What do you do when your children are so out of control that
running away from home looks like the only escape? Call a nanny!
Although previews make it look like a boot camp for unruly
children, “Nanny 911” is actually a harsh critic and
reformer of bad parenting. While the advice offered by the nannies
is effective, it’s also completely common sense, which makes
the show frustrating and boring.

The premise of the series is simple: Parents overwhelmed by
their own incompetence make a video of their obnoxious children and
send it to the nannies. Head nanny Lilian, along with her staff of
nannies, views the tape and selects one of her four staffers based
on their area of expertise. The chosen nanny then spends a week
with the family, helping the parents gain control of the situation
and, hopefully, the children.

Disappointingly, the nannies are much friendlier than they
appear. The premiere introduced nanny Deb, who, although she has
the appearance of a prison guard, is perfectly nice. She has no
patience with stupidity though, an invaluable asset considering the
inaugural parents were as clueless as they come. Throughout the
show, the children transform from the cast of “The
Omen” to perfectly obedient little darlings based on advice
from the nannies like “Don’t give in to every
tantrum,” and “You are the adults in this
relationship.” Wow. Parents are the adults? Really?

It’s this aspect of the show that doesn’t bode well
for its future; it’s likely that every family is going to
have similar problems, and therefore, every week will be the same.
While this repetitiveness is somewhat allowable for similar reality
shows, like “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,”
it’s sure to get worn out quickly in “Nanny 911,”
which doesn’t have the luxury of the silliness and humor that
carry “Queer Eye” and the like through the formulaic
process of a makeover.

In the end, “Nanny 911” is just too boring to watch
once, let alone weekly. Watching kids scream for 45 minutes and
then stop by the time an hour is up isn’t very interesting.
Watching their parents fail to understand what a parent is supposed
to do is even less entertaining, and extraordinarily frustrating.
The advice, seemingly taken from Dr. Phil, doesn’t help the
cause much either. Don’t bother calling 911; nothing can save
this show.


Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

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