Acknowledging the Ghostwriters

A lot of us didn't realize until adulthood that Ann M. Martin employed a plethora of ghostwriters. In retrospect, it makes sense considering there were two books a month being published at some points! Martin outlined every book and looked over the final products, but how many did each person actually write?

Written solely by Ann M. Martin 
(60; 42 regular series, 10 super specials, 2 letter format, 3 CD, 2 FFSS, and The Summer Before. NO mysteries, super mysteries, portrait collections, or Friends Forever books)

#1 Kristy's Great Idea
#2 Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls (one of my favorites)
#3 The Truth about Stacey
#4 Mary Anne Saves the Day (one of my favorites)

#5 Dawn and the Impossible Three
#6 Kristy's Big Day
#7 Claudia and Mean Janine
#8 Boy-Crazy Stacey

1988-13 (12 RS, 1 SS)
#9 The Ghost at Dawn's House (one of my favorites)
#10 Logan Likes Mary Anne!
#11 Kristy and the Snobs
#12 Claudia and the New Girl
Super Special #1 Baby-Sitters on Board!
#13 Goodbye, Stacey, Goodbye
#14 Hello, Mallory
#15 Little Miss Stoneybrook...and Dawn
#16 Jessi's Secret Language
#17 Mary Anne's Bad Luck Mystery (one of my favorites)
#18 Stacey's Mistake
#19 Claudia and the Bad Joke (one of my favorites)
#20 Kristy and the Walking Disaster

1989-9 (7 RS, 2 SS)
#21 Mallory and the Trouble with Twins
#22 Jessi Ramsey, Pet Sitter
#24 Kristy and the Mother's Day Surprise
#25 Mary Anne and the Search for Tigger
SS#2 Baby-sitters' Summer Vacation 
#26 Claudia and the Sad Goodbye
#28 Welcome Back, Stacey!
#29 Mallory and the Mystery Diary
SS#3 Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation
 Ghostwritten: 2, by Jan Carr

1990-9 (7 RS, 2 SS)
#30 Mary Anne and the Great Romance
#31 Dawn's Wicked Stepsister
#32 Kristy and the Secret of Susan
#33 Claudia and the Great Search
SS#4 Baby-sitters' Island Adventure
#36 Jessi's Baby-sitter
#38 Kristy's Mystery Admirer
#39 Poor Mallory!
SS#5 California Girls!
GW: 3, by Mary Lou Kennedy (2) and Ellen Miles (1)

1991-6 (4 RS, 2 SS) 
#41 Mary Anne vs. Logan
#43 Stacey's Emergency
SS#6 New York, New York!
#46 Mary Anne Misses Logan
#48 Jessi's Wish
SS#7 Snowbound!
GW: 8 (6 RS, 2 M), by Ellen Miles (5), Peter Lerangis (2), and Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner (1)

1992-6 (4 RS, 2 SS)  
#51 Stacey's Ex-Best Friend
#52 Mary Anne +2 Many Babies
SS#8 Baby-sitters at Shadow Lake
#56 Keep out, Claudia!
#58 Stacey's Choice
SS#9 Starring the Baby-sitters Club!
GW: 11 (6 RS, 4 M, 1 RR), by Ellen Miles (4), Peter Lerangis (2), Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner (2), Suzanne Weyn (2), and Nola Thacker (1)

1993-1 (letter format) 
Chain Letter book
GW: 19 (11 RS, 6 M, 1 SS, 1 RR), by Ellen Miles (6), Peter Lerangis (6), Nola Thacker (3), Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner (2), and Suzanne Weyn (2)

1994-2 (1 SS, 1 letter format) 
SS#11 Baby-sitters Remember (one of my favorites)
Secret Santa
GW: 19 (10 RS, 6 M, 1 SS, 1 RR, 1 PC), by Ellen Miles (6), Peter Lerangis (4), Nola Thacker (3) Suzanne Weyn (3), Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner (2), and Jeanne Betancourt (1)

All twenty books ghostwritten: 12 regular series, 4 mysteries, 2 super mysteries, 2 portrait collections; by Nola Thacker (6), Peter Lerangis (5), Ellen Miles (3), Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner (2), Jeanne Betancourt (2), and Suzanne Weyn (2). Also, the novelization of the movie was written in 1995 by A. L. Singer.

All twenty books ghostwritten: 11 regular series, 1 super special, 5 mysteries, 1 super mystery, 2 portrait collections; by Peter Lerangis (8), Ellen Miles (5), Jeanne Betancourt (2), Nola Thacker (2), Suzanne Weyn (2), and Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner (1)

1997-1 (CD)
California Diary: Dawn, Diary 1
GW: 22 (11 RS, 1 SS, 5 M, 1 SM, 1 PC, 3 CD); by Peter Lerangis (9), Ellen Miles (4), Nola Thacker (3), Suzanne Weyn (3), Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner (1), Jeanne Betancourt (1), and Vicki Berger Erwin (1)

All twenty-two books ghostwritten: 11 regular series, 1 super special, 4 mysteries, 6 California Diaries; by Peter Lerangis (6), Suzanne Weyn (5), Ellen Miles (4), Jeanne Betancourt (2), Vicki Berger Erwin (2), Nola Thacker (2), and Diane Molleson (1)

1999-3 (2 CD, 1 FFSS) 
CD Dawn Diary 3
Friends Forever SS#1 Everything Changes
CD Sunny Diary 3
GW: 12 (6 RS, 1 CD, 5 FF)s; by Ellen Miles (4), Suzanne Weyn (4), Nola Thacker (2), Jeanne Betancourt (1),  and Laura Dower (1)

FFSS#2 Graduation Day
GW: 9 (3 CD, 7 FF) by Ellen Miles (3), Nola Thacker (3), Suzanne Weyn (2), and Peter Lerangis (1)

The Summer Before

And who are the ghostwriters who helped Martin be sure we could get our fix every month? Here are the eleven writers, in order from most "manuscripts helped prepared" to least.

Ellen Miles, Queen of the Mysteries! 
(45 books, 10 RS, 31 M, 4 FF; 1990-2000)

#35 Stacey and the Mystery of Stoneybrook

1991-5 (3 RS, 2 M)
#40  Claudia and the Middle School Mystery
#42 Jessi and the Dance School Phantom (one of my favorites)
#45 Kristy and the Baby Parade
M#1 Stacey and the Missing Ring
M#2 Beware, Dawn!

