For a generation of girls in the 1990s, The Baby-Sitters Club was THE thing to read. A massive book series started by Ann M. Martin about five girls who run a babysitting club/hotline in their small town gave girls easily accessible adventures that addressed issues like diabetes, divorce, and other age-appropriate problems. So, unsurprisingly, Netflix is ready to cash in on that nostalgia with a cute reboot this summer:
The Baby-Sitters Club follows the same plots from the novel, though in a modern setting. They make a joke about the 90s-tastic phone being bought on Etsy, and a lot of the fashion is now “retro” cool. We still have the key five girls: Mary Anne, Claudia, Stacy, Kristy, and Dawn, though at the end it looks like it expands to more of the characters.
Showrunner Rachel Shukert (GLOW) and director Lucia Aniello (Broad City) tells Entertainment Weekly that their goal was to be faithful to the books while still being empowering for girls growing up now.
“We just leaned into updating them for today,” Shukert says. “We really see Mary Anne come into her own and figure out who she is. She learns how to own herself. Claudia in the books is bad at school but we dig into that more in a way that feels right for today. The way that we deal with Stacy’s diabetes is a little different because the treatment and diagnosis of diabetes now is quite different than it was in the ’80s, so we tried to really get like the medical of it right in terms of how it would affect your life, what kind of equipment she would use, how she would feel about it, what the girls would understand about it and what they wouldn’t.”
“We’re in this moment where it’s really nice to see the stories of young women who are leaders in their community and their friendships with each other and their families are so important to them,” Aniello adds. “Hopefully we’ll set a really great example for a new generation, the way that the books did for ours.”
The cast includes Shay Rudolph, Malia Baker Malia Baker, Sophie Grace, Momona Tamada, and Xochitl Gomez as the core group, with Mark Feuerstein and Alicia Silverstone among others.
The Baby-Sitters Club premieres on Netflix on July 3, 2020.