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That flashy girl from Flushing with the heart of an angel (and the voice of a slighty more nasal angel) is here at last in The Nanny: The Complete Series. Starring the one and only Fran Drescher in her signature role, The Nanny charmed television audiences throughout its six-season network run. Detailing the comic misadventures of the sweet and sassy Fran Fine (Drescher), her sophisticated employer, Broadway producer Mr. Sheffield (Charles Shaugnessy), his boisterous brood (Nicholle Tom, Benjamin Salisbury and Madeline Zima) and his wisecracking staff (Lauren Lane and Daniel Davis), each hilarious episode of The Nanny, many available on DVD for the first time, is a sure-fire dose of laughter and fun!
Both an homage to and a subversive take on the classic comedies of the Baby Boomer generation and featuring an unbelievably bright roster of hilarious guest stars, The Nanny is a delightful addition to your television collection: finally available in a complete series collection from your favorite video babysitter, Shout! Factory.
That flashy girl from Flushing, the nanny named Fran, is back and as delightful as ever. While the first three seasons of The Nanny had previously been released on DVD, over the past 6 years, there had been no signs that the final three seasons would ever be available on DVD… until now. The wait is finally over—Shout! Factory has assembled the entire series on DVD for the first time in one big box set, along with some brand-new bonus features.
Fran Drescher stars as Fran Fine, the nasally-voiced cosmetics saleswoman from Queens who accidentally finds herself working for Broadway producer Mr. Sheffield (Charles Shaugnessy) as the nanny to his three children—wallflower Maggie (Nicholle Tom), brat Brighton (Benjamin Salisbury) and innocent Grace (Madeline Zima). Rounding out the cast are sarcastic butler Niles (Daniel Davis), business manager C.C. Babcock (Lauren Lane), Fran’s best friend Val (Rachel Chagall), her mother Sylvia (Renée Taylor) and her grandmother Yetta (Ann Morgan Guilbert).
There is only one word to describe this series, and that’s Fran-tastic! Each time I sat down to watch an episode or two, I ended up watching five or six. I had only seen episodes here and there when the show first aired, so it was great to finally have access to the entire series to be able to watch at my leisure.
This show is so addictive and so funny. The series feels reminiscent of a classic sitcom like I Love Lucy. While the episodes do make some references to 90s pop culture, the humor and situations feel timeless. Fran usually finds herself at the center of some wacky misunderstanding or some problem and craziness ensues. While the show starts off with witty writing, as the series goes along, there is more and more physical comedy added to the show to help complement the writing and give a more rounded comedic experience. Drescher and the rest of the cast are naturals at the physical comedy and a delight to watch.
Throughout the first five seasons, we get a lot of the will they/won’t they between Fran and Mr. Sheffield, but we also get to see Fran in lots of fun dating situations and relationships. Over the course of the series, we get to see the romance between Max and Fran develop, and while at first Max is confused by Fran’s lingo, he learns to embrace it and by the end is spouting out his own Yiddish phrases. While some may argue that finally putting the couple together may have ultimately led to the show’s demise, I found the final season just as enjoyable as the rest, and it provides great closure for all of the characters.
Over the course of the series we also get to see the other characters, such as the children, develop and mature. The series really lucked out casting the young actors they did. All three of these children gave great performances over the years, and were able to keep up with the comedic timing of the talented adult cast.
My absolute favorite relationship on the show is Niles and C.C.—I love the snarky sarcastic banter between these two. They never miss an opportunity to throw a zinger at the other. But they are also willing to team up for some scheme if there’s something mutually beneficial in it for them both.
There are so many hilarious episodes in this series that it’s hard to mention favorites without falling into an endless list (well, the list would end at 146). So instead I’ll mention some of the show’s more creative episodes, like season three’s animated holiday special “Oy to the World”; season four’s “The Rosie Show” which has a great Fiddler on the Roof parody; in season five’s “The Bobbie Fleckman Story” Drescher reprises her character from This Is Spinal Tap and Frannie Fine swaps places with her; in season six’s “The Baby Shower”, Frannie Fine runs into actress Fran Drescher; and season six also features the musical episode, “Yetta’s Letters”.
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