1992-4, all mysteries
M#3 Mallory and the Ghost Cat
M#4 Kristy and the Missing Child
M#5 Mary Anne and the Secret in the Attic
M#6 The Mystery at Claudia's House

1993-6, all mysteries
M#7 Dawn and the Disappearing Dogs
M#8 Jessi and the Jewel Thieves
M#9 Kristy and the Haunted Mansion
M#10 Stacey and the Mystery Money
M#11 Claudia and the Mystery at the Museum
M#12 Dawn and the Surfer Ghost

1994-6, all mysteries
M#13 Mary Anne and the Library Mystery
M#14 Stacey and the Mystery at the Mall
M#15 Kristy and the Vampires
M#16 Claudia and the Clue in the Photograph
M#17 Dawn and the Halloween Mystery
M#18 Stacey and the Mystery at the Empty House

1995-3, all mysteries
M#19 Kristy and the Missing Fortune
M#21 Claudia and the Recipe for Disaster
M#22 Stacey and the Haunted Masquerade

1996-5 (1 RS, 4 M)
M#23 Abby and the Secret Society
M#24 Mary Anne and the Silent Witness
M#25 Kristy and the Middle School Vandal
M#26 Dawn Schafer, Undercover Baby-sitter
#101 Claudia Kishi, Middle School Dropout

1997-4 (1 RS, 3 M)
M#28 Abby and the Mystery Baby
M#29 Stacey and the Fashion Victim
M#31 Mary Anne and the Music Box Secret
#112 Kristy and the Sister War

1998-4 (1 RS, 3 M)
M#33 Stacey and the Stolen Hearts
#117 Claudia and the Terrible Truth
M#35 Abby and the Notorious Neighbor
M#36 Kristy and the Cat Burglar

1999-4 (3 RS, 1 FF)
#126 The All-New Mallory Pike
#129 Kristy at Bat
#130 The Fire at Mary Anne's House (last regular series book)
FF#5 Kristy Power!

FF#7 Claudia Gets Her Guy
FF#9 Kristy and the Kidnapper
FF#11 Welcome Home, Mary Anne!

Peter Lerangis, Master of Onomatopoeia and Scandalous Plots!  
(43 books, 27 regular series, 5 SS, 1 M, 2 RR, 8 CD; 1991-2000, excluding 1999)

#44 Dawn and the Big Sleepover
#49 Claudia and the Genius of Elm Street

1992-2 (1 RS, 1 RR)
#55 Jessi's Gold Medal
Reader's Request: Logan's Story

1993-6 (4 RS, 1 SS, 1 RR)
#60 Mary Anne's Makeover
#65 Stacey's Big Crush
RR: Logan's Story
SS#10 Sea City, Here We Come!
#67 Dawn's Big Move
#70 Stacey and the Cheerleaders

1994-4 (3 RS, 1 SS)
#72 Dawn and the We Love Kids Club
#75 Jessi's Horrible Prank
#79 Mary Anne Breaks the Rules
SS#12 Here Come the Bridesmaids!

#83 Stacey vs. the BSC
#85 Claudia Kishi, Live from WSTO!
#87 Stacey and the Bad Girls
#89 Kristy and the Dirty Diapers
#92 Mallory's Christmas Wish

1996-8 (6 RS, 1 SS, 1 M)
#95 Kristy + Bart = ?
#97 Claudia and the World's Cutest Baby
#98 Dawn and too Many Sitters
SS#13 Aloha, Baby-sitters!
#100 Kristy's Worst Idea
#102 Mary Anne and the Little Princess
M#27 Claudia and the Lighthouse Ghost
#103 Happy Holidays, Jessi

1997-9 (5 RS, 1 SS, 3 CD)
#105 Stacey the Math Whiz
#106 Claudia, Queen of the Seventh Grade
#107 Mind Your Own Business, Kristy!
#109 Mary Anne to the Rescue
SS#14 BSC in the USA
CD Sunny, Diary 1
CD Maggie, Diary 1
#113 Claudia Makes Up Her Mind
CD Amalia Diary 1

1998-6 (1 RS, 1 SS, 4 CD)
#115 Jessi's Big Break
CD Ducky Diary 1
CD Sunny Diary 2
SS#15 Baby-sitters' European Vacation
CD Amalia Diary 2
CD Ducky Diary 2

CD Amalia Diary 3

Nola Thacker, Jill of all Trades (and Parentheses Lover)!  
(25 books, 15 RS, 1 M, 3 SM, 1 RR, 1 PC, 1 CD, 3 FF; 1992-2000)

#53 Kristy for President

#62 Kristy and the Worst Kid Ever
#66 Maid Mary Anne
#63 Claudia's Freind Friend

1994-3 (2 RS, 1 RR)
#74 Kristy and the Copycat
#77 Dawn and Whitney, Friends Forever
RR: Shannon's Story

1995-6 (4 RS, 1 SM, 1 PC)
#82 Jessi and the Troublemaker
Portrait Collection: Claudia's Book
#86 Mary Anne and Camp BSC
#90 Welcome to the BSC, Abby
#91 Claudia and the First Thankgiving
Super Mystery #2 Baby-sitters Beware

1996-2 (1 RS, 1 SM)
#96 Abby's Lucky Thirteen
SM#3 Baby-sitters' Fright Night

1997-3 (1 RS, 1 M, 1 SM)
M#30 Kristy and the Mystery Train
#110 Abby the Bad Sport
SM#4 Baby-sitters' Christmas Chiller

#116 Abby and the Best Kid Ever
#118 Kristy Thomas, Dog Trainer

1999-2 (1 RS, 1 FF)
#127 Abby's Un-Valentine
FF#1 Kristy's Big News

2000-3 (1 CD, 2 FF)
FF#8 Mary Anne's Revenge
FF#12 Claudia and the Disaster Date
CD Ducky Diary 3

Suzanne Weyn, Referencer of Past Books! 
(25, 21 RS and four FF;1992-2000)

#50 Dawn's Big Date
#59 Mallory Hate Boys (and Gym)

#61 Jessi and the Awful Secret
#68 Jessi and the Bad Baby-sitter

#71 Claudia and the Perfect Boy
#76 Stacey's Lie
#80 Mallory Pike, #1 Fan

#84 Dawn and the School Spirit War
#88 Farewell, Dawn

#94 Stacey McGill, Super Sitter
#99 Stacey's Broken Heart

#104 Abby's Twin
#111 Stacey's Secret Friend
#114 The Secret Life of Mary Anne Spier

#119 Stacey's Ex-Boyfriend
#121 Abby in Wonderland
#122 Kristy in Charge
#124 Stacey McGill...Matchmaker?
#125 Mary Anne in the Middle

1999-4 (2 RS, 2 FF)
#128 Claudia and the Little Liar
#130 Stacey's Movie
FF#2 Stacey vs. Claudia
FF#3 Mary Anne's Big Breakup

FF#6 Stacey and the Boyfriend Trap
FF#10 Stacey's Problem

Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner, the Dream Team! 
(11 books, ten regular series and one mystery; 1991-1997)

#47 Mallory on Strike

#54 Mallory and the Dream Horse
#57 Dawn Saves the Planet

#64 Dawn's Family Feud
#69 Get Well Soon, Mallory!

