Sunday, June 17, 2007

It was bye-bye, Stoneybrook, and hello, heartbreak; or, BSC Super Special #14: BSC in the USA

Wowza. This little present is chock full of insanity. And dramarama. (Unfortunately, not the band.) You want natural disasters? Check. Heavy emotional shit? Check. Unfunny uncle-type humor? Check. "Romance?" Check. Slavery? Check. Horses? Check [rolling my eyes]. Enough of this tease...The cover!

It's fugly. It's shiny silvery with holographic-like stars all over it. Yups. Also, all the girls have really similar features. See?

Aw...Abby=13-year-old PoBal minus the glasses!! Check that hair! Also, why is Mal wearing a fucking horse shirt? Isn't she always begging to be treated more adult? Well then, sweetheart, you might wanna lose the animal clothes until you're a middle-aged soccer mom, at least.

The incredibly unlikely (and mind-numbingly confusing) premise? Let me see if I have this straight...So, Dawn's dad has a friend from New York who needs his RV to be in Palo City [we interrupt this "plot" summary for a brief rant: when the fuck did Anaheim or wherever-real-city mutate into faked-out Palo City? Lame lame lame lame LAME!!!] instead of NY. Or something. So, he's cutting Dawn and Jeff's summer in Stoneybrook short so they can drive across country. Then Kristy tells Watson, and he decides that a cross-country ROAD TRIP!!!!!! would be the perfect Brewer family vacation. And, because he's a fucking moron, he offers to bring along any of Kristy's friends. [Do the other Brewer/Thomas kids ever get jealous that Kristy's friends always get to tag along? Oh, Sam and Charlie are staying home to work or something. Not terribly important.] Of course, the BSC plus all the 'rents and other childrens can't fit in one RV, so they divide up between the the two RVs. One will take the northern route, the other will take the southern. Then they'll all meet up in the PC. [Go ahead, start screaming the chorus to "California."] And there's a party. And everyone but the Schafers are flying back? Or something...

[This one's kinda hard to divide up...I'll do my best.]

So, the Schafer RV takes the northern route and carries Jack [that's Dawn's dad], Dawn, Jeff, Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacey and Kristy [don't ask]. They hit up Cleveland (an Indians game and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame), Chicago (Art Institute and Wrigley Field), Shaumberg, IL (a mall), Bloomington, MN (the Mall of America), South Dakota (the Badlands, Wall, Mammoth Site), Yellowstone & Grand Tetons Parks, "Buzzard Gulch--Idaho's Turn-of-the-Century Haunted Village, Lovingly Re-Created for Today's Visitor," Seattle (drama and a Mariners game) and San Francisco (drama at a Giants game & general touristy goodness). As for the group drama? They run out of gas in the Badlands and Mr. Schafer leaves them for hours while he goes to get gas.

The individual drama?

Kristy wants to see as many ballparks as possible. And she sees her dad on the Jumbotron! And she goes to find him. And cries in public.

Mary Anne meets up with her grandma from Iowa at the Mall of America ("You'd think they'd build the parking lot of America to go with the Mall of America!"). Oh, and Jack Schafer gets on her last nerve with his constant pokes (ooh, dirty) at her dad, Connecticut, everything.

Jeff goes rock climbing and rappelling.

Stacey gets all pissed at Claud cause she thinks she's reading her diary. [This story line is stupid and makes no sense.] And she's meeting this guy in Seattle with whom she's been exchanging letters. And they have a hard time meeting up, all slapsticky-like. But they finally get together and, well, get together. Sloppy makeouts, if ya dig...

Claudia finds a real Georgia O'Keefe sketch in an antique store.

Dawn I almost completely forgot about her...She wants to see a ghost town. And she's disappointed at first, but has a good time anyway. Or something. All I remember is that she annoyed the piss out of me.

In the Brewer/Thomas RV we have Watson and Elizabeth, Karen, Andrew, David Michael, Abby, Jessi and Mal. On their southerly route, they cruise Oakley, NJ (and have a down-home time with the extended Ramsey clan), Chincoteague & Assateague (which the Wik tells me is in (well, off the coast of) Virginia...and those stupid horse books are set there. (Apologies if you actually like them. I've never read them, but my only associations with them come from these little bitches.)),  Graceland, Dalton, MS (home of the Dalton Plantation Museum, and the former plantation where Jessi's kin were, well, slaves.), Lester, OK (Watson's college buddy lives there), Ten Gallon, TX (for a rodeo), Zuni, NM (where they visit the school they helped rebuild after a fire, 'member?), Four Corners, the Grand Canyon and the San Diego Zoo [I now have the 6ths song "San Diego Zoo" stuck in my head. "How could I have ever left you?"]. The group drama? Rodeos make them all uncomfortable. Oh, and they get stuck in a tornado in Lester! Hiding out in the bathroom=FUN! They also keep running into an old couple traveling with their annoying granddaughter.

Broken down:

Karen needs to shut the fuck up. She is a manipulative little skank. And she wants to stand on the Four Corners and wave at Stoneybrook.

David Michael apparently doesn't realize that rodeos involve potentially hurting cows. So, he skeeves, and chickens out.

Abby accidentally (?) convinces the kids that Elvis is still alive. Oh, and she has all this heavy shit about her dead dad at the Grand Canyon, cause it was his favorite place, and they had to cancel their vacation to said canyon when he died.

Mal gets all weepy over horses. And is all nerves at the Ramseys' house.

Jessi briefly suspects that Mal is racist, and she visits her ancestral plantation and is horrified by how horrible slavery must have been.

Whew. Bullets, anyone? (No, not meant for your head! Bad reader!)

  • Dawn has to bitch about how RVs are ecologically unsound. On the 3rd fucking page. And I'm already yelling, "Shut the fuck up!!!!"

  • Apparently, the BSC will be slow enough for all seven of them to take off for two weeks.

