Wednesday, October 13, 2021

REVIEW: 'The Baby-Sitters Club' - Claudia Struggles to Express Her Grief After a Tragedy in 'Claudia and the Sad Goodbye'

Netflix's The Baby-Sitters Club - Episode 2.07 "Claudia and the Sad Goodbye"

A heartbreaking turn of events redefines Claudia's life and - with loving support from her friends and family - pushes her out of her comfort zone.

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.

"Claudia and the Sad Goodbye" was written by Sascha Rothchild and directed by Robert Luketic

Mimi dies and Claudia wants to run away from her grief for as long as possible. Her grandmother has been such an influential part of her life. She serves as a guardian of their culture and a stable comfort throughout life's many twists and turns. She had a stroke in the first season. That too was an emotional experience. It's just as heartbreaking when the news is delivered that she passed away peacefully in her sleep. It was just like any other night as well. She walked around the house proud of her grandchildren. She said goodbye. That was it. It wasn't this long and dramatic thing. She was actively part of their lives passing along her wisdom every single day. Claudia appreciated that. Sure, she knew that her grandmother struggled after the stroke. Her recovery was still miraculous in a number of ways. Her death is tragic. It's also the circle of life. Everyone can remark on how joyous and long her life was. Mimi got to enjoy life and everything that this world had for her. She was proud to be a part of this family. She was a part of the community too. The show has to go relatively small when it comes to depicting the impact she had throughout this world. And yet, that also allows it to be even more intimate and vulnerable with the core characters. Claudia obviously had a close connection with Mimi. So did the other members of the Baby-Sitters Club. Claudia's home is where they have their meetings. Kristy recognizes just how much Claudia does to make the place special all the time. Mimi also contributed to that. She was incredibly giving to these young girls as they grew their independence in this world. She was proud of each of them too. She has helped shape their lives. And now, she's gone. It's sad. Everyone wants to be there for Claudia as she mourns. Her grief has to weigh more heavily than what her friends are feeling. But they are all entitled to their own reactions to this news. Mimi provided Mary Anne with a connection to her mom. She is grateful that her father was able to finally process his grief and began to open up more. Mimi also provided that clarity for Mary Anne to know exactly who she is despite the tragedy that began so early in her life. Mimi has often served as the melting pot in her home as well. Claudia and Janine don't get along as sisters. Mimi brought them together. She always knew exactly what was going on in their lives. She knew that Janine and Ashley were dating. Claudia picked up on those hints as well. She previously told her sister that she would be supportive and listen if she ever needed to open up to her. And yet, Janine is still scared to tell her parents. She has felt the burden of carrying the emotional weight of this household. She has to support others in her family. It's exhausting while Claudia opts to run away. She can't be in this house because everything reminds her of Mimi. She wants to come home and have her there. She misses her deeply. That will never change. Her memory lives on though. Everyone makes sure of that. Claudia can't refuse to cope with her grief. Mary Anne helps her accept it. It's something she has to deal with in order to emerge healthy on the other side. It's painful. That's the point. That's the insight that only Mary Anne can provide. Stacey tries her best as well. She gives Claudia a place to be when she can't be home. Her family has their own problems though. That tension is apparent and felt by the kids too. Life doesn't stop just because someone has died. Claudia can offer love and support to her friends when they need it. They extend the same empathy to her. At the end of the day, Claudia can offer the best way to honor Mimi. She simply has to carry forward all that she taught her. Caring for others and showing them how much they mean to her is just as important as whatever gift she hands to them. It's more than just tea. It's about honoring what this family means. Nothing will be the same because Mimi is gone. They can laugh. They can cry. They can remember all the good times. That's the rewarding and cathartic place for this story to go. It's peaceful while communicating the proper ways to deal with grief. It offers some valuable life lessons that are appealing to a younger audience struggling to know how to communicate these feelings with others. That's the greatest gift this show can offer. The execution remains absolutely remarkable. These various interactions should be normalized no matter how complicated and difficult the conversations can be. Bringing power to that is inspiring while never shying away from the brutal reality of death and its impact on those left behind to grieve.