A modernized take on Ann M. Martin’s classic book series, Netflix’s “The Baby-Sitter’s Club” follows Kristy Thomas, Claudia Kishi, Mary Anne Spier, Stacey McGill, and Dawn Schafer as they navigate middle school and their babysitting club. The series offers a refreshing and wholesome look at growing up and young women’s friendships.
Each episode follows a different girl throughout her everyday life — Claudia navigates her relationship with her strict parents, Stacey keeps her chronic illness a secret, and Mary Anne decides to upgrade her wardrobe. Episodes finish with a meeting of the Baby-Sitter’s Club at Kristy Thomas’ house, and throughout the series, the girls must navigate humorous situations in babysitting, school, and their family relationships.
While episodes tend to follow Martin’s books, some aspects of the story line were updated to cater to a new generation of viewers. Characters use social media and cell phones, but the iconic “Baby-Sitter’s Club” landline phone still makes appearances at each club meeting.
I recognize that it must be hard to adapt an older series to entertain the original audience and new fans, but Netflix did a remarkable job at this. The series stays true to the lighthearted themes of the original books while incorporating newer aspects for modern society. Producers tactfully created a more inclusive environment by introducing racial diversity, LGBTQ+ characters, and various family structures.
Unlike many coming-of-age shows and movies on Netflix, “The Baby-Sitter’s Club” features an age-appropriate cast of talented young actresses. Having preteens portray preteens allows for young viewers to relate to the show and contributes to its realistic nature. This makes dialogue flow naturally, and the character’s conversations are similar to those between real-life 12 year-olds.
“The Baby-Sitter’s Club” certainly made a great overall impression on me, and I can’t wait for season two. The show positively displays young girls’ friendships, and viewers can see the babysitters grow more confident and explore their personalities as the show progresses.