She had style! She had
flair! She was there.
One of my favorite sitcoms from the 1990’s, THE NANNY is an even bigger joy now that is becoming available on DVD sans commercials. Filled with zany comedy and some unforgettable characters, I like to think of THE NANNY as the I LOVE LUCY of its generation. A star vehicle for that actress famous for her nasal voice, THE NANNY stars Fran Drescher as Fran Fine, an ordinary gal from Flushing Queens, who finds herself caring for the three children of wealthy Broadway producer Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy). Also serving in a domestic capacity in the Sheffield household is wisecracking butler Niles (Daniel Davis), who is continually taking hilarious pot shots at his boss’s snooty business associate C.C Babcock (Lauren Lane). Although sometimes relegated to the background, Nicholle Tom, Benjamin Salisbury and Madeline Zima portray the Sheffield children Maggie, Brighton and Grace, without every getting in the way of the laughs. Finally, we come to the show’s two hysterically funny scene stealers- Renée Taylor as Fran’s mother Sylvia and Ann Morgan Guilbert as her grandmother Yetta.
THE NANNY: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON ($40) comes to DVD in a three-disc set that features all twenty-six episodes that were aired during year two. The twenty-six featured episodes are as follows: Fran-Lite, The Playwright, Everybody Needs A Bubby, Material Fran, Curse Of The Grandmas, The Nanny Napper, A Star Is Unborn, Pinske Business, Stock Tip, The Whine Cellar, When You Pish Upon A Star, Take Back Your Mink, The Strike, I've Got A Secret, Kindervelt Days, Canasta Masta, The Will, The Nanny Behind The Man, A Fine Friendship, Lamb Chop's On The Menu, Close Shave, What The Butler Sang, A Kiss Is Just A Kiss, Strange Bedfellows, The Chatterbox and Fran Gets Mugged.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made THE NANNY: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON available on DVD in the proper full screen aspect ratios of their original television broadcasts. Shot on videotape during the mid to late 1990s, THE NANNY looks pretty darn good on DVD, with these presentations besting the syndicated broadcasts by a nice margin. The picture quality is quite solid and produces a good level of detail. Colors are strongly rendered without noise and appealing flesh tones. Blacks are accurate and the whites are clean. The contrast is fairly smooth and manages to overcome the flat sitcom lighting. Digital compression artifacts are never a cause for concern.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 channel stereo soundtracks decode to standard surround in a reasonable manner. However, the television origins of these tracks do remain quite evident. Its all very much forward loaded, but some sound does bleed into the rear channels. Dialogue is accurately rendered (including Fran Drescher nasal whine) and remains totally understandable. A Portuguese language track is also provided, as are French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. Animation and sound serve to enhance the DVD's interactive menus. Through the menus one has access to the standard episode selection and set up features. No extra content has been provided.
Continually delivering giggles and occasional fall out of your seat hilarity, THE NANNY remains a personal favorite amongst 1990’s sitcoms. Sony’s DVD set looks and sounds pretty darn sweet and are certainly more enjoyable than a syndicated rebroadcast. If you love this show, as I do, then you’ll happily add THE NANNY: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON to your personal DVD library.
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