Episode #11: Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead
Listen to Episode 11 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.
***DISCLAIMER*** We experienced audio issues within the first two minutes of the podcast. It was just us explaining how we pick the movies, feel free to skip the first couple minutes for the summary. Thanks!***
SUMMARY - In Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, Christina Applegate plays Swell, the oldest of five irresponsible children. Their single mom is leaving the country for a couple months with her boyfriend, but unexpectedly puts them under the care of a babysitter who dies the next day. Not wanting to ruin mom’s vacation, Swell and the rest of the kids have to band together to get through the summer.
Screenplay by Neil Landau and Tara Ison; Directed by Stephen Herek and released on June 7, 1991.
We discuss the change in the title from "The Real World" and how that may have benefitted the movie overall. https://screenrant.com/dont-tell-mom-babysitters-dead-mtv-title-change/
The babysitter may be key to the title, but she wasn't a major character.
Spoiler: She dies.
Still, those kids needed some direction, because that house is a stinkin' mess.
We talk about the house and some of the other LA locations with help from this article - https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/scene-it-before-the-dont-tell-mom-the-babysitters-dead-house/
We question the weird choice to have drag queens steal the car. This scene also featured a very noticeable overdubbing of a swear word to retain the PG-13 rating.
How did Swell get this job to begin with? We loved her boss (played by Joanna Cassidy), but there were a lot of plot holes to get to that point.
The movie was actually full of good characters including these antagonists. Jayne Brook and David Duchovny (his Twin Peaks co-star Kimmy Robertson is also in the movie. Twin Peaks would air its final episode on June 10, 1991, just three days after this movie hit the box office).
Jayne plays the brother of Josh Charles' character (who is also Swell/Christina's boyfriend). She would later play a sort of love interest to him in "Sports Night."
We also talk about the horrible mismanagement of money. How about you don't take all the petty cash all at once so your siblings can't buy an upgraded entertainment center?
We also discuss how the kids don't have a lot to do, especially the younger sister Melissa.
Of course, we had to talk about that fashion show. What was your favorite look?
In the end, the wind down was a bit long since there were several storylines that needed wrapping up, but overall Mom (who didn't get a name in the movie) was happy.
Awards Talk - Revisiting our favorite show, the MTV Movie Awards, Christina Applegate was nominated for Most Desirable Female.
TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE
This week, there wasn't any true crime we could tie to the movie, and so we move directly to pop culture.
To make you feel old, we're here to tell you that Emily Ratajkowski and Fetty Wap were both born the same day the movie hit theaters.
On to music, the top songs of the week were:
Top #1 US Song - Extreme - "More Than Words" You may remember this from all of the two-second snippets that played during CD compilation commercials.
Top #1 UK and R&B Song - Color Me Badd - "I Wanna Sex You Up" Now you can watch the video until you both wake up.
We also talk about about the odd history of The Beat Goes Bang, a band with a lot of hype and an unreleased album. Here's their song with Jermaine Stewart called "Miss Thing." For a bit more history check out https://www.discogs.com/artist/391200-Beat-Goes-Bang
This week, we focused our TV discussion on Twin Peaks because of the connections mentioned above and the last episode airing three days after this movie's premiere.
Here's a wiki article about that last episode - https://twinpeaks.fandom.com/wiki/Episode_29
The two-hour finale didn't have much competition as most other stations were airing re-runs, but the ratings were still not incredibly strong. http://www.tvtango.com/listings/1991/06/10
RANKINGS & RATINGS
Nikki 1-5 star scale - 3 out of 5
Jon 0-4 star scale - 1 1/2 out of 4
Would you watch it again? - Yes, even though Jon didn't rate it very high, it was still fun to watch. Nikki has more nostalgia for it and would definitely watch this oddball coming of age movie over and over.
If you want to watch Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, as of this recording in April 2021, it’s available on Cinemax, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings
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Join us next time for A Kiss Before Dying available on HBO Max, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD