The Nanny: The Hanukkah Story

Happy fifth night of Hanukkah, Very Special Readers! Here we are in the final season of The Nanny. Fran is finally married to Maxwell, and she gets to host a Hanukkah celebration with her new family. Also this episode marks Ray Charles’s final appearance on the show–because Ray Charles had a recurring role on The Nanny???? You learn something new every day.

Sadly, Maxwell has to go out of town for business. CeCe is going too but she and her long-standing enemy, Niles are “in love” by this point in the show, so I’m glad to see her gone. (He gives her a lemon Pledge soaked handkerchief to remember him by because he’s a butler and evidently that’s his dominant personality trait in the relationship ughhh). And for some reason the youngest child, Grace, goes to Boston with CeCe and Maxwell. Is she like a theater producer in training? I have no idea. I’m only just now realizing that the last season of this show wasn’t great and evidently I haven’t seen many episodes of it.

Fran is very upset that her stepdaughter and husband have left town on the first night of Hanukah. We learn (via flashback where Fran plays a younger version of her mother) that It’s very important to her that they celebrate this night together because she never spent the holidays with her family as a kid.

Meanwhile, in the car to Boston everyone is crabby. We learn (again via flashback) that young Maxwell puts business before family because that’s what his father (played by grown Maxwell) did when he was a child. We also learn that young Maxwell and young Niles played together as children! (Mostly because Maxwell’s father was neglecting him but aw that’s still a cute backstory!)

Realizing his mistake, Maxwell decides to turn back. He phones Fran from the car to let her know he will be coming home for Hanukkah. While they’re on the phone, Fran hears Maxwell crash the car mid-blizzard. So what I’m trying to say is that this sitcom has dramatically increased the stakes with only ten minutes remaining, And no, this isn’t a two-parter.

Meanwhile back in the car, (it’s The Nanny, they’re obviously not injured you guys), CeCe tries to sing for entertainment. It’s not very pleasant and luckily we cut away quickly. Maxwell determines they have enough gas in the car to run the heat for an hour.

I suppose because they’re anxiously awaiting news or the return of Maxwell’s car — Fran and her best friend Val are waiting outside of the townhouse in the freezing cold. Fran prays to God for help and a nun appears. Fran assumings that God must have gotten confused because of her new last name (hehe).

Fran and the nun pray together and wow–I guess she was right to wait outside! — Maxwell appears! He actually had enough gas to run the car for eight hours and was able to make it all the way home. It’s a Hanukkah miracle! Literally and figuratively!

They end up celebrating the first night of Hanukkah on the second night. And then Ray Charles plays “Home for the Holidays.” I think he’s dating Fran’s grandma. Is that what’s happening here? Someone more familiar with this show, please weigh-in on the comments. Was Ray Charles even an actor? Was he just moonlighting on the The Nanny near the end of his life for fun? I need to know more about this odd turn in his career!!


The Nanny: The Christmas Episode

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 9.27.55 PMMr. Sheffield is not going to be home for Christmas. His kids even know that he uses a personal shopper to buy all of their gifts. Fran asks little Gracie, who is too cynical to believe is Santa, what she would ask of him for Christmas if she did believe. Gracie says that she would wish for her dad for Christmas. Well, I think we know where this episode is going.

So Mr. Sheffield decides to go out of town to raise money for a children’s charity instead of spending Christmas with his own children. She did, however, convince Mr. Sheffield to pick out the children’s gifts himself. What she didn’t realize, is that he also picked out a gift for her as well in lieu of a Christmas bonus. So she pawns the gorgeous vase he got her in order to pay for the gifts she had already charged on her credit card. But Mr. Sheffield gives her this beautiful speech as snow falls on him in the doorway (soon) about how he picked it out just for her and hopes she will cherish it, etc, etc.  Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 9.25.09 PM

So Fran rushes back to the pawn shop and pawns her grandmother’s watch (a family heirloom) in order to get the vase back. In a weird kind of not really gift-of-the-magi situation, Niles alerts Mr. Sheffield to the situation and he tracks down the watch at the pawn shop. But it isn’t her grandmother’s watch. It’s some random stranger’s watch. Then Mr. Sheffield accidentally sits on the vase and ends up in the hospital with chards of glass in his butt. Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 9.25.18 PM

But hey they get to spend Christmas together and Gracie believes in Santa because her wish came true! Mr. Sheffield tells Gracie that it was his Christmas wish to spend time with them too. (Uh yeah okay but that didn’t stop you from scheduling a fundraiser on Christmas Day…)

Very Special Lesson: Sometimes it takes a Jewish Nanny to remind a WASP family of the true meaning of Christmas.