Monday, February 19, 2007

But I was not prepared for what would greet us in Stoneybrook – prejudice, that’s what; or, BSC #36: Jessi’s Baby-sitter

She’s only 11!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, what? Oh, yeah, this book. SUCKS!!!

The plot: Jessi’s mom goes back to work, so the dreaded Aunt Cecelia moves in. And Jessi and Becca play pranks, and Aunt Dictator is a super mega bitch. And it’s a mess, but, because she’s in the BSC, she won’t talk to her parents about it. But the subplot makes Jessi understand what’s going on, and there’s a family conference. Ta-da, happy ending.

The subplot: Jackie Rodowsky wants to enter the Stoneybrook Elementary School Science Fair; he decides to make an erupting volcano like on the Brady Bunch. That’s what he actually says. So, Jessi decides to help and ends up terrorizing him into letting her do all the work. And he doesn’t win, cause her coaching didn’t actually teach him anything. But he’s all happy cause he impressed some kids at school with his lava-spewing VOLCANO!!! WOO!!!

Listie time!!!


  • I hate when ANM does Mme Noelle’s accent. Seriously, shut up…it’s the worst fake French accent ever.

  • See! Right there on page 2! Jessi wants to go pro!

  • Well, isn’t Oakley, NJ just integrated heaven?

  • Why do these girls get all excited at the possible prospect of more siblings? Why would they want a(nother) baby around? I know they like baby-sitting, but really.

  • I’m impressed that Mrs. Ramsey was able to jump right back into advertising after taking ELEVEN YEARS OFF. Just sayin’.

  • Dude, Aunt Cecelia is their dad’s sister, and they’re totally ragging on her in front of him, and he’s apparently cool with that? WTF?

  • Jessi brings up how unfair and mean AC (that’s my new abbreviation for Aunt Cecilia) was during Super Special 4.

  • Also, AC’s husband died recently. Yet Jessi doesn’t seem all that phased that HER UNCLE DIED. Whatever.

  • Nothing says “I’m mature and should be treated like I’m older than eleven” quite like prank wars. Yup.

  • I totally remembered Jessy’s sign:
    KEEP OUT (please)
    THIS MEANS YOU
    PRIVACY NEEDED
    (THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION)

    And, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I agree with Mal. That sign is dumb.

  • “Claud wears things my mother won’t even let me look at in stores [because you’re 11, dumbass!!!!!] – short, short skirts and tight black pants and off-the-shoulder sweatshirts.” Wait, she’s a dancer in the 80s and she doesn’t own at least one off-the-shoulder sweatshirt? I guess she just not a Steeltown girl on a Saturday night.

  • Um, Kristy took role at one of the meetings in this one. The fuck? There are seven of them. Does she really need to take attendance? Seriously?

  • The Pike kids open a lending library. And it’s never heard from again after this chapter. Vanessa gets to be the librarian cause she reads a lot. Yep, she’ll be disappointed if she tries to parlay that into a career in library science.

  • Sorry, all the Jessi-bitching-about-AC stuff is really boring, so I’m not going to bother.

  • ”Besides, I have to watch my weight. I can’t be a fat ballerina.” Damn straight.

  • Thank scrod that ANM didn’t go overboard with the BSC-ers helping their charges with their science fair project. Cause then this book would have wound up under all the snow and ice outside.

  • Even Jessi thinks that it’s hilarious that Claudia is helping anyone with anything remotely language related.

  • Hee! Charlotte plays Duran Duran for the “rock and roll” portion of her experiment. Oh, John Taylor. I harbored a thing for you into high school. I think Char was probably more of a Simon fan. But that’s pure speculation.

  • Mmm…Neccos.

  • Oh. My. God. AC doesn’t let Jessi go to a BSC meeting AS PUNISHMENT FOR BEING TEN MINUTES LATE!

  • Yeah, right. AC, who apparently has kids, was nervous that she wouldn’t be as good a sitter as an 11-year-old. My ass.

