|Stacey Takes a Stand
||[Apr. 7th, 2013|08:09 pm]
Baby-sitters Club Snark-fest!
Ugh. I put off this boring turd as long as humanly possible, but it is the last remaining BSC video I own and, in the interest of full snarkage, it had to be done. (If any of you have Jessi and the Mystery of the Stolen Secrets or Baby-Sitters Remember and would be willing to throw that shit up online and send me a link, I would snark the hell out of them. They cannot possibly be more tedious than this.)
The sitters are, as always, acting like crackheads as they walk home from school, basically tackling each girl as they meet her and screaming in her face like she was just rescued off the Titanic.
HOLY SHIT WE RAN INTO CLAUDIA WHAT ARE THE ODDS OMG ARGGGHHH I’M HAVING A HEART ATTACK SERIOUSLY GET MY NITRO TABLETS
Seriously, why. Why wouldn't they have walked home together in the first place. Why are they all coming from different directions. Why are they screeching like they huffed a load of rubber cement in study hall. Why is this still bothering me so much after recapping eleven episodes of this shit.
Finally the theme song ends so they can stiltedly stop and gather at a random patch of sidewalk for Jessi to announce that she's "solved the entertainment problem for our father-daughter banquet." She's going to wear those leopard-print leggings to the event? Because I, for one, am entertained. "You DID?" Mary Anne gasps. "HOW?!" Mal begs. Jesus christ, what was the problem, figuring out how to pay the hookers?
"Watch," Jessi brags, putting on some headphones. Gee, I wonder if she's going to suggest dance, seeing as how it is the only thing she knows how to do. The other sitters, who were beside themselves at the mere concept of an idea, look at each other and go, "Durrr, what?" as she starts moving. I don’t even. They literally do not understand that she is suggesting dancing as entertainment.
What is this godless thrusting? A seizure?
Although, in fairness, it is somewhat of a stretch to identify the movements that Jessi — the prodigy ballerina, mind — is making as a dance.
The star of Swan Lake, ladies and gentleman.
The sitters are still confused, and Jessi snaps "Don't you get it?!" like she's gonna shank a bitch. Calm down, Jess. They're slow as fuck, but you're the one who randomly started popping and locking to music only you can hear instead of just telling them your damn idea.
She says she'll teach them a dance to perform for the banquet and they're like "OMG BEST IDEA EVAAAAR LET'S LEARN IT RIGHT NOOOW" and you guys. Guys. I am the worst dancer in history. I'm still ashamed to look at pictures from my wedding reception because I appear to be doing the YMCA as performed by a war hostage under extreme duress. And they are making me look like Mikhail Goddamn Baryshnikov.
While the others dance, Dawn is being shocked with a car battery.
Kristy finally puts a merciful end to this shit by reminding them that if they "don't decide what to serve, there isn't going to be a father-daughter dinner." Then...there isn't going to be one. Who cares? Why do they randomly decide to have events like this and then bitch and moan about planning them like someone's making them do it?
Mary Anne asks for Stacey's input, for some reason, and Stacey's like, "Bitch, I'm not even coming to this thing. It's a Dad Weekend." They try to convince her to have her dad bring her home early to attend with her, being a father's event and all, but she bluffs that he doesn't like coming to Stoneybrook, so she didn't even tell him about it. If a father refuses to come to his only child's events because god forbid he have to spend a couple of hours in a town he doesn't like, then he's an incorrigible shitheel, sorry.
They whine that the party won't be the same without her, but, uh, again: THEY MADE THIS WHOLE THING UP. THEY PICKED THE DATE. THEY COULD CHANGE IT FOR HER. Hurrr thinking about stuff is hard.
Dawn reminds Stacey that at least her dad could show up if he weren't a self-centered asshole; she doesn't have that luxury because her dad lives at Disneyland or something. This is a fair point but obnoxiously put, considering that isn't Stacey's fault. Mary Anne reminds Dawn that she has Richard and Kristy's like "I'm bringing Watson too! Stepdads are the best!" which is a nice thought, but: also nothing to do with Stacey. The poor girl is clearly upset about her parents' divorce and they all keep making it all about them.
