All right, guys. Let’s call this a compromise. I’m still doing TV, but at least it’s BSC, right? (I’m sorry, but no power in this ‘verse will make me watch an entire episode of that Sweet Valley High TV series. I saw like a 3-minute clip on youtube and it was over for me. Not to mention that every time I see the Daniels twins I think of skanky Eve on Dawson’s Creek).
I recently obtained all of the episodes (at least that I know of) of the 1990 HBO series, which made me ridiculously excited. Yeah, I need to get out more, whatever. I used to watch the shit out of these when I was 12. To this day I still remember the bad acting, 80slicious fashion, and the most glorious theme song since Degrassi Junior High. I couldn’t go without recapping this series. So I figured I’d start from the beginning, with Mary Anne and the Brunettes. This is one of my favorites. It’s got all the classic teen show staples–bitchiness, boyfriend stealing, and parties! Sadly, the BSC party will not involve Jello shots, Suck and Blow, or brawls, but it’s still glorious in its own BSC way. Trust me.
And I’ma cut this, image heavy and all that fun stuff.
“Man, am I glad they gave me a bottle.”
We open with a Kristy voiceover giving us a brief rundown of the BSC. The writers have spared us the lengthy descriptions we get in the books, thank Heathus. Instead, we get a montage of various babysitting shenanigans, most of which correspond with the personality trait each babysitter is known for. Claudia’s kid fingerpaints all over the wall, Jessi’s kids can’t dance, Mallory’s kid hauls his books to the park, etc. Hmm, interesting that Stacey’s kids are pigging out on chocolate. Oh, and Kristy… well, Kristy ends up babysitting a pig. Not sure what this says about her. Even more disturbingly, I find myself reminded of a certain picture that appeared in Tori Amos’s Boys For Pele album artwork (link possibly NSFW and most definitely NSFL).
Excuse me, I need to go soak my head in bleach now.
Ahh, that’s better.
Our theme song of awesomeness begins, and there really is nothing I can do to convey said awesomeness on paper. It just has to be experienced. The following clip isn’t from this episode but you still get to hear the song in all its glory.
In this episode, we get a montage of the babysitters taking dorky pictures and trying to toss popcorn into each other’s mouths, all while acting as though they’re on laughing gas or some other controlled substance. It’s always a wacky, wacky time with those BSCers!
Raise your hand if you dressed in the dark!
Now we’re at a BSC meeting, which is pretty loyal to the books. I have to give this series credit–it did a surprisingly good job capturing the books, and with the exception of Claudia (it’s that hard to find an Asian actress? Really?), the casting is pretty spot-on. Much more so than that 1995 movie, which I’m still mourning and need to get my evil snarky revenge on at some point. This TV series also did a bang-up job on the wardrobe–Claudia’s wearing these puke-green overalls and what looks like a leftover Christmas bow on her head, while Stacey’s working this hot-pink blazer with serious shoulder pad action. Stylin’. Stacey announces that there’s a surplus in the treasury, and they argue about what to spend it on. Jessi’s obsessed with pizza for some reason (hey Jessi, better get used to starving yourself, if you want to be a hardcore ballet dancer), but the rest of them want to splurge on kid-kits. The Rowdowskys call needing a sitter, and everyone bags on Jackie for a while until Mary Anne takes the job. You will come to find that they really bag on Jackie a lot during this series. Come on, writers, you couldn’t find a better source for gags than a klutzy little kid? Logan calls and Mary Anne asks him if he wants to sit for the Rowdowskys with her. Hot. The rest of the BSC are all like, “whoooo” and generally act really immature, even for thirteen-year-olds. I get Mal and Jessi, but the others? Eh, they’re just hatin’ cos Mary Anne’s getting some hardcore hand-holding action and they’re not.
“Honestly, Mary Anne? I really don’t think anyone else cares to see Logan’s baseball bat.”
Our next scene takes place in… well, I’m not exactly sure what kind of store this is, but I’ll call it the Plot Device store, because it has an extremely eclectic collection of merchandise that really has no reason to be in the same store beyond providing plot devices. The BSCers are supposedly there to buy kid-kit stuff but no one’s really kid-kit shopping. Mary Anne’s looking at some really tacky sunglasses and even tackier headbands. Blair Waldorf would not approve. Kristy wants to look at sporting goods and beckons Logan to come with her. He hangs around for a bit making goo-goo eyes at Mary Anne, before Kristy literally drags him off. Jeez, kids these days. Get a room. I should mention that Logan’s accent sounds pretty much exactly how it’s depicted in the books–overdone, hokey, and comes and goes. Did he and Voula’s Dad have the same voice coach?
