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Lady Calypso

The Baby-Sitters Club

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I remember ordering the books from the Scholastic flier! They were usually a bit cheaper than buying them in the bookstore, but if I remember correctly they were kind of behind, and of course you had to wait for the order to come in.  So, if you wanted the newest release when it first came out you had to get it from the bookstore or wait for the flier.  I read them in order, I know I owned a good number of them, but I don’t know if I ever finished the series?   I also read the Sweet Valley Twins in order too, simultaneously with BSC, also ordered from the Scholastic flier.  

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I just finished watching The Claudia Kishi Club on Netflix. It's a short documentary (17 minutes long) about everyone's favorite middle-school aged artist. It features Asian-American writers talking about how Claudia inspired them to pursue the arts. It's really cute and I appreciate they included a male writer (Phil Yu of the Angry Asian Man blog and They Call Us Bruce podcast). 

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42 minutes ago, Mirabelle said:

I just finished watching The Claudia Kishi Club on Netflix. It's a short documentary (17 minutes long) about everyone's favorite middle-school aged artist. It features Asian-American writers talking about how Claudia inspired them to pursue the arts. It's really cute and I appreciate they included a male writer (Phil Yu of the Angry Asian Man blog and They Call Us Bruce podcast). 

Watching Phil Yu talking about Claudia made be appreciate even more that Claudia wears one of his shirts in an episode. 

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They still have both the Scholastic book fairs and the book orders! Now you can order stuff online, of course. And I always volunteer at my kids' school book fair. I love seeing kids get excited over books.

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1 hour ago, Mirabelle said:

I just finished watching The Claudia Kishi Club on Netflix. It's a short documentary (17 minutes long) about everyone's favorite middle-school aged artist. It features Asian-American writers talking about how Claudia inspired them to pursue the arts. It's really cute and I appreciate they included a male writer (Phil Yu of the Angry Asian Man blog and They Call Us Bruce podcast). 

I'll have to watch that!

Just now, Minneapple said:

They still have both the Scholastic book fairs and the book orders! Now you can order stuff online, of course. And I always volunteer at my kids' school book fair. I love seeing kids get excited over books.

They do? That's so cool!

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27 minutes ago, Minneapple said:

They still have both the Scholastic book fairs and the book orders! Now you can order stuff online, of course. And I always volunteer at my kids' school book fair. I love seeing kids get excited over books.

I do too!  I love working at the book fair, plus volunteers get “paid” in Scholastic bucks for each shift they work.  

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I love the guy Phil; when he talked about “what if these titles were truthful”, i.e. “Claudia learns about good in fashioned racism”, “Claudia learns this boy has yellow fever”, “Claudia told everyone to take off their damn shoes”.........

I about DIED. Just died. That was so funny. 
 

Why is it that POC, especially women of color are always described using FOOD terms?? Almond eyes, caramel skin I can’t stand that. 
 

What a great companion to the series. 
 

I subscribed to Phil’s Angry Asian man blog and podcast!

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But on the shoes-off thing:  It isn't necessarily Asian.  The girls live in Connecticut.  It's cold.  It snows.  Shoes off wouldn't be THAT unusual in ANY household.  

 

 

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On 7/12/2020 at 8:22 AM, PRgal said:

But on the shoes-off thing:  It isn't necessarily Asian.  The girls live in Connecticut.  It's cold.  It snows.  Shoes off wouldn't be THAT unusual in ANY household.  

 

 

I know. In most Chicago homes you take your shoes/boots off in the winter because of the weather, but it’s not always expected in the warmer months. It was just funny AF. 

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6 hours ago, PRgal said:

But on the shoes-off thing:  It isn't necessarily Asian.  The girls live in Connecticut.  It's cold.  It snows.  Shoes off wouldn't be THAT unusual in ANY household.  

Yeah but on the book cover everyone had their shoes on. 

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The reminded me of when one of them got on the bed with their shoes on, which is possibly the thing about tv that causes me the most rage lol.

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Can you guys believe I forced myself to stop watching after Episode 5 because I was so scared the series would end?  I'm such a dork.

watching again now.

Dawn is so funny trying to Parent Trap Richard Spiers! 

