The Baby-Sitters Club: Mary Anne Saves the Day
July 11, 2020 10:51 AM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

After dealing with a major dad dilemma, Mary Anne makes a dynamic new friend. Later, a medical emergency puts her caretaking skills to the test.
posted by toastyk (8 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A) my wife and I, both weeping during this episode
B) although I understand Mary Anne would be unable to say it, I also wish she’d been able to say “my dad told her to ask for me”. And it is SO understandable for bailey’s mum to be picky about who can babysit, of course she won’t let just anyone come!
posted by applesauce at 3:23 PM on July 11, 2020 [4 favorites]

I think its awesome that they cast a trans actress as Bailey, per this Houston Chronicle article.
posted by the primroses were over at 4:30 PM on July 11, 2020 [5 favorites]

I'm not 100% behind how the show portrays Dawn (including later episodes). A lot of her dialogue comes off as jokes at her expense without the other characters reliably responding positively to it. But everything with Mary Anne herself in this episode is absolutely fantastic. Taking her single hairstyle and making it because she's a mixed-race girl whose widowed father only ever learned the one way to do it? Clever. And then she instantly understands Bailey and treats her wonderfully all through the episode. That first scene, with the closet, I paused the episode to google to see if maybe this was a hint that Bailey was trans, because this is TV, surely that's the most explicit they could get about it. But then it got more explicit when she was talking to Dawn. And way way way more explicit in the hospital. And Mary Anne was handling everything beautifully all throughout and just, yes, saved the day indeed.
posted by one for the books at 4:31 PM on July 11, 2020 [8 favorites]

I loved how they handled Mary Ann fighting with her friends here—they disagreed, and the other girls were even being jerks to her, but there was still a basis of trust and love for each other there even while they were annoyed with each other. A good example for kids watching that you don’t have to blow up a friendship over one disagreement and you can apologize and stay close friends even after a fight.

I really like Dawn, but I agree some of the “California girl” jokes/shading in later episodes are less nuanced than the personalities they give the other girls.
posted by sallybrown at 5:24 AM on July 12, 2020

I dunno, I kinda liked Dawn's characterization; a lot of it seemed to me to be the writers poking fun at themselves, but still completely earnest. Anyway, I loved this episode; I also liked how everything wasn't completely resolved at the end of this one - there are still tensions in the next episode.
posted by toastyk at 11:40 AM on July 12, 2020

To me, Dawn seems to be very much playing up her Cali-girl-ness, like maybe she's a tiny bit self-conscious about how different she is and she's decided to just lean into it and own it. If anything I think she's poking fun at herself.

It's an interesting contrast to Stacey, who definitely has New Yorky characteristics (the black-and-white room and clothing, the knowledge of designer labels), but who is making much more of an effort to blend in with her new peers. Which make perfect sense for her, as a person who was mocked and rejected by her old friends. Dawn doesn't have to deal with that kind of baggage, so she's navigating this new setting in a very different way - highlighting her differences instead of minimizing them.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:03 PM on July 12, 2020 [3 favorites]


I was looking forward to it because it was the one book I really remember reading. And then it became my favorite for just an absolute truckload of Pro LGBT - AND YES WE MEAN T.
posted by meemzi at 2:11 PM on July 14, 2020 [4 favorites]

Ah, I could not find this on Fanfare but I think it was because I misplaced the hyphen while searching! Late to participate. No wonder this episode was a fan favorite. My ladyfriend declined to watch the BSC with me because she wasn’t into the books as a kid, but she received increasingly emotional texts from me as I binged, gushing about how faithful they were to the original books while improving on them a hundredfold.

I lost it while watching this episode, so she rubbed my back while I cried and explained how impactful it would have been for the books I read hundreds of time to have this kind of representation. It’s always bittersweet seeing things like this — it took me such a long time to come to terms with who I was (a queer, fat femme), and that person was never reflected in popular media, so it was a very lonely journey. I am glad representation is improving for a variety of people and especially glad when it’s aimed towards younger people.

I always loved Mary Anne in the original books and I am glad she got to shine in this episode. And +1 to being happy they cast a trans actress to play Bailey.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 1:33 PM on July 20, 2020 [5 favorites]

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