3 out of 5 stars
Time for another super far-fetched Super Special! As you can tell from the cover, the girls are going to sunny California. This cover isn't too bad actually. All the girls are represented well, except maybe Mallory. She looks a little too old for me. Although that could have been on purpose. You know how she wants to grow up so fast. Kids these days. Okay, so how are the girls able to go to California? We all know Kristy is mega-bucks rich now, but Mallory's dad was unemployed for a month or so, so we know they don't have extra money for a fancy vacation. Well...are you ready for this?....the girls won the lottery. Yes, really. Claudia liked to play the lottery each week because she was that way. (Her dad bought her tickets.) And when the lotto reached $23million, the rest of the BSC figured "hey, why not?" They pooled their money and got 7 tickets and agreed to split any winnings. If they won the big one, it'd be $3mil each and they "could be women of leisure all [their] lives." Yeah, sorry to burst your bubble Dawn, that's not enough to be leisurely on.
Anyway, they don't win the big lotto but they do get 5 out of the 6 numbers and end up winning $10,000 or $1,428.57 each...which turns out to be enough for them all to go to California and visit Dawn's dad on their 2 week vacation. K, first of all...they are staying with Dawn's dad and he's most likely feeding them all for the 2 weeks. Airplane tickets are what? $300 each? Probably less. Why do they need that much extra money? Mallory's dad just got a new job in the last book, shouldn't she be giving her parents some of that money? And Mary Anne's tight-wad dad isn't making her put most of that in a savings bond or something? Totally unrealistic. And second...the lotto is called the "Jack-o'-Lottery Jackpot". That gives the illusion that this is around Halloween, right? What 2 weeks are they off? Thanksgiving? It's still warm enough in Cali to go swimming and stuff, so I have no idea. Major plot hole there. But, whatev, let's go with it.
So they head to Cali and fun in the sun, but first, we get a truly horrifying What Claudia is Wearing at the last BSC meeting before their trip. ...she was wearing a red shirt with Mexican hats and cactus plants printed on it, and blue-and-white-striped pants held up by polka-dotted suspenders. On her head was what looked like an engineer's cap (it matched her pants), and dangling from her ears were miniature cowboy boots, which she'd made herself.
Not a whole lot happens in this special, honestly, so I'm just going to break it down by character and hit the main points.
Let's start with Dawn, since it's her family they're visiting. She's super excited to see her dad & Jeff, but not so much Carol, the girlfriend/foreshadowed-soon-to-be-stepmom. Carol is helping out the first week, driving all the girls around and stuff because Dawn's dad has to work, and it totally makes Dawn mad because Carol is way too old to be acting all friendly with the girls. Carol's age? 32. My age? Take a guess lol. Carol is all laid back and pretty much lets the girls do what they want and that pisses Dawn off for some reason. She finally gets over it after Carol acts like a grown-up with Stacey and tells her dad that it's cool if he wants to marry her. She also calls Cali "home" and talks about how much she misses it.
Kristy and Mary Anne both get baby-sitting jobs while on vacation (it's a requirement that at least one BSCer baby-sit during a Super Special), although Kristy's was dullsville. The BSC met the We<3Kids Club and Kristy was shocked and a little bit scandalized to see how lackadaisical the club was run. They meet "whenever" and take jobs if they want them and they don't have club positions. Kristy, who feels she "had sort of invented baby-sitting clubs," is horrified and agrees to take a job for two little boys who are terrors, thinking she can show them a thing or two about baby-sitting. Well, she doesn't. The boys aren't terrors really, just kind of rambunctious and excited. I mean, Kristy takes them with their group to Universal Studios...what kid wouldn't get over-excited about that? She doesn't really learn anything or have any big adventures.
Mary Anne's job is much more interesting. She baby-sits for Stephie, a little girl around 7-8 years, who lives just with her dad and has asthma. Mary Anne immediately freaks, but the We<3Kids girls tell her it's okay, Stephie knows how to use her "inhalator", and she hardly ever has attacks. Once Mary Anne meets Stephie, she calms down some and really starts to bond with her. Both girls are shy, grew up only with their dads, moms died early, dad treats them way younger. Of course, Stephie ends up having an attack with Mary Anne, but MA takes care of it like a pro. Maybe she should have been a trauma nurse instead of a librarian lol. MA & Stephie decide to be pen pals when MA goes back home.
Moving on, Claudia falls in love...again. Seriously, her parents need to have a talk with her. She meets a guy on the beach, he's super smart and makes her feel inferior, so obviously she pretends to be something she's not. She even goes so far as to borrow a Laura Ashley dress from Dawn, that makes her "look like a 9 year old. Or maybe a grandmother." Lol...Their dates are kind of disasters, Claud finally realizes she should be herself, the guy still likes her, they have better dates, they realize Claudia is only there for 2 weeks so they have to "break up", Claud is devastated. Bah.
Jessi meets up with Derek Masters again, gets a crowd scene bit on his tv show (shouldn't she have to get parent's permission for that?), thinks she wants to be an actor, realizes she still wants to be a dancer (again), and argues with Mallory a lot. Why? Because Mallory decides to do an extreme makeover after getting it in her head that all the beautiful people are blondes with 2 pounds of makeup on. There are some BIG holes in this plot and I shall number them hence:
1. Mallory is 11 years old. Her parents do not allow her to wear makeup. But she figures she's in California, so what they don't know won't hurt. Forget about what she's going to do with all the makeup when she goes home.
2. Mallory gets a makeover at a department store and buys all the products used. When she's done, she has $6.28 left over in her spending money. WHAT???? Do you remember how much money they got in the lotto? $1,400. So she spent at least $500 on makeup??
3. She also wants to dye her hair blonde and uses a wash-out dye. Which turns her dark red hair a "perfect" blonde. No. Did a guy write this? And when she realizes what a huge mistake she made and what big trouble she will be in, she dyes it back red, with no noticeable damage to her hair. Ugh. I totally don't blame Jessi for getting annoyed with her...especially after Mal has to borrow money from her for the rest of the trip.
And finally, we have Stacey, who has the "big moment" on this trip. She falls in LUV with surfing on a trip to the beach and starts hanging out with some older surfers. They're at least 16, because they're driving, but Miss Sophisticated New Yorker obviously fits right in. She pushes it a little with the surfing, but nothing bad happens, except for a little dizziness (another hint for her big diabetes setback, but when??). Then, Stacey and her new friends are in a bad car accident on the freeway, because the driver was speeding and acting like an idiot. Or a 16 year old boy, either way. Everyone is okay, but they have to go to the hospital, Carol and Dawn come rescue her, and Carol insists on telling Dawn's dad. (One of the reasons Dawn starts respecting Carol towards the end.) He lectures her and makes her call her parents. They take it pretty well. I'm surprised her mom didn't fly out to get her or something.
And that's the end of this Super Special. Like I said, kind of dull, but now I get to start working on my next Baby-Sitters Club All Grown Up!! :) And I'm thinking maybe another BSC giveaway? What do y'all think? Also, I want these videos again lol...I used to have a couple. But who's Marci? Why wouldn't they have used Cokie Mason, since she's an established character already?