Tuesday, October 12, 2021

REVIEW: 'The Baby-Sitters Club' - Mary Anne Fears Expectations After Getting a Boyfriend in 'Mary Anne and the Great Romance'

Netflix's The Baby-Sitters Club - Episode 2.05 "Mary Anne and the Great Romance"

As Dawn and Mary Anne await big news from their mom and dad, Logan sweeps in with a Valentine's Day surprise. But is it too much too soon?

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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 and the Great Romance" was written by Dan Robert & Lisha Brooks and directed by Kimmy Gatewood

Mary Anne and Dawn are ready to become sisters. They anxiously await for Richard to propose to Sharon. They believe it's coming. It's time for them to become engaged. The girls continually get their hopes up only for their parents to tease them with other news. They have expectations. Sure, the members of the Baby-Sitters Club make fun of old rom-coms on Valentine's Day. However, they yearn for that romance in their lives as well. They live through the experiences of those around them. That includes their parents. Kristy is happy for Elizabeth and Watson. She is eager to welcome a new baby into the family. She is also supportive when things don't go as smoothly for Elizabeth. Similarly, Mary Anne and Dawn believe it's time for this big move in their parents' relationship. It's a romantic time of year. They can see the thoughtful nature of how they are choosing to spend their time together. The kids want to plan out what they wear in a show of support for their union. But again, the only people who understand the depths of a relationship are those in it. That also requires them to be honest with their feelings. Newfound pressure is suddenly flung onto Mary Anne and Logan because they make their relationship official. They are boyfriend/girlfriend now. It's celebrated by the other members of the Baby-Sitters Club. In fact, some members are jealous and surprised that Mary Anne is the first to have a boyfriend. But they also celebrate and cherish this relationship. They love how perfect they are together. But they also expect this to dramatically shake up the foundation of their lives. It doesn't have to be that transformative. Mary Anne and Logan have been getting close ever since the summer. Things have progressed. That shouldn't suggest some dramatic change as a result of labels. They really don't matter at the end of the day. It should just be about how the other person makes them feel. Mary Anne loves her friendship with Logan. She can't allow herself to get in her own way when it comes to embracing this potential happiness. She believes she has to act a certain way now. She has a boyfriend. As such, she can only be around other couples at school. It's a blessing that each pairing found each other. That means they no longer have to spend their time with the singles out there on their own. It's the example of how they should behave. This is seen as the epitome of a relationship for this age. It's not real. A lot of cracks lurk under the surface. Those can only be exposed and dealt with through communication. At first, Mary Anne only wants to express her feelings of loneliness with her father. She was certain he wouldn't handle these developments well. He would forbid her from having a boyfriend and going on a date with him. That's not how he reacts. He is happy for her. He knows that she is growing up. He trusts her completely. The guidelines he has for her work perfectly for the person she is. That freedom is welcome. It's also terrifying because she believes she is the only person with a sudden problem in this relationship. That isn't true. Logan also feels the weight of that pressure. He doesn't know how he is suppose to behave. He doesn't want to mess this up. As such, it feels freeing to take that pressure off. They don't have to do or be anything they don't want to do or be. They have that freedom. Their relationship is special and unique. It shouldn't be compared to anything else or come at the expense of the other things they care about. That's a powerful lesson as well. It's easy to fall in love with the fantasy of what something should be. It's annoying when life doesn't follow through on those hopes and dreams. It's still perfectly healthy to aspire for more. The discontent with what currently is can't be all-consuming. They need to find the healthy balance in life no matter what. Richard notes just how aggressively supportive Mary Anne's friends are. He appreciates that. He also enjoys how his daughter pushes him to be better. No one has all the answers. But it's also necessary to trust what each of these dynamics mean to each specific individual. Relying on those bonds for what they are also offers peace and clarity. That too must be respected no matter what. Mary Anne struggles in a way that so many other members of the Baby-Sitters Club do. They have problems and don't know how to communicate them with their friends. There isn't a problem too big that would threaten what these friendships are though. That is always comforting while allowing the show to establish a sustainable premise for storytelling. It still forges ahead with new ideas because these young minds are continuing to mature. These experiences form their identities and it's up to everyone to recognize the rewarding nature of this storytelling at the end of each specific plot.