As I’ve mentioned a time or five in the past two months, I’m a huge fan of the Netflix Baby-Sitters Club adaptation. It takes the wholesome books I grew up on and refreshed them for modern girls while keeping the heart of the story. But while it took over two decades to devour the original BSC canon, I devoured the show’s first season in just over two hours.
I’ve already talked about the many things I love about the show — and probably missed a few things — but while writing that post I kept thinking: where do we go from here?
There are two directions to go when it comes to future speculation: topics to take on and books/characters to take on.
Let’s look at the books first. The first eight books make up the bulk of season one, followed by the finale that follows the first Super Special in concept only: they go to camp together at the renamed Camp Moosehead.
Season two is less straightforward, and not just due to 2020 doing its 2020 thing and our cast growing up. The cast expands (not just in height), but with the occasional story that feels like a one-shot.
Stacey moves back to New York City in book 13, and I doubt the TV showrunners would cut a main cast character just to maintain canon, especially since they’ve already taken so many liberties with the storyline of the first eight books. The other Stacey book in the next ten books consists of Claudia and Laine becoming rivals, but we’ve already met Laine, and she’s now friendly with the members. Of all the parents in the series, hers have gotten the least airtime; I don’t remember if we’ve seen her dad at all. Her parents could still prepare for a divorce and Stacey could still make the decision of where to stay, which may be more complicated by the fact that she and Laine are now friends.
Mallory and Jessi are now part of the BSC, so the excessive tests that Mallory goes through to join (and their Kids Incorporated club formed out of rebellion) aren’t needed. I could see an episode or two centered around them, and it’s practically required now that they’re members. I could see some plotlines from book 21 worked into one of their episodes, where they’re trying to establish their individuality and maturity with their families, as well as not being the on-call baby-sitter. Jessi’s first book stars Matt Braddock, who is profoundly deaf. This would be a great way to add more representation to the series, and I’m confident this one will happen. In the same book, Jessi is the new girl in her ballet class and a couple of her classmates give her a hard time, so these two plotlines would go well together for a TV show.
Book 15 — the one about the Little Miss Stoneybrook contest — is a Dawn book, and Dawn would protest the crap out of that. We could get a storyline related to book nine, where Dawn thinks there’s a ghost at her house but it really turns out to be Nicky Pike hiding from his brothers. You know she and Aunt Esme would be all over that. This could also tie in with Mallory joining the club and always feeling like she has to watch over her siblings.
Mary Anne and Logan have already kissed, but I could see an episode where they try to figure out their relationship and Mary Anne does something embarrassing like kick a shoe across the dance floor. This could also be where we meet Cokie Mason and get exposed to some of Mary Anne’s insecurities. There’s another Mary Anne book later in the next ten books, where she’s constantly experiencing bad luck.
Claudia has two books in the next ten-ish books: one where she befriends Ashley Wyeth, who tries to make her quit the BSC, and the one where Claudia breaks her leg. I doubt she would break her leg in the show, but I could see befriending Ashley as a way to explore bisexuality, since we’ve established that Claudia is very into boys and her book crush on Trevor doesn’t last long in eighth grade.
Kristy… Look. Book 11 is the one where Louie dies, and I will not keep my cool if they do that storyline. However, it’s also the book where she meets Shannon Kilbourne, who eventually becomes an associate member. If we go to book 20, Kristy also starts Kristy’s Krushers and meets Bart Taylor, who she may or may not have a crush on. Either one of these could be potential side characters or even a chance to explore not being straight. Maybe?
There are some side characters we haven’t seen yet who do show up in the first eight books. Where’s the prankster Alan Gray? Jeff Schafer? Pete Black, perennial nice guy?
There’s also the option of going in a totally different direction. The original TV series did this; some of those episodes had nothing to do with the books. So here we go: the list of things I would love to see happen in season two:
* Relationships and consent, how to be in relationships, and how it’s okay not to be in them. This is something that a lot of young girls (and let’s face it, older girls too) feel pressured to do, and Mary Anne and Logan’s new relationship provides a good way to explore this. This could also be a way to explore jealousy and how to handle that. Hello, Cokie Mason.
* More exploration of non-hetero attraction and nonbinary genders. Look, you know this is on top of my list. It’s already been mentioned in passing multiple times; one of the boys in Sea City mentioned liking a guy in theatre camp, Dawn’s dad is gay, Charlotte Johansenn has two moms. And of course Bailey the badass trans four-year-old. We all know Kristy is the obvious target for this, but I could see Claudia or Dawn as well.
* Mental health. Mary Anne is the prime character for this, especially since we’re just now seeing her come out of her shell, and even she wonders why she is the way she is. The later books mention in passing that she has seen a therapist, but not for her ongoing mental health.
* Claudia struggles in school despite having an above-average IQ, and it’s a source of strain in her family. But what if she has dyslexia or dyscalculia? This is another avenue of exploration, although I’m not sure what it would add to the series as a whole beyond the representation.
* Richard and Sharon’s courtship. Will they get engaged at the end of season two (or start of season 3) and married at the end of season 3? This would require a drastic departure from canon for season two since they get engaged and married all rolled in one in book 30, but I could see this happening. Their relationship has a lot of ups and downs to explore before getting engaged (remember the Trip-Man Sharon dated for awhile?), so I’m not sure one season would be enough for their entire courtship, engagement, and marriage.
* We’ll definitely see Kristy’s family as they adjust to a wealthier life and neighborhood. Hopefully this means we’ll see more of Karen and Andrew as well.
* Mimi’s recovery but she better not die. 🙁
No matter where season two goes, I can’t wait. Now we just need the hellfire that is 2020 to be over so production can continue.