A “Baby-Sitters Club” Reboot Is Coming to Netflix, Better Be Real About Who All’s Gay

“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?)

Carmen is Autostraddle's Associate Editor and a black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but has left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, MI, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow at night. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 127 articles for us.

44 Comments

  1. I AM SO EXCITED

    HOT TAKE: I want Dawn to be the gay one. (But agree that Kristy makes sense.)

    But also I’m biased because Dawn was my favorite, even though I was such a Mary-Ann growing up. I do think I’ve grown into quite a Dawn in that I’m a hippie vegetarian feminist now. 😀

  2. Kristy is gay and super out and proud.

    Claudia is bisexual and much more low key about it.

    Dawn is straight but everyone thinks she’s gay just because of her whole hippy granola vibe.

    And Mallory is only just realizing she may be gay too.

    There. Solved it.

  3. My favorite book as a child that I read more times than I can possibly count was Babysitter’s Club Super Special #4: Babysitter’s Island Adventure, in which Claudia, Dawn, and a whole bunch of the kids they babysat got STRANDED ON AN ISLAND together. Jessi was freaking out cause her sister was with them and Mary Anne was freaking out cause Dawn was her stepsister and it was SO INTENSE and 9-year-old me took it out from my elementary school library so many times they made me stop so that someone else could read it (rude!)

    Anyway what I’m saying is this is the story I want to see adapted for Netflix but I also want the added angst of one of the stranded babysitters: having a crush on the other sitter she’s stranded with, or having a girlfriend at home who misses her, or having a girlfriend at home WHO’S ONE OF THE OTHER BABYSITTERS BUT NO ONE ELSE KNOWS THEY’RE DATING… the opportunities are endless.

    Also: gender swap Logan and make her a hot jock that Mary Anne SWOONS over JUST SAYING

  4. logical money says if anyone’s queer, it’ll be dawn (for the hippie vibe, and it’ll probably infuriatingly be that she doesn’t ~like labels~ because no one can say the b-word), mary anne (for the potential to detour some first-season one-sided kristy pining into a proper love interest), or one of mallory or jessi (as a product of the show feeling like they’re tangential enough to scrap book storylines and go a new direction). sorry, but i can’t see even a netflix show in 2019 having the guts to make kristy queer, as the primary lead of a family-friendly beloved nostalgia franchise.

    OR WAIT: how about one of cokie mason’s minions getting a storyline about how the main reason why she went along with cokie’s crap being because she was in love with cokie? maybe i watched my 1994 VHS of the movie too much, but now i want one of cokie’s minions to end up as mary ann’s second-season love interest per above…

  5. In another YA book series from your childhood news: “Fear Street” is being made into three movies that will deal with “… sources say that (Kiana) Madeira and (Olivia) Welch will each be playing gay teenagers trying to navigate their rocky relationship when they’re targeted by the crazy horrors of their small town, Shadyside.”

    http://collider.com/fear-street-movie-cast-kiana-madeira-olivia-welch/

  6. okay I have many emotions scour this because as I read my BSC paperbacks until the cavers fell off, I created elaborate queer backstories for literally all of them up to and including Abby and her twin Anna who didn’t show up until book ninety something

    But kristy is such a softball lesbian and also named a dog after her neighbor which is the gayest thing to ever happen in Connecticut

  7. I have a fond memory of seeing the movie in theatres and when Kristy picked up the phone by just saying “hello” instead of “hello, babysitter’s club” my friend (who was also a hardcore fan) and I leaned down to look at each other down the theatre aisle so we could wordlessly express our shock at how inaccurate this was.

    • Oh Casey, we could have been FRIENDS. Let me tell you.

      The first time I saw the movie, I have the clearest memory of spending the entire afternoon itemizing a list for my chaperone about all the things that the film adaptation got wrong. Like, I tortured this poor adult woman with this list for hours.

  8. The gay possibilities in this are endless:

    Kristy/Mary Anne
    Claudia/Stacey
    Jessi/Mallory
    Mary Anne/ Logan who’s now a butch lesbian instead
    etc etc etc

    I guess Dawn can be straight but even then idk

  9. Oh my god this is the best thing I’m gonna read all week, 10-yo me was high-key obsessed with these books.
    Everything about Kristy is GAY af but I’ve read so many fanfics about Kristy/Mary Anne dating it feels a bit too predictable.
    Claud was always my fave so I low-key feel bi vibes there. And now that I think about it, Stace and/or Dawn could easily fall under the queer umbrella too. Though I think it would be more difficult for Claud to be out so in terms of plot I feel there’s probably more potential to explore that storyline.
    Honestly if we don’t get any queer representation im suing. that is all.

  10. As interested as I am (and wee prepubescent Jill would be) in how this adaptation is going to play out, all I really want in this world is a movie about the club members at 30-something with Kristy played by Ellen Page.

  11. i was just discussing this with my roommate, literally any/all of them could be gay and it would make sense. my money is on kristy, obviously, but i could be okay with dawn (or stacey…or dawn/stacey…i mean what?). also abby. i could do an entire breakdown of why each of them is queer but i’ll spare you all.

  12. Y’all. I’m watching the old series right now. I’m going to call it now, they’re all gay. Everything they say is gay.

    This reboot has to be about a queer early teenaged girl gang that runs a business, is invested in the enrichment of future generations, and supports each other to the end of time.

  13. They’re obviously all queer, except maybe MaryAnne:

    Dawn: Hippie granola lesbian
    Claudia: Art queer
    Stacy: Hipster queer
    Kristy: Tomboi
    MaryAnne: Token straight girl
    Mallory: Lesbrarian
    Jessi: dancer queer

  14. I think it was because I just read the make it gay article that was linked here, but I’d started to run these scenarios in my mind. I definitely think that they should all be some form of queer and because they’ve promised an updated timeline, at least one will.

    Meanwhile, whoever is doing that Gay one on IG, you’ve got my appetite wet already for whatever you produce as well.

    I had to be told in the sixth grade by my well-meaning English teacher to read something else. I had as many books as my local Borders, Waldenbooks, B. Dalton, and various other bookstores sold and my parents let me buy. I thought for the longest time that the books just went on forever, but I’m glad a version is returning so this next generation can really appreciate them.

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.