Friday, July 3, 2020

REVIEW: 'The Baby-Sitters Club' - Mary Anne Figures Out How to Feel Confident Despite Her Fears in 'Mary Anne Saves the Day'

Netflix's The Baby-Sitters Club - Episode 1.04 "Mary Anne Saves the Day"

After dealing with a major dad dilemma, Mary Anne makes a dynamic new friend. Later, a medical emergency puts her care-taking skills to the test.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's The Baby-Sitters Club.

"Mary Anne Saves the Day" was written by Lyle Friedman and directed by Lucia Aniello

People internalize fear in so many conflicting ways. They worry how they are being perceived. All it takes is someone making a comment to send the mind spinning. Mary Anne views herself as a baby. Someone who has not yet grown up. She is stuck in her life because her father is preventing her from being more than she currently is. He doesn't actively listen to her. Instead, he wants to fix life so that everything remains perfect for her. That essentially places her in a bubble. It's a place where she fears disappointing him. It almost makes her afraid of him. She can be assertive with her desires and decisions. But she also worries that her father will react harshly upon realizing what she has done. This is the only parenting she can remember. She lost her connection with her mother. She doesn't know her birth story. She doesn't even know what her mother was like. She has to rely on people outside of the family to tell her stories about who she was. Even then, Mary Anne fears that she is the polar opposite. Her mother has become this mystical creature who she can't even aspire to be one day. Instead, it is an unachievable goal. Mary Anne dreads all of this because her friends play into the confirmation that she is still a baby. They are upset with her because a client specifically requests her. Bailey's parents aren't wrong for wanting to find someone they know will support and advocate for her. Mary Anne is reliable on numerous occasions. As such, they want to encourage that for as long as possible. That entire story showcases how Mary Anne has a much stronger resolve than she gives herself credit for. She freaks herself out because of what could happen. She opens up to her father about her identity struggles. He takes it as her being bullied by her friends. Kristy, Claudia and Stacey are punished as a result. This episode basically presents them as separate entities entirely. Yes, the episodes so far have focused on one of the main characters. However, the previous episodes have also spent time with the other characters. This one spends almost the entire time in Mary Anne's head. She views her friends a bit more harshly than they may otherwise come across. Their words have power. They sting and hurt. She feels abandoned by them. That stands in contrast to the support they gave Stacey after learning about her diabetes. Mary Anne is still capable of making friends and advocating for those who need it. Dawn is a newcomer to Stoneybrooke. And yes, the show goes all in a Los Angeles identity with her. But she also welcomes Mary Anne into a new world. It's one that is already present in this town. This family has a history here. Mary Anne and Dawn realize that at the end of the episode with the reveal that their parents used to date in high school. They are now spending the holiday together. It's awkward but it's also special because they are together as a group instead of alone as families. Mary Anne believes she needs her father's permission in order to grown up. She is exploring so much of the world on her own though. She immediately understands Bailey's identity after spending time with her. She is so accepting and welcoming about it as well. She is amazed and inspired that Bailey has parents who support her too. She wants to ensure that everyone has that same reaction. Not everyone does right away though. And so, she has to speak up on Bailey's behalf. She has to make it known that it's not okay to misgender her. It's disrespectful and will only make the patient worse. It's scary to be in the hospital. It doesn't have to be worse because people refuse to understand Bailey's gender identity. In that moment, Mary Anne is a hero. It's an emotional highlight of the season so far. It wins over everyone. That proves that she has the strength and resolve to accomplish whatever she wants. She may stand in her own way from time to time. That may come from growing comfortable with certain patterns with her father and her friends. Those have to be challenged when they arise. It doesn't have to break these friendships or family bonds either. It just has to come with the clarity that relationships evolve over time. New friends enter but old passions still remain too. Babysitting will always be the thing that unites these friends as they hope to leave their mark on the world.