#73 Mary Anne and Miss Priss
#78 Claudia and Crazy Peaches

1995-2 (1 RS, 1 M)
#81 Kristy and Mr. Mom
M#20 Mary Anne and the Zoo Mystery

#93 Mary Anne and the Memory Garden

#108 Don't Give Up, Mallory!

Jeanne Betancourt, Portrait Collection Author and TV Show Writer Extraordinaire! 
(9 books, 1 SM, 5 PC, 3 CD; 1994-1999; plus a writer for the TV series with Ann M. Martin and Mary Pleschette Willis)

Portrait Collection: Stacey's Book

1995-2 (1 SM, 1 PC)
Super Mystery #1 Baby-sitters' Haunted House
PC: Dawn's Book

PC: Mary Anne's Book
PC: Kristy's Book

PC: Abby's Book

CD Dawn Diary 2
CD Maggie Diary 2

CD Maggie Diary 3

Vicki Berger Erwin...it's hard to see a theme across three books but I'm sure she's a nice person! 
(3 books, 1 regular series and two mysteries, 1997-1998)

M#32 Claudia and the Mystery in the Painting

1998-2 (1 RS, 1 M)
M#34 Mary Anne and the Haunted Bookstore
#123 Claudia's Big Party

Jan Carr, First among Ghostwriters! 
(2 regular series books, 1989)

#23 Dawn on the Coast (first ghost-written book, due to Martin's never having been to California)
#27 Jessi and the Superbrat

Mary Lou Kennedy, Best-Selling Ghostwriter! 
(2 regular series books, 1990)
#34 Mary Anne and too Many Boys (the best-selling BSC book, according to Graduation Day)

#37 Dawn and the Older Boy

Laura Dower...wrote one BSC book, and is also probably very nice!  
(1 Friends Forever book, 1999)

FF#4 Claudia and the Friendship Feud

Diane Molleson...another one-hit wonder! 
(1 regular series book, 1998)

#120 Mary Anne and the Playground Fight

I know that it's become a big joke that Martin used ghostwriters, but I'm glad she did. No way we'd have gotten so many books and so much fun if she'd had to take on the task alone. 


The Baby-sitters Remember (TV#13)

Last episode! One more BSC post, then next I'll start the book about the historical characters from American Girl. November will be Kirsten, December Samantha, January Molly, February Felicity, March Addy, and so on in order of the characters' releases.

What happens:

It's the end of the school year. The BSC has a sleepover at Claudia's, and reminisces. Some memories are just a sentence, and some get actual flashbacks. Here are the stories:

First Kristy talks about the day she got the idea for the BSC. It plays out very much like the beginning of Kristy's Great Idea, even down to her class using folded construction paper fans to cool themselves down. But she gets the idea after dinner...maybe because they didn't want to find actors for her brothers?

The next story is about the first BSC meeting. It's brief, but also a lot like the book.

Then Kristy talks about her first job, watching Buffy and Pinky. Again, it sticks to the book pretty well.

Stacey remembers how she solved the problem of the Delaney kids and helped them stop being ingrates. It's fun to watch her mess up the room, and the kids even demand "CUT. IT. OUT." like in Kristy and the Snobs.

The girls head downstairs for something to drink, and a teacup reminds Claudia of Mimi. They share a variety of memories, focusing on the time Mimi had a traditional Japanese tea with the girls, all of them dressed in kiminos. The scene is scored with "Oriental-sounding" music. It's like someone's playing Mahjong on a mid-90s computer for the sound track. The girls are sort of rude when exposed to unfamiliar foods, but Mimi doesn't seem to mind, because Mimi is the sweetest person ever. According to how the steam rises from the girls' cups, Mallory has good luck. Is that why she didn't get a TV show episode focused on her?

Mary Anne talks about the practice wedding from Kristy's Big Day. The "minister" joins them in holy moly, and does the vows pretty much like the book. I don't see anyone with a cast on her leg, but there's not a good clear shot of the audience.

Dawn brings up the "egg babies" from Mary Anne + 2 Many Babies. This version of the class has an equal number of boys and girls.And I guess there's more than one session of the class, because Dawn's the only member of the BSC in that shot but we see other students and BSC members with their egg babies. The featured "couples" match with the book. Dawn briefly loses "Skip" but the egg is found safe. That's as far as that memory goes, although Mallory and Jessi get to rib the older girls about how ridiculous they were about the egg babies.

After mentioning a few other brief memories (with no flashbacks), the girls make a pact to have frequent reunions when they're older, and go to sleep. The end!

Things I noticed:

Because Kristy's actor still has braces, she has them in the flashbacks, too.

Mary Anne's hair is in braids when appropriate. There are also some flashbacks when she could have fixed her hair another way, but in Mary Anne Saves the Day Mary Anne tells Richard that sometimes she'll still wear the braids.

Dawn says that Buddy Barrett disappeared because Mrs. Barrett forgot to tell Dawn it was his weekend with his dad. True...but his dad also took him without telling anyone, which seems like a pretty important detail.

Mimi calls the girls "my baby-sitters."

The Delaneys have a quilt made of fabric with bright, multi-colored handprints that look like prints made with hands dipped in paint. My mom sewed my older brother and me matching overalls of that same print.

Mallory mentions Mrs. Kilbourne, but Shannon's not in this episode, or any other. 

Special guest stars: Hisaoy Asai as Mimi, Richard Blake as Arron, Kimberly Brown as Amanda Delaney, Ashley Chase as Karen Brewer, Kevin N. Dabis as Mr. Redmont, Ann Dowd as Kristy's mom, Michael Galeota as David Michael Thomas, Russel Harper as Alan Gray, Alec Kimmel as Luke, Anna Bess Lank as Mrs. Hargreaves, C. C. Lovehart as Mrs. Boyden, Tyler Noyes as Max


Stacey Takes a Stand (TV#12)

What happens:

The BSC is planning a Father-Daughter Banquet. Jessi comes up with the idea of putting together a dance for the entertainment, because Jessi dances. Stacey's a little down because she won't be able to come, as she's spending that weekend with her dad in New York. Dawn also mentions that she misses her dad, but she and Mary Anne agree that Richard is a good stepfather for her. Stacey's grateful in light of Dawn's issue that her dad lives so close, but the fact that her parents are close and that their divorce is (slightly) more recent means that she feels torn between them. It doesn't help that her parents badmouth each other in front of Stacey. She starts to feel even more pressured when her dad brings up the idea of her going to high school in NYC. Not a terrible idea necessarily, but he doesn't bring it up well.

The prospect of having to pick which parent to live with--again--brings up a lot of confusion and hurt in Stacey. She hates that she can't tell her mom what she does with her dad and vice versa, for fear of making one parent or the other jealous, and that she feels out of place a lot, and that she's sometimes in the wrong place at the wrong time. Mary Anne prompts her to talk to her parents, and they realize the awkward position they've put her in. Her mom even calls her dad to tell him about the banquet, and he shows up to it. (Yeah, she ends up back in Stoneybrook in time for the banquet)

There's also a little aside about Buddy Barrett feeling like he needs to step up to fill his dad's role after his parents' divorce, and Dawn helping him realize that while he is a big help to his mom, he's still a kid. I'm glad Dawn was the one to help him, since she has a special relationship with the Barretts.