  • Dawn, quit ragging on Richard. So he's cautious! Give him a break. Also, I have a soft spot for men with that name, so step the fuck off.

  • Coffee makes Dawn puke for months. Or something.

  • Oh, yeah. I always forget that Dawn's maternal grandparents live in Stoneybrook. BECAUSE THEY'RE NEVER MENTIONED!!!

  • Being in love in high school is a deep, dark secret. Okaaaaay.

  • Did Dawn really help set up the We [heart] Kids Club? I thought she was in the 'Brook when it started. And they conduct meetings by a pool with a cell phone. Yeah. And are obsessed with health food. Yeah.

  • In this book, Watson is a consultant that works from home. Is that always the case? I can't keep all this shit straight.

  • Since this book was written in '97 (the year I graduated from high school), Claud's "outfits are put together from funky stuff she buys in thrift shops."

  • "One of her favorite clothing colors is black. According to her, it sets off her blonde hair. Besides, she was born and raised in New York City, and she says native New Yorkers wear black all year long." Wow, I must be a native New Yorker. Who knew?

  • Ooh, foreshadowing. Kristy's all jealous that Stacey's dad keeps in touch.

  • Kristy describes Abby as wild. Funny, I just think she's annoying.

  • How can Logan get working papers at 13? Or is he getting paid under the table? Or is his "busboy" job just a cover for running errands for a mob boss...

  • Again, what 11-year-old wants to visit the plantation where her family were slaves?!?!?!?!? On vacation, at that. And doesn't expect it to be difficult or disturbing?

  • Oh. You know ANM's retarded "allergy dialect" that Logan's brother has? It's even fucking worse for Abby. Damn, it sucks.

  • I get it, Jessi's a dancer, so she makes lameass references to ballet in non-dance contexts. As in, "It feels as if my Big Mac and fries are doing a pas de deux up and down the walls of my stomach." LAME!

  • "Okra. Fried chicken. Biscuits with lots of butter. How many times had I smelled those things as I walked up Grandma's front stoop?" Just in case you didn't realize that Jessi's entire family was black...soul food.

  • Okay, Cleveland isn't really in the flat part of Ohio. Just sayin'.

  • Stacey thinks basketball players look great in those shorts. Weren't they already really long and loose in '97? At least at the college & pro level? RNL, my basketball expert?

  • What are "cheekbones for days?" Cause Stacey's distance-boy has them.


  • Boring stuff about horses and wild ponies and shit. Oh, and the wild horses on Assateague (That makes me giggle. I'm so mature.) make Mal cry.

  • Claud's disappointed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame doesn't have anything about U4Me or Blaid.

  • Aw, they didn't stop at the "Pitsberg stadium." Back then it would've been Three Rivers. One of my former roommates got to watch them implode the stadium from a press boat.

  • Yes, Abby. Young Elvis was hot.

  • Why doesn't anyone cut Karen off? Like, sit her down and tell her the truth that there are Elvis impersonators.

  • Of all the restaurants in Chicago, they ate at the original Pizzeria Uno. And went shopping in Shaumberg.

  • They all look really fucking crazy in all the illustrations.

  • Damn! Grandma takes a dig at Jack Schafer.

  • I can't even touch all the slavery stuff. So very faux-deep. And manipulative. And out of place.

  • Electricity on a plantation? Seems kind of...suspect. I'm sure someone did their research, but it just doesn't sound right.

  • Dawn knows some areas of L.A. that could be called the Badlands. Ha. Ha. Who's a comedienne now? And a dumb bitch?

  • Jeff thinks "Girls are boring," but I think "crestfallen boys are boring."

  • What kind of fuckhead doesn't get gas before heading into the Badlands?

  • In general, Abby needs to shut the fuck up. She's like the annoying class clown that isn't getting any laughs, so she turns up the annoying. To 11.

  • Watson went to Baylor. Is that ever mentioned elsewhere?

  • Mal thought Jessi's experience at Dalton would make "a dramatic children's book." Dramatic? Okay...

  • I fucking hate tornadoes.

  • Dude, I need to buy a velvet painting of horses. And give it to someone as a gift, just to torture them.

  • "What a way to go. In a twister. After all those generations. Surviving the plantation. Moving North..." That's what's going through Jessi's head during the tornado. Yeah.

  • Oh, shit! The bear! The Schafer crew run into a bear while picnicking in Yellowstone! Bears are funny.

  • Dawn's all pissed and disappointed and embarrassed by the cheesiness of the ghost town and throws herself a self-pity party. And, say it with me now, SHUT THE HELL UP!!!!

  • Speaking of shutting up...Karen.

  • She knows that getting all teary and pouty will get her way. HATE!! She's a CBS sitcom wife-in-training.

  • In Seattle, Mr. Schafer wants to shake Bill Gates's hand. That doesn't seem to fit with his easy-going, cool-dad persona.

  • Haha, it's Seattle, so there are 50 million coffee places! And dumb bitch Stacey can't find the name of the place she's meetin' the boy! Hijinks!!! Wackiness!!! Ensuing!!!!

  • In Stacey's fantasy, her boy has inner torment. That she cures with a "flash of blonde hair." I wonder if my hair can do that, too...

  • Another fight, ended instantly with no real problem solving. Hoorah.

  • Also, not gonna touch the heavy shit with Abby's grief.

  • In the illustration, sad Abby is wearing socks with sandals.

  • The gayest mustache in San Francisco is in the illustration of the Giants game. And Mary Anne's eyes are wigging me out. For reals. See?

  • The only outfit in the book? "Claudia was examining Maggie's hair, which was light green; and her outfit, tight black leather and Spandex; and her pale, pale makeup." What's this punka doing hanging out with these hippie bitches anyway?

  • Oh, and Jessi thinks she might be related to the grad student she met at the plantation. Cause it's likely.

Also, a picture of romance, awkward, kinda painful-looking romance...


