Supernanny: rambunctious toddlers and reality TV

Allison Stucky, Entertainment Editor

Children. Screaming, crying children. Untamed energy. Sure, kids are a gift to many families, but in these households, misbehaving tots rule the roost. Parents are left helpless in correcting their kids’ behavior, so they turn to the one guaranteed solution: reality TV. 

Jo Frost, professional child-tamer, works her magic on families in crisis in the hit show Supernanny. In each 40-minute episode, Frost visits a home, talks with the parents and children, and uncovers the key to keeping the peace. The storylines are predictable and always tied up with a bow, but viewers can’t seem to get enough. 

Supernanny first aired on British networks in 2004 before debuting an American version in 2005 (both star Frost). After its 2011 cancellation, the show stayed alive in the minds of many and recaptured the interest of teens through its bountiful reaction memes and quotable catchphrase, “You guys are in a crisis. I’m on my way.”

Last year, the show was revived by Lifetime for a 20-episode run that saw Super Nanny dealing with technology-obsessed youth. But nothing can be as iconic as the original series, which is definitely worth a watch. Let’s look back at season one, episode one, where it all started.

Chaos already. The Woods family is under the villainous control of their son—a two-year-old tyrant. Two-year-old Charlie decides everything—from when the lights are on to when the family watches TV (seriously). The montage of tyrant-toddler behavior is admittedly hilarious. It’s hard to take the show seriously, and that’s the best part.

Super Nanny is on the case. Frost puts on her power suit, presents a poster of rules, and moves into the Woods’ home for seven days. As with most episodes of the show, the parents are so timid it might make you want to scream. But watching Frost put the demon-child in his place is a true miracle and quite satisfying. 

After a major mid-episode relapse of Charlie’s behavior (that will have you enraged once again), Super Nanny reviews the family footage from the days she was away and returns to solve things for good. When her final visit is done, it’s supposedly smooth sailing for the Woods family.

Season one, episode one is over, but you have a total of 162 more to watch. Better get started! You can stream the series on HBO Max, and most episodes are available for free on YouTube.