Things I noticed:

The captioning spells Prezzioso as Francioso.

It's implied that Stacey's dad has a car, but in the book series he doesn't aside from a brief midlife crisis.

Dawn wipes up spilled milk with a dishcloth rather than a paper towel, which is consistent with her character.

This is the second time in the TV that there have been two sitters for only three kids (the Barretts this time; last time it was a new client requesting one sitter for her infant and one for the older kids). So, can I brag that earlier this month the kids I nanny had friends over, and my two kids were with me too, so I was watching nine kids?

"Barrett" is pronounced "Bar-RET" while I've always read it as "Buh-RET." And Stacey's dad pronounces her full name "Ah-nuh-STA-zee-ah" rather than "Ann-uh-STA-zhu" like I do in my head. I wish we'd get more names to learn to pronounce.

Whoa. Hi, Twin Towers. Establishing shots of New York City before 2001 still catch me off guard.

Uh...Here's a direct quote from Stacey's dad (emphasis mine): "What time are you and Jason taking your sister to the Statue of Liberty?" The line was mean to be about Jason's sister. But if Stacey's dad forgot about his and Maureen's fertility problems to the extent that he imagined another child, then I can see why they divorced!

Sacrilege! We see a glimpse of Stacey's handwriting and there's an "i" WITH NO HEART DOTTING IT. (Other than that it's close-ish)

Interesting; the girls refer to their friends' dads by their first names. Obviously Dawn would call Richard by his first name, and the BSC seems to always be on a first-name basis with Watson, but in the books the parents are usually Mr./Mrs. LastName.

Charlie drives the BSC (minus Stacey) to New York! The Junk Bunket is a littler nicer-looking than I'd imagined.

We get to see the dads (except Dawn's, who sends flowers to her since he can't fly over for the banquet). None of them look like they do in my head! Compared to how I picture them, Watson's taller, thinner, and less bald; Jessi's dad is less muscular; Stacey's dad looks less professional/high-powered attorney; Mary Anne's dad is far more nerdy; Mallory's dad is more meek-looking; Claudia's dad is shorter and has a stockier build.

Special guest stars: Tom Garlick as Jason, Michael Tomlinson as Stacey's dad, Geoffrey Wigdor as Buddy, Nancy Youngblut as Stacey's mom (the other dads aren't credited)


Dawn Saves the Trees (TV#11)

What happens:

The BSC takes its charges to a nearby park where they look at tadpoles, hang nuts for birds and squirrels, do some cloud-watching, and generally enjoy nature. Jamie Newton finds a "baby" bird--looks to be an adult house finch or a sparrow--that's fallen from its nest, and the BSC decides to call an animal rescue place to come get bird (although they leave it completely alone in the woods, so it's almost certainly going to get eaten by a cat or something). They also discover that some developers are planning to tear down a large part of the area to build a road through it. Dawn rallies the BSC to lead a demonstration.

The BSC heads out to do some preparation, where they run into Logan and his friend David. Dawn gets an instant crush on him, and it seems David might be interested, too. He even asks if Dawn can come to the movies with Mary Anne, Logan, Kristy, Bart, and him. But it turns out that David's mother is part of the commission building the road. He points out that a road will enable more people to enjoy the park (like people in wheelchairs), but Dawn won't hear any of it. She sticks to her principles, if a bit brusquely, and cancels the date. I was hoping we'd get to see Bart. Oh well.

Dawn speaks out at a planning meeting, but the commission still votes to go ahead with the plan. Dawn's pretty down about, but Mary Anne and Stacey tactfully points out that there could be a middle ground. The BSC convinces Dawn to talk to David to see if they can re-present their proposal to his mom. The BSC researches alternative road ideas, and comes up with a way to provide access for people with mobility impairments and leaves the trees intact. Dawn apologizes for how she acted (she basically just yelled at them) and David's mother agrees to reconsider. The commission reconvenes and approves the BSC's plan. And much to my surprise, the episode ends with the now healthy sparrow (I got a better look at it) flying away.

Things I noticed:

I like that no one says they can't touch the bird because then the parents will reject it because it will smell like humans. Most birds have terrible senses of smell. They say to leave it alone because they might be scaring the parents away, which is far more accurate.

In the TV show, Dawn's really the only boy-crazy one. What's more in line with the books is that Dawn starts to get a power-hungry like in Dawn Saves the Planet. She also wears dolphin earrings, and the books indicate in a few places that she likes dolphins. Although there's a point when I expected the girls to point out that Dawn has two holes in each ear and they don't.

Kristy, Claudia, and Jessi have brown eyes like in the books, and Stacey and Mallory have blue eyes like in the books. Dawn has brown eyes instead of blue, and Mary Anne has blue instead of brown.

Special guest stars: Zach Braff as a vaguely mullety David Cummings, Najah Dupree as Becca, Jimmy Galeota as Jamie Newton, Gina Gallagher as Charlotte Johanssen, Kathryn Grody as Mrs. Cummings, Danny Tamberelli as Jackie Rodowsky


The Baby-sitters and the Boy Sitters (TV#10)

What happens:

Logan finds himself in a bind when he has a last-minute sports practice scheduled for an afternoon that's he supposed to have a sitting job. The rest of the BSC is busy too (Shannon's mentioned as being out of town). Pete Black offers to sit instead, and the club is so busy that the BSC agrees to take on him and Alan Gray on a trial basis. Kristy's skeptical, but the club is desperate.

The guys do okay: Alan is willing to play dress up with Becca and Charlotte, and Pete's answer to milk spilled on the counter is to crack an egg into it and make French toast. Kristy still has reservations, but the rest of the BSC is on board with the boy sitters. Although, the boys are a little lax with the charges, which causes trouble for the other sitters later in the form of bored kids and Rodowskys on the roof of the house. The girls are frustrated with the boys, and Pete and Alan end up forming their own club. But the boys take on too much when they bring five kids to a game center and end up losing track of them. But the BSC had heard of their plans and swoops in to save the day, after letting the guys sweat for a while. The boys end up agreeing that baby-sitting isn't as easy as they thought, and Kristy concedes that the did a lot of things right. The boys offer to help out if the BSC has another busy streak.

Things I noticed:

Logan's accent is gone.

I'm not sure why the BSC teaches Pete and Alan how to diaper and feed a baby if they're not sure they'll be long-term members. Just don't have them sit for babies at first. (That said, having married the youngest of a group of siblings, I think they should eventually learn to diaper a baby in case they become parents themselves one day. Easier to learn when you're not sleep-deprived with a newborn.)

The captioning spells Rodowsky as Radowski.

Pete and Alan take some kids to Discovery Zone. I miss that place.

