Well, that veered off course.
Netflix combined source material from the Baby-Sitters books “Claudia and the New Girl” and “Hello Mallory” in The Baby-Sitters Club Season 2 Episode 2.
The episode focused more on the ever-growing tension between Claudia and new member Mallory.
In the book, “Claudia and the New Girl” Claudia meets an aloof and spring artist Ashley Wyeth who wants Claudia to be like her.
In the episode, Ashley is a popular teenager who’s friends with Claudia’s sister and offers Claudia advice.
During this episode, both Mallory and Claudia questioned what others thought of them. At the sleepover, the girls took those fun personality tests. Mallory didn’t think they were fun, though. She was so nervous around the older girls, especially Claudia, wanting them to like her.
Mallory: I don’t know how to answer any of these questions.
Claudia: Mallory, just be yourself.
This feeling intensifies when Kristy revealed the results. Everyone else’s results fit their personality. Kristy was the captain, and Claudia was the individualist. Mallory’s results were inclusive because she left so many answers blank.
Mallory: I didn’t know what the right answers were.
Mary Anne: There are no right or wrong answers. That’s the point
Mallory drove everyone at the sleepover nuts by continually complimenting Claudia and saying she wishes she was like her. She wanted to be just like Claudia and was missing the point of being an individualist.
It got so bad that Jessi was giving her looks to tone it down, and Stacey was trying to keep Claudia from exploding.
Stacey: It’s my new pump. I just gave myself insulin so I can have a little syrup.
Mimi: Modern medicine. Wonderful if it could fix my brain to mouth.
While Claudia was an individualist, she struggled too since she had an older sister that was practically a genius. She constantly felt no one understood her artistic side.
Therefore, Claudia was overjoyed when Ashley Wyeth noticed her artistic fashion sense.
However, she didn’t understand what Ashey could have in common with both her and Janine? They were nothing alike.
Claudia always felt like she had to prove herself to people.
She thought she was finally going to get that chance when Kristy was sick for a week, and she could step up as President. However, Kristy asked Dawn to be acting President for the week.
Claudia felt so let down. She wanted to prove to Kristy and others she was serious and responsible.
It meant so much to her she was willing to train Mallory as a new babysitter. She’d learn how to practice tolerance no matter what.
It was easy to understand why Mallory clashed with Claudia.
Claudia was used to doing things her own way without people fawning all over her. Mallory grew up in a huge family, where you probably had to be loud to get attention. It was a disaster waiting to happen.
Mallory helped Claudia babysit for the Newtons twice.
Both times were an utter disaster. At first, Mallory was so hyper and tried to be a super sitter that she broke dishes that she wasn’t even in charge of cleaning.
She was even worse the second time, talking incessantly about her stories. Mallory acted like a kid that wanted attention instead of a preteen capable of babysitting herself.
Mallory, I’m supposed to be training you but it feels more like I’m babysitting you!
What Claudia said was harsh but also needed in some ways. Mallory needed to grow up and learn to be confident in her own skin.
For some reason, Jessi had a much easier time fitting in with the older girls.
It could’ve been she hadn’t known them as her idols for so long and didn’t have this need to impress them. She looked like a natural playing with the kids.
Things were so tense at the next BSC meeting when the others asked how Mallory did babysitting that Claudia knew she had to fix things, but she was unsure how.
Mimi and Claudia have such a special relationship, so she could tell something was wrong.
She told her granddaughter hearing different opinions helps.
Ashley repeated the same thing, saying she and Janine were friends because they were different. These are important lessons, since some teens have had some friends since they were kids.
Janine is who she is and has interesting things to say if you actually listen to her.
This made Claudia think and realize she had to respect different unique traits in her friends. She did the right thing and apologized to Mallory again.
Claudia stroked Mallory’s ego by suggesting that she illustrate some of Mal’s stories and they put them in their kid-kits as a special project.
That was a brilliant idea and better than a simple apology since they both possess creative talents.
Kristy also had to adjust her expectations and learn how to let go. She got strep throat and wasn’t able to babysit or train Jessi and Mallory.
Kristy: We’re training new members. As president…
Liz: As president, you can delegate your duties.
Kristy was used to being in control so she struggled with hearing how Dawn was running things in her place.
Finally, Stacey admitted that things were a mess and no one could run the BSC like Kristy, saying what Kristy needed to hear.
It was true, though. Dawn had some great ideas. However, she didn’t know how to execute them. She lacked the leadership skills that Kristy possesses. Kristy liked Dawn’s idea of collecting dues but set it to a fixed rate.
In the books, dues were collected earlier to help buy art supplies and pay for gas once Kristy moved.
More young enterprising businesses should give to charities, and it’s so great that the first one was to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. It allows the series to explore Stacey’s condition even further and inspire other children.
While this episode differed from the books, it still told some important lessons about growing up and accepting unique differences.
What did you think, Baby-Sitters Club fanatics? Did combining those two novels work to tell tweens and teens an important lesson? Let us know in the comments.
The Baby-Sitters Club is streaming now on Netflix.
Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.