Okay, y'all. I had an ulterior motive for doing a super special this week. I wanted to give you guys something big and exciting before dropping the bomb: I, too, am taking my summer vacation! I will be taking a few weeks off from the ole blog while I'm jaunting about. I should be back on July 9th. Not sure what book it'll be yet.

Also, for my LibraryLand readers, I will be attending the ALA Annual Conference in DC, so...If you're there, and you think you spot me, feel free to say hi. Of course, you may wind up inadvertently introducing yourself to random Tiff(any)s in the process. Which could be amusing. For me, at least. (I'm evil.)


colleen said...

I think Stacey is smelling his nose.

Anonymous said...

aaah that was a good one!

did the bear maim anyones face? that would have been good!

Meg said...

Why did Jessie think Mal was racist??

kiwimusume said...

Cause she was all stiff around everyone at the house and hid out in a corner instead of talking to her cousins. So Jessi attributed it to racism rather than plain social retardation.

Also, Tiff, you graduated high school in '97? That's when I started high school! :D

Anita said...

Shaumburg you say? A mall? I wonder if they went to One Shamburg place?

Arlene said...

OMG I'm a librarian! And I live in DC!! Granted, I'm not cool enough to be a member of ALA, I like to chill with the SLA, those crazy kids. So I won't be at the ALA conference but now I'll wonder if I'm passing you in the street sometime. I would say let's meet up and make fun of the BSC and maybe I could tell you about my failed attempts at creating Claudia-like outfits (Yikes) but that would be weird, so I'll let you enjoy the lovely humidity here. Sans creepy anonymous blog reader.

Erin said...

This was my absolute *favorite* BSC book...I'm not sure why but I so clearly remember reading this one over and over.

But even then, I knew a cross-country road trip would be a bad idea.

Jennalee said...

Is it wrong I got a little excited about the prospect of the girls going to a Giants game?

Wow at Candlestick too. That's old school stuff.

beth said...

I think she WAS smelling his nose! I don't remember this book, prolly cuz I also graduated from hs in '97 and I was much more interested in doing keg-stands and my on-again/off-again stupid boyfriend! Anywhoo-MA's eyes will give me nightmare's for a good while, can anyone say "Children of The Corn".......

Anonymous said...


Seriously though, lmfao at that line. You've got to be kidding me.

I'll miss this blog, but have a good holiday!

Anonymous said...

They totally should have gone to Cheers. Just to get their picture taken with the cutout of Norm, Cliff et al. But that's just me, since I for some reason find Frasier and John Ratzenberger sexy.

Sounds like an interesting book.

RNL said...

Yep, the late-1990s were the height (length?) of the baggy shorts craze. That said, it was far more pronounced in college basketball; the NBA prohibited shorts touching the knees.

Oh, and if you're wondering who started the trend, most people say Michael Jordan (he wore his old UNC college shorts underneath for good luck). Chris Webber's "Fab Five" team at Michigan were also early adopters, as was the University of Arkansas (still the longest shorts I've ever seen on the court).

Mary Ann said...

"You'd think they'd build the parking lot of America to go with the Mall of America!"

Was this really a line in the book? Because it's also a line from that fabulous movie Drop Dead Gorgeous, LOL.

Anonymous said...

That picture looks like Stacey is trying to kiss like they do in the movies and the boy has no idea what to do. So typical 13 year olds ;)

I could never understand why Kristy didn't go with her family. Or why her family didn't put their foot down. How akward for Abby, Mallory and Jessi.

poppy said...

OMFG Jessi is black, this is the first time I have heard about it! They never mentioned this in the books AT ALL, I just cannot believe she is …black. :o how shocking! Oh em gee, because that lady is also black they must be related! And I totally remember the pick of Abby wearing socks and sandals and thinking EW! And seriously what kind of 13 year old kid likes Elvis (except for the ones in the fifties)?? Do you know what else I find so fucked up about these books is that who would let 13 year olds, let alone 11 year olds look after their kids and babies? That’s like illegal in New Zealand; I wasn’t even allowed to stay home alone until around that age. I always remember when I was little asking my parents if I could baby-sit my lil bro and sister and them being all no way and I was all why not the BSC does it. And 11 year olds having [“sort-of”] boyfriends? WTF? I can’t believe I used to fall for all this shit, I actually used to believe that was what “real teenagers” were like, poor misguided me.

Anonymous said...

Does it bother anyone else that after serval summer vacations, valentine's days and so forth that the girls are still in the same grade as they were before? I mean, why can't they advance a year ever fifty books or so?

Oh and its pretty rotten that Jessi would accuse Mallory of being racist after Mal has been her best friend since she came to Stoneybrook.

ashley said...

I believe Watson started working from home after he had that heart attack.

Margie said...

The two things that stood out for me about this book:

1) This is the ONLY book cover where all the girls actually look like described, and nobody looks like a man. Not perfect, but worlds better than any other book cover.

2) How the hell can they go to Candlestick Park in SF in 1997? It was renamed 3-Com by then. I went to Candlestick Park in 1992 to watch the SF Giants, and was very sad when they gave it a dumb name like "3-com". But now it's like, Monster Park or some shit.

As for the sports thing, Stacey's reaction is a little weird. I mean, I would not instantly think Red Sox or Yankees or whatever, but that's because they're so damn far away. But anyone who lives in my area and doesn't know the Giants or the A's? Sucks. I hate sports, and I've been a Giants "fan" since I was four.

PS, I definitely did the stand on each state thing that Karen did when I visited Four Corners at age, like, 19.

Susan M said...

Cool another '97 grad who turned into a Librarian!

Anonymous said...

I always stopped at that mention of Watson going to Baylor. It just didn't make sense to me. Why would he go all the out there for school??

Mary Anne is freaking me out in that picture!

Sarah said...

I think it's funny that Stacey's outfits are always described as "wild and funky in a sophisticated way" but any pictures generally show here in a white blouse and black skirt...what about all those black stretch pants she seems to own?