Special guest stars: David Buzzotta as Pete Black, Michael Dolan as Archie Rodowsky, Najah Dupree as Becca, Gina Gallagher as Charlotte, Russell Harper as Alan Gray, Aaron Payne as Shea Rodowsky, Danny Tamberelli as Jackie


Jessi and the Stolen Secrets (TV#9)

What happens:

During a Krushers practice, Charlotte gets teased about her crush on Buddy Barrett. Since she'd only let Stacey know, she assumes that Stacey told. Then word gets out about Derek Masters's very brief visit, which was supposed to be known only to the BSC because his parents didn't want him bothered by reporters. They're pretty ticked off when a throng of paparazzi descends on their house. No one in BSC said anything, so they're pretty confused about how the secrets got out. Their best guess is that someone looked in the notebook, which had gone with some of the sitters on their jobs.

Eventually they discover that Matt Braddock is learning to lipread, and he accidentally "overheard" the secrets, not realizing that they were secrets. Jessi tells him about people talking privately, and he gets the idea quickly. Derek's parents are also understanding when Jessi explains how word got out, and Matt says he'll apologize to Charlotte for the confusion.

Jessi also makes the point to the BSC that lipreading is very hard, so they still need to keep up on their signing. At first it seemed like they were going for "Oh, so we can forget all the signing" so I was happy to see that bit!

Things I noticed:

Kristy's Krushers have purple uniforms. I expected red, like on the cover of Kristy and the Walking Disaster.

The actor playing Matt Braddock is actually deaf, which is awesome (see page 14 of this PDF: http://www.ntid.rit.edu/sites/default/files/Focus_FallWint02.pdf). The signing looks good in the episode, and the mistakes make sense (like Mallory, a novice signer, signing "baby-sitter" as literally "baby+sit (the verb, like sit on a chair)" instead of "baby+careful/take care+personifying sign" (the personifying sign is one you do after signing a verb like "bake" to indicate it's someone's job or hobby, like baking).

Oh, and cool! A desk lamp lights up with the doorbell, which is something that's common in the Deaf community. Someone who's deaf can't hear a doorbell, but can see a light flash on and off.

The captioning spells Hobart as Hogart and Prezzioso as Puzioso.

Jessi rushes in to a meeting at the last moment to a BSC meeting, and appears to have come from ballet. Fits well with the books.

Vanessa speaks in rhyme again.

Special guest stars: Christian Anazagasti as Matt Braddock, Ashley Chase as Karen Brewer, Deanna Deignan as Mrs. Braddock, Gina Gallagher as Charlotte Johannsen, Stephi Lineberg as Vanessa Pike, Noah Segan as Derek Masters, Danny Tamberelli as Jackie Rodowsky


Claudia and the Mystery of the Secret Passage (TV#8)

What happens:

The BSC is putting together a bulletin board of old photographs: "Stoneybrook through the Years." While working on the project, Claudia and Dawn venture in the secret passage and the Schafer/Spier house. The passage looks nothing like I imagined it: there are windows! And insulation! It looks like an attic instead of the dark, narrow, rickety hallway-sort of thing in my head. But the entry looks pretty good to me. It's a panel that pull out from Dawn's wall, which is smaller than I imagined (I'd thought of it as the entire wall) but just a panel makes more sense.

Anyway, Claudia finds an old note in the passage. Apparently there was some feud between sister years ago over a lost diamond ring. The girls decide to hold a seance to try to tell the letter-writer's sister that the lost ring wasn't her fault. The girls find a broken diamond ring in the passage, which they assume is the one the letter meant. Janine points out that the letter has transparent tape on it, which the BSC learns was invented in 1930. Since this episode is from the early 1990s, the girls might now be grown adults and the BSC can return the ring, ending the feud that might still be going on between the girls. A jeweler confirms the style of ring was popular in the 50s, and he happens to recognize the name from the letter, and gives the girls some more information. They track the sisters down to a flower shop they now own. The sisters still disagree over who lost it, but their feud was over decades ago.

Several of the girls are having trouble with their sisters. Becca, Karen, and Vanessa are feeling ignored by Jessi, Kristy, and Mallory, respectively, and Janine is getting on Claudia's nerves. While in the books Claudia can come off as ungrateful to Janine, here Janine is actually very dismissive and belittling of Claudia. Claudia calls Janine out on this, and then later graciously thanks Janine for her tip about the tape. During their conversation Janine clearly makes an attempt to not talk down to Claudia. And Janine is busy...baking cupcakes? She explains that they're for the sisters picnic that Jessi, Mallory, and Kristy planned for their little sisters (Stacey invites Charlotte Johanssen too), because Janine has a little sister, too. The sisters from the flower shop also show up to the party.

Things I noticed:

The captioning spells Kristy as "Christy" in the first scene. Also, Johanssen is spelled "Johansson."

Vanessa Pike has a brief appearance, and she wears glasses and rhymes, and later on Margo and Claire show up, but with red hair instead of brown. Emily Michellel, Becca Ramsey, and Squirt show up too. (A pair of twins in matching frilly dresses walks by in another scene...the Arnolds humoring their mother?)

Kristy's actor is wearing braces on her teeth.

Funny! Claudia holds up some broccoli and declares it "Dawn's wedding bouquet." Dawn puts some carrots up to her ears and says they're Claudia's earrings.

The girls have thick, red plastic flashlights, just like I did in the 80s.

Special guest stars: Kelly Bishop as Flora, Ashley Chase as Karen, Jane Chen as Janine, Najah Dupree as Becca, Stephi Lineburg as Vanessa, Maeve McGuire as Bettina


Dawn and the Dream Boy (TV#7)

What happens:

The BSC passes a SMS soccer practice on the way out of school, and Dawn falls head over heels for one of the boys, Jamie Anderson. Mary Anne knows him a bit and talks Dawn up to him ("She's the really pretty blonde with the gorgeous blue eyes..."), and later introduces them to each other. Dawn's on Cloud Nine when Jamie calls to ask her to the big soccer game. I guess he's not playing in it, then... Anyway, she's really excited because maybe he'll ask her to the Sweetheart Dance! But she crashes back to Earth when he shows up and it turns out that he thought he was asking Mary Anne out, not Dawn. Horribly embarrassing and disappointing, yes, but Dawn blames Mary Anne. Dawn and Mary Anne have a hilariously passive-aggressive fight: "Give me back everything you've ever borrowed; I never meant to actually give anything to you." "Do you want my Christmas present back, too?" They give each other the silent treatment, too.

Things get so strained between Dawn and Mary Anne that Kristy calls an emergency meeting to hash things out. Mary Anne finally brings up the point that she already has a boyfriend, which you'd think would have been relevant before. Dawn accepts that it was just an unfortunate misunderstanding on Jamie's part, and the club is whole again. The episode closes on the Sweetheart Dance, which is attend by literally tens of people. And Jamie asks Dawn to dance! The other girls start dancing with guys too...I think Mary Anne's supposed to be dancing with Logan, and Mallory's with a redhead who could be Ben Hobart. Kristy might be dancing with Alan Gray.

