The Baby-Sitters Club
BSCers, it’s time to join hands virtually and whisper together, say hello to your friends (baby-sitters club). A little bit louder: Say hello to the people who care. Are you sobbing now? Great. You are not alone. The fall has arrived, and with it, the return of a cozy blanket of a show called The Baby-Sitters Club. Aren’t you ready to be wrapped up in the warm nostalgia of your favorite childhood book series come to life with a modern twist? Doesn’t it feel good? In these trash bag times, isn’t it nice to have a balm to make you feel a little better, even if for only thirty minutes at a time? Because guys, here’s the thing: Nothing’s better than friends. It’s science.
At this point in the proceedings, BSC President Kristy Thomas would probably throw something at my head and tell me to get my shit together, which is fair. Listen, deep down, I’m mostly a Mary Anne (as much as I want to be a Stacey), so I can’t help it. Still, this is Kristy’s episode, so we should toughen up a little and get down to business. Last we left our ambitious, supportive group of girlfriends and business colleagues they were making the most of their summer by sticking it to the man at Camp Moosehead, Kristy’s mom had just married Hot Dad Watson Brewer, and the girls welcomed two junior officers to the club, best friends Mallory Pike and Jessi Ramsey. Kristy is dealing with a lot of change, and by her own admission, some slow but meaningful personal growth, and those things are really at the heart of “Kristy and the Snobs.”
The Thomas boys might be taking the move into the Brewer mansion and that side of Stoneybrook well, but Kristy’s not. She doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere near it. She misses home, she misses living next to Mary Anne and Claudia, and she definitely misses her dog Louie, who had to be put down. Poor Louie! And poor David Michael, who can’t seem to move past losing his puppy. It doesn’t help that Stacey stops over to hang out, but only because Sam texted her. And it only gets worse when a stuck-up kid who lives nearby, Amanda Delaney, arrives to give Kristy and her mom a hand-written invitation to tea with Amanda and her mother as well as to drag Kristy for not knowing there’s a difference between bath towels and beach towels. She also drags the entire state of New Jersey. Amanda is terrifying.
Kristy and Liz buck up and head to the Delaney’s for tea. It is chilly. Not the tea, mind you, which is probably piping hot not because Mrs. Delaney is hospitable but because she cares about impressing people and being superior to everyone else. No, the vibe in the room is chilly. Frigid. Remember that Kristy is very much her mother’s daughter, so if Kristy is feeling unwelcome and out of place both in this neighborhood and in this living room, Liz is feeling it, too. Maybe even more so. She’s over trying to make nice for Watson’s sake when Mrs. Delaney starts being passive-aggressively rude about Liz having a job and having “won the lottery” by getting Watson to marry her. AS IF. (Yes, it’s true, I keep trying to manifest as many Clueless references on this show as possible, don’t stop me.)
So, Mrs. Delaney objectively sucks. But you know who doesn’t? Watson. When he finds Kristy in the kitchen late at night, missing Louie and seeming generally unmoored by her new living situation, he wants her to know that he’s there if she ever wants to talk. He’s also there if she doesn’t want to talk and would rather stand in silence in his midnight snack nook. I mean, the guy has a midnight snack nook. He’s wonderful. You know Kristy’s dad will eventually show and break her heart all over again, and then maybe she’ll finally realize how good she has it in the step-dad department. He also seems pretty great for Liz. Sure he mentions playing mixed-doubles with Mrs. Delaney in such a casual way it is pretentious as hell, but he also gives her space to find a way to adjust to her new lifestyle. I know this all sounds like I’m running from a Baby-Sitters Club meeting to a Watson Brewer Fan Club meeting, but I won’t apologize for it. THIS IS WHAT YOU GET WITH ME.
Speaking of the BSC, something surprising happens at the next meeting: Mrs. Delaney calls up requesting a sitter for Amanda. She seems way too old to need one of them, but as Dawn explains, “the rich are different from you and me.” Of course, Kristy is the only available babysitter, so she heads back over to the ice fortress.
She begins to see cracks in Amanda’s snobby facade and decides to get the girl on her own turf. She brings her over to her house and hangs out with David Michael, still pretty upset about Louie. The two start chatting about dogs, and Amanda notes that she gets along better with animals than humans sometimes. She opens up about how her mother hired Kristy not to be her sitter but her friend. It dawns on Kristy: Amanda isn’t truly terrible, she’s just lonely. You never fully know what’s going on with people at first glance. The same can be said for how Kristy views her mother: She assumed she was fine with their new Brewer-enhanced life, but now she can see that her mom feels out-of-place and less-than-deserving of it all, just like Kristy.
It all comes to a head at a charity event Mrs. Delaney invites them to attend. Liz thinks it’s yet another ploy to knock her down a few pegs and refuses to go. Eventually, though, perhaps setting a good example for her daughter, she shows up. They all discover Mrs. Delaney doesn’t have ulterior motives here (unless it’s to win over Watson Brewer, which, like, I don’t blame her. Okay, okay, I’ll save it for my other meeting). She runs a pet adoption event, and after Amanda told her about David Michael and Louie, she thought it might be a nice thing for the Thomas-Brewer family to see. It’s very sweet! David Michael picks out a new dog and is so touched by the gesture he asks Mrs. Delaney her first name — it’s Shannon — and decides to name his new dog after her. David Michael might mean well and Shannon Delaney puts on a good show, but does any person in the entire planet’s history want to have a dog named after them? As someone with a first name that gets used as a dog name A LOT, let me tell you, this is not the nice thing you think it is.
In the end, Kristy learns not to be so quick to judge and that if she wants to fit in, she will have to put in an effort. She decides the best thing to do is keep acting like she belongs until she really feels like she belongs. Ah, the old Fake It Till You Make It play. A life lesson that will be applicable in so many scenarios for the rest of her life, Kristy has no freaking clue.
• Apparently, Mary Anne and Logan kissed three times, but she hasn’t heard from him since returning from camp. Ugh, men. All the ladies offer advice on remedying the situation: Dawn thinks they should see if their star charts align, but that ends up inconclusive (although we do learn Mary Anne is a triple Virgo which, like, is a lot of Virgo energy). Claudia and Stacey want to stalk Logan on social and help Mary Anne create an Instagram account (@SewlongMarianne, combining her love for knitting with the Leonard Cohen song — Claud and Stacey are very cool), but they end up getting catfished by a teacup pig. Finally, it’s Kristy who cuts through the bullshit and just calls him and invites him to a pool party, as she suggested all along. This is why Kristy’s the president, people.
• I’m still laughing about Logan Bruno just willingly giving out personal info to who he believes is a representative of the census bureau (it’s Dawn, of course) and that based on his mother’s reaction, it’s not the first time. Aw, Logan’s not the brightest bulb, is he?
• “Liz, are you responsible for the cantaloupe?” Stay weird, Karen.
• “Three weeks in Southern California, and I feel like a whole new person!” says Dawn. It’s funny because it’s true. The original Dawn, Xochitl Gomez, exited the series after season one for a Marvel gig and was replaced by Kyndra Sanchez. Welcome to the party, you’re doing great, sweetie.
• It feels very unbecoming and very un-BSC for me to rag on a member, but wow wow wow, Mallory and her undying enthusiasm for all things Baby-Sitters Club is a lot. And this is coming from someone who has an inordinate amount of enthusiasm for The Baby-Sitters Club! I didn’t like her in the books as a 12-year-old, and things are not trending well now. Apologies in advance for all Mallory Pike lovers, should you be out there.
• “Finish your homework before you summon the devil.” Oh, Richard Spier, you’ve been missed!