Rebecca said...

I am amazed at hos the girls actually look 13 in those illustrations in the book! Stacey usually looks 30 on the covers, so it's almost creepy to see the 13-year-old version of her kissing a guy.

Peaches said...

Several things about this book always bothered me:
First of all, if I could go any where in th U.S. I wouldn't have picked any where these bitches did.
Wouldn't Kristy's parents have put their foot down and made Kristy go with them, since 3 of her friends were?
There is some awkward moment when Elizabeth and Watson drop everyone off at Graceland and go off for some alone time. Must be hard to knock boots in bunks on a RV full of kids.
Dawn actually considered going to a SOY BEAN factory!
Stacey is such a self righteous bitch. She gets mad at Claud for accidently reading her diary when there is nothing in there worth reading anyway. She acts like it had a deep dark secret hidden in it. Please.
Why is Mary Anne so much taller than Kristy in the pic? Aren't they both two of the shortest girls in their class?
The thought of being trapped in a RV for a week or more with Karen Brewer makes me start to hyperventilate.

andrea said...

I don't think I read this one. I only remember reading one or two books with Abby (the one she has an asmtha attack on a job and everyone freaks) and don't think it was this jewel.

I'll defend Mal in admitting that I was into horses... in third grade. By sixth grade my love had definitely waned, even though that summer I won a pony at my local county fair (Mal's dream come true). She took the horse thing a little too far.

And you could get killed around here spelling it "Pitsberg". Totally forgot the 'h' at the end.

Anonymous said...

Ohmigod! I was in the Twin cities last week for a quick family vacation and said the "You'd think they'd build the parking lot of America to go with the Mall of America!" quote, too! :-)

I read this super special for the first time a few months ago. I didn't care for it. The quality of the writing really declined, didn't it? The cruise super special will always be my favorite.

Plus, don't you think Abby, Jessi and Mallory were pissed they got stuck with Kristy's parents and little siblings?

coquelicot said...

Two things about Illustration #1:

1) Mary Anne has the same pose I do when I have to pee.
2) The person (can't tell if it's a male or female) to the right of Mary Anne? Totally looks like he/she's checking out MA's butt.

All of that soul food Jessi's family made? How can she eat all of that fattening stuff and maintain a dancer's figure? Is her metabolism THAT good?

nic said...

Dude, how do you live in NYC and not know who the Sox are?? Maybe because I've spent most of my life in Boston, but everything here seems to revolve around the Sox and who they're playing and most importantly, that we beat the Yankees! And I know that it is quite similar to that in NYC as well!! She needs to shut the fuck up!

Lindsey Brook said...

Ummm, who's Abby?

i like dawn... said...

am i the only one here who has NO effing clue who "abby" is?

Anonymous said...

Yeah....they tossed Abby in there a little later (not sure exactly when)...OK, actually a lot later. Suffice to to say, she's crazy asthmatic, she has a twin sister and her dad died really recently so her mom's all alone. Oh, and something about sports? She's super into soccer. Maybe. (I hope that's not true because then it would mean that I remembered that for real.)
She "masks her grief with joking" or some shit like that. That's right.
End of ramble.

Ali said...

Aww, Cleveland, how I miss thee.

I don't remember this one but your review raises lots of questions. Like, aren't RV's more environmentally sound BECAUSE it's like carpooling and therefore wastes less gas? And how did Jessi find the plantation her family worked at?

Oh, in that "romance" pic Stacey looks like Kate Bosworth. Odd.

Ali said...

oh, ps

Tiny ponies in sneakers! Take that, Mal!

Mouse said...

I know I'm going to be pilloried for being insensitive but MaryAnne and Kristy look like they have Downs Syndrome in that picture you showed us.

Lyndsay said...

I never read this particular tome, but I was almost moved to tears by your recap. I live in Chicago, but I work in Schaumburg, IL, and my heart just broke at the thought of a bunch of girls riding in an RV to come to the most hellish mall (apart from the MOA) and viewing it as a destination. Go to the freaking Field of Dreams or something.

Anonymous said...

As a true Bostonian, I have to agree with your Red Sox comment... I was about 13 when I read this book, and that "Boston Somethings" line always irked me. I was all "the girl grew up in NY, and now lives in New England... I don't care if she hates sports, she has to know who the Red Sox are!" /rant

kelly said...

why do 13 year olds hang out with 11 year olds all the time?

Katie said...

Oh, I am so glad you did this book. It's one of favs.

I still don't understand why Kristy didn't go with Watson and co. I know it had something to do with everyone wanting to go different places and head different directions...either way, how nice to stick poor Abby with the 11 year olds and her siblings!

I can't believe they went to a mall in about Michigan Ave, folks! Did they even go up into the Sears or Hancock Towers? I can't remember. Or how about Navy Pier? Not to knock Schaumburg, it's just to me not the first thing on my list when I go to visit Chicago.

I was kind of annoyed by their choices of places to visit. One thing that really irked me was that Kristy didn't insist on going to St. Louis on that trip, being the big baseball fan. They were in Chicago, it wouldn't have been that much of a detour. But *sigh* no one ever thinks of my hometown.

And I completely didn't notice that Stacey totally flaked on not knowing the BoSox. COME ON. That would be like a native St. Louisian not knowing who the Cubs are.

I get REALLY sick of hearing how much the We <3 Kids Club is SOOO healthy. We get it all right? Now where's a steak, I'm hungry!

How about the brat that Mal, Jessi and Abby encounter at the horse place who ends up following them and they meet up in San Diego? *rolls eyes*

Jessi thinking that Mal was racist irritated me. So many freakin' stereotypes in these books, annoying. I don't need any more reminders to know that Jessi's black, thanks!

Anonymous said...

#1 - why the hell is Mary Anne at a baseball game?! She hates sports, remember?

#2 - Yes, why did Kristy not go with her family, and why the hell did Abby go with the children?