Dawn:  "Let's have some wineeee......... "
Richard:  "Ok....."
Dawn:  "ON THE ROCKS!"
Richard:  "Nobody has wine on the rocks.  Dawn, give your mother her phone back."

So far the only thing I don't understand is Stacey wearing those huge puffy sleeve blouses.  Does anyone think a 13 year old would wear this?!

It's so funny, when I was a kid, I wanted to be Dawn.  Now I want to be Kristy's mother.  She just has my dream life.  That's all.  

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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On 7/5/2020 at 12:09 AM, Jenniferbug said:

Cher/Alicia Silverstone as a mother of teenagers was a nice reminder of how old I am and how long it's been since I read these books!

I still read the Super Specials.  LOL.  I love them.

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On 7/8/2020 at 10:14 AM, Minneapple said:

I thought my mom had gotten rid of my BSC books when she cleaned out/redid my room several years ago. Turns out she kept them! I may have to ask her to send them to me for some nostalgic reading...

I had a huge collection, and (this story still makes me so sad and mad) when we moved from one city to another I was 12 and my father forced me to give all the books to a friend.  One of the greatest regrets.  Now that I'm older I've bought a bunch on Amazon and Value Village.  I think he made a really big mistake.  I think it was really selfish of him because he likes getting rid of everything, whereas my mother and I are more into saving everything.  Those books meant so much to me.  My favourite series without a doubt.  I still have no idea how he could do that.  I was not assertive enough or smart enough at 12 to figure this out.  Not only that, but I assume I bought those books with my own money.  I had jobs when I was 10-12 so I would think I would have bought them myself.

When I started looking for them a few years ago, I just about fell over when I learned that they don't even sell them at normal bookstores in Canada.  They're probably not even heard of.  Until they started selling the graphic novels and this series came out, I guess.  

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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Aw, that really sucks, @Ms Blue Jay :(. I would be angry about that, too. You should've been able to keep those. I'm glad you've been able to find a bunch of them again since then.

I used to have almost the entire collection at one point, too (I know there were some books post the 100th one that I didn't get, for whatever reason-weren't in the store or something like that, I dunno). But with as often as my family's moved over the years and whatnt, I lost them along the way, sadly. I did find one of the mystery books at a garage sale a year or two ago. May have to poke around online when I have more money on me and see if I can buy up some of them again. It'd be fun to go back and reread them :). 

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Thanks.  I know people have suffered much worse, LOL, but it was painful for me to even type that out.

Alicia starred in some (I assume crappy) movie called The Babysitter in 1995!  Same year as Clueless.

Babysitterposter.jpg

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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No, yeah, I totally get it. It hurts to lose things that are special to us. That stuff can be a good source of comfort/escape when needed, and a special treasure that brings back good memories of one's childhood. I have a doll I've had since I was two years old that I would hate to ever lose. 

I'm not familiar with that movie. Rather appropriate title, yes :D. 

(God, it's been ages since I've seen Clueless. I should rewatch that sometime.) 

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2 minutes ago, Annber03 said:

(God, it's been ages since I've seen Clueless. I should rewatch that sometime.) 

You should!!!  It's in my top 3 of all time........ Maybe my second favourite movie.  It's up there.  Alicia is a marvel.  My favourite female acting performance ever.  It's based on Jane Austen's Emma, and when I saw the Emma movie in 1996 starring Gwyneth Paltrow, I found it so hard to watch because it felt like a bad version of Clueless 😄

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On 7/12/2020 at 9:00 PM, Annber03 said:

No, yeah, I totally get it. It hurts to lose things that are special to us. That stuff can be a good source of comfort/escape when needed, and a special treasure that brings back good memories of one's childhood. I have a doll I've had since I was two years old that I would hate to ever lose. 

I'm not familiar with that movie. Rather appropriate title, yes :D. 

(God, it's been ages since I've seen Clueless. I should rewatch that sometime.) 

They have this on Netflix right now so maybe watch it before it goes away.

 

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On 7/12/2020 at 10:00 PM, Annber03 said:

(God, it's been ages since I've seen Clueless. I should rewatch that sometime.) 

