I don't like getting into the TV-show-recommendation game. For one thing, I long ago learned that my tastes do not tend to mirror most of America. Also, the stuff that passes for entertainment these days is the same sort of stuff that passes into my ceramic waste processing unit. *cough*
Every once in awhile, however, we stumble across a show that piques our interest. Shortly after the Woodyettes stunned us with their Recording Diva performances, we watched an episode of "Supernanny" (ABC, Monday, 10:00 PM).
We found it refreshing on several fronts. First of all, I'm not a fan of most home-invasion type shows. I find it terribly embarrassing to watch other real people suffering through mostly real problems so that some network can scrape some real ratings. It just hurts. I've never been a fan of "reality" television because I'm struggling to determine exactly how the producers define their actors as "real."
The premise of Supernanny is simple enough. Jo Frost is a professional nanny, direct from England. Families with challenging children invite her to come, observe, and help. She watches the family's daily routine (or, usually, lack thereof) and begins showing the parents practical ways of dealing with each negative behavior. She deals not only with proper reactions, but helps the parents take a proactive approach as well.
While I find it uncomfortable to watch these situations, I found the nanny's approach to be spot on, as the Brits would say. She helps parents understand how they become enablers of the kids' various tantrums, and how to keep their own tempers in check while disciplining their offspring.
I can understand why ABC would want such a program on their roster. For those reality show addicts, it still can be a somewhat sensationalistic show about someone else's problems. On the other hand, this show takes a practical approach to age-old problems and actually attempts to build family relationships, rather than tear them apart.
That kind of TV I can get behind.