The Baby-Sitters Club is a delightful series about camaraderie, inclusivity and optimism.
This post for The Baby-Sitters Club Season 1 is spoiler-free.
The Baby-Sitters Club (2020, created by Rachel Shukert) is based on a series of books written by Ann M. Martin and has been adapted into various formats before. Netflix’s version is a modern update to a long-beloved franchise of the 80s.
The series centres on five middle school baby sitters—Kristy Thomas (Sophie Grace), Mary Anne Spier (Malia Baker), Claudia Kishi (Momona Tamada), Stacey McGill (Shay Rudolph) and Dawn Schafer (Xochitl Gomez)—and provides great character development and backstories for each of them. Each member of the baby-sitters club is unique in her own way; their personalities and stories blend well together to carry the show.
Kristy is a natural leader who is authoritative and has strong feminist beliefs; though annoying at times, she cares deeply about her friends and family. Mary Anne may be introverted and soft-spoken, but she knows when to use her voice to defend others. Claudia and Stacey are the most fashionably dressed in the club; there are specific episodes dedicated to their character backstories that were really uplifting to watch. The last member of the club is Dawn, who only joined in mid-season; she is a vocal advocate of justice and equality, which audiences will witness in the final two episodes.
The Baby-Sitters Club is also an excellent series because of its clever writing. The subtlety of weaving in important topics such as LGBTQ+, cyberbullying, social equality, feminism and puberty are well placed and written. These topics are never shoved into the audience faces, instead, it serves as a way to educate young viewers on real-world issues and politics. Other plot points such as Claudia’s passion for the arts is also important, as it gives young viewers the sense that not everything needs to be about academics, sometimes being creative is enough.
The series blends nostalgia with modern elements, most notably by using the Unisonic 6900 clear telephone as a prop. From discussing the Instagram age limit to referencing TV shows like Gossip Girl and The Handmaid’s Tale, there is one particularly memorable scene in a makeover bedroom episode, in which Queer Eye is cutely parodied. And this is just one of the many examples that audiences will get to see how 21st-century pop culture references are being used in the show.
Although this family-friendly series may be targeted towards a younger audience, young adults or adults, like myself, can certainly enjoy this piece of content without feeling restricted by the recommended age limit. I’m also certain and hopeful for the second season of this binge-worthy show to happen.