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DVD Review

DVD cover



Starring: Jo Frost and Nick Frost (Narrator)
Acorn Media UK
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: E
Available 12 April 2010

Travelling the length and breadth of the country, Supernanny Jo Frost is on a mission to help desperate parents deal with their badly behaved children. In this specially compiled DVD release, Supernanny takes on the challenging children of five different families, facing all kinds of brutal rough and tumble, vile language and abusive behaviour; and attempts to get to the root of the problem wherever it lies, with confounded parents or their confused children. Noted for her kind but firm no-nonsense approach, Supernanny uses a variety of methods each tailored to the particular family, to demonstrate different ways of disciplining their children and maintaining order in their households...

This DVD collects together the first five episodes of Supernanny's second UK series which was originally broadcast on Channel 4 in 2006.

Each episode is pretty formulaic. It starts off with a look at the family and how disruptive the child/children is/are. Next Supernanny appears and introduces herself to the family. She then watches, without interfering, a typical day in the house so that she can see where the problems are. Next she introduces her own style of discipline in order to get the kids to know where those boundaries are and who is in charge. She instructs the parents on how to make family life more fun and then leaves them for a while to see if they can keep the discipline up. Then she returns and points out if there is room for any improvement.

The end result is almost always the same. Uncontrollable child changes from a brat into a well behaved child. Supernanny Jo (JoJo) Frost proves that there are no real naughty children, just young minds that are crying out for attention, as time after time she proves that with a little bit of time and effort, even the most disruptive child can be calmed in a few days. Of course, years of bad habits and getting their own ways usually means the children put up quite a fight, but once they know they won't get their own way they soon start behaving themselves. But once JoJo leaves the families, it's down to the parents to keep up the discipline and not slip back into their old ways.

Some of the parents are at their wits ends when they call in JoJo, and some (usually the dads) you can tell probably won't continue to put the effort in once the cameras have disappeared (especially as one father found it hard enough to be bothered when the cameras were there).

Each episode is followed by its own Beyond the Naughty Step follow-up in which Supernanny can discover what lessons have been learned as the families have to put into practice all they've learned outside the home - either through a family holiday or day trips out.

The only real issue I had was that there is a little media manipulation going on. When you first meet the parents, mum always looks awful. Bad hair, no makeup and bad skin. But when the family are summing up everything at the end of the show the makeup and hair people have been shipped in to give mum a work over. This makes mum look a lot younger and prettier - mainly to enforce that the introduction of Supernanny has made the mums lives more stress free.

It could be just me, but the DVD cover looked a bit... well like dodgy top shelf DVD. And poor old JoJo has been done up like a school teacher (which makes her look about 15 years older than she is).

What JoJo does won't be of any surprise to any good parent, all she's doing is allowing the parents to take the power back from their children and shape them into better individuals.


Darren Rea

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