Marcie practices her next MySpace pose.
Cut to what I’m safe to assume are the Brunettes, a.k.a. Stoneybrook’s answer to the Plastics. They’re pretty interchangeable-looking, although I came to recognize Marcie, the leader, by her hardcore eyebrows. I can’t tell you the others’ names, but it doesn’t matter, since they never exhibit any real personality traits beyond being Marcie’s lackeys, and none of them are ever heard from again. The Brunettes are trying on makeup and being vapid, until Marcie spies Logan in the mirror. Apparently, hokey accents and a wardrobe straight out of L.L. Bean get her all hot under her acid-wash collar. Marcie makes a bet with Lackey #1 that she can get Logan to go with her to the big party.
Meanwhile, the other babysitters are trying on pierced earrings (I’d make a commentary on how gross this is, but having worked in a department store, I’ve seen it all, and trust me, guys, there are far grosser things that customers do) until Mary Anne reminds them that they’re here to find kid-kit stuff. Meanwhile, Logan and Kristy are looking at baseball mitts. I am sorely tempted to put a joke in here about batting for the other team, but I won’t. Kristy goes off to look at bats (mustresistjokemustresistjoke) while Logan still stands around fondling the baseball glove. Marcie sashays up to him in her acid-wash glory and flirts with all the subtlety of Jessica Wakefield after a glass of magic vodka. Logan tries to make a getaway more than once, but she literally grabs him and finally coerces him into helping her shop for rollerblades. I’m thinking if a guy is more attracted to a baseball glove than you, it might be time to move on.
I can’t even catch a break with the screencaps, can I?
Cut to Kristy, who’s swinging a bat (mustresistjokemustresistjoke). She hears the dulcet tones of Logan’s accent and spots him with Marcie, helping her try on rollerblades. Kristy ducks behind some canoes and listens in as Marcie lays it on really thick, asking Logan if he wants to go to a concert with her. For all his reluctance earlier, Logan seems pretty friendly now. Hey, it’s a free concert ticket. Kristy’s shocked, I tell ya. Shocked! She hits her head on a bag of inflatable balls (mustresistanotherjokemustresistanotherjoke) and blows (sigh) her cover, and that’s the end of that. Thank Heathus, because there are far too many tasteless jokes coming at me all at once.
Cut to some outdoor skating rink, where there’s more wacky fun with our favorite babysitters. Stacey’s wearing this glorious fluorescent-green pullover with purple leggings and some unidentifiable pink thing in her hair, while Claudia’s working some brightly-colored tie-dyed getup. So it’s like the 70s threw up on Chernobyl in here. Awesome. Kristy tells Mary Anne what she saw at the Plot Device store yesterday, and Mary Anne shrugs it off, saying she trusts Logan. Gotta say I’m team Kristy here. Considering the biggest source of bitch fights in junior high tended to involve boys, I’m finding Mary Anne’s response rather odd. And considering the Mary Anne actress is taller than pretty much everyone else on the show, I’m betting she could totally take Marcie.
“It is on, bitches.”
Mary Anne joins the rest of the BSC. While she’s skating, Marcie comes up to her and gloats, saying she’s meeting Logan here. The other babysitters spot Marcie and her lackeys, and Dawn comes up with the nickname “Brunettes”–which comes not from their hair color, actually, but from the fact that they’re all Logan Bruno groupies. I think it would’ve been funny if the casting director hired blonde actresses for the Brunettes, but I have a strange sense of humor. Logan shows up and Mary Anne waves at him, but so does Marcie. Marcie rudely bumps Mary Anne and throws herself (literally) at Logan, who has this great WTF? expression on his face, but doesn’t actually say or do anything. Mary Anne watches, dismayed.
Cut to Dawn and Kristy, who are playing with a bunch of little kids (dang, these girls never stop babysitting, do they?) and talking about the Mary Anne/Logan/Marcie sitch. Kristy’s in favor of meddling, of course, and Dawn tries to talk her out of it. But Kristy gets her way eventually (as always), and gets Dawn to agree to spy on Logan and Marcie and find out what’s up.
