Best thing I read online yesterday was Matthew Schneir’s Fran Drescher appreciation piece for The Cut - and I don’t think I’ve watched two whole episodes of The Nanny, like ever. Which, yes, is one of my pop culture gaps… and still, it’s a testament to Fran that even though I don’t know the show – and it aired around the world, making her well-known and beloved in many countries outside the US – I know her, I am more than familiar, and I stan.
What I stan the most is that even though The Nanny was an undeniable television hit, Fran Drescher’s greatest export isn’t the show, it was in refusing to be anyone other than Fran Drescher. And, as Matthew Schneir writes, there were a lot of people who told her not to be Fran Drescher – as in don’t talk like that, don’t look like that, don’t act like that. That = “too much”. Too much what? Too much her? That was the message, basically: don’t be you. Be less than you. How many people have been told the same and believed it?
Fran didn’t. Instead, in response, she was like, no, I think there’s exactly the right amount of me that people will respond to. Still. At 62 years old, Fran Drescher is still a story. She’s doing new shows, she’s developing a musical based on The Nanny for Broadway, she’s being profiled in The Cut. And she looks incredible. In tweed and animal print!
I know someone who was once told too that she was too much: my ma, the Chinese Squawking Chicken. I mean, it’s in her name – she SQUAWKS. It used to embarrass me, how loud she was, how outspoken, how people reacted around her, like they didn’t know what to do with her, and they judged her for being a problem. Even family members, because too often she said the thing that no else would say, which was the truth. Sometimes they’d punish her for it but she kept saying it anyway, because what’s the point, really, if they tell you not to be less than you so that there’s more of them?
I imagine, for many people who adore Fran Drescher, that’s why they’re “still in her thrall”. It’s not just that she’s so entertaining, it’s also that there was something to be learned with how she chose to entertain.
To read the full article on Fran by Matthew Schneir, click here.
Yours in gossip,