How can I start a babysitting club

“The Baby-Sitters Club”: series stars are finally wearing socks at home

There are few series with twelve- and 13-year-olds in the lead roles - “The Baby-Sitters Club” fills the gap.

In US series, the characters always wear shoes at home, they even sit on the bed in shoes. When friends Kristy, Mary-Anne, Claudia, Stacey and Dawn meet in Claudia's room in “The Baby-Sitters-Club”, they wear socks, tights or slippers. The Netflix series pays attention to details. This can also be seen in the furnishings in the youth rooms, but above all in the excellent cast of girls.

Each of the five twelve to thirteen-year-olds, from whose perspective the series alternately tells, is different and yet does not look like it was designed on the drawing board to appeal to a broad target group. Stacey (Shay Rudolph), for example, is interested in fashion and boys - and she loves math and has diabetes. When boyish Kristy (Sophie Grace) tries to annoy her mother ("Clueless" star Alicia Silverstone), she accuses her of not being feminist enough. It is Kristy's idea to found the babysitting club of the same name. The girls in the coming-of-age story develop personally through their jobs. Gay fathers, blended families, trans girls and sick grandparents are also told in an unusually casual and natural way.

The book template looks very topical

You don't feel the age of Ann M. Martin's original book, which was published from 1986 to 2000. “The Baby-Sitters Club” seems very topical and fills a gap (for girls): There are few series with “tweens”, children between ten and 13, in the lead roles - and when they do, they are more intended for adults, like them creepy mystery series "Stranger Things". Age would provide enough material for stories. Head and body change drastically, as do friendships: Some are already interested in romantic relationships, others feel overwhelmed by them. The series also succeeds in depicting such differences without becoming overly dramatic or cheesy.

But the adorable series has one weakness: "The Baby-Sitters Club" is set - like so many other formats - in one of these similar-looking American suburbs, where well-kept single-family homes are lined up, the privileged youngsters wear designer clothes and get SUVs for free. Perhaps that is why the heroes of such series wear shoes around the house so often: Somewhere there is an (invisible) good spirit who cleans up the dirt.

("Die Presse", print edition, July 13th, 2020)