Anyway, Kristy tries to assign them some shit to cook and everyone clearly makes up a bunch of shit they have to go do to avoid listening to her — in an unintentionally hilarious line delivery, Mal goes, "It's 3:30?! I have to go sit for...uh...Jenny Prezzioso" and runs away. Nice.
Next scene! Over at Stacey's, Stacey's mom and Claudia are having a little too much fun dressing Stacey up and pronouncing everything "mah-velous." Claudia declares her outfit perfect for the theater and Maureen's like, "Wait, your piece of shit workaholic father found time to pick up tickets for a Broadway show?" That seems like a strange nitpick — like, she doesn't think he could find five minutes to call and buy tickets, but thinks nothing of the fact that he's going to sit through the three-plus hour show? I despair over what their sex life must have been like. No wonder they got divorced. Stacey says some clients gave him the tickets, and her mom is all, "Figures," and then gives her this amazing up-and-down and is like, "Whatever. I'll go get you a scarf for that tacky-ass outfit."
Darling, whoever told you sheep are in?
Claudia says that if she were going to a Broadway show, "the whole world would know about it," so why didn’t she tell her mom? Claud, this may come as a shock to you, since no one's ever mentioned it, but the McGills lived in Manhattan. Why would Stacey's mom be impressed by this?
"You see how she gets when I even mention my dad," Stacey says by way of explanation, which actually explains nothing. Um, where does your mom think you go on her "pool boys and blow" weekends?
Next scene! Stacey is walking Buddy home from the dentist while Dawn stays behind with Suzy and Marnie, because paying an extra sitter to walk a kid home makes much more sense than scheduling the appointment for a more convenient time, or having the one sitter bring the little kids along to pick him up, or something. How is absolutely everything in this town within walking distance, anyway? My childhood town was little and quaint and Stoneybrookish, so for shits and giggles, I looked up the distance from my old dentist's office to my parents' house and it's two and a half miles. ("Walking time approx. 45 mins. Use caution – This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths.") For an eight year old? That's horseshit! Pick him up in your fucking gas guzzler, Mrs. Barrett!
Anyway, the dentist must have given Buddy a shot of testosterone instead of Novocain, because he's suddenly all about being in charge and too old for his balloon and shit. I also can't tell if he's supposed to be hitting on Stacey, or it's just coming off that way. Honestly, I'm terrible at guessing kids' ages, especially in that weird span of middle school when girls suddenly become C cups while boys remain stubbornly at boob level, which is one of nature's twisted jokes. So for all I know, these two actors might actually be the same age.
So, you wanna get a drink after this?
They get to talking about their respective deadbeat dads, and Buddy is impressed that Stacey can go to New York and see hers whenever she wants. That's because Stacey's dad never kidnapped her. I feel like they gloss over that detail about the Barretts a surprising amount.
Back at the house, Buddy keeps trying to be super-helpful all I'M MAN OF THE HOUSE ME FIX THINGS WITH PENIS RAWR and Dawn and Stacey keep snottily shutting him down like total assholes. Like, god forbid you let a kid grow up and develop a healthy sense of responsibility. Helpless, Buddy is forced to take out his impotent testosterone rage on Suzy when she spills a glass of milk. Well, "spills" a glass of milk.
Bravo. I can't decide whose reaction to this is most hilarious: Buddy, who snarls "You have to be more careful!" or Dawn, who says, "From now on, use TWO hands." You know, considering Suzy did use two hands, to carefully pick up her glass of milk and dump it all over the table. A second take? What the hell, you think this production is made of money? That milk probably came out of the poor Suzi actress's paycheck.