  • Oh, hell yeah! “Stacey was wearing tight black pants that reached just above her ankles, and sported [nice use of the thesaurus, ANM!] a column of four silvery buttons at the bottoms. (The buttons were just for show, I think.) Over the pants she was wearing a long (past her knees) blue jacket made of soft material. Under that she was wearing a sleeveless blouse…Claud was wearing a fake leopard-skin vest, a fairly tame blouse, and blue leggings…And finally Mal and me, also in jeans, but wearing (if I do say so myself) pretty fresh sweat shirts.” Sweet.

  • And another boring happy ending.



Hee! on the cover, she looks like she's haunted by AC's wooden spoon! Fear it!!



Plus, a little gift:

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

OMG shut up Dawn!

K said...

Yes the best way to show Aunt Cecelia how responsible you are is to short-sheet her bed. Who does that anyway? And at the end didn't Aunt C get all amused with the pranks and play some of her own? Oh, that Aunt Cecelia...

bmad said...

claudia looks about as japanese as beatrice lillie. also they all have weird accents.

Stephanie said...

if i recall correctly, in The Baby Sitters Remember, Aunt Cecelia's husband had died by that point... but i could be wrong.

but yes. shut up, Jessi.

Anonymous said...

I always thought it would count as cheating to have a kid one year out of elementary school help you with a science fair project...

Captain.Laura said...

Seroiusly, ANM makes *such* a big deal out of Dawn being from California...then they choose an actress who has a Minnesotan(?) accent? WTF?

Margie said...

^-- Oh, I always thought TV Dawn's accent was more East Coast or something... I'm no expert though. I mean, I've only lived in California my entire life, maybe that's what California Casual sounds like???!!111oneone.

That has always, always pissed me off. TV Dawn should not have any sort of weird accent. And it's the 80s, why doesn't she say "dude" or "bummer"?? Those are part of my daily vocabulary, and I'm not even from SoCal!

And yeah. I hate Jessi books. She's so boring and she has no personality! I think she has a tutu for a brain or something...

coquelicot said...

I remember that BSC episode and raising my eyebrows when she said her name towards the end. "My name is Doawn Schafer..." (Not sure how to show that phonetically, but it's the stereotypical NJ/NY "aw" sound.) On any of the other girls, it would have sounded true to the book. Dawn's supposed to sound more neutral. Oh well, I think they filmed the episodes in NJ, so it makes sense that the actors were probably all from the area.

Speaking of accents, I have to agree. Mme Noelle's French accent sounds about as authentic as Logan's "Looeyveeeel" accent.

Manda said...

umm is everyone else missing the biggest thing here. the guy is ZACH BRAFF i am dying of laughter here in my office.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Zach Braff. It's so nice to know everyone had to start somewhere. I think I still have those videos somewhere...

Anna said...

Oh Zach Braff. This only works since the TV show was filmed in New Jersey. He and JoiseyDawn can go make beautiful ecofriendly Jersey babies together someday...

Emily said...

^-- Oh, I always thought TV Dawn's accent was more East Coast or something...

Well, she DID spend most of her eighth-grade year (read: 15 years) in Connecticut...

Either that, or she's channeling Sharon's Connecticut roots...that woman is plenty weird to start with! Who knows what she's capable of??

Anonymous said...

Looooooove how Dawn totally checks out Zach Braff's butt as he walks away in the first part of that clip...

As for the book - always hated this one, too. Especially lame how the other girls 'helping' their charges with their projects make a point of saying that they'll HELP, but won't do the project FOR the kid. Hmm, perhaps that was foreshadowing that Jessi would end up doing the entire project??

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'm going to prove that I never lived outside of NY here. but how would you say Dawn without an "aw" sound?

Anonymous said...

I never liked this book...well I never liked any Jessi book actually! I thought it was weird that the sitters helped the kiddos with their science fair projects. Isn't that more of a parent involved thing? I guess I missed out, my babysitters never did my homework for me!

Elizabeth said...

