If you don’t think two grown men could argue about a TV show, then you haven’t read The Solid Signal Blog!
If you haven’t heard, all seasons of The Nanny will be available April 1, 2021 on HBO Max. It’s the first time all six seasons of this series will be available to stream. Way to go, HBO Max! It’s great that this series, which starred Fran Drescher as funny fashionista Fran Fine, will see new life. Fran’s (mis)adventures while caring for the Sheffield children were the stuff of comic legend. While I’m excited, not everyone at The Solid Signal blog is looking forward to reliving Fran’s fun and frolic. Buckle up for the debate of the century!
I’m looking forward to watching The Nanny again. I’ve been a Fran Drescher fan since her iconic turn in The Hollywood Knights (1980). Believe it or not, her unique voice had a lot to do with it. Yeah, I know some people might find it a bit grating, but not me. To me, her voice is a unique part of who she is, along with her long, raven hair and adorable dimples. Now, thanks to streaming technology and HBO Max, I can re-experience the magnificence that is Fran Drescher.
My “pal” Stuart Sweet insisted on horning into this conversation. I’ve boxed his comments in, so you can ignore them if you want. I know I certainly will.
Sweet: “In the parlance of the show’s star, Oh. My. God. Fran Drescher’s voice makes me want to inject myself with WD-40 to stop the grating sound. Look, I’ve lived out near where Ms. Drescher grew up (Queens, New York) and I promise you not everyone sounds like that. It’s a choice, and not a good one. Simply put, no thank you. I’ll stick with other, much more palatable actresses if you don’t mind.”
Oh my God, indeed, Stuart! But if that’s how you feel, whatever. What I do know is that the 1980s and 1990s were rife with rehashed sit-com plots. That’s what made The Nanny so special. It’s one part fish-out-of-water comedy, one part blended family, and one part odd-couple love story. Actually, with the budding romance and eventual marriage of Niles the butler and C.C. Babcock, you could say The Nanny doubles up on the love-conquers-all theme. What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good love story.
Sweet: “Or, you could admit that there are some real issues here and the fact that it takes place in the 1990s doesn’t forgive them. First of all, in the very first episode, Fran’s character is introduced as a salesperson for ‘Shades of the Orient’ makeup. Tell me you can even say those words without feeling like you should get counseling. And then, the big thrust of the show — a romantic relationship between an employer and an employee — cannot by nature be consensual. And the way that Fran is portrayed, as a happy domestic who is content to be in the house, raises all sorts of red flags. Sure, this isn’t that sort of blog, but you can’t ignore this stuff any more than you can ignore the homophobia in Friends (which aired around the same time.)”
You’re absolutely right, Stuart. This is NOT that kind of blog. In fact, this post is about streaming, and that’s what I intend to discuss. When Mrs. Buckler and I typically stream a TV series, it’s one season and done. This leaves us waiting (at least) a year for season two. In some cases, season two never gets made, which is followed by a long bout of despair. With The Nanny, we get the whole story – all six seasons – from beginning to end. It’s a binge-watcher’s dream come true, and I plan to get my Fran fix as soon as these shows hit HBO Max.
Sweet: “Look, dear reader, I won’t judge you if you are happy to indulge in a little nostalgia. Just remember the context. Remember that this is not everyone’s cup of tea, and there are some real opportunities to realize that television is a lot, lot better now. If you’re ready to be armed with that knowledge – and a quick hand on the mute button, as needed – check out The Nanny when it streams on HBO Max, expected to be May 1.”
Yes, dear reader. Please indulge in the nostalgia of The Nanny… if this type of sit-com is to your liking. If not, there’s plenty of other excellent programming on HBO Max this month, and for many months to come. And yes, I always have to have the last word. This is MY weekly column, after all!