Sigh. Great book ^_^

Anonymous said...

um... that pic of stacey? i srsly thought it was KAREN for half a second, and nearly had a heart attack!!!

Soph said...

Okay, as someone is a Seattle native, I was quite PISSED when I read this book and there was this self professed notion that Stacey could find the "Corner Coffee Shop" out of her ass. It's like BITCH PLEASE you live in Manhattan, LEARN YOUR FUCKING CROSS STREETS. 4th Avenue runs all through downtown Seattle you blind bitch.

Agh, the whore just had to infiltrate my hometown with her umpteenth boytoy. Not to mention her overall bitchiness with Claudia in the RV. What'd she have in there that Claudia might have used against her, hmm?

And LMAO at Claudia. You have greats like Eric Clapton and George Harrison and all she can do is whine about U4Me and Blaid? Give me a break.

Anonymous said...

oh my god. tiff, i have just caught up on all your bsc reviews! hilarious! love it - i hope you're going to start doing sweet valley high once you finish with the bsc bitches!!! those wakefield twins...

Anonymous said...

like Yoko Ono, i live in the Dakota and i have never heard of the red socks either. that's because every time anyone brings up that crap i KILL MYSELF ALL OVER AGAIN!

WHO THE FUCK CARES ABOUT THE YANKEES OR THAT OTHER TEAM OF WHICH I FORGET THE NAME? The reason I live in New York City is so I can be free to live my life in ignorance of whatever is going on in Long Island and (especially!) BOSTON-- and actually America in general, come to think of it! I suspect that Stacey feels the same way. It must be bad enough living in Connecticut when you have grown accustomed to the exciting fast-paced glitz, glamour and luxury to which Yoko and I are so accustomed.

Yes, I have heard of the Yankees, but only because of those fat slobs who are always clogging the subway with their little flags and hats and noisemakers and soforth during that "series" they keep having all the time.

And, no, I have not heard of the Red Socks. Can we please keep it that way?! TX!

All Best,
Laine Cummings

Colleen said...

About all this Kristy not going with her family: I think it has to do with some secret elitism. She wanted the "original five" to be together. They never really saw Jessi and Mal as true members, and Abby is new. What cliquy c*nts.

I wonder if the families get so annoyed everytime Watson decides to crash their vacation plans. The Pikes wanted to go to Disney World, and Watson brings all his brats along, etc. It's like he is showing off his money, like "look, I can take 10 people on vacation at the drop of a hat".

Krista said...

I'm almost disappointed that I missed reading this SS. I think it was written after I had "grown out of" the BSC.

I'm sure I would have been amazed, at age 9, if the BSC had visited some place that I had also visited - "Oh my God, we've been to the same historical landmark!"

Enjoy your vacation!

Anonymous said...

please don't go and leave me here to do actual work.

jc said...

The illustration of MA from this book is similar to "photos" of MA (done photobooth style) that are included in the BSC Chainletter book. Though, she looks a little more like Natalie Portman in the Chainletter book.

Has anyone read the Chainletter book? Even comes with a real friendship bracelet! Was a dollar at Barnes and Noble in the used section.

If you have access to it Tiff, you should do a post on it. Lots of lame-ness going on in that one.

craig! said...

aww, i love the 6ths.

Lauren said...

The Chain Letter book was desperately disappointing. Here I was hoping for all kinds of exciting "secrets" from the members of the BSC, and instead I find Mary Anne admitting that she saw a therapist and Mallory cheating off Jessi on a test. The BSC's secrets are just as lame as their everyday lives!

The one thing that I remembered most about this Super Special is that the RV got stuck in the Badlands and Fucking Dawn is all, "Hey, let me teach you guys a great round to sing!" Seriously. You're 13. Even 13-year-olds voluntarily taking a chorus class don't want to sing a FUCKING ROUND, DAWN.

- Lauren

Loren said...

I found your blog a few weeks ago, and I've read a few reviews here and there--they're awesome. I laugh out loud at least once every time I'm here.

And two other things: 1. I always thought I was the only person who thought the always-13-years-old thing was an issue, and 2. I really, really appreciate that Drop Dead Gorgeous line about the Mall of America.

Have a great vacation!

Dawn said...

Aw, I never read this one, but I was excited to see the Schaumburg part because I used to live there. The mall there (Woodfield Mall, not One Schaumburg Place) is one of the biggest in the country, but next to the Mall of America, it's nothing. I don't know why you'd bother going to both...

Anonymous said...

wow, stacy looks like she is trying to eat his face!

Anonymous said...

**In Stacey's fantasy, her boy has inner torment. That she cures with a "flash of blonde hair."**

I suppose this means Stacey is a natural blond?

Karen said...

Small Fry and The Seal: theres a Sweet Valley Twins blog similar to this one at

its a good blog, but not as funny as this one!! i adore it, thank you tiff! all i need is someone to start recapping the saddle club books and my life will be complete :)

p.s. while many people have recurring dreams about falling, being chased etc. i used to repeatedly dream about going to the library and finding a super-mega bsc book that contained like 12 stories i had never read before. and then i woke up all disappointed. hahaha.

p.p.s. the karen-hating gets me down a little because when i was 8 i thought we were the same person - same name, blonde hair, glasses....i realise now she would have grown up to be that annoying girl no one wants to be friends with but still thinks shes the shit...yet i cant quite let go....

Giselle said...

OK, for me, there has always been far worse BSCers than Stacy: Mallory, Kristy, Mallory, Jessi, and Mallory. I've always sort of felt for Stacy for the whole diabetes thing (I myself have been dealing with it for almost my whole life, though I do tire of reading about how "awful" it is for Stace. I've survived just fine thus far...) However, that whole "Boston Somethings" wigs me out beyond belief. Dumb bitch! I remember being in Beantown for, oh, about 10 minutes and I already knew the main players for the Sox and the Yankees and the team statistics.....And I hate sports. Her brain must have gotten lost with that "flash of blonde hair"....

