Episode 4: Kristy and the Great Campaign
In this week’s episode, we are plunged into the flithy world of political machinations which rules the lives of the ordinary people who attend the Stoneybrook, Connecticut, public education system. This week’s episode is akin to your House of Cardses or Game of Throneses. Baby-Sitters of Club. Club of Baby-Sitters. That’s much better. Pretend I typed that first. (It should be noted that I in general do not like political dramas, so this episode is going to be rough for me.)
We open with some of the sitters and some of the kids playing some sort of game with a ball outside in the winter. As someone who has been living through winter for the past thirty-seven months, I really appreciate that these kids are actually playing in real snow, the trees are really bare, those coats are really making them warm. Nothing chafes my balls (real phrase) more than some Californians throwing on an unzipped North Face and having some styrofoam sprinkled on them and occasionally rubbing their arms with unmittened hands while having a conversation that is not about how cold it is. Attention Hollywood: if you are outside in the winter and you are having a conversation, the conversation is going to be about how cold it is, and I sure as shit should not be able to see your sternum!
We find out her name is Courtney Weston, and she’s a new girl in Jackie’s class, and Jackie for sure has a big ol’ crush on her, even though he says he doesn’t. “Girls are gross.” Courtney is very shy, we are told, and she turns down Kristy’s invitation to play with them. I immediately identify with Courtney, guys. She and I are soulmates, both of us straight-haired brunette introverts with first names that start with C. Don’t let Kristy, that straight-haired brunette extrovert, push you around, Courtney! Stay true to yourself and play by yourself on your flying saucer sled if it makes you happy!!
This episode is a slow burn. The first five minutes or so is just a bunch of small talk at the BSC regular meeting. The only things we find out are 1) Claudia ate a whole bunch of M&Ms, and 2) Kristy is going to baby-sit Courtney on Tuesday. She’ll be picking her up from school and then a bunch of the sitters and their charges and going to the “video store.” Sure.
On Tuesday, Kristy finds Courtney in her classroom, holding a “mouseday” party for one of the class pets, a mouse named Smiley McMouse Jr. Courtney is wearing a party hat and singing and petting Smiley. Uh, I might have been too quick to throw my support behind Courtney. I am all for celebrating fake holidays, but Courtney’s strange falsetto singing is giving me the heebie-jeebies. However, please make note of all the animals appearing in the classroom in this scene. There are two mice, some goldfish, and a rabbit, plus some other cages and containers. This menagerie WILL be referenced again.
Kristy and Courtney head to the “Stoneybrook Video Store,” which I’m pretty sure is just a Suncoast Video. A whole pack of sitters and their charges are already there, screaming their lungs out and making a mess of things and blocking fire escape paths and being general nuisances. And I am making that judgement before Kristy knocks down a display. They’re all arguing over what video to get, and Courtney saves the day by suggesting something that is both funny and scary, which I think is how FDR got his start in politics, too!
Suncoast Stoneybrook Video Store is Jeremy Marver, and we are finally introduced to the real meat of the episode, seven minutes in. Jeremy is running for third-grade student council, and he is pulling out all the stops! He’s got posters up in Suncoast and had some pretty nice buttons which say “MARVER-LOUS.” He gives a couple of buttons to Jackie and Courtney and thanks them for their vote, but as soon as his back is turned, they drop the buttons in the convenient wastepaper basket nearby. It turns out that Jeremy is the little brother of Justin Marver, who is Kristy’s greatest enemy. I guess the character of Alan Gray as Kristy’s greatest enemy didn’t make the transition to the small screen. He beat her once at a science fair, or something? Kristy says he cheated, but the other girls say that “his beehive really deserved to win.” And then Kristy says, “Yeah, he had the stings to prove it.” Like it’s a big zinger? It seems like if he got stung by bees, probably he did do a lot of work on that beehive. Anyway, Kristy is all riled up and has her gameface on. Justin Marver Must Die!
In the next scene it’s revealed that Jeremy is running for student council unopposed, which Courtney thinks is too bad. The popular kids always seem to win, but other kids have really great ideas. Kristy suggests Courtney run, but Courtney says no. Every time she speaks up in class she sounds stupid, she says. No one would vote for her. There is a terrifying twinkle in Kristy’s eye.
