‘The Nanny’: A nostalgic sitcom that teaches lessons in identity for nostalgic November

When figuring out who you are, let “The Nanny” guide you.

“The Nanny” is an underrated, outstanding ‘90s sitcom and a great show to watch during nostalgic November. Join me in taking a deep dive into the show that inspired me to be myself.

The show follows Fran Fine (portrayed by the lovely Fran Drescher), a beautiful bridal shop salesgirl down on her luck after a harsh breakup and firing from her boss/fiance. During a round working her new job as a door-to-door cosmetics saleswoman, Fine is invited to interview for a nanny position.

She seizes her opportunity and charms Maxwell Sheffield, father to three kids and wealthy widower into giving her the job temporarily. Fran proves herself to be an amazing caregiver despite her rough and tough Flushing, Queens background. Her personality inspires Maggie, Brighton and Grace Sheffield to behave during her weekend stay. At the end of the pilot, Max offers Fine a permanent position as nanny.

Fran’s iconic no-nonsense attitude and “Queens logic” is the perfect recipe for bringing the family together and making them happy. The show follows the ridiculous antics that come with Fine’s personality adapting and caring for a rich family. Her growing bond with the kids and budding romance with Mr.Sheffield kept fans watching until the very end.

The sitcom is an impeccable choice when searching for a nostalgic watch. Fran’s fashion alone is a dead giveaway to the time period.

Her ensembles consist of bright neon colors, vests, turtlenecks and other outrageous pieces. In nearly every episode, Fine adorns another iconic piece and adds to the crazed collection like large fuzzy coats, whole dresses covered with animal prints and professional blazers.

The character dresses in conjunction with her personality. Her personality is huge and extroverted so her outfits were designed to be that way. Drescher has gone on record about intentions behind the fashion her character wore. “The thing about The Nanny was she was sexy, but she wasn't slutty,” Drescher said “, That was a very fine line that we never crossed.”

Fran Fine was the woman most girls of the ‘90s, and myself, aspired to be. She was portrayed as someone to be admired. Fine was not only beautiful but she was cunning and had a personality that was genuine and honest — not to mention Fran Drescher’s choice to give her character a really eccentric voice that contrasted the Sheffields.

Sure, she is beautiful but her personality is what makes her who she is. Fans would not want to change her one bit and that speaks to the deeper meaning of the show. Her character is truly admirable because — even when plunged in the most superficial and rich environments — she stays joyful and true to her background. There were several moments in the show where people tried to make her change or suggested that she did to fit in. Nanny Fine also never dumbed herself down when it came to C.C. Babcock: Mr.Sheffield’s assistant. Babcock was jealous of her and wanted to see Fine fail.

Fine’s values were solid in the face of every obstacle. She stayed true to herself and made friends with C.C., even when C.C. considered her competition.

The woman Nanny Fine made herself out to be has been an inspiration to me since I was a little girl in elementary school. My mother and I would sometimes watch it together early when getting ready for school. I remember my mom pulling my hair into pigtails and us laughing together while watching the show. I can still smell the oatmeal cooking and hear the sitcom’s jingle when I think about it.

Fine taught me to be unique because she was naturally beautiful and amazing in her authenticity and confidence. She also taught me what style truly was — I’ve tried to mimic her whole vibe since I was eight.

A common struggle among young adults is discovering identity and values. Who should I be? When finding yourself and thinking about who you are, “The Nanny” and shows like it teach and inspire you to be your truest self.

When it feels like the world is trying to put you in a category or bubble, think of Fran Fine or watch the show. “The Nanny” is inspirational and perfect for this time of year when you get to think and grow. The best thing you can do for the world is show off who you are and be an individual that will inspire others to be themselves too.

Edited by Chloe Konrad | ckonrad@themaneater.com

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