Guess which one's the nanny?
A 2010 sitcom on ABC Family starring Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence. Mel Burke is a former Hard-Drinking Party Girl
turned politician who must take care of her niece and nephew, Lennox and Ryder, after their parents are arrested
for a ponzi scheme
their father, Lewis Scanlon pulled. Joe Longo is a former employee of Scanlon who can't find work after the scheme, which he knew nothing about, bankrupted the company and tarnished his good name. Finally, after hitting rock bottom when his wife turns out to be a golddigger and leaves him, he works as the kids' nanny.
The series is set to end at four seasons made.
This series provides examples of:
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Although they're the aunt and nanny, Mel and Joe are this to Lennox and Ryder.
- Anything That Moves: Bianca.
- Ascended Extra: Joey's estranged daughter Dani becomes a regular for the show's fourth season.
- Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other:
- Done with Joe and Mel, so much.
- Lennox and Ryder have a few moments as well.
- Big Screwed-Up Family: Mel's sister — Lennox and Ryder's mother — is in jail, while their father is on the run. Mel is raising her niece and nephew because of this. It's implied that Mel and her sister didn't have the greatest childhood, even with a senator father.
- Joey is not any better. He had a previous relationship with another woman and only finds out that she had a daughter behind his back for 13 years.
- Bi the Way: Implied that Mel may have experimented with bisexuality in college when Lennox pretends to be a lesbian.
- Buffy Speak: Mel is guilty of using this several times
"I'm gonna go ahead and take this brown ... food...meat.
- Catch Phrase: Joe has "She's not my boss. I'm freelance."
- Citizenship Marriage: Joe marries his Russian girlfriend in the second season finale so she can get her green card, but they end up getting an annulment.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Mel says to Lennox and Ryder: "Stay out of trouble, or I'll come to your school and kiss you at lunch."
- On another episode when Ryder lost his shoes, Mel tells that she will show up in school in her bathrobe.
- Deadpan Snarker:
- Both Mel and Joe are extremely good at this.
- Ryder has his moments as well.
- Lennox too.
- Depraved Bisexual: Bianca, who makes a pass at both Melissa and Joey. Not to mention sleeping with the hair guy and makeup woman literally hours before she's supposed to marry Melissa's cousin Emily...
- Dysfunctional Family: Mel, Joe, Lennox and Ryder are definitely this already.
- Everything's Better with Penguins: Mel wants Joe to get rid of his flat screen TV when she gets distracted by baby penguins on the screen.
- Then subverted at the end when another baby penguin is graphically eaten (but not seen by the viewers) by a leopard seal. Thus the TV seems to bounce between being in the living room and in Joe's room. In otherwords, it's there when it needs to be but not when it would interfere with the typical sitcom living room. This is even shown in the above episode when Ryder constantly moves the TV from Joe's room into the living room.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Lennox once got herself in trouble for using an offensive word to talk about her principal, Mrs. Lunt. We were never told which word was used, but it was stated that said offensive word rhymed with "Lunt". Take a wild guess on what it was.
- Granola Girl: Lennox. She even passes up a potentially lucrative modeling gig because the company in question uses real animal fur.
- Gold Digger: Joe's ex-wife.
- House Husband: Though he is technically Mel's employee, Joe performs the typical "house wife" role.
- Humiliation Conga: Joe; full stop. After the scheme pulled by Lewis Scanlon, he lost everything he had and is demoted to working as a nanny.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: When Lennox learns that Ryder is being bullied, she responds "That's my job!"
- Hypocritical Humor: Basically, every bit of advice Mel gives is contradicted by her own behavior.
- Incompatible Orientation: In one episode, Mel goes on a date with a guy who turns out to be gay. Joe mentions during that same episode that he once dated a lesbian.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Lennox comes off like this.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Mel's cousin Emmy and her fiancee, Bianca.
- Missing Mom: Lennox and Ryder's mother, again.
- Overprotective Dad: Joe really likes to interrogate and terrify any boy who shows interest in Lennox.
- Papa Wolf: Joe embodies this trope. He does not take kindly to anyone hurting Lennox, Ryder, or Dani. And some examples include Ryder's bully problem in "Spies & Lies" and Lennox's date in "Do As I Say, Not As I Did".
Joe: "So, here's my plan: step one, find boy; step two, beat boy senseless; step three, enjoy the satisfaction of steps one and two."
- Promotion to Parent: Mel. And now Joe, since Mel and Joe have decided they're co-parents. Joe becomes a full-time parent to Dani when she moves in with them.
- She Is Not My Girlfriend: Mel and Joey are like this with each other, with Mel especially firm about it.
- Shipper on Deck: Lennox ships Mel and Joe, as she keeps trying to push them to admit their feelings for each other.
- Sleazy Politician: Averted by Mel, who appears to genuinely place the public good over her own career. There are plenty of straight examples, though. Also, some of the humour in the show comes from the conflict between Mel's politician instincts and her parental ones - see "Works For Me" where when Ryder is caught smoking pot and admits to it, one piece of her advice is wondering why he would lack the sense to actually admit to that to begin with.
- Spiritual Successor: To The Nanny and Who's the Boss?.
- Strongly Worded Letter: Joe has one for Mel's brother-in-law in the pilot.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: When Bianca asks Mel if she's ever been with a woman, Mel replies "Nope! Never! Not even in college with my friend Renee!"
- They Do: Unsurprisingly, Mel and Joe tie the knot at the end of the third season.
- Think Unsexy Thoughts: When lying to Mel's friend about his job, Joe has to keep calling his mother to stop thinking about sex.
- Why Can't I Hate You?: Joe has a habit of hooking up with "that Gold Digger who ruined [his] life."