Claudia & The Phantom Phone Calls
Episode 2 of The Baby-Sitters Club begins with a changed focus on Claudia. It’s here we learn more about her past and her affection for one of the boys in her class, Trevor Sandbourne. With the Halloween Hop coming up, Claudia tries to keep her cool in the face of him asking if she’ll be there.
At the Baby-Sitters Club, Kristy bemoans how the dance is another excuse for boys to take advantage of girls and continues to avoid babysitting duties at the Watson’s. Unable to say no, Mary Anne agrees to take over for her instead.
Back home, Claudia has disagreements with her parents over her poor grades. In order for her to go to the dance they offer up an ultimatum – if she can get good grades on her test then she can go to the dance.
With an alleged Phantom Caller on the loose, Mary Anne heads home and apologises to her Father for being 20 minutes late. Unfortunately he’s none too happy with her tardiness and switches her phone to a much older model and grounds her. This also means there’s no way for her to be able to babysit for Watson.
Back at school the next day, Kristy and Mary Anne fall out over the babysitting situation while Claudia, despite studying hard, can’t do enough to prevent getting bad grades in her test. Instead, Stacey takes one for the team and hands over her A- paper, convincing her to change the name on the piece to hers given it’s all written in pencil.
Claudia eventually caves and changes the name but clearly feels guilty given the delighted reaction from her parents. With the guilt too much, she eventually tells them the truth. Unfortunately this also means she’s not able to go to the dance.
Kristy is forced to babysit Watson’s kids and she’s certainly not thrilled about it, turning up with a face of thunder. However, Watson’s daughter Karen sits with her and discusses a seance she’s performing for her doll which certainly piques her interest. Kristy eventually picks up the repeated calls from Mary Anne who apologises for her earlier outburst about Kristy’s Father and gives some neat tips for the babysitting job ahead.
Claudia meanwhile paints Mimi’s portrait but a text message certainly throws a spanner in the works; someone else has decided to start up a babysitting club.
The Review Write-Up
With the changed focus to Claudia this time around, The Baby-Sitter’s Club cleverly mixes things up and allows the story to shine from a slightly different perspective. This works surprisingly well too and helps to understand a lot of the issues Claudia is going through. The high expectations from her parents, especially in the wake of her genius sister Janine, taps into that hidden fear of being overshadowed by your siblings and this is captured pretty well through the episode.
Alongside that though Kristy’s character arc has taken a bit of a step back here as she offers up disdain toward Watson and his kids. There’s clearly a lot more to this story than we’re being shown and I’d imagine Kristy probably has some pretty raw pent-up emotion toward her Father, explaining why she’s acting this way. For now though, Baby-Sitters Club is just starting to settle into a consistent rhythm.