Next scene, we see the BSC speaking VERY loudly in a library. Evidently, Kristy has gathered them all there to announce another of her “great ideas.” Everyone is skeptical because last time Kristy had a great idea they all got lost in New York and Mary Anne and Dawn “nearly got arrested.” Just my quick imagining of that situation is already 90 times more interesting than this episode. (There are male prostitutes involved.) Obviously, Kristy’s great idea is to get Courtney to run for student council. “She’s quiet, but she has some great ideas,” says Kristy, even though so far all we’ve seen from Courtney is singing falsetto to a mouse, picking out a movie, and saying that other kids have great ideas. There’s more to running a
country third grade classroom than ideas, kids!!
Kristy has deduced that Courtney just has a self-confidence issue, and the BSC jumps at the chance to be her campaign team. Mary Anne, bless her straight-haired brunette introvert heart, says that maybe they should ask Courtney how she feels about it. But her thoughtful, practical suggestion is ignored.
Long story short, Kristy talks her into it and all the other girls (even Mary Anne!) go full-force into making Courtney her generation’s Frances Perkins. In everyone’s defense, the other girls keep making mild jokes, because this is a third-grade election we’re talking about. Kristy is being 100% humorless. They arrive at Courtney’s house to work on the campaign chanting the new slogan “Count on Court.” Fine. Stay with me because there’s going to be a nice montage and a lot of really great hats! But first, ICE CREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!
Even though she’s surrounded by delicious, top-grade ice cream, Kristy is a holy terror in this scene. She basically rips Jessi a new one because her poster skills are not the best. This sets off a montage of Kristy being terrible. The signs that Claudia designed aren’t good enough. The speech Mallory helps Courtney write is terrible. There is, though, a fashion component to this montage! Because even though these girls are existing in a pre-Hilary Rodham Clinton world, they know that the first thing a political woman will be judged by is her hair. Here are some of the styles from which Courtney/Kristy had to choose.
The Awesome Poofy Headband
Then they go to the mall again, and pick out an outfit for Courtney, which is actually kind of cute, and at the Contempo Casuals or whatever, they run into the Marver brothers who are also terribly and keep calling Kristy “Crystal,” which is a little hilarious. And ugg, guys, this episode is so boring!! There’s still over 14 minutes left in it and I feel like I’ve been watching it since the Reagan administration.
I will, however, say this. Those Marver boys are douches. Jeremy steps right in front of Courtney while she’s looking in the mirror, and Justin says that Kristy is a slacker because she’s always “playing softball with the neighborhood kids.” Excuse me? Look, Kristy and I have had our differences, but it doesn’t take much condescension to get my anger going. Kristy organized that softball league, and she RUNS A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS, you turd. Also, when they’re leaving, Jeremy pats Courtney on the shoulder and says, “May the best man win.” Go back to the 1950s where you belong, Marvers! This is a post-Geraldine Ferraro world you’re living in!
There’s also a fun bit (not fun) where Mary Anne and Dawn are hanging up Count on Court posters with Jackie, and they tease him a little, saying he’s just doing it because he likes Courtney. And Jackie says, “I just like hammering stuff.” Same difference, little man. Same difference.
Okay, speeding ahead, at “the election” which just looks like a school fair, someone convinces Jackie to put a snake in his pants (ladies) in order to scare the Marvers, I think? And Jeremy reacts like a priss, because he is a little priss HAHAHA, but Courtney is amazing and has great ideas and is not afraid of the snake. Everyone’s impressed. Because effeminate males are inherently funny and absurd and not fit for public office, and because Courtney finally showed her true self (not afraid of snakes), Courtney wins the election.
And Kristy learns a valuable lesson, which is, uuuuuuh, I’m not sure. I think it’s supposed to be something like, “Don’t try to turn someone into something they’re not.” Or maybe something about revenge? But everything worked out really well for Kristy. She was ultimately right about Courtney and her ability to be a good leader. I dunno, guys, this was a not-very-good episode with nothing really at stake and no real urgency. I give this episode one disgusted Mallory face.
Next week is a Christmas episode, and I’m pretty excited for that! Stay tuned!