“Say hello to your friends!”
Today’s the day that I didn’t know I was waiting for my whole life: Ann M. Martin’s The Baby-Sitter’s Club – beloved book franchise, short-lived television show, and cult classic movie for nerdy book girls of at least two generations – IS BEING REBOOTED AT NETFLIX!
Yes. Let’s do this. “The themes of The Baby-Sitters Club still resonate 30 years after the original book series was released, and there has never been a more opportune time to tell an aspirational story about empowering young female entrepreneurs,” said Melissa Cobb, Vice-President of kids and family at Netflix. I don’t know you, Melissa Cobb, but I feel like we are going to be best friends now because I couldn’t agree more. Tell me all the aspirational stories about my childhood all-time favorite imaginary friends.
The reboot will be an updated and contemporary take on the childhood classic. It will be ten episodes, a dramedy, and obviously the only thing I watch the weekend it comes out.
If you’ve never read or seen The Baby-Sitter’s Club, let me explain why I’m excited: Ann M. Martin created what’s arguably the most iconic take on female friendship of the ‘80s and the ‘90s. Original characters Kristy Thomas, Mary Anne Spier, Claudia Kishi, Stacey McGill and Dawn Schafer were featured in more than 200 books and sold over 180 million copies to date. They also spawned a 13-episode series on the Disney Channel and my favorite childhood movie (yes, I saw it in theaters like five times and no I have no regrets. Ten-year-old Carmen was living her best life). The crew of middle schoolers ran their own business and got into fun highjacks that always solved themselves by the time you hit the back cover. They loved books and art and sports and dance, but more than anything they loved each other.
The other great thing about The Baby-Sitter’s Club (and there are lots!) is that it’s beloved by lesbian, bisexual, and queer women who grew up seeing themselves in these scrappy young girls who never took “No” for an answer. Case in point? I personally just took a survey of the Autostraddle editors’ team in the last five minutes and found BSC archetypes matching four out of the six of us! FOUR OUT OF SIX I TELL YOU!
There’s a very good reason that the multi-media series have always felt one with the community; in 2016 Ann M. Martin publicly came out. If that information is new to you, then I bet a lot of your childhood makes sense in a whole new light right now. She also loves cats. Like, she really loves them. “I’ve probably fostered hundreds of cats. Right now I have five kittens, and their default setting is making the tiniest little hisses you can imagine,” she told New York Magazine. “Taking care of them is like my version of babysitting.” And listen, that’s probably the gayest thing I’ve ever heard.
All of this is to say: If Netflix is going to be serious about this reboot, then it’s time to let the Baby-Sitters’ finally live their truth. It’s time to honor our community that has kept the series alive for 30 years.
MAKE ONE OF THOSE GIRLS GAY, YOU COWARDS.
(My money is on Kristy, but Claudia makes sense, too. Our Editor-in-Chief, Riese, is betting all her chips on Mallory. How about you?)