Posted in Books, Holidays, Nostalgia, TV/Movie Stuff

Allison’s Written Words #FathersDay: “The Baby-Sitters Club” Celebrates Dads

Oh yes, we’re going for another episode of The Baby-Sitters Club TV show.

Try pretending to not be excited about the very idea of this!

First of all, a very happy Father’s Day to all of the dads, stepdads, grandfathers, uncles, and father-type figures out there.  Anyone can be a dad, but a father is what matters most.

That out of the way…

The Baby-Sitters Club (or rather, discussing it) is not a new or novel thing for this blog.  If you’ve been coming around here since last August, then you’re aware that I celebrated my 500th blog post with a recap, celebrated Halloween with a not-so-Halloween (but still, Halloween-esque) recap, and celebrated Christmas with an actual Christmas episode recap.  I also wrote about a Valentine’s Day-themed novel and wrote my first Goodreads review on my most recent read from the collection.

To think, it all started with a Great Idea that turned 30 years old in 2016…

I’m done tagging my posts!  I promise!

Anyway, me discussing The Baby-Sitters Club (book or TV show form) is not new or novel.  I loved the series and read them with passion between third and sixth grade, starting with Kristy’s Great Idea (#1) and working my way right through to Farewell, Dawn (#88).  While most of the books take place during ordinary parts of the year, there are a few that take place on and around various holidays.  The same goes for the episodes of the TV  show – there was only one actual holiday episode, but a few episodes that are holiday appropriate.

The episode in this timely recap fits nicely into this description!

Without further ado, I proudly present the Father’s Day-esque (they never actually come out and say “Father’s Day”) episode, “Stacey Takes a Stand”!

So let’s get this out of the way first…

 

It’s the most non-threatening logo ever.   In a world of nostalgia, there is always some sort of nightmare fuel logo to open it up.  This is not one of those moments.

Anyway, we begin with that theme song I never mind getting stuck in my head:

One thing I’ve always loved about this show (aside from the fact that these are thirteen original stories that do not correspond with any of the novels) is that each introduction is different.  Thirteen episodes, thirteen different opening credit sequences.  The opening credits always wind up having a connection to the actual plot of the episode, even if it just involves our characters walking somewhere.

Like in these opening credits.

Gotta love the whole “Oh, fancy running into you here!” thing they have going on.  Like they didn’t know they were all going in the same direction and to the same place.  And I love the mix of summer clothes and fall clothes.  Seriously, some in sleeves, some in tanks.  I get the obvious vibe that this was a nice-weather day (and obviously a warmer, more temperate season, like late spring maybe?).  And of course, early 1990s awesomeness.  These clothes just scream nostalgia!

I’m really trying not to sound like a nitpick, but seriously, never figured these credits out.  I never cared when I was younger, but yeah, now I’m old, cranky, and cynical.

Oh, and obligatory episode title card…not featuring Stacey in any way, shape, or form.

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But Mary Anne and Dawn are fine with filling in for Stacey on the title card.

As the episode begins, the girls are walking to a park, where Jessi informs the group that she has a great idea about the entertainment for their father’s dinner…they’ll be the entertainment!

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Watch out, Jessi!  Only Kristy is allowed to have the really “great ideas.”  It was her great idea that brought all of you together, am I right?

And Jessi’s idea of entertainment?  Why, what she does best, of course!

Dance!

Choreography by Allison Venezio, age seven, and not a girl who lives, eats, and breathes the Ballet.

Again, I’m cracking up – Jam on it!  There’s generic dance music, and there’s Baby-Sitters Club Generic Dance Music.  Which is a capitalized title AND a thing.  The girls love the idea, but Kristy reminds the group that if they can’t decide on what to cook, then there isn’t going to be a dinner for the dads.

Dawn laments that her dad is not going to be there, but Mary Anne, ever the optimist, is happy to share her dad with Dawn.  Kristy, of course, has her stepdad, Watson.  Stacey is the only one who isn’t so excited, since her parents are divorced.  In fact, it is her dad’s weekend with her, so she won’t be able to make it.  The girls try to encourage her dad to drive her back that Sunday so he can attend with her, but Stacey says her dad doesn’t like visiting Stoneybrook.

The girls have to scatter, but not before Kristy reminds them that they have to think of something to cook.  Yep, telling me to cook or think of what I would like to eat makes me run off for the next thing too.

They agree to discuss their cooking ideas at the next meeting, and off they go.

