Friday, June 19, 2009

Super Special #2: Baby-Sitters' Summer Vaction

Tagline: Good-bye, Stoneybrook...hello, Camp Mohawk!

Cover: I thought this would make a good Super Special to start with, because I don't have Babysitters on Board (here). Camp Mohawk one is a good one to start at, because while it's pretty silly, it's not flat-out ridiculous like some of the other ones (California Girls, NewYork New York, or the last couple). The cover gets the summer camp feeling across. I've always thought it was (from left to right): Kristy, Dawn, Jessi, Mary Anne, Stacey, Mallory, Claudia. But Stacey and Dawn aren't always easy to tell apart, even though they should be, because Stacey should have shoulder length permed hair and Dawn should have loooooong cornsilk hair. But they never do. Anyway, the rest of it is typically odd. Jessi is showing off her looooong dancer's legs. Kristy is short. Mary Anne, being all bent over like that, would be way too tall if she straightened up. Claudia's legs are so short that she can't even touch the ground. It looks like somebody kicked Dawn in the balls.

Plot!: The BSC decides to be summer camp consellors, because they watched some camp movie and thought it would be fun, or something. And of course, everyone in Stoneybrook also decides to send their kids there. So they go to Camp Mohawk and have varying plot lines:
  • Stacey gets sick and spends most of her time in the infirmary.
  • Claudia falls in luv with a Japanese-American guy named Will.
  • Jessi meets some racists but changes their minds through the power of dance.
  • Mallory dorks out with Jessi.
  • Mary Anne feels way uncool compared to the other counsellors, so she acts all schmoopy
  • Dawn gets lost while camping.
  • Kristy gets a makeover.
  • Logan gets teased because Mary Anne is his girlfriend.
This is the first Super Special with the 'classic' line-up that includes Mallory and Jessi. Stacey is still in New York, but she convinces her parents to let her leave NYC for this wilderness.

Continuity Fairy: The Super Specials always have random things assigned to them. Like Stacey - she's not normally a hypochondriac. And Kristy doesn't really care what people think about her. Plus, everyone is racist.

