ABC Family’s newest series, Beverly Hills Nannies, started out with a bang… or rather, a pile of poop. The TV-viewing world has gotten to know all about the lives of affluent women in Beverly Hills thanks to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and the like, and this reality show’s focusing on the women (and men!) who are taking care of the kids in town.
We first meet Kristin, who isn’t shy about the fact that she — a seven-year Beverly Hills nannying veteran — is “one of the most sought-after nannies in Beverly Hills.” She’s worked with any and everyone: “rockstars, celebrities, you name it.” The woman she’s working for these days is Cindy Margolis, the most-downloaded woman on the internet.
Cindy has three children: Sierra, Sabrina, and Nicholas. She experienced some fertility problems before conceiving, so she admits the little rugrats have been expensive long before they were ever even born. Kristin’s obviously good with the kids, and when she’s shown around Cindy’s palace, she acts amazed enough at the space. From the lovely theater room to the giant bed, she’s impressed with Cindy’s pad… until she’s shown the family fish.
Cindy tells Kristin the story about how she gave the fish CPR to save its life at the insistence of her children. Cindy doesn’t like fish, but obviously she loves her kids. The other family pets — Destiny and Desiree, a pair of black cats — need some special attention too. You have to say “Kitty Kitty” in a very specific way for them to understand you, she explains. Kristin’s an old pro and knows “When a Beverly Hills mom has a request, no matter how weird it is you sort of have to do it.” Besides, Kristin gets a good rate — 40 dollars an hour.
The next nanny we meet is Justin, who’s starting out at the Tsircou family home. He’s working for a woman with severe “90210-itis” — she names off a zillion brand items in her baby’s room alone — named Marika. Justin’s only been in the Los Angeles area for about two and a half years, but he’s already got some limits on what he’s willing to do for 20 dollars an hour, and it doesn’t include foot-massaging.
Third up is Lucy, who’s been in the “biz” for about eight years. She, like Kristin, has dealt with some pretty elite families, including celebrities. Her employer is Cynthia, who’s got two kids named Morgan and Madison. Lucy knows she’s being watched for, and she suspects Cynthia might even be shopping around for other nannies. Lucy does her best to give the girls a nice fashion show and bath and to play along. The kids are pretty sweet to boot.
Amanda is nanny number four for the show so far, and we meet her at the Elkins family home. She’s from Wisconsin and admits she’s “the new kid on the block in the Beverly Hills nanny world.” Deborah, her new boss, has four kids — Dane, Cory, Jaden, and Madison — and the family’s been through a lot of nannies. Why? Well, they have some pretty specific requirements. They’re vegan, for one, and the kids have multiple activities they’re involved in as well.
Deborah instructs Amanda to get the boys to their karate lesson and then take little Madison out for a snack. When she gets to a café, she sees the girl eyeing all the delicious pastries and does her best to promise they’re no good. The only thing the bakery has to offer her Vegan request is a sourdough bread roll. Amanda’s already eyeing the door on this family.
Meanwhile, Marika and Justin take little Xander out shopping. The kid just will not stop crying, and Justin’s forced to the backseat with a few dogs on his lap. Marika meets up with Cindy, who’s got Kristen there to help with the kiddos. Turns out those dogs Justin had to coddle are named Nancy and Reagan, and Justin wasn’t too thrilled about dealing with them. He snaps, “I’m not a dogsitter, contrary to what Marika thinks.” Clearly, this isn’t going to work out for them.
Kristin brags about her pay scale and the fact that she’s been offered full benefits, an Audi to drive around in, and a trip to Hawaii with the family where she’ll be able to bring a friend. Justin stays mum on his own arrangement with Marika, but clearly he’s annoyed by the disproportionate wages.
As Marika and Cindy chat about Kristin, Marika becomes instantly jealous that Cindy’s nanny can cook, do this, do that, and she begs “where did you find her?” Ouch for Justin, but there’s probably no love lost there.