It’s on Netflix!!! 😉🥰
 

oops jinx @bloomlover

Edited by geauxaway
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On 7/12/2020 at 10:37 PM, Scarlett45 said:

I know. In most Chicago homes you take your shoes/boys off in the winter because of the weather, but it’s not always expected in the warmer months. It was just funny AF. 

I grew up in a part of Canada with a large Asian community, but regardless of ethnicity, almost everyone I knew took off their shoes before entering the house. I always thought wearing shoes inside the house only happened on TV, especially if the floor was carpeted. 

I had quite a number of BSC books but not the whole collection, I mostly borrowed them from the library. A couple of years ago, my parents cleared out their house and I agreed to donate most of my books, including the entire portrait collection. I might still have a couple of them left but I’ll never know because thanks to COVID, I don’t know when I’ll be able to visit again. 

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6 minutes ago, idiotwaltz said:

I grew up in a part of Canada with a large Asian community, but regardless of ethnicity, almost everyone I knew took off their shoes before entering the house. I always thought wearing shoes inside the house only happened on TV, especially if the floor was carpeted. 

I had quite a number of BSC books but not the whole collection, I mostly borrowed them from the library. A couple of years ago, my parents cleared out their house and I agreed to donate most of my books, including the entire portrait collection. I might still have a couple of them left but I’ll never know because thanks to COVID, I don’t know when I’ll be able to visit again. 

Same here.  Socks inside was a thing.  I’m from Toronto.  I guess you’re  from the GTA or Vancouver?  

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On 7/12/2020 at 9:52 PM, Ms Blue Jay said:

Thanks.  I know people have suffered much worse, LOL, but it was painful for me to even type that out.

Alicia starred in some (I assume crappy) movie called The Babysitter in 1995!  Same year as Clueless.

Babysitterposter.jpg

Yeah I remember this one!

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9 minutes ago, PRgal said:

Same here.  Socks inside was a thing.  I’m from Toronto.  I guess you’re  from the GTA or Vancouver?  

Vancouver! To quote Allison Janney when she guest-starred on Weeds: primo weed, really good Chinese food. 

I did not know anything about this series until I saw a complimentary review in NYTimes or Variety or somewhere, but as soon as I started watching, I knew it was filmed in Vancouver. I’m pretty sure Kristy and Mary Anne’s neighbourhood is in Kerrisdale. Damn, now I miss home. 

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1 hour ago, idiotwaltz said:

Vancouver! To quote Allison Janney when she guest-starred on Weeds: primo weed, really good Chinese food. 

I did not know anything about this series until I saw a complimentary review in NYTimes or Variety or somewhere, but as soon as I started watching, I knew it was filmed in Vancouver. I’m pretty sure Kristy and Mary Anne’s neighbourhood is in Kerrisdale. Damn, now I miss home. 

And I'm pretty sure at least one of the actresses is Canadian - it's all about how she pronounces "out."

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4 hours ago, PRgal said:

And I'm pretty sure at least one of the actresses is Canadian - it's all about how she pronounces "out."

The actresses who play Claudia and Mary Anne (Momona Tamada and Malia Baker, respectively) seem to both be Vancouver-based.

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I loved it.

 

My actual least favourite episode was Boy-Crazy Stacey. Which sucks, cause other then being my favourite book,  it is one of the best books in all childrens literature canon (fight me lol)

I guess the budget really showed here with instead of a busy Jersey Shore beach and boardwalk on a hot summers day, we got.. well some cold looking back beach near Vancouver. It was just dreadful looking. It looked like they where holidaying in the suburbs lol. 

Actually the Camp Moosehead episodes had the same issues as well. Summer camp never looked more cold lol.

It really did take me out of the moment.

But they're my only really gripes.

Mallory reminded me of the Movie Mallory a lot. But I didn't care for the triplets that much. I understand finding 10 year redhead triplets might be hard, but at least get 3 kids of the same height?

Claudia and the Mean Janine was actually my favourite,  there was a lot of hot emotional complexity in it.

I just fear COVID-19 might age out the actresses before season 2 gets off the ground. I hope not.

 

Edited by Robert
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1 hour ago, Robert said:

I loved it.