Cleaning up the milk somehow leads to a clogged sink: "What are we gonna do?" asks Stacey, sounding vaguely confused. "I CAN FIX IT!" Buddy yells. He sounds like Bob the fucking Builder. He just needs the plunger, he says. "Do you have one?" Stacey says, still sounding like she's on heavy-duty narcotics. Do they...do they have a plunger? Is that what she just asked? What the fuck kind of household doesn't have a plunger?
He's like, "Uh, yeah," and shows it to her like Excalibur or something. Classy. "Well, will it work?" Stacey says. I don't...does she even know what a clog is? Do her parents call a plumber to unplug the shitter? Hire an electrician to come change the lightbulbs? Now I'm dying for some fanfic where Stacey's, like, thirty-five years old and takes the car to a mechanic to put gas in it. Also for her to think that the correct use of a plunger is to stick it to the floor, because that's what Buddy does for some reason.
Is the toilet flushing yet? Should we bring in a fourth person?
They're like, "Uh, whatever, nobody uses the sink anyway. Let's just get Marnie ready for bed." At that, Buddy suddenly bulges a vein in his forehead as he screams, "It's SEVEN-THIRTY! Marnie's supposed to be in bed already!" Like, this kid is sporting some legit 'roid rage.
Simmer down there, Ike Turner.
Stacey's like, "Buddy, your mom's a crackwhore. She doesn't actually care what time the baby goes to bed." Buddy's like, "Well, I CARE! I'M THE MAAAAAN!" and narrowly avoids tearing his shirt off. I like that he hulked the fuck out about her being late for bed, but didn't bother to say anything about it any sooner. Buddy's going to make a horrifying father one day. Anyway, Stacey and Dawn are just like, "WTF." I can't disagree.
Next scene: Claudia's! "I can't believe you're going to see Guys and Dolls," Dawn raves. "That is the hottest ticket on Broadway!" I can't believe the writers of this episode thought a thirteen-year-old from Connecticut uses phrases like "the hottest ticket on Broadway." Do you think they go see "motion pictures" at the "cinema"?
Claudia raves about how lucky Stacey is that she gets to live in two places at once, because she has a lump of coal where her brain should be and doesn't know what a divorce actually is. ("Your parents are splitting up? That's awesome!") Stacey tries to say that it's actually not awesome, but Kristy rudely interrupts her to say that the meeting is now in session. I wonder how many times in this episode Stacey will desperately try to tell her friends she's having a hard time only to have them blow her off. Also, for some reason, everyone is sitting variously around the room, but when Kristy calls the meeting to session everyone jumps up and sits somewhere else like a Chinese fire drill. I don't even know.
The better to admire the complete hideousness of everyone's outfit?
Even better, when the phone rings, Kristy totally biffs her line by going, "Hel — " before she even reaches for the phone, then stops, clears her throat, picks up the phone, and says "Hello?" Amazing. I'm shocked they didn't film this piece of crap on someone's camcorder in the church basement.
The job is for Charlotte, and Stacey is immediately all, "See? This sucks! I want to go to New York and I want to sit for Charlotte!" Why would it automatically be your job if you weren't going to New York, Stacey? Presumptuous. She continues, "You don't know how confusing it can be to have two places to live," and of all people, they have Dawn glibly reply that it can't be that bad because she has two bedrooms and therefore two wardrobes. Dawn. The ONLY other sitter who knows exactly what Stacey's going through, and in fact has it even worse than she does because she can't easily visit her other parent. I can't decide if I'm more angry that Dawn said something so breathtakingly rude and dismissive to someone who's trying to talk about a problem, or that the writers know so little about the series that they gave this line to the only character who would never have said it. I mean, goddamn.
I guess Stacey doesn't mind too much, though, because she shakes her head and says "It's TERRIBLE!" and yet never stops grinning for a second.
...Is this a medical condition?
She explains that her stuff is never in the same place she is (oh, god, story of my entire childhood) — like, she had to wear some stupid knee socks in New York because her tights were in Stoneybrook, and the sitters keep being completely ass by being all, "Who cares" and "It probably looked fine" and how are they not getting this?! It's not about the knee socks! It's about the frustration when you're a kid and you want to have one home with your whole life in it and you don't! You have your dad and your knee socks and then you have your mom and your tights and you never get to have both! Jesus, this is not advanced psychology.
