Netflix’s new original series, The Baby-Sitter’s Club, brings everything you love about the original novel series of the same name — and then some.
Before we launch into the review, I have to make a quick confession: I never read The Babysitter’s Club books as a teen/tween/preteen. I’m also a good decade older than the intended target audience of the books. However, I did read Ann M. Martin’s Belle Teal (and loved it so much I stole it from my school’s library in year five), so I am familiar with just how powerful and poignant her writing is.
There’s something decidedly lovable about the show
The Baby-sitter’s Club follows the five main heroines from the novels — Kristy Thomas (Sophie Grace), Claudia Kishi (Momona Tamada), Mary Anne Spier (Malia Baker), Stacey McGill (Shay Rudolph), and Dawn Schafer (Xochitl Gomez).
Not being familiar with the OG novels, the lead character of Kristy best reminds me of Sadie from Naturally Sadie, or stubborn but kind-hearted Olivia from Girls in Love. And yes, coincidentally those two are also redheads.
The characters are meant to be 13-year-olds, and thankfully, the casting is fairly age accurate. There’s something oddly refreshing about watching an American coming-of-age show where the lead characters are younger teenagers, rather than 16 or 17 -year-s-olds. I’m not sure what it i,s but the pre-teen romance plotlines are adorable, whereas the older plotlines (think of other Netflix originals like To All the Boys and Tall Girl) just came off as cheesy and cliche.
There’s something decidedly lovable about this show. Whether or not you’ve read the novels, the show has all the perfect ingredients to make you fall in love with it: bite-size 30-minute episodes, a different POV narrator for each episode, and introspective plotlines that cover everything from illness and /disability to blended non-nuclear families and trans experiences.
Unlike the 1990 TV adaptation, this modernised version of the books includes references to Etsy, Queer Eye, The Hunger Games, social media marketing and Tinder, all without losing some of the key features fromof the classic series, like the exact same landline phone, the same street signs, and flyers to advertise their babysitting service.
All the perfect ingredients to make you fall in love with it
You may also recognise Kristy’s mum as Cher from Clueless, so it’s pretty cool to see her all grown up. There’s also a cheeky (intentional) reference to this when Kristy says, “my mom wasn’t totally clueless,” at the end of the opening episode.
Currently, only one season is out on Netflix, with a second season rumoured to be in the works.
Regardless of whether you’ve read the titular books or not, add this one to your watch list for a heartwarming show that lets you relive your 13-year-old dreams in an easy 3-hour binge format.