What I noticed:

One of the few other African-American students at SMS is in the background! Maybe it's Curtis Shaller.

I think Jamie should have had a different name, because it's too close to Jamie Newton, whose full name is James Anderson Newton.

Why are Jackie Rodowsky and his friend at soccer practice in polo shirts and jeans, not shorts? And why are there only three kids on the team?

Almost no one in the halls at SMS wears a backpack. They carry their books in their arms.

The Schafers'/Spiers' phone number is 555-7217.

RUDE. Jamie, within minutes of meeting Dawn, asks very bluntly why she and Mary Anne don't look alike despite being sisters. There are a variety of reasons, from adoption to stepfamilies to one looking like the mom and one looking like the dad. None of which are Jamie's business.

Dawn's room is decorated with an ocean theme.

Kristy makes fun of the school lunch.

Good continuity with the books: Mallory mentions tutoring Buddy Barrett, and Claudia tries to play the peacemaker

Random clients not in the books: Emma Stewart

Special guest stars: Patricia Mauceri as Mrs. Stewart, Shane McDermott as Jamie Anderson, Lauren Romeo as Emma Stewart, Danny Tamberelli as Jackie Rodowsky


Claudia and the Missing Jewels (TV#6)

What happens:

At a craft fair, Claudia's jewelry gets "discovered" by a local shop owner, who commissions some earrings. Kristy helps her with the sales side of things, and is a very enthusiastic supporter. But following a sitting job for Karen Brewer, the earrings go missing. Claudia's stressed, because if the earrings aren't ready in time, she'll have to refund the $50 deposit, which she already generously volunteered for a club activity. Kristy is convinced the thief is Julie, the Brewer-Thomas housekeeper Kristy doesn't like. But soon there's more to go on than just ill will: the BSC spies her wearing a pair of Claudia's earrings! This lead to an awkward confrontation when Kristy accuses Julie of stealing. But Karen had given Julie the earrings as a birthday present.

So then Kristy goes to confront Karen, who first says she was going to give the earrings back, then that they were a present, then that they came from her "treasure tree." The rest of the BSC surmises that Karen came up with the stunt as a way to get Kristy's attention. When Kristy gives Karen the attention she's demanding she deserves, Karen shows her a hollow in a tree where she's been stashing things that aren't hers. Kristy apologizes for ignoring Karen, and gets the treasures back where they belong, which include the rest of the earrings Claudia made. Realizing that Julie had also been ignored, the BSC throws Julie a small surprise birthday party, complete with a pair of earrings that Claudia made, legitimately hers this time. The episode ends on the party, so we don't get to see Claudia sell her wares, and this ends up more of a Kristy episode.

Things I noticed:

Again, the actress playing Claudia is really good with kids. Come babysit my kids, Jeni F. Winslow!

There's a small armchair in Kristy's room. In the books, several of the girls have armchairs in their rooms.

The scenes with the club spying on Julie are pretty funny. They're all wearing giant, conspicuous sunglasses and hiding poorly. At one point, Jessi gets distracted by buying some gum from a candy machine, very much like an eleven-year-old.

Karen seems to be visiting for longer than just a weekend. This episode was filmed before she and Andrew started staying every other month. It's not summer, as Kristy's doing homework in a scene.

The scene with Kristy accusing Julie of stealing...the BSC sees someone in possession of a stolen item, and they're wrong for bringing that up? It's not like it's that far a leap of logic to assume that she'd taken them. Of course the diplomatic thing to do would be to exclaim, "Oh, you found them! Thank you so much!" but these are teenagers.

Also...Karen feels ignored because Kristy wanted some quiet when she was working on a book report, and then some space to hang out with Claudia (the later scene when Karen wanted to show Kristy something and Kristy rudely brushed her off is different). Karen's response is to steal stuff, hide it, give it away under the guise of being nice, and Kristy's the one at fault?

Special guest stars: Ashley Chase as Karen (who does a great job as the over-excited kid),Gina Gallagher as Charlotte Johannsen, Danny Tamberelli as Jackie Rodowsky, and Missy Yager as Julie


Christmas Special (TV#5)

What happens:

The girls are planning a holiday party for some kids in the local hospital. They also decide to do a Secret Santa for themselves. While Christmas shopping, Kristy sees the perfect baseball glove, and asks her mom if she can request it for Christmas. Her mom agrees, if Kristy does some extra chores, as some gifts are already bought. Seeing as I tend to have my Christmas presents wrapped by Halloween, my kids will have to put their requests in pretty far in advance, or I'll have to be more patient with getting/making presents.

Back to the party. While the girls are setting up, Stacey mentions not feeling well. Dawn surmises that this might have something to do with the fact that Stacey's been indulging her sweet tooth. Even though for once Dawn has a very good reason to butt in on someone's eating habits and Dawn's actually trying to be gentle about it (for Dawn, anyway), Stacey tells her to back off. A distraction arrives in the form of Ned, a boy in the hospital with a broken leg. He's not excited for Christmas, in large part because he's expecting to be alone in the hospital over the holiday. His family isn't very well-off, and it's hard for his parents to visit, between their fulltime jobs and lack of a car (weirdly, Kristy doesn't understand the idea of a family having to struggle to make ends meet, even after her family's difficulties after her father abandoned them). But a few days later, Stacey indulges again at their Secret Santa party on Christmas Eve.  No one but Dawn seems to notice, and the girls head back to their homes, where Kristy gets her glove, Mary Anne and Dawn listen to carolers, Jessi reads Becca The Night Before Christmas, Mallory puts up Christmas stockings, Claudia eats the cookies set out for Santa...and Stacey starts to feel increasingly worse.

Christmas Day the girls meet up at the hospital for the kids' party. Stacey is mysteriously absent. Her whereabouts are soon unveiled when Dr. Johanssen ignores patient privacy (although in her defense, HIPAA didn't exist until 1996) to tell them that Stacey's a patient at the hospital and give details abotu her condition. At first, the other girls are a little judgmental about Stacey's indulgences, but quickly become reassuring, so we'll blame that on their being so young and so worried. She's able to join the Christmas party partway through. Ned is also there, without his parents (guess Ebenezer Scrooge couldn't give the Cratchits a half-day). Kristy feels bad for him, and knowing that he loves baseball, gives him the fancy glove.

Things I noticed:

The producer was Kristin Martin. Kristy Thomas, Ann M. Martin. Funny coincidence.

Stacey finds the perfect gift for her mom: a nightie. I've never bought my mom pajamas. I've gotten her a shirt on...two occasions. The only people I can imagine buying pajamas for are my kids.

Stacey's mom has clothes left over from her "hippie days."

Claudia has a painting of Mimi in her room.

