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Modern reboot, modern baggage

A modern reboot carries modern baggage


Netflix

Modern reboot, modern baggage
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Netflix’s new series The Baby-Sitters Club will entertain kids. But it disregards Biblical values, offering a progressive, pro-LGBTQ “update” on Ann M. Martin’s best-selling books from the ’80s.

Visually, it pops like an updated American Girl movie. At first, characters such as club founder Kristy (Sophia Grace) and budding artist Claudia (Momona Tamada) seem as sweet and American as apple pie. The five main characters’ entrepreneurial spirit shines as they develop a babysitting business. Episodes focus on friendship and tween-age anxieties.

But creator Rachel Shukert also “updates” the beloved characters. Several of their parents and clients live gay lifestyles. Claudia references Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, longs for a “life-partner” (not a husband), and paints nude models. Mary Anne (Malia Baker) earns hero status by browbeating adults into using a child’s transgender pronouns.

It’s not just sexuality. Babysitter Dawn (Xochitl Gomez) leads a Les Misérables–inspired protest against charging money for camp activities. From climate change to sexism to a wedding led by a self-proclaimed witch, it’s a whole new Stoneybrook.

By giving the babysitters’ parents bigger roles and casting them with big-name actors like Alicia Silverstone (Clueless, American Woman), Shukert hopes to pull in kids’ parents too.

One type of person doesn’t exist in the new Stoneybrook: those who stray from the new ideology. The exclusion of millions of Christian tween girls makes the series a “club” of a different sort.


Emily Whitten

Emily is a book critic and writer for WORLD. She is a World Journalism Institute and University of Mississippi graduate, previously worked at Peachtree Publishers, and developed a mother's heart for good stories over a decade of homeschooling. Emily resides with her family in Nashville, Tenn.

@emilyawhitten

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