Based on the best-selling YA book series, ‘The Baby-Sitters Club’ series on Netflix follows the adventures of “The Baby-Sitters Club,” a group of middle-schoolers who start a babysitting business in their neighborhood at Stoneybrook, Connecticut. The club comprises of young girls with very different personalities. There’s president and founder Kristy Thomas (Sophie Grace), secretary Mary-Anne Spier (Malia Baker), vice-president Claudia Kishi (Momona Tamada), treasurer Stacey McGill (Shay Rudolph), and alternate officer Dawn Schafer (Xochitl Gomez).
The books were staple reading for many 80s and 90s childhoods. Meanwhile, the new series is set in the present day. It has a modern spin to many of the storylines the readers are familiar with. Each of the ten episodes is named after a book title, and is inspired by the main stories in that particular BSC novel.
Watch if you are:
…a BSC fan and grew up feeling kinship with Kristy, Mary-Anne, Claudia, Stacey, and Dawn. This isn’t the first time The Baby-Sitters Club has come alive on-screen (remember that 90s movie starring Rachael Leigh Cook?). However, the Netflix adaptation fleshes out each character so beautifully, since it has enough time to tell each character’s story. Because of this, they’re able to show the girls’ distinct personalities in every episode.
This is a must-watch too, if you have a tween or younger kids at home. It’s streaming content that is refreshingly wholesome and inclusive. Kids of all ages will enjoy the family-friendly appeal, while parents will appreciate how the series tackles important issues like diversity, gender identity, modern families, and health problems.
What I think:
I consumed The Baby-Sitters Club books very heavily in the 90s, so I viewed the series as a fan. Looking back now, the novels were already female-centric and ahead of its time. Rachel Shukert (showrunner) and Lucia Aniello (executive producer and director) are self-confessed fans of the books — and it shows. The storylines have been refreshed, and female characters are given a positive representation. Valuable lessons are not spoon-fed nor are the children talked down to. This was best shown in Episode 4 (“Mary Anne Saves The Day”) with its theme of gender identity.
While updated to be modern, The Baby-Sitters Club series still rings in nostalgia with childhood adventures that did not have to rely on technology. There’s kids hanging out at neighbor’s houses, parents that are friends with each other, plus no one is glued to their screens 24/7. It’s feel-good and wholesome, and wonderfully captures the joy of young friendships. It also reminds you that it’s okay to be yourself, and celebrate it.
Just like reading the BSC books, watching the series will draw you into the babysitter you can relate to the most. Those new to the material will certainly end up having a favorite. For longtime fans? Chances are you’ve been carrying with you lessons and influences from the BSC all these years–even as a full grown adult.
The Baby-Sitters Club launches on Netflix this Friday, July 3.