At the Margolis home, Kristin gets a call from her former employer Ari, a Malibu-based single mom who’s now engaged to a very rich man. She wants her to come and work for her again, but Kristin’s cozy up at the Margolis pad. Besides, Ari is apparently “the most outlandish woman [she’s] ever had to work with.” We get a flashback to when Kristin was accosted for not cleaning up the duck poo, and when Kristin makes a tease about Ari’s daughter playing Barbie again, Ari snapped, “She’s 3. What do you think she’s going to do, quantum physics?” Kristin still offers to link Ari up with three of her other nanny friends in hopes that something will work out.
Meanwhile, back with Amanda’s vegan family, she’s beginning to accept that it’s just not matching up. The kids are eating pizza with no cheese and just a bunch of vegetables, and she’s not vegan herself, so it gets a little awkward. “I think this is one of those situations where they need someone more familiar with their lifestyle,” she admits. “As much as I need a job, this just isn’t the right fit for me.”
Justin, too, confronts the facts with his group. When it turns out that Marika’s husband Kyri is way cooler and less demanding than her, he tries to make it work. But then he’s supposedly put the baby’s pants on wrong (which makes Marika crazy, supposedly). “Mommy just wants to put her mink slippers on and take a nap,” she whines. Justin tucks her in, and that’s when she says that she’s disappointed in him. “You’re semi-working out, but the only thing that could make you more semi-working out is if you rub my feet.” That’s when Justin fires back about what he learned from Kristin today, saying “I’ll be happy to do it when I make what Cindy’s nanny makes.” Marika doesn’t believe him when he tells her all of Kristin’s perks, and she dismisses him immediately.
As promised, Kristin’s gotten in touch with some of her friends for Ari — Amanda who we met earlier, Amber, and Shayla. Amanda knows that Ari pays well but is very crazy, and we come to know that she’s an actress and stay-at-home mom who’s busy wedding planning. She’s just got the one daughter Emma, and she prides herself on being the “typical Malibu Barbie.” “Who wouldn’t want to be me?” she notes.
Ari takes Amanda out back to her private beach for a walk. Whoever she hires, she explains, needs to be familiar with the affluent sports. Oh, and her soon-to-be-husband was the best man in her first wedding. “It’s not as naughty as it sounds, but it is, but it’s not,” she laughs. Things seem to be pretty smooth between Amanda and Ari, but there are still two ladies left to go.
Next up is Amber, who’s been nannying her whole life but had her first celebrity family last year. She’s late because of “crazy traffic,” and Ari gives her a seething reply and makes her pick up dog poop while she fetches Emma. “She had me pick up her dog’s poop... I mean, c’mon how gross is that. I do think it was a bit of a test,” she notes. When she goes to greet Emma, Ari asks, “Are you holding the poo?” Indeed she is. Oy.
Shayla, contestant number three, has worked for some “pretty big names” in the entertainment biz, including one who’s “pretty dreamy.” She’s got a good ethic about the whole thing, promising, “I’m not a babysitter, I’m not sitting with the TV on, I’m helping you raise your kids.”
That’s when the questions start pouring in, ranging everywhere from what color the girls’ cars are to whether they have any certifications. Amanda definitely thinks she gave a good impression from the interview, while Amber might not have. She admits to having done illegal drugs in the past and doesn’t know whether she’s still certified or not. Amanda thinks she’s got this one in the bag.
Meanwhile, Kristin handles bedtime like the total pro she is. She picks on them a bit but knows how to be firm and still fun. She clearly likes and is good at her job. “At the end of the day it’s a lot of work but it’s worth it and not just for the high wages,” she says. “This world, these kids, it doesn’t get much better than this.”
Ari’s narrowed it down to one potential nanny, and surprisingly her choice is Amber. She brings her fiancé Barry along and has their second interview at a bakery where they’re tasting cakes for their wedding. They rate everything they try, and while Amber’s in the restroom, Ari decides that’s a good system for making a decision on Amber.
They rate her on personality, discipline, friendliness, capability, and perhaps most importantly, cute appeal. Once she gets a “six” from Barry on that last one, Ari’s good to go on hiring Amber and gives the green light. Amber’s a little shocked by the rating but brushes it off, saying, “It’s the first time I’ve pulled a six, but for the big bucks, I’ll pull a two.” Only problem is, now she’s gotta tell the girls who didn’t get the gig, which is something of a bummer.