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Stacey, her mom, and Claudia are picking out the perfect outfit (dress, necklace, scarf combo) for Stacey’s visit to the theater on Friday night (on her dad’s weekend).  Stacey’s mom is surprised that Stacey’s dad had time to pick up tickets to a play, but Stacey informs her mom that a client gave them to her dad.  Mrs. McGill is seemingly exasperated by this.  She leaves the girls to their devices, suggesting that Stacey wear a scarf she has.

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Stacey and Claudia discuss why Stacey didn’t tell her mom about the play, to which Stacey points out her mom’s reaction.

Next up (in our episode’s subplot), Stacey is bringing Buddy Barrett (one of the “Impossible Three” that Dawn managed to tame early in her BSC career) home from the dentist.  Buddy and Stacey discuss how often they see their dads.  Buddy tells Stacey he sees his dad on Tuesdays…but not every Tuesday.  Stacey informs Buddy that when he grows up, he could hang out with his dad whenever he wants.  Buddy says that when he grows up, he’s gonna hang around with Stacey.

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Um….yeah.  Let that sink in.

Buddy’s apparently got a little crush on his babysitter.  I can refer him to numerous Lifetime movies about psycho babysitters, and movies about psychos who try to kill innocent babysitters and/or their parent(s)…usually the mom.

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At the Barrett house, Dawn has been watching Marnie and Suzi (Buddy’s sisters).  After they’ve had dinner, the girls are ready to take the kids to play, but Suzi spills her milk.  Buddy, ever the attentive big brother, swoops in to help, but the sink is also clogged.  After a fight with a plunger, Dawn and Stacey decide that they will get Marnie ready for bed and that they can play checkers.  Buddy informs the sitters that it is already past Marnie’s bedtime, and that he is in charge, to which the girls are surprised.

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Ok, well Dawn is surprised.  Stacey is just like “whatevs.”

Explain how the girl playing Dawn never got work after this?

At the next BSC meeting, the girls are discussing Stacey’s New York weekend, which includes seeing that play (turns out she is seeing Guys and Dolls.)  Stacey laments that New York is great, but she wants to have her life balanced so she can do everything she wants to do.

Oh, and they book babysitting jobs for Charlotte Johannsen (Kristy takes it) and the Barrett kids.  The group then circles back to the Great Father-Daughter Dinner Menu Crisis, and that’s when Kristy gets her Great Idea.  Because when one member has a Great Idea, they must share Equal Great Idea Time with Kristy.  So Jessi wasn’t allowed to have her moment alone in this episode.

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The Great Idea Kristy has involves making the dinner a potluck, and the group decides on what will be made, and maybe it is just me, but Kristy is talking about Watson’s stuffing, the disembodied voice who keeps commenting on it just seems…annoying. I love these episodes for all the cheesy dialogue they have to offer, but the comments about how great Watson’s cooking is just seems…unnecessary.

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Oh, and Jessi’s description of sushi gets a whole round of “EWWWW!” from the girls.

Because if there isn’t a screaming moment, there’s an “EWWWW!” moment.  Each episode is required to have something along these lines.

Mission accomplished.

Meanwhile, in New York, that weekend…

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Stacey is talking to her dad as he gets ready to leave for the office…on a Saturday.  He tells her he would love if she wanted to go to high school in New York, and live with him.  He just wants her to think about it, and then he leaves.  Oh, and Stacey and her friend Jason are taking his sister to the Statue of Liberty in half an hour.  But of course, now she feels conflicted again, as her dad is now making her feel the way her mom does.

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Stacey’s friend Jason arrives, but his sister is sick (as is he), so the trip is postponed till the following week.  Of course, Stacey won’t be there the following week (she’ll be in Stoney River, as he calls it), so she’ll have to miss out on the trip.

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Back in her dad’s apartment, Stacey compiles a list of living in New York versus living in Stoneybrook.  She then calls her friends, who are busy working on perfecting this dance, which kinda coming together.  But let’s face it, they’re not The Fly Girls, only Jessi has any real rhythm, and the dinner is the next day.

 

The girls hang up, and Stacey goes for a walk in the city.

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I guess Manhattan in 1990 was safe enough for a pretty thirteen-year-old to walk around without an adult.  She’s coming back to her apartment when she gets a huge surprise (perhaps another one of those Great Ideas?)…

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That’s right, if she can’t be in Stoneybrook, Stoneybrook’s will come to her!

The girls take two rowboats out onto the river and discuss rowing around the world together…well, in these distance shots, their dubbed-over voices do.