 

My actual least favourite episode was Boy-Crazy Stacey. Which sucks, cause other then being my favourite book,  it is one of the best books in all childrens literature canon (fight me lol)

I guess the budget really showed here with instead of a busy Jersey Shore beach and boardwalk on a hot summers day, we got.. well some cold looking back beach near Vancouver. It was just dreadful looking. It looked like they where holidaying in the suburbs lol. 

Actually the Camp Moosehead episodes had the same issues as well. Summer camp never looked more cold lol.

It really did take me out of the moment.

But they're my only really gripes.

Mallory reminded me of the Movie Mallory a lot. But I didn't care for the triplets that much. I understand finding 10 year redhead triplets might be hard, but at least get 3 kids of the same height?

Claudia and the Mean Janine was actually my favourite,  there was a lot of hot emotional complexity in it.

I just fear COVID-19 might age out the actresses before season 2 gets off the ground. I hope not.

 

The Pike triplets were never supposed to be redheads.  Mallory was the only ginger in the family from what I remember.  

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I've been doling these episodes out to myself, one a day, and I've almost finished season one.

I can't BELIEVE how well this series has captured not only the books I was obsessed with during my childhood, but the early teen years. Holy crap, this show has nailed the end of middle school.

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That is super cute. They look so young too - I mean younger than they do on the show. 

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12 hours ago, Mirabelle said:

That is super cute. They look so young too - I mean younger than they do on the show. 

Yeah. Girls grow and change looks pretty quickly at that age. 

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My daughter and I are watching, and loving it! I'm surprised, because she doesn't usually like "girly" stuff, but she has been really into it!  I love the modern updates.  We're on episode 8- I only wish there were more!!  

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On 7/3/2020 at 7:43 PM, Dani said:

I’m really impressed how they were able to modernize and stay true to the books. Amazingly seamless job of weaving in things like transgender issues and Japanese internment camps.

The only thing that took me out of the show was Marc Evan Jackson reminding me of his character on the Good Place. That got better once Richard relaxed. 

Especially since his first appearance is sitting in a chair in the dark, waiting for Mary Anne to come in. It was a very Sean like moment 🙂

Edited by Beatriceblake
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Wallowing in nostalgia while reading this thread! Aww. I'm about halfway through watching the series, so far.

43 here and I was obsessed with the books as a kid. Claudia and the Phantom Phone Caller was what reeled me in in the bookstore, because I loved (still do) spoooooky things, and I was also (still am) somewhat OCD, so I couldn't start reading the series at the second book! The horror!

My mom really loved the books too and we read them together a lot; I wish she were still here to watch this series with me. She always loved Dawn because Dawn was good at cleaning...the daughter she never had lol.  I also remember we had to stop reading during the book where 

Spoiler

Louie died

because we were both crying too hard. 

I'm mostly impressed with the casting, especially with the adults. Marc Evan Jackson is PERFECT as Mr. Spier. That had to be a difficult role to cast, finding someone who can convincingly portray an uptight single dad with some control issues, without making it seem like's he's controlling-bordering-on-creepy. The additional element of his character raising a biracial daughter also works well for his story. And I wasn't sure how I'd feel about Alicia Silverstone as Elizabeth, but I love her. She's so warm and relaxed; she really does seem like a cool mom without trying too hard to be the Cool Mom. 

A couple nitpicks:

  • I've only seen her in one episode so far, but Charlotte Johansson seemed awfully baby-ish. She was 8 years old in the books, and very smart and mature. Here she just seemed like a kind of whiny little kid. I liked that they kept her mom a doctor, though, and gave her two moms. 
  • Since she's only in one book/episode, I could see why they made Mrs. Barrett almost evilly over the top for the series; but she was a much more realistic character in the book. She was still a mess and made lots of mistakes, but I don't think she was intentionally oblivious and self-involved the way they depicted her in the series. 
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I wasn't on board when I heard about the reboot, but with a long, empty weekend stretching in front of me, and with a yawning chasm of inner despair constantly needing resistance, I binged.