N said...

Maybe Stacey didn't know about the Sox/Yanks rivalry because she's a Mets fan.

LOL, as if that rich bitch would be anything but a Yankees fan :P

Margie said...

^-- The reason Kristy didn't go with her family is because the north/south thing didn't work with Abby and everyone. Mal, Jessi, and Abby wanted to see southern things, and Kristy's "see as many stadiums as possible" thing could go either direction. Since there wasn't enough room in Kristy's parents' RV for K, A, M, AND J, and A, M, J had to be going south and it didn't matter for K, she switched into the northern RV.

Wow, I think that was just way pathetic "too much detail" there. Oh well. I read this book last weekend, haha.

Kristen said...

Tiff, you are my favorite part of the internets. Seriously.

kiwimusume said...

Oh my GOD, Tiff. You TOTALLY have to review the Super Special Starring The Babysitters Club

I just read it now and it is fucking snark paradise. It has EVERYTHING:

*Dawn being a preachy bitch
*Kristy sucking at something for once in her life
*Stacey acting immature about having Luverboy Sam as her co-actor
*Mallory pissing off the head costume girl by being an immature dickwad about having to measure the boys for their costumes, then ditching her job to take over Mary Anne's
*Karen giving the director a migraine with her attention seeking brattiness, which brings me to:
*Total fucking insanity in the form of the director deciding that the Lost Boys and some others should be played by REAL KIDS. Yeah.

Mahnaz said...

I always thought it was odd that Kristy left her family to go in Dawn's RV. I mean, they explained it...but how awkward for Abby, Mal and Jess? Especially since those three especially aren't as familiar with the family. (MA and Claudia, at least, grew up with Kristy's family...Mal and Jess are barely even peers and Abby is the new kid.)

I so think that Kristy was ditching them. Who wants to hang out with a couple of 11 year olds? (And Abby's sense of humor got obnoxious at times. She tried waaaay too hard.)

There was one fairly cryptic scene. Mary Anne arranges to meet her grandmother (the one she visited in that mystery book) in a mall. The grandmother for some reason doesn't want them to come to her house...she doesn't really explain why, though. That strike anyone else?

Anonymous said...

Yep. She said it really fast like she had something to hide...or maybe I'm reading too much into it. :)

Anonymous said...

Please please please do The BSC Movie sometime!!! Cinematic genius. Five stars!! I tivo-ed it and it is glorious. Some points that I found fun:

* There is a very thick line between tomboy-ish-ness and being a damn lesbian. Kristy manages to hurdle over that line and several times throughout the movie I thought she was itching to makeout with Claudia. There was some serious girl crush going on there.

* Someone should have told the kid who played Logan that there is a difference between Kentucky and England and that the two accents are not the same. At all.

* If you are going to host a summer camp for a zillion little kids in your backyard, the least you could do is ask the neighbors if its OK first. Even if you don't need a permit, which I find highly suspect, but whatever...

* Kristy has a weird secret relationship with her father. Who, by the way, is not only a deadbeat but is a loser who literally lives in a van down by the river. Also, he makes her some weird pancakes that, to me, looked like sperm.

* Stacey and Claudia get kicked out of a TEEN nightclub for not being old enough. WTF?! Seriously. Who is not old enough to get into a club that only serves tap soda? Said club has a bouncer who even checks ID's.

* What kind of fucked up parent allows their 13 year old daughter to go to NYC with a 17 year old boy? And then lets them wander around the city at night by themselves? Is that even legal?

* Mallory only wears men's shirts with neckties. Apparently this makes her a serious author. Stupid stupid Mallory.

* Jessi only has about four lines this movie, probably a conspiracy by Mallory because she is such a fucking racist.

* Why would you NOT tell someone you had diabetes? It is not as though Stacey has that mutant strain of TB. Fucking diabetes! Who cares? Isn't it more embarrassing to pass out on the side of a mountain from not eating in effort to cover up your illness than to just say you have diabetes?

* Claud fails science (because she's so dumb, obviously) and the BSC comes up with a "fool-proof" way for her to NOT fail summer school. They make up a rap that goes on for like five minutes and all it says is, "the brain the brain, the center of the chain." Yeah, real helpful.

* Who the fuck thought it would be a good idea to have their office in a fucking GREENHOUSE? Um, yeah. Idiots. Then they bitch because it gets so hot in there. IT IS A FUCKING GREENHOUSE. IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE HOT.

* Speaking of which, why would they need an office in the first place? They bitch and moan every week about forking over a dollar, yet no one seemed to take into consideration the expense it would be to operate out of an office. Utilities, extra phone/fax lines, property taxes, furniture, etc. Considering their profit from baby-sitting camp was $18.00 TOTAL, how the hell are they supposed to operate from a location other than Claudia's room?

* When your best friend is stranded somewhere in a raging storm by herself, you don't call a 17 year old boy, you call the fucking cops.

* Fucking Jackie Rodowsky. He is mildly retarded for sure.

* Cokie is a straight up ho.

The movie is on Showtime this month--don't miss it!

Anonymous said...

Oh my god! I just watched the movie a few weeks ago!!

Now for the Kristy father thing......... doesn't it seem kind of sketchy that her dad who lives in a van down by the river ONLY wants to see his daughter? He has three freaking sons, too, but he doesn't want to see them. And he won't let her tell anyone about it! Talk about an "extra special" BSC about bad touching in the making.

Also- Why didn't Vanessa Pike talk in rhyme? And why was she blonde?

Anonymous said...

She did rhyme, right? "Flowers and dirt never make you hurt!" She had short red hair and glasses. The curly blonde was like Suzi Barrett or someone.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to be really nit-picky about the movie for just a second, and say that Kristy's apparently the last one turning 13, right? In book #10, MA says that SHE'S the youngest. SO THERE!

Mahnaz said...

