Melissa and Joey was a show starring former child stars Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence on ABC Family (Fox Family? The Family Channel? Freeform? Familyform?) from 2010-2015. I scrolled past it while looking for something to watch on Netflix recently. I didn’t watch the show – it looked like a piece of shit – but out of curiosity, I did read the description. It read thusly: (paraphrasing, as it’s since changed for some reason):
She’s a politician in need of a nanny. He’s a former stockbroker in need of a job. Guess what happens next?
But what in the hell about the preceding sentence would lead you to guess that a stockbroker becoming the nanny would be what happens next?
Remove the TV show from the equation and take the statement at face value: A former (probably wealthy) politician needs a nanny while a stockbroker is out of a job. What would you guess happens next? Oh, I don’t know, Netflix. I’d probably wager the stockbroker uses his myriad connections in the world of finance to find another job within his chosen profession while the politician just hires someone who’s actually qualified to be a nanny?
Why would a stockbroker want to be a nanny? According to Google the average salary for a stockbroker is about $70K. For nannies, it’s $16 an hour or $33K over a year. So you’re telling me this guy who wears tailored suits to his Wall Street office is going to take a more than 50% paycut because…why, exactly? “Well, I could make a lot more money staying with stocks, but “me as a nanny” is a premise rife with comedic potential, so I guess I’ll give it a shot. Can’t you picture me in a suit and an apron, yelling at a kid about not using a coaster? That’s funny, right? I don’t know, Joan Hart said she’d pay in cash so whatever. Times are tough and last week I had to burn a Blossom residual check for the heat.”
And lest you think I’m taking an elitist bent on this and being snooty towards nannies, au pairs and other caregivers, let’s look at it from the other angle: why would you want a stockbroker caring for your children? In what way does telling people what stocks to buy prepare you to have sole responsibility over a human child’s welfare ? What parent has thought, “Our usual baby sitter has the flu, you know who we should get? That guy with the slicked back hair, cutthroat business sense, and like, four mistresses.” (I know very little about stocks, so I just assume every stockbroker is like Gordon Gekko.)
It would be horrible. You and your wife or husband have a lovely evening out at the theater or wherever and you come home to sheer bedlam. The kids are all fucked up because they had scotch and ground up cigars for dinner. He usually has his live-in maid prepare all his meals so he didn’t know what to do. Your 7 year old and your 9 year old get in a fight not wanting to share their toys because the nannybroker taught them that greed, for lack of a better word, is good. The 13 year old asked for help with his algebra homework and somehow got a lesson on how to get away with insider trading. And on top of all that the basement is full of a bunch of Patrick Bateman clones doing blow while a frustrated prostitute hangs out waiting for someone to pay for the half and half she begrudgingly gave to Williams from accounts receivable.
Shame on you, Netflix and the producers of Melissa and Joey. Not only is the premise of your show bullshit, but you need to come up with a better description. This one just didn’t cut the mustard.