look. Yoo well bee sow saprized wen yoo see me! I mett a guy frum Awstrayleea. He wus really meen too me. He thut I as dume! Who rood!

Yore freind,
Claudia

P.S. NYS is grate! 

Haha, I remember once reading a BSC/CSI fanfic crossover and Stacey is found dead in the first chapter and Gil Grissom says, "Don't tell mom....the baby-sitter's dead." That STILL makes me laugh when I think about it. I am so easily amused. 

I remember going to Waldenbooks every month when a new book was churned out and spending part of my allowance on it. When the Super Specials came out, it felt like Christmas. The Super Specials were...wait for it...super special! Like I mentioned above, I'm not sure which book was the last one I read. I probably stopped reading when I turned fourteen since I was then older than the girls. I know I stopped reading before Abby was introduced (why did they need a new baby-sitter anyway? They had plenty of members!), before Mallory was shipped off to boarding school, and before Dawn moved to California permanently. God, remember how obnoxious Dawn was about California? ("Everyone in California is blonde and tanned!" Everyone in California hates junk food and only eats health food like tofu and rice cakes!" "The sun is always shining in California!" "I hate winters in Connecticut..it's so cold." God, shut up Dawn. (In my fanfic, I had Dawn wear a shirt that said "We got more bounce in California than all y'all combined" because YOU KNOW she would totally wear a shirt like that!))



About five years before the movie came out, they had the Baby-Sitters Club TV show. You might remember the theme song: "Say hello to your friends! Baby-Sitters Club!" I believe they aired on HBO, a channel I didn't get it, but luckily I was able to own all the episodes (13!) on video. I remember I used to act them out with my friend and her younger sister. Yes, we would watch them so many times we had them all memorized and could act them out. True, they were only about 25 minutes, and true, the dialogue was pretty easy to learn. Now I'm sure you're probably wondering: how did you act out the episodes if there were only three of you and there are seven main characters, not to mention all the ancillary characters like their charges and the parents and random people like Zach Braff and Grandma Gilmore (yes, imagine my surprise when I found out Kelly Bishop was in an episode!) Well, we would strategically choose which characters we would be. For instance, the first episode involves around a Mary Anne and Logan plot with a girl, Marcie, who is trying to steal Logan away from Mary Anne. (Why didn't they just have that actress play Cokie Mason? Duh. Marcie is a character we never meet from the books...) Anyway, one of us would play Mary Anne, one would play Logan, and one would play Marcie and then we would divvy up the other characters and just make sure if two characters had a major scene together, then one person wasn't playing both those characters. There's a scene where the girls are in the park and throwing popcorn and catching it in their mouths and we actually would have real popcorn and do that...that's how dedicated to our craft we were! 

Probably my favorite episode was "Stacey's Big Break" when Stacey becomes a model (huh?), but then decides it's too much for her and is missing too many important things and Kristy tells her, "Anybody can be rich and famous...but not everyone can be a member of the Baby-Sitters Club!" and she and Stacey high-five each other, like that's suppose to make Stacey feel better. Also, not everybody can be rich and famous so that doesn't make any sense. Speaking of things that don't make sense...the girls are helping their chargers put on a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" and Charlotte Johansson (I'm pretty much writing this assuming you know the names I'm mentioning because I'm assuming you're only reading this if you're a BSC fanatic too!) is playing Snow White, but needs help with her lines and she and Stacey make up a memory tactic where Stacey will cluck her tongue and Charlotte will automatically remember her lines. Huh? How is that suppose to help with her lines. Wouldn't it be more practical if Stacey started saying the beginning of the line? But during the production, Stacey clucks her tongue when Charlotte forgets her line, but then remembers it! WTF?

The episodes are up on Hulu and I encourage everyone to check out these masterpieces and you can also imagine three young girls acting these out!