The weird thing is, aren't they all supposed to be thirteen by the time the movie started? I.e., all the eighth graders turned 13 by the time Mal and Jessi came along. But in the movie, Kristy's only just turning 13? Also, technically, shouldn't the movie be taking place right before 9th grade? Eh, no point in analyzing.

The calling up the 17 year old to go find Kristy...uh...yeah, Stacey is too dumb to live.

Tracy said...

This blog is amazing and brings back so many (awesomely bad) memories. I've even dusted off my copy of the movie and popped it in the VCR and watched it.

kiwimusume said...

Oh my God. I had forgotten about the sheer craptasticness of that movie. I wonder if it made it out to Japan? I'll have a look when I go to the video library tomorrow, because I am seriously nostalgic for teh stoopid now.

kiwimusume said...

Oh, and Anonymous (the one who said there is a very thick line between tomboy and lesbian)

I thought you might enjoy this line from Wikipedia:

During the series, Kristy has little interest in boys but later finds herself attracted to Bart, a boy who also happens to coach a softball team in Stoneybrook. Later on, they break up due to the strong feelings Bart maintains for Kristy, which she is unable to reciprocate. O_o

Anonymous said...

She's only 13 though... just because she decides she's not ready for a boyfriend, doesn't mean she's a lesbian.

Anonymous said...

"One of her favorite clothing colors is black. According to her, it sets off her blonde hair. Besides, she was born and raised in New York City, and she says native New Yorkers wear black all year long." Wow, I must be a native New Yorker. Who knew?

Does this mean all emos/goths are from New York? O_o

And who said the BSC never taught readers anything?

Phyllis said...

"Okra. Fried chicken. Biscuits with lots of butter. How many times had I smelled those things as I walked up Grandma's front stoop?" Just in case you didn't realize that Jessi's entire family was black...soul food.

What? No collards? No chitlins? No cornbread? I mean, where da watermelon at? [/sarcasm]

kiwimusume said...

She's only 13 though... just because she decides she's not ready for a boyfriend, doesn't mean she's a lesbian.

I just thought it was amusing to read that right after that comment.

(Oh, and I'm a lesbian, in case anyone thinks I'm being anti-gay here...)

Anonymous said...

I think half the fun is seeing who will become a raging lesbian. Is it tomboy Kristy? is it girl next door Mary Anne? is it granola, "Let's save the planet!" Dawn? And I'm sure Claudia will go away to art camp and get hit on by a few bi girls herself.

Why does Jessi's family have so many little statues from Africa AND act as though they've just been transported from Birmingham? Gotta cover aaaaaaaaaaaall our stereotyped bases?

Kristen said...

I actually read this SS there a reference to the movie in it? Cause Kristy talks about how her dad visited and wanted it kept secret, which was a plot of the movie.

If only Dawn, Jeff, and Mr. Schaffer are staying in are the rest of the people from their RV getting home? They made a point of saying no one else could fit in the second RV on the way out.

Anonymous said...

^I was wondering the same thing, Kristen! I don't remember that being a plot of a book, but there are a few I haven't read...

Anonymous said...

Kristy's dad makes a pretty big appearance in Kristy's Book (the autobiographical thing the eighth graders had to do). It's very similar to the movie.

Anonymous said...

ethan is such a fucking pedophile.

Tree of Knowledge said...

I finally finished the archives after finding this last week. Thank you. This is so fabulously funny. After several days of asking "what's so funny?" when finding me laughing so hard I'm spinning in my desk chair, my husband has started asking "babysitter's club?" instead. Awesome.

Anonymous said...

I'm another Seattle native who has an issue with this one: Mr. Schaeffer parks the RV in the middle of downtown Seattle so Stacey can run into the coffee shop to meet Ethan, which would never happen in real life. The streets are too narrow, and the traffic is too bad. I'm not even sure that would be legal...

Anonymous said...

Never been to Seattle, but it says that he parked the RV at a parking meter...I can't say I've ever seen meter parking with spaces big enough for a huge RV.

Andrea St. Clair said...

Okay, I'm reading your blog for the first time and it rocks! Seriously, it brings me back to the days where I really did wish I were in the BSC...

...but the Super Specials, at least wayyyy back in the early 90's were all white; not this fugly crap with iridescent stars. Where did that come from!? I mean, I was such a nerd I had the series categorized by serial number and then all of the Super Specials at the end...

Anonymous said...

I also saw the movie recently (when I should have been studying) and noted some things too:

First, I can't believe I nearly pissed myself to see this craptastic film when it first came makes me cringe to watch it now..and hate myself lol

I also realized Kristy's Pop is a total perv...he bought her a dress to wear for him and only him...a really fugly dress

Stacey is a bit whore-like...I never put that together when I first read the books, but we all know that there's one in every group of friends :)

Where was the 'real' Dawn? Our Cali gal with "hair so blonde it's almost white" that we read about in every book?? The chick from the Nickelodeon show I used to watch when I was a teen is not the Dawn I was imagining lol.

Jessi and Mallory have no purpose...And why did they make Jessi look like an 8 yr. old boy? When I was 11 I at least had a training bra and knew how to do a little something with my hair...Oh well, maybe she only sluts it up for those oh so cool dances they always go to....

Michelle said...

Jessi and Mallory have no purpose...And why did they make Jessi look like an 8 yr. old boy?

I think this shot says it all:

Lynette said...

I saw the movie when I was like 6ish and loved it.

My 11 year old sister threw a fit because Jessi and Mal looked so immature.

Also, when we were older, I called her a "Stacey" as an insult . . .and she was really insulted.

Giselle said...

You all so made me dig out my copy of the BSC Movie a few nights ago. And I watched it. And I hated it and loved it at the same time.

It was kind of embarassing when my boyfriend came home from work to find me watching this and laughing my ass off, but...I think it was worth it.

PS: Those pancakes DID look like sperm........

Angie said...

Look, it's Karen all grown up :P

Anonymous said...

