It was November 3, 1993 and a 36-year-old woman, with good humor and a nasal voice, shaped the most important character of her career: “The babysitter“. It is November 3, 2023 and Fran Drescher has become the voice that demands the rights of her union in her capacity as president of the Hollywood Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA).
It all started when Drescher devised a series that would break with the comedies of the time and the only way to achieve it was to be everything: creator, producer and protagonist.
TV critic Roberto Rondero attributes part of the success to the team of scriptwriters and Drescher’s talent.
“The 90s were a great boom for American television because they began to look for new schemes to attract younger audiences, and Fran also had a lot of physical attractiveness.”
The Babysitter follows Fran Fine, a cosmetics saleswoman who arrives at the door of theater producer Maxwell Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy), who mistakes her for the babysitter run by the employment agency.
Thus, Fran ends up taking care of the three children in the house: Maggie (Nicholle Tom), Brighton (Benjamin Salisbury) and Grace (Madeline Zima); and she living with the clever butler Niles (Daniel Davis) and the partner of his boss, CC Babcock (Lauren Lane).
According to the expert, the protagonist, of Jewish blood like Drescher, was something very rare to see in American comedy. It also highlights how important it was for her to surround herself with a very talented young production team.
“Fran was behind this series and knew what she wanted: to reflect the pleasant side of life through biting and comic characters. That is why she is one of the most empowered women in Hollywood, proof of this is that she is in front of the actors as their representative, she asserted herself for what she knew.”
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In 2008, Drescher supported Hilary Clinton’s campaign for the US presidency and it was in 2021 when she had a fierce race against actor Matthew Modine to lead the Film, Radio and Television Professionals Union (SAG-AFTRA), winning. in the votes, although he was accused of waging dirty war against his opponent.
Despite everything, Fran has managed to end the internal divisions and proof of this is the strike that the acting and screenwriters union in Hollywood has been carrying out for three months, which obtained an approval of 97.9% of the members.
“We are not just talking about salary problems, but displacement with technology from traditional positions, such as acting or dubbing. Fran Drescher has tremendous pants to be in charge of this union in one of the worst strikes in the history of entertainment,” considers Rondero.
In the 90s, The Babysitter had to compete with great series like Friends, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Fresh Prince, Sex and the City, Beverly Hills 90210 and Seinfeld, but its audience was loyal.
“At that time the young audience was not attached to social networks or cell phones, so the fight for the audience was tremendous, but Fran did not try to compete with those series, because her profile was different: reaching the family, whose star was not “It was limited to classic American jokes,” he points out.
Drescher has been the president of the Hollywood Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) since 2021, which is currently on strike. Photo: EFE
Like any successful series, The Babysitter had versions in different countries such as Argentina, Ecuador, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Poland, Russia, Chile, Turkey, Spain and Mexico, which did not have the same effect as the original.
“They wanted to tropicalize it but it didn’t work because not everyone makes a sitcom, they make joke shows, which is not the same.”
Lisset, the actress who gave life to Fran in the mexican version from TV Azteca, explains that after Drescher adopted the physical features of her character, she was free to give him all the Mexicanness he required.
“I made her very own, her name being Francisca Flores was also closer. We had a lot of fun, so much so that many bloopers were recorded.”
Lsset as Fran Flores and Francisco de la O as Maximiliano Fábregas. It only had one season.
The post first appeared on www.eluniversal.com.mx