'The Baby-Sitters Club' Review: An upstanding tribute to '90s nostalgia as Netflix's reboot merges generations
Spoilers for 'The Baby-Sitters Club' Season 1
Netflix's reboot of 'The Baby-Sitters' Club, based on one of the '90s favorite book series courtesy of Ann M Martin, is a refreshing production of the modern era merging with the old. While the characters keep their innate storybook personalities — such as Claudia Kishi's (Momona Tamada) obsession with hiding candy in her room — the modern narrative in the attitude of the characters caters to our current generation.
The show is an excellent binge-worthy series, especially for those who fell in love with the girls that brought a local business to life and ended up installing themselves with loyalty to dear friendships. From the New Yorker attitude to Asian stigmas, the series leaves no stone unturned — an open, true tribute to the minds that are absorbing the now.
The journey of Kristy Thomas (Sophie Grace), Mary-Anne Spier (Malia Baker), Claudia (Momona Tamada), Stacey McGill (Shay Rudolph) and Dawn Schafer (Xochitl Gomez) involves more than just a thriving club. The series takes an old story whose characters inspired many children in the '90s to become who they are now — especially Claudia. If you may remember, Netflix is also pushing out a tribute titled 'The Claudia Kishi Club' to the character that revolutionized an entire generation that is now stepping out into the world in search of making a lasting mark.
She may have been our favorite too! While the '90s kids may miss a bit of their childhood, the series nicely caters to the growing generation, hoping to instill the same sense of belonging that it did all those years ago. Watching it, there's at least one character a person would relate to. From the joys of childhood to the growing pains of maturing, the story is nicely told, as it merges two generations together for the love of #THEBSC.
With themes such as feminism, illness, divorce, abandonment and many more, the reboot does not shy away from the "real" as kids would say. The characters, although young, are kids of this generation from their artiste fashion to their creative intelligence. Grace's Kristy is an admirable one, with a witty yet loving attitude always wanting control — her outfits speak of her reality as she believes men are equal to women. She even has her own commendable version of the definition of decorum after she was forced to write an essay where she advocated for her rights in class.
Baker's Mary-Anne brings to life the innocence and shy personality of a character that when needed pushes her boundaries — from understanding that a little girl named Bailey she babysat was going through a gender change to stepping up and calling 911 when Bailey needed her. Her character has some serious growth early on in episode 4 titled 'Mary Anne Saves The Day' where she finally stands up to her father, wanting her "outsides to match her insides."
Tamada's Claudia is still an incredible inspiration who's emotional intelligence outruns her age and her art is too great to ever be ignored on account of being a child. She single-handedly as a character rips open the Asian stigma of having to excel at school, telling her parents she would rather "focus on what she's good at" — a line many, to this day, can't build up the courage to say.
Rudolph's Stacey brings New York to the small town of Stoneybrook, with her wants for Gucci fanny packs for a revelation she was no longer hiding from to the pristine outfits that spoke of her confident mind. Her sincere soft-spoken self killed a weary stigma bringing into the BSC some much-needed flare — her blonde hair and blue eyes didn't take focus — rather her knowledge of targeting clients with social media ads, her marketing strategy and ability to figure out the "click-through to investment rate" shone brighter. Lastly, Gomez's Dawn, a Latina in the reboot showcases representation, and a chipper, open-minded personality that reeked of planets affecting moods and contagious laughter.
It may be cliche to say that young minds need a show like this right now, but it couldn't be more true. It speaks to an audience that's stubborn to listening, in ways that would make them want to listen — from the confidence of raising a small business to loyalty that never shakes, the story not only brings back intense nostalgia but reminds us of simple truths and happiness.
It seems that the BSC influenced an entire generation once and we don't have any doubts that it could do the same one more time. For many, this is a third time around that we're exposed to an adaptation of a novel series, but while we're sure the 1990 series and 1995 film will stay true to our hearts, this narrative can be passed on to a whole new set of souls ready to absorb this simple story.
All episodes of 'The Baby-Sitters Club' Season 1 are now available to stream on Netflix.