Re: angie

LOL... oh my. Why is that girl wearing SHINY GOLD STRETCH PANTS?

Anonymous said...

"What kind of fuckhead doesn't get gas before heading into the Badlands?"

This made me laugh so hard I shot milk out my nose. Nicky Pike would be proud.

Also, this damn word verification thing to make comments? Really a fucker if you're dyslexic

Sonja said...

I actually brought one of those super specials with a metal-plated cover on a vacation, and it set off the metal detector at the airport. Oops.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, Stacey. Does the nose smell nice, or is it made of cheese?

Anonymous said...

You know when they're all in 'sunny Cal' ?(because they all win the LOTTERY. YEAH RIGHT. Okay, maybe this is just the UK, but usually 11 and 13 year olds aren't allowed to compete in the LOTTERY!!!) and Mary Anne gets crazy worried about Steph, her sitting charge, having asthma?
God, these people are just so naive. It's not a fatal illnesses to have allergies and asthma! Half the people, if not more, in the UK have asthma1 It's not such a big deal! And apparently in 'welcome to the BSC, Abby', Kristy tries to keep her out of the BSC just because she has allergies.
Well, does that mean I can't join any organization because I get allergies?
Well, gee, thanks, Kristy.

Anonymous said...

And see, technically if they were gunna complain about Abby, they shoulda complained about Stacey then. Cause SHE has a potentially life-threatening condition too. Biased bitches.

Anonymous said...

one lesson that i learned from mr. watson brewer himself (and janine, i guess) was that the knives turn in towards the plate.

i don't know if it was a wedding or what, but in one of the books karen brewer was actually doing something helpful/unhelpful (by helping set the table... INCORRECTLY) and the two of them corrected her

and since then, i have always set my table correctly

Peaches said...

OMG!!! That is totally Karen!! hahahaha

Anonymous said...

July 9 is only two days away...

Come on Tiff!!

Anonymous said...

Random question with the covers. This doesn't really apply to the super special, more with the regular series. I remember when my cousin joined one of the book order clubs she started getting the BSC paperback books that have all the girls along the side. However, all the ones I had were simply a pastel color with the picture. At what point in the series did they start using those terrible new covers and reprinting the old ones that way. Like, when were the first printings of those books the ugly covers? (Hates them!)

Maurene said...

thought of all you librarians here when i read this:

Lauren said...

Wow, it's nice to see that Karen turned out just the way I always pictured her!

To the anonymous question about covers - I think they started printing the new covers in or around 1996. I keep seeing the old books with new covers at the library and being all "OH MY GOD it's a BSC book I missed somehow!" It's really disappointing to discover that it's an old one with a jazzed-up cover.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice they butchered the spelling of Schaumburg (not Shamberg) Illinois? Who were the literary editors for AMM? Did they not consult at map for this BSC Across the USA idea?

Ryan Michele said...

Did Abby like, lose a bet that made her wind up in the RV with Jessi and Mallory only? Also, WTF? Does anyone else think it's weird that Kristy ditched her entire family for the other RV and Watson and Elizabeth were OKAY with that?

If I had to travel in an RV with Abby, Jessi, and Mallory for two weeks I'd take my own life.

Anonymous said...

I just came across this blog and I find it so enjoyable. I remember those days of waiting for the next edition. Does anyone else find it odd that they were in 7th grade from book 1 to the begining of the 6th book; but after that they were always in the 8th grade...does this seem odd to anyone else?

talley said...

ok, first off, i found your blog on a nostalgia run, also known as college procrastination. so i started at the beginning and i was dying for you to do the camp mohawk one and the road trip one. those were my FAVORITES. is it weird that i remember kristy wore velcro ponies? anyway, bsc in the usa was my all-time favorite, at least of the super special series. i was also in 4th grade when it came out, so i guess i'm okay. i totally remember everything about it because i read it so many times! something about "is chicken-fried steak chicken or steak?" and the sketch claudia found was a skull of some sort with an ugly frame. and abby has scoliosis and doesn't let us forget. or that might have been another one.
anyway, thanks for the extremely fun trip down memory lane.
and for comedy's sake, in 5th grade on "dress as your favorite book character" day, i was claudia.
let's just say purple velour was involved.

hello darling (formerly hello sunshine!) said...

Wait a second. Watson went to my alma mater?! How did I grow up in Texas, devour these books, and yet this did not register with me!? My mind is seriously blown.

Also did not know Watson is apparently a Southern Baptist. Who knew!

Kylie said...

Dude! I know who the red sox are and I'm from New Zealand. And Mallory being racist. Any one else would think oh she's shy. But not Jessi. No everyone's racist

Angela said...

Okay, am I the only one who thinks Kristy looks like Hitler at the Giants game?

Rachel said...

Just to add to the comments re. the BSC feature film - who the frig would leave their kids at this unlicensed, uninsured 'day camp' run by the BSC? What, the parents didn't make any summer plans for their children? WTF?!?

metamorphstorm said...

I agree that this blog would benefit from Tiff's retold version of "Starring the BSC."

Everyone in it goes crazy for what's happening, and everyone's amped up the Annoying to 11, but Karen takes the cake.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read this book, but I really want to now! It sounds like it would be something good to laugh at. I don't know how I misssed it when I was a kid. And by the way, my friends live near Schaumburg, IL. And I can def see why the girls would go shopping at the mall there. It is huge! And it's fun! So atleast that makes some sense...but now I want to read it just to see what it says about the mall....

metamorphstorm said...

Stacey annoyed the ** out of me in this one ... no matter how many times Claudia told her what had happened, Stacey flipped her hair and stalked off (basically). And then whenever Claudia said something, Stacey would snap at her, and if Claudia dared say something against Stacey, Stacey got all offended!

I used to think Jessi's plot in this book was hugely dramatic ... and then I grew up and realized that she thinks every awkward moment is due to someone's racist ideas, and she stopped being my favorite character :P