Points of Interest:
  • Kristy calls Stacey the New York branch of the BSC. God. Can't they just be friends without making EVERYTHING about the club?
  • Stacey's the one who makes it into a book, the one who is like, "Okay, guys, write down all of your experiences because I need a memory book!" That's another consistently dumb plot device.
  • She's reading Catcher in the Rye. Of course. Isn't it a little scandalous for a BSC member? Shouldn't she be reading some Paula Danziger or something?
  • Dekanawida is NOT A HARD NAME.
  • Sometimes I'm curious about the relationship Emily Michelle will have with her siblings when she grows up. I mean, when I'm thinking deeply about fictional two-and-a-half year olds.
  • Dawn watches The Parent Trap once a week? Because of the divorce? That seems...not healthy. Does Dawn ever get therapy? Even in the California Diaries? Mary Anne does, though, doesn't she? I have a memory of someone talking to a therapist of some kind.
  • Seven of the Pikes go to camp? (All but Claire, because she's too young). What? Do the Pikes come from money? Because they probably ALSO go to Sea City that summer. Crazy. Meanwhile, how awesome would that be for Claire, to have all of her parents attention?
  • They really sing the Bottles of Beer on the wall all the way there? I doubt it. They'd get sick of singing it and trail off, I would think.
  • Do we know Mimi's first name? Claudia writes a postcard to Mimi and addresses it to Mrs. L. Yamamoto.
    But Claudia starts the postcard with: Hi, Who are you? So maybe it's not for Mimi after all. Maybe she's part of a random postcard mailing project.
  • Junior CITs is the dumbest part of this book. And there are a lot of dumb parts. You're eleven years old! Who wants all of that responsibility? Be a kid! Have fun!
  • Stacey got a body wave for her hair. I still don't really know what that means.
  • Jessi is complaining about everything: there are no black kids at camp. she can't be a CIT. Her roommates all have names that begin with MA. Wah.
  • Mallory makes Junior CIT armbands. Lame.
  • We have to hear everyone explain that the counselor gets a private area, and that Mrs. Means is called Old Meanie. It's not more interesting the third time.
  • Mallory 'haughtily' defends the Bobbsey Twins, and then gets accused of reading them. Instead of denying this or explaining she just has a good memory (or a general knowledge brain), Jessi instead insists they DO read the books, which they don't. If she'd said they read horse stories, the bonding that happens later (spoiler?) could happen now. Stupid.
  • Mary Anne name-drops Julie Harris and Faye Dunaway. Mary Anne is about the only BSC member I can see knowing those actresses, but I still don't buy it. At least it's not an I Love Lucy reference.
  • Mary Anne tries to impress the other CITs by revealing she has a boyfriend, but they aren't that impressed by Logan. Probably because "he's from Kentucky and is on the other side of the lake" sounds a lot like "she lives in Canada."
  • One of Dawn's campers just wants to read Anne of Green Gables, so Dawn calls her stuck-up. Yeah, take that, Heather! Reading is so uppity. Feminists like conformists, right, Dawn?
  • Ugh. Nonie.
  • Jessi and Mallory seem even more co-dependent than usual in this book. Between linking arms to walk places together and getting up early to say good morning to each other, they seem more coupley than they ever do.
  • Kristy claims she doesn't know what her name means. According to Wikipedia, it means "follower of Christ." Would that really not have been in a baby book? Kristin, in the 80s? I don't believe it. I also don't know why I'm choosing THIS to be hung up on.
  • At the 'canteen,' Claudia buys: a snickers bar, an almond joy, a mars bar, a bag of doritos, two packages of peanut m&ms, a pack of twinkies, and cheese doodles. I think she has some kind of problem.
  • Mary Anne calls it 'Lake Dukakis.' Ha...ha?
  • Logan compares writing for Stacey with 'The Diary of Anne Frank.' I usually love ANM's efforts to talk about real books, but this one just feels odd.
  • Rick, Logan's co-CIT, is WILD. We know that because he wears a Hawaiian shirt over his camp clothes.
  • Dawn said she's never met anyone like Heather - quiet, prefers to read, and calm under pressure. Uh, that sounds a lot like...Dawn's best friend/step-sister, Mary Anne.
  • Dawn's speech to the campers when she takes over as counselor sounds a lot like Charlie's speech when Watson and Elizabeth go on their honeymoon. Of course, it was a cliche to begin with: you MUST stay up late, you MUST eat junk food, etc.
  • I always thought that Dropsy was when you dropped stuff a lot. No, I'm serious.
  • Claudia has this weird speech about how her parents want her to marry a Japanese guy (probably), so she's really glad that the guy at camp that she hasn't actually ever talked to is Japanese.
  • For no reason (is it in the public domain?), Dawn's campers sing "Monster Mash" while on their hike. I know that Karen sings it in a Little Sister book, too.
  • I don't even know how to end this, because all of the non-plots have non-endings. Dawn is no longer lost. Kristy goes to a dance. Claudia falls in luv and then cries. The end.

Final Thought: I never really liked summer camp.


Sadako said...

"Sometimes I'm curious about the relationship Emily Michelle will have with her siblings when she grows up. I mean, when I'm thinking deeply about fictional two-and-a-half year olds."

Yeah, me too. I love how Kristy always points out her ADOPTED Vietnamese sister Emily. You know, who's a little slow and so forth? I think I'd grow up to murder the entire family if I were EM. Esp. for giving me a freaking double name.

Caroline from Sheep Are In said...

I know - she can David Michael can commiserate about that. And she's 15 years younger than Charlie, and when Kristy goes away to school, she'll still be only six or seven. Also - having Karen as a sister? I doubt she'll like not being Watson's older brother.

Not that I think too much about this...

Susan said...

Ha! "She lives in wouldn't know her." "Well, in addition to the NUMBER of girls in the Niagara Falls area..." Love the Breakfast Club.