This show should be a lesson to any and everyone looking to update an older property. You can tell that the creators and writers were fans (superfans probably) of the original, but they didn't cling on for dear life to every old archetype and situation for the sake of fandom. What they did keep, they finessed so it made sense (Kristy and Mary Anne having a code), and what they updated they mostly did gracefully. I haven't read a lot of reviews or criticisms, but I'm guessing they're going to come in for some knocks about "issue" plotlines. Some of that felt a little heavy-handed at times, but certainly not out of place.

I'm really impressed by the quality of kid acting they rounded up. All of the main club members are pretty good, and the girls playing Kristy and Claudia in particular are very talented.

I haven't read a BSC book in a long time, but I don't remember Watson's character ever being so fleshed out. I enjoyed the development of his relationships with Kristy nd Ms. Thomas.

Karen is my favorite television character of the decade. I don't know whose idea it was to give her shades of witchiness and wonder, but they did the right thing.

I'm always happy to see Marc Evan Jackson, so I loved him as Mary Anne's dad, even though I thought that whole storyline was a bit hokey.

And I also loved seeing Alicia Silverstone again. I was just about to hope for a Stacey Dash cameo when this gets renewed, but I realize that I definitely do not want that. Maybe Cary Elwes instead.

Edited by Lois Sandborne
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Man, Aunt Cecelia was a bitch.

My sister and I FaceTimed the Camp Mohawk ... er, Moosehead episodes today, and I found them to be the weakest of the otherwise perfect season - of course Laine is there, of course she and Stacey bond over their poison ivy... it was too convenient. I did love, though, the Paris Magic callback. It was a deep dive into book #23, Dawn on the Coast, and the play is mentioned when Dawn is on the plane.

Speaking of Dawn on the Coast, when my family visited Helsinki when I was in college, we stopped by a flea market, and I found a copy of the book in Finnish! It's called Violet Kaliforniassa (same Hodges Soileau cover, though), and it's one of my most treasured possessions.

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27 minutes ago, AnnieBananie said:

My sister and I FaceTimed the Camp Mohawk ... er, Moosehead episodes today, and I found them to be the weakest of the otherwise perfect season - of course Laine is there, of course she and Stacey bond over their poison ivy... it was too convenient. I did love, though, the Paris Magic callback. It was a deep dive into book #23, Dawn on the Coast, and the play is mentioned when Dawn is on the plane.

I’ve been re-reading the first few books and Paris Magic is also mentioned in book #3, The Truth About Stacey. Stacey and Laine go to see it after they become friends again.  

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Coming in late to gush. I loved this show so much. I was just about the babysitters’ age when the books first came out (my copy of Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls was confiscated when I tried to sneakily read it during 6th grade music class and came back to me months later with the cover defaced with my name IN INK), so I’m really old now. I aged out and into Christopher Pike, VC Andrews, and Danielle Steel long before Dawn moved away permanently. But I would spend my high school work breaks at the mall reading the back covers in Waldenbooks to try and keep up. Once I went to college I finally lost touch with these girls for good, but having them back in my life now is the most welcome surprise. My 13 year old read the graphic novels a few years ago and I’m forcing her to watch it, too. She thinks she’s too old. And so it goes! 
 

 

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I really like Cliff Calley from The West Wing's portrayal of Watson. In the books, they make Watson seem kind of old, though caring (iirc, the illustrations of him, he looks middle aged and bald) but the show right away shows him trying to support Kristy's new idea and show her that he's not a bad guy. He's a little flashier than OG Watson with the spending (yet the interior design of the house is... old) but it comes across more generous than irresponsible. I also love how he handles the car thing. 

Re: Watson's family... not sure we ever meet his parents but don't they all go to Shadow Lake because of the house being left to him? Was that an aunt & uncle?

I'm having a lot of fun watching this, even though I know the details of the stories so well, I keep pointing out to my roommate (who isn't as familiar) what's different about the plots. Like, how in Kristy's Big Day in the books, the entire family comes for a whole week and the whole BSC has to baby-sit all the cousins, broken up into color groups by age. 

I also knew as soon as Boy-Crazy Stacey started that it was filmed in Canada! I was like, that's a Canadian beach set if I ever saw one. I always loved the Sea City books, and yeah, that is noooot the Jersey Shore. Everyone looked freezing the whole time! The show is all in on the CT license plates, though! 