Ring, ring, Mrs. Barrett sure as fuck isn't raising her children, so somebody better get over to her house on Sunday and do it. "But we've all got to decorate for the party!" Mary Anne says, sounding like she can't fucking believe it. I can't fucking believe it either. This is STILL not a mandatory event; why can one girl not skip decorating to go on a job? Or even come by to help later once she's done sitting? Dawn, of course, volunteers to bring the kids to decorating instead, because if there's one thing kids love, it's being put to work for a party they aren't invited to.
She and Stacey sarcastically note that Buddy will love to help, by which they mean stand around with a beer bossing the ladies around and berating every effort they make. He seems like he's gonna grow up into that kind of guy.
Jessi interrupts to ask if they can settle who's going to cook what for this fucking banquet before they call back the mothers Johanssen and Barrett. Because clients need to be left hanging while you plan this random event that has nothing to do with them or sitting, sure. Luckily it won't take much time, because the "ding DING!" music sounds as Kristy screeches "I got it! I'm brilliant! It's happened again! I just got this rush, you know, and the idea just came!"
It's either an idea or Montezuma's Revenge.
Her "brilliant" idea is that because it's a father-daughter banquet, the fathers AND daughters should cook. Um. What? The others flatly think that if the fathers are the guests, it's kinda ass to ask them to do the work. "So we'll make it potluck," Kristy says dismissively. Um. What? How does that make it not work? And how could it possibly have not been potluck if everyone's bringing something? Is that...not what potluck is?
She's all "Watson makes turkey stuffing! We'll bring that!" So...he'll bring that. Kristy herself, as usual, will be contributing nothing but pomp and hot air. Claudia says her dad will do dessert and Dawn says, "Aw, can't you do sushi?" which...um, seems sorta racist. Why don't you make sushi if you want it, Dawn? Anyway, I fail to see how this solves their original problem, which is that everyone will bring the one thing they know how to make, so this dinner is going to feature turkey stuffing, California rolls, and a bag of Skittles from under Claudia's bed. Speaking of Montezuma's Revenge.
Next scene! You know it's New York in the nineties because of that funky slap bass synthesizer soundtrack over the skyline prominently featuring the World Trade Center. Seriously, it could be the Seinfeld opening.
Stacey wanders out in her bathrobe to wish her dad good morning, and something about her dreamy voice and the way she adjusts his collar makes this look way less "father/daughter" and way more "guy in love nest with questionably underage mistress."
As always, the envelope of money is on the nightstand.
"Isn't New York wonderful on Saturday mornings?" she croons, looking out the window. Yes, Stacey. New York, and New York alone, is perfect on Saturdays, despite the fact that what you're looking at out the window could be literally anywhere.
This was filmed in Detroit.
Her dad takes this as an opportunity to ask her if she loves New York so damn much, why doesn't she marry it. I mean, move back. To live with him. I'd think this was completely fuck of him, but my god she does go on about New York all the goddamn time. He says she doesn't have to make any decisions right now, but just wants her to think about it. She acts really shocked by this, but I don't know why — like, isn't this decision always on the table? Wouldn't he let her move back at any time if she wanted to, even if he weren't asking about it? So why is she acting like this is the first she's heard of it?
She continues to smell-the-fart act while waiting around outside for Jason, some friend of hers whose little sister they're supposed to take to the Statue of Liberty, because if there's one thing native New Yorkers do on a Saturday afternoon, it's tourist traps. When he finally shows, she's like, "I thought I was at the wrong place," and he says, "Not the wrong place, but the wrong time." He's like, "I'm sick, achoo, so our plans, achoo, are cancelled, sniff." That is literally how good his acting is.
Boo, you whore.