Kristy tries on a right-handed baseball glove again. In baseball and softball, the glove goes on your non-dominant hand so that you can throw more easily with your dominant hand. She even has the right-handed glove put on hold for her. Maybe her having a right-handed glove instead of a left-handed glove is why she gave it away. I hope Ned is right-handed.

Aww. Kristy's mom got a special Christmas ornament for her first Christmas. I've gotten and made a few ornaments for my kids, too. In fact, the package with their special "Sisters" ornament from Bronner's arrived yesterday.

Kristy's mom has her wedding dress still. It's implied to be the one she wed Watson in.

Secret Santas: Claudia gives Jessi some sort of eye mask...maybe for relaxing or sleeping; Mary Anne gives Mallory a bath toy, Dawn gets hair accessories, Claudia gets Christmas-themed earrings, and Mary Anne gets a snowglobe. It wasn't a huge part of the plot, so I couldn't really tell much else beyond that.

Claudia wears her Christmas earrings to the party.

Good continuity with the books: Shea Rodowsky plays piano, although not as good as the books indicate. In the books, he's playing classical music. Here, he looses his place in "Jingle Bells" which is a pretty simple song.

Special guest stars: Gregory Cook as Ned, Michael Dolan as Archie Rodowsky, Ann Dowd as Mrs. Brewer, Nilyne Fields as Becca, Gina Gallagher as Charlotte Johannsen, Marie Masters as Dr. Johannsen, Aaron Payne as Shea, Danny Tamberelli as Jackie


Kristy and the Great Campaign (TV#4)

What happens:

When the girls learn that a girl in Jackie Rodowsky's class, Courtney, is painfully shy, Kristy decides to boost the girl's popularity by helping her win a position on the student council. Kristy sees how responsible Courtney is with the science class pets, and that she's good at helping people reach compromises, and helps her campaign. She's running against Jeremy, the younger brother of one of Kristy's rivals, an annoying eighth-grader named Justin.

Soon it becomes Kristy versus Justin instead of Courtney trying to win, and Kristy, being Kristy, steamrolls over Courtney. Mary Anne tries to reign in Kristy several times, pointing out that Courtney is shy and might not even want to run at all, but soon it's election day. Jeremy is just as slimy and condescending as his older brother, and blackmails Jackie into slipping a snake into Courtney's campaign booth (he threatens to reveal Jackie's crush on Courtney). He imagines it will scare her and embarrass her in front of the students. For some reason this involves Jackie having to stuff the snake down his pant leg. The snake escapes and ends up being tossed onto Jeremy's campaign booth in the pandemonium. Courtney remains calm and rescues the harmless garter snake while Jeremy freaks out. This seems to put her ahead in the polls, but the candidates still have their speeches to give. However, Courtney is finally tired of Kristy taking over, and storms out. Kristy quickly realizes her mistake and apologizes for trying to change Courtney, who was already a great person to start with. With the apology and a pep talk, Courtney is ready to give her speech as herself. She wins third grade student representative. Jackie ends up friends with Courtney, too.

Things I noticed:

This episode captions the BSC at "Baby-sitters Club" with no apostrophe.

The actress playing Courtney does a good job picking up the mice carefully, supporting their bodies with her hands.

Kristy says something in New York "got us all lost" and "nearly got Mary Anne arrested." I want to see that episode!

Claudia's actress seems to be genuinely good at interacting with children.

Dawn hammers campaign posters into a tree. Not very environmentally friendly of her.

Justin's main "attack" on Kristy is to purposely call her the wrong name (Crystal). Very annoying, but also easy to handle: ignore him completely. He's purposely using the wrong name, so purposely pay him no attention. But I can see why Kristy doesn't like him, he's just...slimy.

Good continuity with the books: Marnie Barrett's favorite kind of cookie is oatmeal raisin which wouldn't conflict with her chocolate allergy, Claudia shows disdain for writing in the club notebook while Mallory seems to not mind the chore, the Arnold twins use their secret language

Random clients not in the books: Courtney

Special guest star: Kate Bernsohn as Courtney, P.J. Ochlan as Justin, Aaron Payne as Shea Rodowsky, Daniel Reifsnyder as Jeremy, Danny Tamberelli as Jackie


Stacey's Big Break (TV#3)

What happens:

Stacey gets a short-term modeling job that has a good chance of landing her more in the future. Soon she finds her time eaten up with modeling things and the BSC's plan to stage a production of Snow White, with Charlotte Johanssen as the lead (Kristy plays Prince Charming...'kay). Charlotte has only agreed to do this because she knows Stacey will be there to support her, but Stacey's photo shoots start to interfere with play rehearsals. Also troubling is that the modeling director instructs Stacey--a growing adolescent who happens to have diabetes and is already thin--to lose ten pounds. She wins a contest that earns her a year-long contract, but realizes she's not willing to devote that much of her life to modeling, especially when the agency possibly violates labor laws by adding hours to her schedule the day of without telling her ("Okay, that's done; see you later!" "But we have a thing at 4:00 that we never told you about until now."). She turns down the offer and decides to enjoy being a kid, and worry about a career later. With Stacey there to help, Charlotte does a great job in the play.

Things I noticed:

Jessi does ballet stretches during a meeting.

I've never been a model (unless you count an hour of walking down a mall runway in a couple Nordstrom outfits; I don't) but it seems like the photographer's using a really tiny camera to do his photo shoots. One of my aunts is a photographer and she has those big flash screens to go with a variety of fancy cameras, and had them with her film cameras, too. He also has Stacey pose in summer wear against a backdrop of a local park...in late autumn...when the trees are bare...

Continuity for the win! Charlotte Johanssen's favorite TV show is still The Cosby Show. Although the actor playing her looks younger than eight to me. Maybe that makes up for so many of the book covers portraying the girls as older than thirteen.

Stacey quote: "I don't mean to sound conceited or anything, but we're really good with kids." To a prospective client.

The captioning has decided that the club name needs an apostrophe, as in The Baby-sitters' Club. Maybe Janine finally figured it out after musing over the sign back in Kristy's Great Idea.

Special guest stars: Gina Gallagher as Charolotte, Nilyne Fields as Becca Ramsey, Michael Galeota as David Michael, Danny Tamberelli as Jackie Rodowsky


Dawn and the Haunted House (TV#2)

What happens:

Dawn's been reading her scary stories again. Or listening to Karen. She's now convinced that Mrs. Slade, an older woman who lives alone, is a witch. She supposedly can communicate with animals and practices dark magic. Mrs. Slade doesn't help her case by acting creepy. Soon most of the girls are on Dawn's side. Claudia mysteriously holds out. Could it be because she's under Mrs. Slade's spell? That's what Stacey and Mary Anne think when they see her over there while sitting next door. Dawn, Kristy, Mallory, and Jessi go to Mrs. Slade's to rescue Claudia. Turns out that Mrs. Slade is actually Claudia's tutor, helping her prepare for a science test that she needs to pass to avoid having to quit the BSC. Mrs. Slade is no witch, but is a great tutor. Claudia gets an A on the test, and the rest of the girls learn not to jump to conclusions.

