Stephanie was watching some special on PBS about the hurricane when I brought in dinner. I asked her if there was any limit to the amount of human suffering she could bear to watch without feeling sick to her stomach. Annoyed at my mounting annoyance with pervasive tragedy coverage, she told me that she thought it was going to be something else and then thrust the controller in my direction. I didn’t take it. She took it back and changed the channel and we ended up on ABC, watching, of all things, Supernanny.
What was more shocking than the fact that we were watching it was the fact that it was actually kind of good. You’d never guess this would be the case from the obnoxious marketing campaign—which focuses entirely too much on a close-up of the eponymous supernanny’s face as she tells a child, in her quirky British accent, “You’ve been very, very naughty”—but the show actually managed to compellingly portray a family in trouble.
As soon-to-be parents ourselves, we couldn’t take our eyes off of it. And I think that watching another married couple falling apart gave us pause and kept us from picking up our earlier snipping match when the show was over. Yes, Supernanny helped us, too. And we don’t even have a kid yet!