So she doesn't have the wrong time either. You're just canceling. Okay then. He tells her they'll do it next weekend and she's like, "I won't be here next weekend, you know," and he's like, "Tough shit." You know what's interesting about living in New York? The Statue of Liberty lives there too. You can go any time. Again with people scheduling things at ass times for no fucking reason.
With no plans for the rest of the day in boring Manhattan, in which we are frequently reminded that there is nothing at all to do or see, Stacey goes back to the apartment and makes a list of pros and cons about living in Stoneybrook and New York, then reads it aloud to herself.
Wow. She sure needed to write all that down. I mean, "Dad" and "Mom," how else would she remember where they live? Anyway, I don't know what's more hysterical, that she can't think of a single thing specific to New York City that she likes other than museums; or that she writes this all out, reads it aloud slowly, then makes a face like, "Wait, they're tied? Well I never! How will I make a decision now?"
There are literally no other factors to consider!
Back in super exciting Stoneybrook, where there is never a shortage of things to do, Jessi is teaching her "dance" to Kristy, Claudia, and Mary Anne. Oh...dear. Let's just say Kristy really shouldn't be jumping up and down like that if she's going to continue to claim she doesn't need to wear a bra yet. We're not blind, dear.
Hard as this episode is trying.
Stacey interrupts them with a phone call like the complete sad sack she is, all "hurr hurr sounds like a party." No, that's just Kristy screaming into the phone because she's an idiot who doesn't know how phones work. Or anything, because Charlie pulls up outside and Kristy shrieks out the window so loud that one side of my headphones shorts out. Seriously. What the fuck is wrong with your volume control, Kristin.
Anyway, Claudia's like, "Sup," and Stacey's like, "I'm bored," and Claudia's like, "Come home and hang with us, then," and Stacey's like "OMG I am home, whore! Whatever. Bye." Okay, Stace. I've been on your side this whole time, but way to be a bitch. Claudia finally picks up on the fact that something might be bothering Stacey — but whatever can the BSC do to help? Ugh. Also, Charlie honks again and his horn sounds like an accordion. This production is so Geocites they couldn't even get a car horn sound effect.
Back in New York, in which there are museums and festivals and parks and stores and theaters and TV studios and libraries and cafes, Stacey takes a soothing walk past an abandoned newsagent kiosk to press herself longingly to a store window full of what appears to be a variety of condiments.
Oh, balsamic vinaigrette. Someday I'll have the money.
Feeling better, she returns to the apartment, where whoever should jump out to surprise her but the BSC! Um.
Cameraman: "Maybe we shouldn't pan right past the hiding place that shows six people are obviously not crouched in there?"
Director: "No, no. It's fine."
Cameraman: "Okay, but, at least we shouldn't have Stacey enter the scene from the right, because she would have had to walk right past them to — "
Director: "Hey, which one of us read a book about filmmaking in the sixth grade, huh?!"
Anyway, Stacey's like "WTF" and the sitters are like, "Oh, no big, Charlie drove us over; he'll pick us up in a couple of hours." Um, they're allowed to go all the way to New York alone, on the spur of the moment, driven by a seventeen-year-old? Considering it is illegal for a seventeen-year-old to drive in New York City without an instructor, and never with more than one underage passenger, let alone SIX OF THEM? How does Ann "New York New York Fuck Yeah" Martin not know this.
Anyway, while Charlie's busy hiding from the traffic cops in a titty bar, Mary Anne knows what they can do, which is apparently rowing in Central Park. What the hell kind of outfit rents boats to seven children with no adult supervision?
They don't ask for ID at Shady Cletus's Canoe Shack.