Things I noticed:

I'm disappointed...the opening shows a flier for the BSC and the logo isn't done in 3D blocks. It's just 2D blocks; only a flat square is drawn around each letter.

Why don't these girls wear bike helmets?

Claudia's room is in the upper right of her house (as you face it from the street). For some reason I've also pictured it in the upper left.

Whoa, continuity win! The BSC treasury is broke because, to quote Mallory, they "spent it all on Kid Kits." That shopping trip was in the last episode. And Mallory's brings up that she's had the chicken pox twice. Also Mr. Kingbridge, the vice-principle from the books, is mentioned, but according to the captioning he's the science teacher. SMS is shown as a three-story building, and the books have it as at least two stories.

Hmm...I can't decide if the writers know next to nothing about dinosaurs or a lot. Last episode referred to flying dinosaurs which didn't exist (flying reptiles, yes; dinosaurs, no) and this one "Brontosaurus" which also didn't exist (naming error). But then a kid that Dawn and Stacey baby-sit suggests fossil hunting because they might find an Iguanadon tooth--one of the first dinosaur fossils recognized as such was an Iguanodon tooth--and correctly identifies Stegosaurus as a dinosaur that went extinct before many of the more famous ones. Maybe that one actor was a dinosaur nut.

Oh, funny. One kid's telescope is so powerful he use it to see the craters on the moon! You know, the ones you can see with your naked eye!

Random clients not appearing in the books: Willy, Annie, and Zoey (different kid from last time) Goloff.

Special guest stars: Spencer Klapper Binney as Willy Goloff, Freda Foh Shen as Mrs. Kishi, Adrien Galvi as Zoe Goloff, Ellen McElduff as Mrs. Goloff, Janet Sarno as Mrs. Slade, Brittany Slattery as Annie Goloff


Mary Anne and the Brunettes (TV#1)

Netflix has the BSC television series! I don't consider the shows canon, but why not recap them? The show aired from 1990-1993 and had thirteen episodes. I've only seen two episodes ("Mary Anne and the Brunettes" and "Dawn and the Haunted House"). I had those two on VHS and watched them a lot as a kid. I thought the casting of Kristy was spot-on, and the other girls okay, although Mary Anne was way taller than I pictured her and Dawn's Boston accent confused me. But all the actors seemed to have a great time portraying the girls, and they certainly seemed to be doing their best. However, I could have done without the theme song.

The main cast:
Kristy Thomas: Avriel Hillman (1995 movie: Schuler Fisk)
Claudia Kishi: Jeni F. Winslow (1995 movie: Tricia Joe)
Stacey McGill: Jessica Prunell (1995 movie: Bre Blair)
Mary Anne Spier: Meghan Lahey (1995 movie: Rachel Leigh Cook)
Dawn Schafer: Melissa Chasse (1995 movie: Larisa Oleynik)
Mallory Pike: Meghan Andrews (1995 movie: Stacey Lynn Ramsower)
Jessi Ramsey: Nicolle Rochelle (1995 movie: Zelda Harris)
Logan Bruno: Eric Lawton (1995 movie: Austin O'Brien)
Shannon Kilbourne isn't in the TV show or the movie, and of course both were before Abby Stevenson's time.
Ghostwriter Jeanne Betancourt was also one of the writers for the show, with Ann M. Martin and Mary Pleshette Willis.

These will be pretty short...I'm going through them while I have not only a toddler and an infant needing attention, but also a husband who's recovering from a tonsillectomy. Plus there's work and all that, and each episode is only a half hour. For hilarious in-depth reviews, I recommend these at bsc-snark, especially the ones by 3_foot_6: http://bsc-snark.livejournal.com/tag/tv%20series

What happens:

The first episode revolves around Mary Anne worrying that she'll lose Logan to the Brunettes, a trio of girls (Marci, Patti, and Kathi; why it wasn't Cokie and her crowd I have no idea) the BSC has thus nicknamed because they basically act like Logan's groupies and are coincidentally all dark-haired. One of them bets the leader, Marci, that she can't steal Logan away from Mary Anne for the upcoming costume party. She starts flirting with him and getting his attention. Mary Anne insists that she trusts Logan, but the rest of the BSC is adamant that she needs to have Logan clarify what he's doing spending so much time with Marci. Mary Anne gets stressed out about the situation and snaps at Logan, sparking a brief spat while she's sitting for the Rodowsky boys. Jackie is the one who ends up encouraging Mary Anne to actually talk to Logan about what's going on, and while the BSC is defending Mary Anne's honor against the Brunettes, Mary Anne searches for Logan to sort things out. Logan explains that while he did like the attention, Mary Anne's the only one for him and he was only spending time with Marci because they're partners for a science project. Mary Anne apologizes for not  telling him what was going on, and he's actually pretty understanding and encouraging of her.

Things I noticed:

Kristy tries on a right-handed glove instead of one for a left-handed person, while Logan tries on a left-handed glove. Seconds later, Kristy bats right-handed. (She's supposed to be right-handed, while Logan's dominant hand was never mentioned)

Mary Anne wants pierced ears in this show.

Logan's hair is so nineties! His haircut looks like the style of the guys in my middle school classes. Speaking of nineties, Mary Anne wears culottes.

The girls have HUGE bedrooms.

This episode takes place after Mary Anne and Dawn become stepsisters. Shannon's not mentioned. I wonder if she will be later.

Kristy and Mary Anne do something in the show that has always annoyed me: calling a woman Miss LastName when she's clearly Mrs. (Logan's mom and Mrs. Rodowsky here). They don't sound like they're saying Ms., which would have been fine with me. People in my high school starting doing that randomly during senior year, to teachers they'd been calling Mrs. previously. It made me especially twitchy when they started doing it with our English teacher, who had been widowed years before. It struck me as so lazy and disrespectful, since the teachers in question had introduced themselves to us as Mrs. LastName. Okay, rant over.

Random clients not appearing in the books: Emma, Zoey

Special guest stars: Jonathan Davis as Archie Rodowsky, Mathew Donofree as Jamie Newton, Noah Fleiss as Andrew Brewer, Eric Gaffan as Shea Rodowsky, Jamie Mills as Pattie, Randi Moll as Marci, Danny Tamberilli as Jackie Rodowsky, Grace Francies Vella as Jennie, Jessica Zoel as Kathi,

(Speaking of Avriel Hillman, she's battling avascular necrosis, and raising money for an adult stem cell transplant. Adult stem cells are not associated with the controversy that embryonic stem cells are; bone marrow transplant is a type of adult stem cell transplant. For information or to donate, visit this page: https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/j1v1/cureavnfoundation?utm_source=giveforward&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=update&hid=2623197&cid=1851141 The fundraiser goes until the first week of December 2013.)