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And then in closeup shots, Stacey tells the girls her predicament.  The girls reassure Stacey that no matter what, no matter where she decides to live, they’ll always be her friends, and that they would swim the seven seas to see her.

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They leave, but not before Jason sees them leaving.  He had to go get cold medicine, and says his whole family has it now.

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Um, Jason….that’s the plague.

The next day, the BSC is setting up Dawn and Mary Anne’s barn for the dinner.  The Barrett kids (as well as other charges) are helping out.  Dawn decides to have a heart-to-heart with Buddy about how he is allowed to be a kid, and let his mom be the parent.  He’s eight-and-a-half, so he doesn’t have to be the literal “man of the house.”

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Stacey shows up at the setup, having taken the train in early.  She informs Dawn and Claudia that she explained to her dad how she felt about being bounced around, but she says she didn’t think he understood.  As a result, she didn’t push the subject of the father-daughter dinner to him.  She then offers to help finishing setup, and Buddy decides to go play ball and be a kid.

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And the Buddy Barrett subplot is resolved.  Let’s see if Stacey’s story wraps up as nicely.

Stacey’s mom is doing her hair, and sorta badmouths Stacey’s dad not coming to the dinner, to which Stacey informs her that she didn’t tell him about it.  But her mom is doing exactly what Stacey didn’t want her to do, because it is what her dad does and it is making her upset.  So she takes a stand (see what I did there?!) and tells her mom how she is feeling.  Her mom resolves to stop being so hard on the whole thing (and her dad), and the two promise to share everything.  So Stacey goes first…her mom’s idea of hair for the dinner involves pigtails.  Which are cute in theory, but, you know, this is Stacey.

 

Pigtails are so Mary Anne in the first four books.

And then comes the father-daughter dinner!

The girls are enjoying the dinner with their dads, and Dawn shows off the yellow roses her dad sent in honor of the occasion.  It’s at that moment that Watson (Kristy’s stepdad) decides to give a toast.  The dad in this episode is nothing like the written depiction of Watson Brewer, who Kristy described as “bald” in the first book.  When I think of Watson Brewer, third-rate Sam Waterston doesn’t come to mind.

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Anyway, Watson salutes all of the daughters for their hard work, but it is a surprise appearance at the right moment that makes everyone notice.

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Stacey’s dad has arrived, having found out about the dinner through Stacey’s mom.  He says they had a nice conversation on the phone (if you’ve read the books, you know this is sorta an impossible thing), and says that while he wants to see her more, Stacey should be where she is most happy.

And the main plot wraps up nicely, and just in time, because it is time for the part of the episode you all came to see…the dance number!

And um…wow.  It looks like a stereotypical dance recital in 1990.  The girls got it all together.  So much rehearsal over one week really paid off!

I’m actually wondering if these girls all had dance backgrounds (I think the girl playing Jessi does), because they don’t look half-bad, and while Kristy looks like me trying my hardest to dance cheesy, this is a legit tight dance sequence.

And seriously, is Jessi’s dad way too into this?  I think so!

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They finish the dance, the girls celebrate their dads, and the opening chords of “Say Hello To Your Friends” queues up, which means we’ve come to the end of yet another episode of The Baby-sitters Club.  In 29 minutes, we’ve seen a child resolving to be a child and not the literal “Man of the House,” a daughter finding the perfect balance between her parents and their living arrangements, and a whole group of daughters dance for a whole group of dads and stepdads.

It’s the Father’s Day recap your dad won’t read.  But your mom probably will.  Because she remembers how much you loved the books and this will be nostalgia for her too.

I’m sure my mom will read this.

And as the girls walk off in search of their next babysitting jobs, we’ll close out this recap.

Stacey took her stand, Buddy learned he didn’t have to, and all the dads…somebody just tell Jessi’s dad this isn’t a Janet Jackson music video.

For the love of everything, Mr. Ramsey, stop acting like you’re getting your groove on just watching this!  And inform Mr. Spier of this as well!

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Oh, and if you want to watch this episode, you can click play below.

Happy Father’s Day!

 

 

Author:

Writer, former dancer, geek, nostalgia geek, Secretary by day, daughter, sister/in-law, girlfriend, aunt. Yankees and Giants fan, honorary Avenger (I have a pin, so it is official :-) ), MSTie, and Stargate, Thor, and Hello Kitty collector. And if you want to know anything about me: https://allisonveneziowrites.com/about-allison

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