Jessi says they should boat around the world together someday, to which Claudia yells out that they can visit Japan and Dawn counters that they can go to California, because we haven't been reminded of these character traits in at least forty-five seconds. Stacey moans that she wishes she could just sail away right now. Okay, princess, you're getting annoying now. She finally spills on how her dad wants her to move and her parents are putting her in the middle of their fighting, blah blah, divorced kid problems. Her friends assure her they'll love her no matter what, even though the first thing out of their mouths when she said "move to New York" was "what about the Baby-sitters Club?!" and not something slightly less self-serving like "how do you feel about that?" Jessi says they'd swim the seven seas to visit her, and in the only line I always remember about this fucking episode because it grates my nerves so badly, Stacey says, "Swim a sea to see me? You'd get preeeeetty wet!" They all laugh, but not for the reason you'd think, because this is supposed to be wholesome.
Back at the apartment, the club members are getting into the appropriately named Junk Bucket and waving goodbye, and Jason, who is still hanging around for some reason, is like, "Who are all those hot girls?" I...don't know? Which apartment window are you looking in, Jason?
And why are your boobs bigger than Stacey's?
Next scene! At the barn the next day, Claudia tries on outfits for the father-daughter banquet.
Or her show in Vegas.
Buddy, of course, is still not allowed any of his newfound responsibility, because when Dawn screams for Kristy to come move some damn firewood and Buddy tries to do it, she's like, "NOOOO YOU NEED TO BE PLAAAAYING!" But Suzy's doing their decorations for them, so jesus, Schafer. She finally takes him aside for a Very Special Talk about how his mom is really busy with her job and ignoring her three children and being a MILF, but she's the one in charge, so he needs to be a kid and not a bossy wang. This is nice in sentiment, I guess, but the fact that he wants to help them do stuff when they specifically brought him over to help them do stuff has nothing to do with this, really. It's not like he took over the whole banquet thing and told them how to run it. You know, like K. Ron does with everything, ever. Someone should have given her this speech about five years ago.
Hey, look, guys, there's Stacey! She gave her dad the whole speech about whatever I don't care, and then took the train home early. She didn't tell him about the banquet, though, because she "decided not to push things." ..."Push things"? By telling her father about a fun thing she's doing with her friends? Okay, I don't know what that means, and that scares me, and I'm glad she came home early.
Back at her house, Stacey's mom is braiding her hair for the party and comments that you'd think her father could get away from work for something like this. Stacey snaps that she "doesn't like it when you say mean things about Dad" and her mom says she was just stating a fact. Yeah, I'm with Stacey's mom. If I thought that my ex wouldn't leave work on a Sunday to do something like this with our kid, I'd criticize him too. Anyway, Stacey gives her the same speech about not bashing one parent to the other and her mom apologizes and Stacey's like "yeah yeah whatever WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING TO MY HAIR." Thank god she still has her priorities straight.
I thought you were into the Bo Peep look. Didn't you say sheep were in?
At the banquet, Stacey mopes while the sitters make small talk with their dads. Jessi tells her dad that his stuffing is great, and considering Watson was also making stuffing, this must have been some banquet. Stuffing, stuffing, or raw fish? Mmmm. Watson stands and proposes a toast to "our wonderful daughters...Dawn...Mary Anne...Jessica...Claudia...Mallory...Kristin...AAAAAND..." "ANASTASIA ELIZABETH!" Stacey's dad announces, standing in the door with flowers. I can't tell if her dad is being a pompous ass or if her name actually is pronounced "Ah-nah-STAH-ZEE-ah." This changes a lot about my opinion of the name, which my husband is dead set on giving our hypothetical future daughter. I can have an "Anna-stay-zhuh," but ain't nothing coming out of me pronounced "Ah-nah-STAH-ZEE-ah." We use paper plates in this house.
Anyway, he explains that her mom called and told him about the banquet and he's going to see more of her and everything's all better now. God, this plot was tedious.
And now, the moment we've all been waiting for — the dance. Holy lord. The dads are really into it, even Richard, who is played in this episode by Clark Griswold. Huh. Really? He seems like the kind of dad who wouldn't approve of dancing.
He was raised in the town from Footloose.
The dance itself is...you know what, no. I have four years of college writing until my belt and I still don't have the words for this monstrosity. Roll tape.
Yeah, I don't know why they didn't just call in Logan.