Edited by rippleintime17
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4 hours ago, rippleintime17 said:

I really like Cliff Calley from The West Wing's portrayal of Watson. In the books, they make Watson seem kind of old, though caring (iirc, the illustrations of him, he looks middle aged and bald) but the show right away shows him trying to support Kristy's new idea and show her that he's not a bad guy. He's a little flashier than OG Watson with the spending (yet the interior design of the house is... old) but it comes across more generous than irresponsible. I also love how he handles the car thing. 

Re: Watson's family... not sure we ever meet his parents but don't they all go to Shadow Lake because of the house being left to him? Was that an aunt & uncle?

I'm having a lot of fun watching this, even though I know the details of the stories so well, I keep pointing out to my roommate (who isn't as familiar) what's different about the plots. Like, how in Kristy's Big Day in the books, the entire family comes for a whole week and the whole BSC has to baby-sit all the cousins, broken up into color groups by age. 

I also knew as soon as Boy-Crazy Stacey started that it was filmed in Canada! I was like, that's a Canadian beach set if I ever saw one. I always loved the Sea City books, and yeah, that is noooot the Jersey Shore. Everyone looked freezing the whole time! The show is all in on the CT license plates, though! 

Well, a late 40s guy today is likely less stereotypically "middle aged" compared to same age men in the 80s.  I also think book Elizabeth is fairly young - still in her 30s, despite Charlie being high school aged.  

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6 hours ago, rippleintime17 said:

Like, how in Kristy's Big Day in the books, the entire family comes for a whole week and the whole BSC has to baby-sit all the cousins, broken up into color groups by age. 

I always liked that whole part of the story, with all the relatives coming and the kids running about and whatnot :D. I remember Kristy's mom being all exhausted as she explained to Kristy how many people would be showing up, LOL. 

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I bought a collector's set of the first six books on Amazon!

 

 

Edited by PRgal
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6 minutes ago, PRgal said:

I bought a collector's set of the first six books on Amazon!

 

 

Have fun reading them!

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On ‎7‎/‎25‎/‎2020 at 11:30 AM, Lsk02 said:

Coming in late to gush. I loved this show so much. I was just about the babysitters’ age when the books first came out (my copy of Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls was confiscated when I tried to sneakily read it during 6th grade music class and came back to me months later with the cover defaced with my name IN INK), so I’m really old now. I aged out and into Christopher Pike, VC Andrews, and Danielle Steel long before Dawn moved away permanently. But I would spend my high school work breaks at the mall reading the back covers in Waldenbooks to try and keep up. Once I went to college I finally lost touch with these girls for good, but having them back in my life now is the most welcome surprise. My 13 year old read the graphic novels a few years ago and I’m forcing her to watch it, too. She thinks she’s too old. And so it goes! 
 

 

OMG this was totally me as well.

I started at 10 with what was in my Primary School Library (when the older girls all seemed to mature and sophiscated!)

I thought I was the only one that jumped from BSC to VC Andrews (I loved series-books and it felt like in the early 90s there wasn't much else available in the tween/teen market - a bit of a literature desert really - Goosebumps/Animorphs and those classic 90s YA series where still a few years away - so basically for me it was jumping from Enid Blyton to Ann M Martin... to Virgina Andrews LOL).

 

I too stopped really reading before Dawn left - though my younger sister for a hot minute read them (with just a wee bit of encouragement from myself lol). But literally the last one I read was *Stacey and the Bad Girls* because then she aged out, and I kinda got to the point of moving onto more teeange boy activities (though like you everytime I was in a book store or the book aisle of a department store I read the blurbs of the newest books - I even recall going as far as looking at the last one #131 as well).

Edited by Robert
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I was an adult when these books first came out, so they weren't something I read, but I watched this series and found it absolutely adorable. A really nice job of mixing in some heavier stuff (transgender kids, Manzanar) with the usual tween girl stuff (first kiss, strict parents). The acting from the girls is a little uneven, but I kind of like that. I also like that the parents aren't clueless idiots, though Mark Feuerstein is overdoing Watson a bit, but maybe in the books he's a golden retriever like he is on the show? 

