The Nanny’s First Christmas

27 Oct

The show that I chose to analyze is The Nanny which was a hit show during the 90s. The show is about a single dad Maxwell, who hires Fran (a Jewish woman) to be the nanny to his three children. Throughout the six seasons, we see how Fran has a huge effect on the Sheffield household and they consider her to be part of the family, even before she marries Maxwell. The episode that I chose to critique is called “The Christmas Episode” which is about Fran’s first time celebrating Christmas and her first time celebrating with the Sheffields, since she is Jewish and does not celebrate the holiday.

In this episode we see the children talking about what they want for Christmas. They reveal to Fran that their father has a lady named Edna who is the personal shopper for Christmas; she goes out and buys all the gifts for the family. Fran is appalled that Maxwell does such a thing since he’s supposed to be a good Christian and buy gifts that come from the heart. Maxwell eventually agrees with Fran and goes out to buy the entire family and household staff thoughtful gifts without the personal shopper.

This is similar to Rendleman’s idea of the hypocrite. He believes that some people like to say they are more religious then what they actually are, and then wind up doing the opposite or the thing that they are not supposed to do. Examples would be Jewish people saying they are keeping kosher (not mixing meat and dairy) and then eating a cheeseburger. In this case, Maxwell who teaches his children Christian values and makes them attend church on the holidays does not buy his own gifts. In this sense it shows that he is a little selfish and is worrying more about his career then getting gifts with meaning for his family.

Eventually Maxwell overturns his original plan to have his personal shopper buy the gifts because of Fran. Her family experience and religion while growing up taught her that the thought a loved one puts into a gift is more important than a personal shopper. Maxwell adopts this idea and becomes a better man because of it.


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