It's always fun to ask, Which BSC member are you? I feel like I'm a mixture of a few. Physically, I'm the most like Mallory as I'm a redhead and she's the only redhead member. I also could relate to her, because as a pre-teen, I also hated the way I looked...I had the curly red hair, the freckles, the glasses, the braces...Mal, I FEEL YOUR PAIN! It was awful! Looking like that is the worst! I hated being a redhead until I was 17 and saw Titanic. Luckily, I got to leave that awkward stage of my life, but somewhere Mallory Pike is still eleven-years-old because Ann M. Martin kept her characters in this weird time paradox where they never age. I also probably have the most in common with Mallory interests-wise, because I like to read and write (though I did not draw like she did) and once upon a time I was into horses (even took horseback riding lessons which I think she does at one point). The member I'm most like internally is Mary Anne because we're both shy and hate being the center of attention. She's a total cat person and I love my kitty. I'm not as patient as her, and probably not as sensitive as her either, but I can pretty much cry over anything like she does. The main difference between us is she had a boyfriend at 13 (who the eff has a steady boyfriend when they're freaking 13...a crush maybe, but a steady boyfriend? The hell?) and she was raised by a strict father because her mother died. Speaking of which, the member whose family life is most like mine is Claudia. I can relate to her with having an older sibling that is better than you at everything.

Okay, so I've talked about my history with the BSC, BSC fanfiction, the TV show, the members I'm most like, what am I forgetting....oh yeah, the movie! See, I have so much history with this fandom it took me awhile to get here.

I didn't see the movie in the theater because by that time I was 14 and much too mature for the BSC! I did eventually see it on video. I think this is only the second or third time I've seen the movie, so obviously I didn't see it hundreds of times like I did with the TV episodes. I think this is the reason why I always picture the actresses from the TV show as the girls in the club. Most of the actresses in the movie are much more well known than the TV actresses (who are a bunch of people you never heard of...though I once saw the girl who played Jessi on an episode of Clarissa Explains it All...haha, remember that show?) and they are actually the age of the characters. The TV show actresses look to be around 14 - 16, maybe even older. I remember being SHOCKED at how young Mallory and Jessi looked, they honestly look like they should have been baby-sitting charges, not the sitters, but then again, they were only eleven which seems ridiculously young for a baby-sitter. I will go through each member and I've put them in order from most important to the story to least important.

1. Kristy Thomas (played by Schuyler Fisk aka Sissy Spacek's daughter) - It makes sense that Kristy is the main character and narrator of the movie because she IS the club President, after all. She has the great idea (of course) of having a daycare at the Schafer/Spier residence during the summer for the kids they sit for. However, her main storyline is about her estranged father coming to Stoneybrook to visit her (and ONLY her, not any of his biological sons). The whole thing is really shady. I thought this was an interesting plot development because in the books we know that Kristy's biological dad walked out on his family when she was young (well, she's young now...but probably when she was five) and she, according to the books, has never heard from him...until now. I have no idea if he ever makes an appearance in the books after the movie came out (and I have no idea if the events in the movie are even mentioned in any of the book that came out after the movie. Like, did Mary Anne ever say to her, "Hey, Kristy, remember that one summer [the 8th one they spent as 13-year-olds!] when your dad came to Stoneybrook?"). So, like I said, it's totally shady because her dad doesn't want her Kristy telling her mom that he's in town. He doesn't want her telling ANYONE. Uh... However, she does tell Mary Anne who does keep the secret. There's this scene where they see Kristy get into her dad's car and Stacey thinks she's dating an older man. Seriously, Stacey? I thought Claudia was suppose to be the dumb one. Anyway, while the girls are a little concerned that their 13-year-old friend is getting into the car of a 40 something man, they're not concerned enough to tell her mom. Also, why did nobody come to the conclusion that he was her biological father. Duh. It's much more plausible (and not as creepy) than thinking she's dating a much older man. Eww. But to be fair, her dad has never made an appearance in her life until now, so I can kind of understand why they wouldn't automatically think that. Oh, wait. I said she was 13, but she's actually 12 in this. :::rolls eyes::: They only do this because Kristy's dad wants to do something special for her birthday and they mention she is turning 13. Aurgh. It's so stupid. I always hated that Ann M. Martin didn't let the girls age at all. Seriously, being 14 isn't that much difference than 13. She could of at least aged them a freaking year! I know she aged them from 12-13, but she could have also aged them at least another year. But, I disgress...  Anyway, guess who doesn't show up to meet Kristy at the carnival? Yep, her dad has left town and Kristy finally confesses to her mom what happened. There's also this weird scene where Kristy wears a dress that her dad gave her to play baseball with him. First of all, Kristy would never wear a dress, especially to play baseball, and this should give her a clue of how crappy her dad is because he should know this about his daughter.  