Oh, that is SO Zach Braff! Hahahahahaha!

And Jessi should shut-up. I wasn't allowed to babysit when I was 11, why should she?

PhoenixB said...

I heart Zach Braff. This clip is solid gold. Hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Okay, it IS Zach Braff. It's not just me. That is too freaking hilarious. I heart YouTube. Only second to this blog.

notebookinhand said...

"you all know David? He's my lover."

Anonymous said...

Anyone got some brain bleach? I need to get Doawn's freakin voice outta my head.

Michelle said...

These are my favorite unintentionally funny covers. Man, these European ones are great, I had to grow up with the crappy American ones...

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/m/ann-m-martin/mary-anne-and-too-many-babies.htm

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/m/ann-m-martin/staceys-broken-heart.htm

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/m/ann-m-martin/mallory-hates-boys-and-gym.htm

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/m/ann-m-martin/mary-anne-and-camp-bsc.htm

-Some of the better American ones:

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/m/ann-m-martin/dawn-saves-planet.htm

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/m/ann-m-martin/dawns-big-move.htm

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/m/ann-m-martin/mary-anne-to-rescue.htm

-And here is a prime example of the BSC getting pissed off at anyone changing a little. They look like they're going to kill her!

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/m/ann-m-martin/mary-annes-makeover.htm

The Crane Wife said...

So many thoughts about this post, but I'll keep it short.

1 - the book. The thing that annoyed me most about this one was that in every book hereafter, they have to retell the whole story of AC when they introduce Jessi. I never understood why such a lame story needed to be mentioned again.

2 - the video. So. F-ing. Hilarious. The best part to me was the tiny chick who played Kristy. I mean I know Kristy was supposed to be short and look young, but what was she, 8? Why did any of the other babysitters take any shit from her?

Anonymous said...

I tend to pronounce "Dawn" like "Don." Which was kind of confusing when I was little and thought "Dawn" was also spelled like "Don."

Margie said...

^-- Yeah, Californians would pronounce "Dawn" the same was as "Don". And I as well used to get the spellings confused.

Anonymous said...

Fuck the cute, little and furry animals, I'd rather go to the movies and into make-out corner with Zach Braff!!

And Jessie sucks...

Anonymous said...

This clip is funny as hell! None of the girls can act and what the hell is up with Dawn's accent! My husband (who does not like BSC, but is definitely a Zach Braff fan), and I were laughing hysterically at the bad acting and even worse writing!!! You are the best Tiff! Thanks so much for the clip. It made my day!!

Abbey said...

OMG!! I was JUST thinking about this show the other day!! This made my day...and then to have ole Zachy come in??? AWESOME!!!!

Anonymous said...

OMG is that Zach Braff???? Awesome.

veronica said...

Thanks for posting some Zach Braff for us. I have watched that episode countless times - I could probably recite the entire thing by heart - and who knew all this time, I was watching Zach Braff? Awesome.

Yeah, I agree. This book? Pretty lame. It did bother me that she complained so much about having AC come in even though she's only 11. And the whole her uncle being dead but not mentioning it thing? Also bothered me. Usually I don't mind Jessi, but this book is a great example as to why I owned about ten times more of the books narrated by the older girls of the club compared to books narrated by Jessi and Mal. Especially Mal.

Thanks for another entertaining installment!

Amanda said...

You are seriously HILARIOUS!! I am new to this whole book blogging world, but I am also slowly trudging my way back through the good ol' BSC. I loved the books when I was younger, but as I go through them again, I sometimes want to throw them at the wall (or under the snow as you do). Thanks for a little BSC humor, it was much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

haha i love how at the end there is a screaming awkward pause where they should kiss or something, before you realize that they are only like supposed to be 13 and this was on the disney channel, but you don't remember that because all of the actors are like 20.

nancy said...

Michelle- Thanks for that, I think a bit of pee came out at the 'Stacey's broken heart' cover. Fucken hilarious.
And Tiff, as always, hit the nail on the head.
Man, Jessi is such a twat.

