Netflix's Great Idea: A BABY-SITTERS CLUB Series

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Say hello to your friends! Again! Netflix is making a new Baby-Sitters Club series. If you live under a rock, the Baby-Sitters Club is a series of books for young readers about a group of entrepreneurial tweens who start their own baby-sitting agency. See, it all started when Kristy Thomas’s single mother needed a baby-sitter for Kristy’s younger brother, David Michael. Kristy couldn’t do it, and as she watched her mother make call after call after call to find someone who was available, she had her Great Idea: What if you could call one number and reach several baby-sitters at once? (I might be quoting this verbatim from one of the books. Every single one rehashed this in the first or second chapter along with descriptions of each baby-sitter. I read at least 80 of them between second and fifth grade. Which isn’t saying much, because there are over 200.)

There aren’t a lot of details, but we do know that the series will follow the “friendship and babysitting adventures of five best friends,” so presumably it will be the Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey, and Dawn iteration of the club, and it will “reflect modern-day issues,” which, to be fair, the book series did an ok job with. There were divorces and remarriages and deaths and illnesses and fucking creeps (Mystery #2: Beware, Dawn!) and a very special book about racism (#56: Keep out, Claudia). There were also insane things like the time they got shipwrecked, but mostly it was pretty down to earth. I am hoping that they will “reflect modern-day issues” by making Kristy explicitly gay rather than just hint at it with her love of sweatshirts and softball and her fake boyfriend she never actually spends time with. I am assuming Stacy will still be diabetic and I hope the reveal will be as insanely dramatic as it was in the books (#3: The Truth About Stacy).

The series has been adapted twice before, first as a short-lived HBO series that was, I am sorry to say, terrible (Other millennial girls may fight me on that, but they are blinded by nostalgia for the theme song), and then as a movie in 1995 that was pretty amazing. I am guessing that they may have to age the girls up a bit because not too many people hire 12 year old baby-sitters these days, and the level of freedom these girls had is sadly unrealistic in todays’s world, but it sounds like they are going to hew close to the source material in tone at least. This isn’t going to be a Chilling Adventures of Sabrina type adaptation. It’s going to be a family friendly dramedy, and I think it could be pretty great.

Rachel Shukert (GLOW) is coming on as showrunner, and Lucia Aniello (Broad City) will direct and executive produce the series. Michael De Luca will also executive produce. De Luca has produced movies like The Social Network, Captain Phillips, and Moneyball, so you may think this isn’t in his wheel house, but he also produced the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, which is the pretty much the same thing. (I just realized that Anna is basically a grown-up Mary Anne, who is 100% likely to have become a rich man’s sub.)

Original author Ann M. Martin said in a statement:

“I’m amazed that there are so many passionate fans of The Baby-Sitters Club after all these years, and I’m honored to continue to hear from readers – now grown, who have become writers, editors, teachers, librarians, filmmakers – who say that they see a reflection of themselves in the characters of Kristy and her friends. So I’m very excited about the forthcoming series on Netflix, which I hope will inspire a new generation of readers and leaders everywhere.”

Did you read and love the books when you were a kid? Or did you just watch the movie because, like my brother, you had a crush on Larisa Oleynik?

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