Despite the artificiality of the programs (I swear they tape three scenes of the kids behaving badly and play them over and over and over), I'm utterly addicted. I mean, it's a cathartic experience. You actually feel better about your parenting skills after watching one of these episodes, and the kids feeling better, too, because they can delude themselves into thinking that they're nothing like the spoiled, squawking brats that they see on the television. You can point to your kids and say, "You act like that," and they smile, thinking it's all fun and games. Sometimes, you can actually pick up a pointer or two. It's the perfect viewing experience.
Tonight's episode of Nanny 911 was classic: two pushy, whiny New Yorkers raising a litter of six pushy, whiny New Yorkers. Does it honestly get any more insufferable than that? Oh yes, it can--the kids were actually three sets of twins. The mother had issues expressing herself. The father didn't respect his wife. And--gasp! One of the oldest twins felt unloved because she had been adopted. Nanny Deb swoops down, deals out some tough love, gets the dad to open up, gets the mom to have a heart-to-heart with the adopted daughter, and everything's better within sixty minutes. I tell you, I was bawling by the end. Only, when you get right down to it, the family's still a bunch of pushy, obnoxious, whiny New Yorkers. But come on, you can't expect this woman to perform MIRACLES.
Here's what Tiger wrote down during the episode, of things he learned:
1. No whining
2. Yell at the parents
3. Talk to the kids
4. Make kumunikation
5. Try to kuntroll youer kids
(Note: yes, he clearly inherited his spelling genes from his father.)
But it did occur to me...and Corb noticed it, too...from what I can see, all of the families featured on these shows--and I've seen a few--have two things in common. They're all white. And they're all upper middle class.
You do wonder how the nannies would fare under a more challenging set of circumstances.
THIS WEEK! Nanny Deb visits a crack ho on welfare, in her roach-infested one bedroom apartment filled with six kids, all from a different father!
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!! Next week, Nanny Stella moves in with a one-armed alchoholic hillbilly who beats his wife over the head with his stump and sleeps with his daughter!
AND WAIT UNTIL SWEEPS WEEK!!! Nanny Yvonne moves into Neverland with Michael Jackson!
Of course, these things will never happen. And by the way, just what exactly is the point of doddering old Nanny Lilian, anyway? She's kind of like Bosley on Charley's Angels. "Here's the situation, girls. Listen up. Three kids have been turned into flesh eating zombies and are chewing on the brains and spleens of their parents. I'd go, but they haven't changed my colostomy bag yet. But Nanny Stella, you've watched Dawn of the Dead once. Go save the day!"
If I were the other nannies, I'd swear, one of these days, I'd turned to her and say, "The hell I will! You take care of it, bitch!"
Actually, that's what we need. A new show: "Sistah 911." She wouldn't even need a day to set things straight.