Golden Silence said...

Used to read and watch BSC as a kid. Yet another thing I didn't realize was corny until re-encountering it as an adult. Thanks for the laughs...and a young Zach Braff with a mullet!

Elisabet said...

Zachhh.

That was so good!

I LOVE your site. That was deep wasn't it...

Have you thought of doing a Sweet Valley one??? I would love you even more than I do now,

Anonymous said...

Please do a SWEET VALLEY TWINS one! Blog, I mean. That would be cool. I mean, bonzer, in AMM's language. Anyone else think that AMM did way 2 much stereotyping? And those books are meant 4 little kids, too.
I thought Jessi's babysitter was ok but in my opinion, Mallory and Jessi should be babysat themselves. And in the mystery where they all go on work experience? How stupid. Nice idea, but stupid. I though Jessi and Mal were 2 classes BELOW the 8th graders, so they wouldn't have the same CLASSES, would they? I know she just wanted to include them (poor little junior officers) but theres no explanation. Anyone??

Anonymous said...

THAT VIDEO IS NOT THE BSC! Tell me it's not, please, SOMEbody! Logan? Noooo! Dawn!!! Noooo.... KRISTY???!!!
WHICH GRADE ARE THEY IN!!??
HOW IMMATURE??????!!!!!1

Jessica said...

Oh man. That is Zach Braff. He just got 10 times cooler. No joke.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the video clip...Why does Dawn sound like she's from Minnesota?

That's not very California casual.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh...The music from the clip!

I was embarrassed for them just watching it!

Ryan Michele said...

I would like to point out two things on the brilliant YouTube clip...

1) How rude is Logan that he only introduces the slightly retarded looking boy to Dawn? So much for Southern hospitality.

and

2) The girl who played Kristy on the TV show was also in a syrup commercial in the early 90s. Also, she is way more method-y and intense than the other actresses. Watching her both takes me down memory lane AND stresses me out.

bazu said...

Isn't Dawn supposed to have sparkling blue eye the color of the Pacific ocean or something? (Or is that veering into Sweet Valley territory?) Her eyes are dark brown in this clip.

Oh, and

Zach Braffffffffffff!

picklebarrel said...

I just read #36 on Scribd
http://www.scribd.com/doc/394543/Martin-Ann-M-BSC-36
and what horrified me was Aunt Cecilia's explanation for acting like a douche. She concludes her speech about wanting Jessi and Becca to be good people with:
"sometimes black people have to work twice as hard to prove themselves. It isn't fair, but that's the way it is - sometimes."
You're going to accomplish this by acting crazy? OK...Besides which, why is this statement in a BSC book, that's what I keep pondering. I think it's true, but it strikes me as a bit odd in the context of the story.

And WTF Zach Braff.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog and I'm loving it...THANK you for the video! I remember those...awful then and worse now. I'm from MN and those accents are straight out of small town Northern MN or Canada for sure! Can't wait to work my way through the archives for more wonderful outfits and snarky comments!

metamorphstorm said...

I remember being 100% on Jessi's side in this one, and thought AC was way in the wrong to impose herself in the Ramsey house and tell the other family members what to do. I hated her--still do. And it seemed plausible to me that AC would worry about being "less than Jess" in the baby-sitting world, although now I think ANM or ghostwriter, whatever, was just showing off how "cool" the BSC must be if adults can't do as well as a bunch of brats.

Did Claudia ever bother anyone else? Not her crappy "fashion" or her even crappier spelling as much as the fact that her exotic beauty is emphasized in every book despite her consumption (ooh, big word! Shiny!) of total garbage, and yet NOBODY rags on her for being stupid? Or headed straight for diabetes, with that can't-get-fat-so-who-cares attitude and matching diet?

It bugs me that we have to put up with book after book of lame spelling mistakes that make no sense in a BOOK! Come on--you want kids to read and grow up literate? Don't mess up on purpose because it's cool and you'll look sophisticated because you're hot and dumb!