JHENIFER PABILLANO

Four Books and One TV Show from My Youth, Re-Imagined With Modern Technology

1. The Baby-sitters Club Series by Ann M. Martin
Goodbye club meetings! Stoneybrook parents won’t tolerate having just three half-hours a week to book a sitter by phone. Instead, Kristy creates online babysitter bookings and hires a Bangalore call centre to field any phone inquiries. Virtual assistants coordinate the sitters’ schedules in Google Calendar, and all club meetings would take place over Gchat. The babysitting diaries of course become a password-protected blog. Also: Kristy gets profiled in Inc., Jackie Rodowsky’s accidents become YouTube sensations, and Charlotte Johanssen gets cyberbullied (but learns a valuable lesson about online privacy and the nature of true friendship).

2. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
Chris, Cathy, and their younger twin siblings disappear, but astute friends notice a lack of Facebook updates, text messages and Gchat conversations. A concerned message gets quickly retweeted and reposted throughout the social world: “Do you know where the Dollanganger Four are?” Soon, a Metafilter thread examining the issue leads to several parties digging up the Dollangangers’ twisted family history via online genealogical resources, and local authorities are swiftly dispatched to Foxworth Hall to retrieve the kids. Olivia, Corrine, and Bart Winslow are arrested, and Cathy and Chris give an exclusive interview follows with Anderson Cooper, tying into their soon-to-be released tell-all book. All the brother-on-sister action still happens though.

3. Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson
Living in the shadow of her beautiful twin Caroline, Louise Bradshaw takes to the internet and develops a devoted following by blogging about crabbing, cooking and rustic pursuits in Chesapeake Bay. Teen Vogue profiles her after she signs a book deal with HarperCollins: the article contains a small sidebar about her twin sister’s budding vocal career and jewelry line.

4. Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Mostly the same except with more texting and Facebooking and the like. Also, Margaret spends a bunch of time discussing her conflicted search for religion in the message boards on the Teenage Softies website. A community manager dispenses ineffectual advice with lots of exclamation marks, and sends Margaret an online promo code to get a free trial pack of Softies, “for being such a great contributor!”

5. Ghostwriter - PBS TV show
Ghostwriter is totally obsolete: texting and instant messaging render his skills completely worthless. Lenni and Jamal still take to wearing pens on lanyards, however.

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Comments

“All the brother-on-sister action still happens though.” Ha!

I would add that the Against Taffy Sinclair Club would have been way more effective with social media. 

This reminds me of a series The Dairi Burger has been posting about an updated BSC: http://thedairiburger.com/2011/08/31/baby-sitters-club-the-reboot-chapter-1/

said M on 8 Nov 2011 at 6:36am

I feel like the Against Taffy Sinclair Club would have gotten really dark and sad with social media. There would have been awful backchannel ugliness and eventually, a school intervention. And Taffy Sinclair’s rise as a teen actress would have been similarly fraught! God, social media makes all these books worse.

said Jhenifer on 8 Nov 2011 at 12:19pm

Also, that Dairi Burger article is choice. Good share! High five!

said Jhenifer on 8 Nov 2011 at 12:22pm

You have a point about the Taffy books. They would go from gentle after school specials to awful Lifetime movies.  Social media makes everything worse.

said M on 8 Nov 2011 at 12:35pm

So much worse. Now there’s a phrase fit for a sampler!

said Jhenifer on 8 Nov 2011 at 12:45pm

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