Picks and Pans Review: 3 Reasons I Love...

updated 11/07/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/07/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

Supernanny Jo Frost

1 Her look, her presence. I don't mean the tailored suit of Barney-the-dinosaur plum and the hair up in a bun, which is how she's dressed when she arrives at a house in ABC's delightful reality series (now in a second season). I mean Jo with hair down, playful but watchful, keeping kids in line and parents alert to disciplinary failings. Sometimes she looks like a more powerful Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Except she's British, a genuine nanny, and speaks in an accent that sounds like one of those life-tested gals out of Secrets and Lies or some other Mike Leigh movie.

2 Her honest practicality. This isn't Brat Camp, with mystical-psychological healing on a snowy plain. Frost arrives, identifies the problem, establishes a regimen, ducks out to let the family test her lessons on their own, then comes back with additional pointers. She's Mary Poppins with a fresh, healthy dose of what feels like old-fashioned can-do spirit. If Harriet Miers's new handlers made her watch some Frost videotapes, she'd be perfectly able to calm an unruly Senate.

3 The basic Frost trick—bad behavior merits an isolating visit to a designated time-out spot—is foolproof for even nonparents. Try it on spouses, pets, colleagues and unwelcome officers of the law. Thanks, supernanny.

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