Stacey would never
wear this outfit!

2. Stacey McGill (played by Bre Blair) - When we are first introduced to Stacey, we see her hailing a taxicab...in small town Stoneybrook to show us what a city girl she is. Uh....pretty sure there are no taxis in Stoneybrook! That was...weird. Anyway, a Stacey storyline wouldn't be complete without her falling in "luv". She has a sitting job for Rosie Wilder and her cousin Luca who is from....somewhere in Europe. It turns out Luca is seventeen and Stacey is smitten with him. He was suppose to leave, but decides to stay when he sees Stacey. Keep in mind he doesn't know how old she is (I think she tells him she's 15 or 16). Um, if I were Rosie's mom, I would NOT pay Stacey because what's the point of her being there if Luca is already there? Duh. Also, they pretty much go on a date (they go out for ice cream) with a seven-year-old. It's so weird. At one point Rosie even asks Luca if he's going to kiss Stacey and they just laugh it off. When Stacey tells the other how old Luca is, Kristy says, "That's ancient!", which kinda is if you're 13! There's a really "dramatic" moment where Stacey faints when she's taking a hike with Luka because she didn't eat enough and she confesses she has diabetes. Luka learns the truth about Stacey (heh, see what I did there? Only true BSC fanatics will get that) when they go to a "teen club" in NYC and she's not old enough. Haha, Stacey, you're not even old enough to get into a "teen club". He is aghast when he finds out how she is. ("You're THIRTEEN?") However, it turns weird when he continues to pursue her and her mom encourages her to go for it. Uh, excuse me, Maureen, but you do know that a seventeen-year-old boy is trying to creep on your 13-year-old daughter? Stacey and Luca share a kiss (so wrong) and Stacey reminds him that she will soon be fourteen. So what, Stacey? A fourteen-year-old with an eighteen-year-old is not any better than a thirteen-year-old with a seventeen-year-old. And let's not forget, Stacey, you NEVER age! Bre Blair is 37, but Stacey McGill will always remain 13. 

3. Mary Anne Spier (played by Rachael Leigh Cook) Fun fact: this was RLC's first movie. We know this movie takes place after the book where Mary Anne gets her haircut because she has short hair in this movie (although I think it's actually cut shorter in the books). Like I mentioned in the Kristy blurb, she's the one who keeps Kristy's secret for her and the other members get mad at her. She even tells Kristy it's difficult for her to keep her secret because she "tells Dawn everything, but Logan even more." This makes no sense...what is more than everything? Also, I always assumed she was closer to Dawn than she was with Logan since, you know, they were STEPSISTERS and lived together. Of course Dawn does move back to California, but this is before that happens. Anyway.... there's also a subplot where Cokie Mason (played by Mia Sokoloff) is trying to steal Mary Anne's boyfriend, Logan (played by Austin "Last Action Hero" O'Brien). She asks him to attend a Smashing Pumpkins concert with her and while he doesn't say yes, he also doesn't say no. There's this really inappropriate song playing where the lyrics are "Let's get busy"every time Cokie approaches Logan. She is really obsessed with trying to mess with the BSC  (it's really pathetic), but theay are always one step ahead of her, and gets really mad when one of her friends tells her that they seem cool.  


