Adventures in Babysitting (1989, Joel Zwick)

Given the abundance of terrible television sitcoms, seeing what kind doesn’t make it past pilot stage should be interesting. But it’s not. “Adventures in Babysitting” is a semi-sequel to the movie–with David Simkins, the original writer, co-writing the pilot. It recasts every role.

It’s fairly clear why “Babysitting” didn’t make it to series, though mixing a sitcom with “Double Dare” in front of a live studio audience isn’t necessarily a terrible premise.

Lead Jennifer Guthrie is awful and unlikable. Brian Austin Green and Joseph Lawrence play the rambunctious teenagers. Green’s worse than Lawrence, which isn’t a compliment to Lawrence in any way. Ariana Mohit’s awful as Guthrie’s friend, but not as wholly unlikable.

The only good performances are Courtney Peldon as the Thor obsessed eight year old and Art Evans (who’s able to deliver the terrible lines wonderfully) as Mohit’s boss.

“Babysitting” is a horrific eighties curiosity.

CREDITS

Directed by Joel Zwick; screenplay by Greg Antonacci and David Simkins, based on characters created by Simkins; director of photography, Mikel Neiers; edited by Ed Cotter; music by Dan Foliart and Howard Pearl; executive producer, Antonacci.

Starring Jennifer Guthrie (Chris Parker), Joseph Lawrence (Brad Anderson), Courtney Peldon (Sara Anderson), Brian Austin Green (Daryl Coopersmith), Ariana Mohit (Brenda), Susan Blanchard (Joanna Anderson), Dennis Howard (Robert Anderson), Rocky Giordani (Vince), Jason Tomlins (Rick) and Art Evans (Mr. Dukeman).


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2 thoughts on “Adventures in Babysitting (1989, Joel Zwick)”

  1. I mentioned this in the Alan Smithee Podcast episode we did on Revenge of the Nerds, but the pilot based on that film is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. It’s shocking that 20th Century Fox was willing to put it on the DVD. Any other 80s movie failed spinoff pilots you know of?

    1. Here’s the list of ones I’ve come across and wanted to check out…
      Nerds (obviously), Coming to America, Diner (written and directed by Levinson–a sequel to the movie), Driving Ms. Daisy (!), Witches of Eastwick, Turner and Hooch and Steel Magnolias.
      The 1990s I’ve got Fargo and Zero Effect on tap

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