10 points from Gryffindor, Dawn! (Anyone else suspect she and Hermione would get along?)
Now we have our BSC spying montage, and suffice to say they’re about as stealth as Seth Cohen. In the library, they peer through the stacks at Logan and Marcie, until of course one of them knocks over some books and they get discovered. In chem lab, Kristy and Dawn are too busy watching Logan and Marcie to pay attention to their own experiment, so the beaker overflows all over the place. I’m concerned that they’re not wearing goggles–isn’t that dangerous?
“We’re calling an intervention, Mary Anne… for that outfit.”
The BSC regroup and peer-pressure Mary Anne into confronting Logan, and I’m still team Kristy here. Mary Anne’s being wimpy and naive, so basically she’s completely in character. Later that night, Mary Anne practices what she’s going to say in front of the mirror, until Dawn comes in and interrupts her. Mary Anne asks Dawn for advice and Dawn tells her to be herself. Oh yeah, that’ll work real well.
The next day, Logan is blowing up balloons for the school fair when Mary Anne approaches him. They get into a fight about Marcie, and Logan flounces off. At the fair, the BSC get involved in a tug-of-war against the Brunettes and some other bitches, and of course the BSC wins. Then there’s a three-legged race and Marcie’s with Logan while Mary Anne’s with Jackie Rowdowsky. The series takes its second opportunity to crap on a little kid by having Jackie and Mary Anne fall, while Logan and Marcie win. Finally, there’s this booth in which people try to hit Mallory’s face with a pie. Heh, that sounds fun. Kristy totally misses on purpose, and then Mary Anne goes up to take her turn. Marcie chooses that moment to taunt Mary Anne about Logan, and you can figure out what comes next, can’t you? At least Marcie didn’t mess with Mary Anne at the dart booth. Marcie gets hit in the face with the pie and even Marcie’s lackeys are laughing at her. The BSC are like, “In yo face, suckaaaas!”
“Marcie gave you what??“
Cut to the Rowdowskys, during Mary Anne’s sitting job. Logan shows up and he and Mary Anne get in another fight. Mary Anne is like, “Why don’t you go to the party?” and Logan totally ditches her. At the party (which I forgot to mention earlier is a costume party), the BSCers show up dressed as football players. I guess they didn’t get the memo about Girl World and Halloween (eh, costume party, close enough). Marcie and co. apparently did, though, because they show up as skanky hippies. Marcie and Kristy get into a verbal bitchfight during which Marcie says Mary Anne is too wimpy to stand up for herself, which is true. Zingers are exchanged such as Marcie calling the BSC drips. Oooh, burn!! Kristy, who somehow pulls a hose out of–ugghh, what is it with this recap and tasteless jokes?–thin air, is like, “you’re the only drip around here!” and sprays Marcie and the Brunettes. Sadly, this is probably the least hot scene involving a bunch of girls spraying each other with hoses that you will probably ever see.
“This is how we bitchfight in Stoneybrook county!”
Mary Anne’s job at the Rowdowskys ends and she heads to the party to search for Logan. Meanwhile, the other BSCers head to the Rowdowskys, where they are informed by Jackie that they just missed Mary Anne. Mary Anne runs into Marcie, who tells her that Logan stood her up. Heartened, Mary Anne leaves the party and runs into Logan, who just happens to be walking in the same direction on the other side of a big stone wall. I… don’t get this. If he never made it to the party, and she was leaving it, then why would they be heading in the same direction? This is probably when I should stop putting so much thought into a scene clearly there for no other purpose but to be funny/cute, isn’t it? Mary Anne and Logan make up, of course, just as the BSC finally catches up to them. They all have a big laugh over it, and that’s the end of that.
Our lesson for today: don’t try to steal some other bitch’s boyfriend, because Kristy Thomas will meddle and spray you with a hose. Don’t screw with someone holding a pie. And irony remains strong as my most tasteless recap happens to be for one of the more wholesome series I’ll be snarking on this blog.
Coming up next… either more BSC, the Sweet Valley book I’ve been promising for a while, or something completely different and random because you never know with me. Stay tuned!