4. Dawn Schafer (played by Larissa Oleynik) Dawn actually doesn't come across as self-righteous or irritating like she does in the books or the TV show. Like I mentioned, the BSC is having a summer daycare for the kids they sit for and it's in Dawn's backyard. An older woman lives next door (Ellen Burstyn....I was surprised as you are when I saw her name in the credits) and she is (rightfully) annoyed by all the children who are throwing things over the fence. She warns Dawn that if it happens again, she will call the police and have their organization closed down. But she and Dawn bond over...something (probably flowers). Also, there's another subplot where Alan Gray is helping the girls watch the kids and he has a crush on Dawn and asks her to the movies. Uh...I thought it was Kristy who he had the crush on? I don't remember this being a storyline in the book. But I guess it is kinda cute.

5. Claudia Kishi - (played by Tricia Joe) Claudi's main (and only!) storyline is the same storyline she has in one of the TV episodes and I know it also happened in a few of her books: she's failing a subject and if she doesn't pass the next test coming, she will have to quit the BSC! Oh no! Seriously, how many times has that been a storyline for Claudia? The BSC help her by making up a song for her test and it helps her and she passes. Yawn. There were some nice touches to her character where we saw her artwork or we would see her pulling out junk food from a hiding place in her room. I was SOOO disappointed in the way she was styled. First of all, she always just wore her hair down. She never wore it in a side ponytail which she does a LOT on the cover of the books; she never wore any crazy headbands or barrettes in her hair; and she never braided it or did anything fun with it. She just wore it down with NO hair accessories. It was so boring! That's not Claudia! Even though she may wear a shirt with a wild print, her clothes are very disappoint too. Let me give you an example of what a usual Claudia Kishi original consists of (thanks to this great website):
-Purple capris with suspenders
- Plaid purple shirt with a matching hat
-White tight with clocks on them

-Lobster earrings (I have lobster earrings!)
-hightop sneakers

In my fanfic I had her wear orange day-glo parachute pants with an orange vest with black trim, an orange scrunchie in her hair and orange rubber boots. My story took place in New York and she got inspiration from a traffic cone. Claudia is always the most fun member to write in BSC fanfics because of her atrocious writing and outrageous outfits. 

So there's also this subplot where the girls are thinking of buying a greenhouse to hold their meetings. I wasn't quite sure what was going on because I was confused. Why would they want to uproot their meeting place from Claudia's house (where she has her own private phone line...hence the reason why they hold them there!) to some random greenhouse? This makes no sense! They would have to get a whole new phone number and that would be a pain having to tell all their clients. Instead, they let Ellen Burstyn (I didn't care to remember her character's name) have it for ...something. 

6. Mallory Pike (played by Stacy Linn Ramsower) and Jessi Ramsey (played by Zelda Harris) - the two 11-year-old members are tied for last place because they're just...there. Seriously, does anybody care about these two? I have never met a BSC fanatic who said one of these were their favorite member. (My favorite? Stacey when I was younger, but now, I would say Claudia). We get a line from Mallory where she says she's working on a novel and we hear Kristy narrate how Jessi loves to dance. Other than those throwaway character traits, they're just really immature. Jessi tells Dawn that she heard that Alan likes her and Mal says, "Does he like her or like like her?" and they both giggle. Seriously, girls, how old are we? Oh, right. Eleven. Then there's a scene where Stacey tells everyone how much money they made the first day at the camp and Jessi says, "We almost have enough to buy a car!" (I don't remember the amount, but I'm pretty sure it was nowhere enough to buy a car) and Mal replies, "And in five years we can drive it." Uh, no. Because you will remain eleven forever!

If you're a fan of these books, I highly recommend the podcast The Baby-Sitters Club Club.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

My visit to Washington


I made this video after visiting Washington state. I'm only posting it here since Facebook won't let me post it!