Back with Kristin, she’s making dinner for the kids. “Nannying in Beverly Hills is like nannying in overdrive,” she notes. The kids don’t want a simple mac-and-cheese dinner; they want what they had last time they were at a five-star restaurant. Pro that she is, though, she’s got Google on her side. “You might have no clue what you’re doing but you figure it out.” Some of the kids’ favorite meals include steak, lamb chops, and mashed potatoes with syrup — yep, syrup — on top. Oh boy.
Several of the nannies then get together for a drink, where Amber makes the big announcement. Amanda and Shayla are a little surprised to hear that they’ve been dissed for the 35 dollar an hour job, and they’re especially annoyed because Amber starts blurting out some of the family’s secrets — like the fact that the kid has a speech impediment. Kristin thinks a subject like that should be kept under wraps.
The girls finish off the convo with a discussion of what Ari’s mister looks like — conclusion: silver fox — and they call it a night. Kristin likes the dynamic of the group and sees potential for something bigger: a referral service she’s been thinking of for a long time. Outside of the restaurant, she pulls Shayla and Amanda aside to tell them something important.
She thinks the reason Amber got the gig instead of her is that they are way prettier — and thusly more intimidating to Ari — than the other girl. “You have to find women who want you,” she tells them. Shayla understands why a housewife might be intimidated by her when she’s such a “hotty batotty,” so she brushes it off.
Later, Kristin pitches her nanny referral service idea to her longtime friend and fellow nanny Maggie. Maggie likes the idea, but Kristin expresses concern that Maggie might not be ready for the job, since she’s had problems with her drinking in the past. She’s a “lush,” as Kristin puts it, and she doesn’t want Maggie’s behavior messing up her serious plans. “I’ve never once had wine in front of the kids, even if the mom offers,” she says with a severe hint. Maggie promises to do whatever Kristin wants to make it work, but Kristin’s not convinced.
All of the other nannies — including a hot Aussie man named Scott — join them for a little soiree and they exchange horror stories and secrets about nannying. Maggie’s obviously got an eye for Scott, but he’s got a girlfriend. Still, that doesn’t stop her from chatting it up with him. She tells him what Kristin said about not drinking on the job, and Scott admits to being invited for a brew or two with the family he works for, which Maggie totally (and conveniently) approves of. “Doing what we do isn’t rocket science,” he says.
He does notice that Maggie needs to settle down a little bit, though, but he doesn’t say it to her face. Alone, he notes, “If Maggie got a job as a nanny, as far as the drinking is concerned, I would encourage her to have a sponsor. Someone to encourage her to say Maggie you’ve got to get up at 7 in the morning, maybe you should give up that fifth tequila shot.”
Kristin makes her big announcement, saying “Nanny is the new Pomeranian dog, it’s the newest accessory.” That’s when she alerts the group about her plans for the referral service. Amber suggests orchestrating a code of conduct, but Kristin’s spearheading it with her own judgment.
The nannies resume talking, and their behavior is being closely scrutinized by one another. Lucy drops the name Brooke Mueller, which Shayla finds totally disrespectful. Others begin to share horror stories about fathers hitting on them, moms hitting on them, fathers touching them, and more. Oh, and a gay nanny (“man-ny”) named Shaun drops the bombshell that he and Kristin are arranging to have a child together. She says she’s donated eggs before for money, so why not for a friend. Well, that came outta left field.
When the party ends, it’s Kristin and Maggie alone again, and Maggie’s now three sheets to the wind. Kristin tells her that she just doesn’t feel confident bringing her on board for the business because she’s too busy partying to keep it together. “I don’t know if I can trust you with the family and the kids that I want to give to you,” she says. Maggie says that if that’s the way she feels, then that’s fine. “Maggie, you’ve made it easy for me by your actions tonight,” she adds. Their longtime friendship will suffer greatly if they work together on this, so Kristin thinks it’s best not to go forth with her on board. Ouch.
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