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<I>Beverly Hills Nannies</I>: Family Friendly Reality TV Is Real Boring

ABC Family launched Beverly Hills Nannies last night and as expected, it fits with the family-friendly nature of their network... which means that while Beverly Hills is in the title, none of the shenanigans of the Real Housewives or the likes of Audrina are happening here. Or at least none of the public fights and embarrassing behavior are on display. Instead, its about well-dressed young men and women who have the job of being nanny to the rich (and sometimes famous) and how they occasionally have to pick up poop after animals or learn about vegan diets. It's all very innocuous, and terribly dull.

The most salacious thing happening on this show is that the nannies freely talk to each other and their employers about how much they are making, how much other people are making and mostly bitch that at 20-40 dollars an hour, they are underpaid and unappreciated for all they do. One guy Justin seems to mostly change diapers while his stay-at-home boss sits and rests, and then he gets to hold designer pooches and handbags while she does her shopping. He gripes that he is on the lower end of this pay scale, yet it's really hard to feel sorry for him. It's also difficult not to want to reach through the television and smack him when he's trying on a baby's cashmere scarf and whining about how someone else who takes care of twins gets a fancy car to drive.

That's not to say that all reality shows need to be focused on the forced drama and the bad behavior to be compelling. In fact, we're content watching Breaking Pointe or American Pickers or almost anything on the Travel, Animal or Food Network that manages to show people doing interesting jobs without dipping into any salacious or controversial behavior. The key is that those series are still fun to watch, but Beverly Hills Nannies lacks any real depth. And while we always enjoy a peek into how the other half lives, seeing these young entitled people spend more time talking about money than the children they care for leaves us cold.

The Nannies featured seem to be led by Kristin, who ambitiously decides that she'd like to get her friends jobs by creating a nanny service, and to vet people by holding a cocktail party (we learn in the next episode that her friend who was tipsy during the party doesn't even like children, but is interested in the nanny job anyway for the high wage). As we see even during the course of the premiere, there's a lot of turnover and "trial" periods, which makes us worry for the children and their sense of stability, but the kids are largely absent from this show, as the pampered pets get the lion's share of attention.

So while it's not a bad series in the sense that bad behavior is on display like in your typical Jersey Shore program, it's a lousy show because it isn't engaging television at all. In fact, between this, the mediocre Baby Daddy and the entirely unfathomable Bunheads, we're not sure what the heck is happening over at ABC Family this summer. Is there a reason they can't just make more shows like Pretty Little Liars?

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