October 11, 2021

Netflix’s BSC 2.2, Claudia and the New Girl: Take the Lead

Posted in TV tagged , at 4:42 pm by Jenn

Who doesn’t love a sleepover full of self-reflection?

Kristy gets strep throat and has to miss school, the club, and sitting for a week. A powerless Kristy is an anxious Kristy. She asks Dawn to run meetings for her, which annoys Claudia. She worries that Kristy doesn’t think she’s responsible enough to be in charge. Stacey suggests that Claudia prove her leadership skills by taking on some of Kristy’s sitting jobs, including one where Mallory’s tagging along for “training.”

That goes badly. Mallory is a try-hard and so eager to fit in that she just annoys everyone. The girls have just taken personality tests at a sleepover (Kristy’s idea, of course), and Mallory’s results were inconclusive because she couldn’t pick the “right” answers. She wishes she were more of an individual like Claudia.

Claudia quickly gets fed up with Mallory, whose insecurity has made her kind of immature. Mallory’s also clearly trying to be more like Claudia, which kind of defeats the purpose of being an individual. Claudia snaps at her, which makes her shrink into herself. Claudia feels bad but tells herself that now Mallory will be more of an individual.

While the “new girl” of the episode title really refers to Mallory here, Ashley, the new girl of the book, is also present, just in a different way. This Ashley is a popular fashion designer and classmate of Janine’s. Claudia is a huge fan-girl and wonders why Ashley, the coolest girl on the planet, wants to hang out with a nerd.

Ashley tells Claudia that she knows Claudia doesn’t get her friendship with Janine. Yes, Janine uses big words and can be off-putting, but once Ashley really started listening to her, she realized that there’s more there. Janine is a true individual, which is the coolest thing you can be. Claudia realizes that she didn’t lead Mallory well because she didn’t listen. She reads some of Mallory’s stories, which Mal had asked her to do, and is impressed by her creativity and imagination. She regrets not listening to Mallory more. She wants to collaborate and turn Mallory’s stories into books.

Dawn turns out to be a disaster as a leader, because she’s more focused on the structure of meetings and the administrative side over what the club is doing. She wants to “usher in major reforms.” Kristy gets itchy about some of her changes, but she ends up liking some of her ideas, including how members should pay dues. They’ll also donate some of their earnings to charity. So while Kristy is in charge, and probably always will be, she knows how to listen to her followers.

The details:

  • Karen puts on an old-fashioned nurse’s cap to take Kristy her strep medication. The way she stares, I’d worry she was giving Kristy poison.
  • Mary Anne worries that the club is supposed to be paying taxes. “Not if we’re a corporation,” Dawn says. “We can just hoard our profits until we’re bailed out by the disappearing middle class.” Sharon, please tell your daughter to chill a little.
  • Stacey now uses an app to manage her diabetes and insulin intake.
  • While sick, Kristy attends a BSC meeting via Zoom. Mimi also uses Zoom to attend her book club, since none of the members can drive. She gives Claudia a bit of a nudge toward solving her problem when she mentions that she likes being in the club because she gets to hear so many different perspectives.
  • Vanessa thinks Claudia is super-cool, which means she probably thinks Mallory is cool by association.
  • Once Claudia has learned that part of being a leader is having a team who wants to follow, and part of being individual is being yourself, she invites Janine to open up to her any time she needs someone to listen. “Okay,” Janine replies before walking away. Heh.

The differences/changes:

  • On top of the other changes with Ashley, she’s Black. She’s also not annoying like the Ashley in the book – she’s nicer than most teenagers would be to their friends’ younger siblings. Basically, the only thing the two Ashleys have in common is their name and Claudia’s admiration of them.
  • Instead of a flat dues rate, the girls pay a percentage of their earnings, and they can pay more during a week they’ve earned more or less when they’ve earned less. This evens things out for Jessi and Mallory, who can’t sit as late as the older girls and therefore would be giving up a larger percentage of their earnings.

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