As the perilous shape of the United States’ economic structure becomes ever more commonly a point of discussion, you’ll notice one piece of 20th century art brought repeatedly back into the fray: the 1990s sitcom The Nanny.
First came the rumor that series star and co-creator was entertaining the idea of a reboot, with music artist Cardi B assuming the central role. (Genius.) Then came word that a musical adaptation of The Nanny would take the Broadway stage, with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom penning the songs. (Brilliant.) And now, in the wake of a pandemic that has at the very least put said ideas on hold, the entire cast of the CBS sitcom declared plans to come together for a virtual table read of the pilot episode’s script. (Dynamite.)
So why now has America reignited its love affair with the ballad of Fran Fine?
As the published philosophies of Karl Marx were to 19th century Europe, so was The Nanny to the U.S. during the Clinton era. For the better part of a decade, our nation’s wealth divide kept working class Fran from the embrace of her beloved, the rich and culturally influential Maxwell Sheffield, and he too from hers.
Even upon succumbing to the powers of their shared affection were Fran and Max ever still forced apart by the wage gap between them. They only at last came to a sincere understanding of each other not upon reaching the altar, but after falling prey to destitution together on a desert island during a honeymoon gone awry. Only once free of the shackles of capitalism can humans understand each other as equals, so touted The Nanny.
Anyway, funny show! And if you’re a fan, you’d be wise to tune in to watch Drescher and company perform the 1993 pilot episode by way of Zoom. Via Variety, the reading will be viewable on Sony Pictures’ YouTube channel on the morning of April 6.
Present and accounted for will be the whole family: Drescher, Charles Shaughnessey, the now-grown Sheffield children Nicholle Tom, Benjamin Salisbury, and Madeline Zima, and Renée Taylor, who played Fran’s buttinski mother, as well as reliable scene-stealers Daniel Davis (Niles) and Lauren Lane (C.C.). Also on board will be The Nanny co-creator Peter Marc Jacobson, Ann Hampton Calloway—who lends her pipes to the iconic theme song—and Jonathan Penner, who appeared in the pilot as Fran’s asshat boyfriend who kicked her out in one of those crushing scenes.
What are we to do? Where are we to go? To YouTube on April 6 to watch the story of Nanny Fine begin again for a whole new generation. One that needs it just as much as we did.
Featured Image: Sony Pictures Television