All the talk about the Scholastic book fairs makes me very nostalgic, as that's how I built a lot of my library as a kid. I remember PORING over the newsletter. My parents were very encouraging of me reading, but it got to the point where they had to impose a limit on how many books I could order, ha!

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On 7/8/2020 at 10:39 PM, Mirabelle said:

I've been doing a deep dive on BSC and I recently read an interview with Ann M. Martin where she said they received a lot of backlash when the character moved back to New York. That's when they realized just how popular the character was. Introducing Mallory as her replacement didn't help either. That last part is my assumption - I remember not being all that jazzed to lose Stacey for Mallory. Stacey was aspirational - she was who you wanted to actually be while Mallory was who you desperately didn't want to be (but probably were.)

LOL, Mallory in the books* wasn't TOO bad, but any onscreen portrayal of Mallory has always been atrocious. I kinda liked her as the oldest Pike, but she wasn't all that interesting on her own.

*Bearing in mind that I didn't read that far into the series, I think I aged out around the 40-book mark, not sure what Mallory developed into later on.

I always knew I was a MaryAnne, but for some reason, didn't really aspire to be a Stacey. I guess it felt like too much of a leap. Honestly, I think I found Kristy a bit more aspirational for her assertiveness and lack of shyness.

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I think bookworms everywhere wanted to be her. I certainly did. After all every book reminded me she was sophisticated. 

Ha, it sure did. But I think that's what turned me off about the character a bit, even as a kid, I felt like I recognized the signs of a little kid playing at being mature. Boy Crazy Stacey is my hands down favorite of the books and I feel like that showed up Stacey's shortcomings.

Back to the show, I was another accidental 1-day binger. I honestly didn't expect to like it, despite the great reviews, because I know a lot of people have fondness for the movie, but I couldn't get through that thing. 

I loved Kristy right off the bat, the actress nailed the attitude. And watching the first episode, I'd forgotten that the inspiration for the club was Kristy's mom. How in the world I could EVER have forgotten that, I don't even know, since they rehashed it in every single book. Claudia was great too, the actress has the understated cool girl thing down. Stacey was a bit shaky for me, the actress was a bit dorkier than my vision of Stacey. And Mary Anne is always tough for me because the character isn't my favorite (despite being the one I relate to) so any portrayal isn't going to make me happy. She got better as the series went on though. Dawn was just okay for me.

I loved that they used actual plots from the books, I wondered how they could do Phantom Phone Caller in the age of caller ID, but they handled it well.

I was a little disappointed in Boy Crazy Stacey, mainly because it's my favorite (due mostly to the depiction of 1980s Jersey shore, which was where I spent my summers too). So the generic house, generic beach, generic boardwalk was a big downgrade from the books. Also didn't understand why MA's guy was rewritten as gay (and the actor was annoying), the point of that storyline in the book was that shy MA could snag a guy over time while Stacey was throwing herself at the lifeguard all week. Changing that detail took away from the storyline for me.

I was really hoping (but not expecting, cause I'm sure the scenery would be too hard to construct) to see Dawn's haunted house episode. Credit to Ann M Martin's writing that I can clearly envision the house and the passageway in my mind (same with the beach house, Burger Garden, etc in B-CS). 

They handled the Karen character really well, that was a character with huge potential for precocious annoying-ness, but they pulled it off. Watson threw me for a loop. For whatever reason, "Watson Brewer" conjured up images of Ben Franklin for me and as a kid, I probably didn't think about Kristy's mom's age and how it was probably late 30s/early 40s at most, so I just imagined that she'd married an old man. So this new young version of Watson was VERY jarring. MA's dad was pretty perfect, I know the actor as the uptight husband of Captain Holt on Brooklyn 99, so this similarly uptight character felt normal.

I liked the little moments among the adults that showed that they were a small community who likely knew each other from school functions/their kids being friends, etc. I can't remember much about how the parents were supposed to have related to each other in the books (beyond Mr Spier and Dawn's mom, obviously), but the acknowledgement that Kristy's mom and MA's dad would have known each other well but not necessarily liked each other was a realistic addition.

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