Announcer: Tonight, on Supernanny: Jo meets the Gorbea Family, whose mom shoulders all the household responsibilities, while her two-year old is stuck to her like glue. Jo has two weeks to pry this mom from her son's grip, get Dad to pull his weight around the house, and give the family back the peace and quiet they desperately desire.
(Opening credits play)
The taxi drives down a sunny street. Jo opens her DVD player.
Jo: Right, then! Let's see who we've got here.
Robert: Well, we're the Gorbea Family. I'm Robert. I'm a service technician for a local phone company. And I'm Evelina, and I'm a collections rep for the phone company. We've known each other since I was in my teens. (Younger picture of Evelina and Robert appears on screen, followed by footage of Demetrius and Meya playing Sorry with Adam.) We have three children. Demetrius is 9, Meya is 8.
Demetrius and Meya (sitting together in bedroom): Cha-cha-cha!
Evelina: And Adam is two and a half.
Adam looks thoughtfully up at the camera, then suddenly screams and wanders off.
Evelina: Supernanny, you have met your match with Adam. (Footage of Adam clinging to Evelina and screaming.) Adam is just clinging to me always, from the time that he wakes up till the time we're out the door, he's just very determined, he's relentless.
Jo shakes her head at this.
Jo: Too much, too much.
Evelina: He gets very jealous when anybody gets close to me.
Meya sits with some papers on the floor. Evelina pulls Adam away from Meya.
Evelina: Adam, no! Why are you doing that?
Meya (to camera): He's a pain in the butt.
Adam crawls all over Evelina on the couch. Demetrius and Meya sadly look on.
Evelina (offscreen): I think Demetrius and Meya feel neglected.
Meya (to camera): He hogs her. He's a Mom Hog.
Robert and Evelina sit in the living room. Adam charges happily at Evelina, landing in her arms. They hug.
Evelina (pretend growling): Arrr! Arrr!
Evelina: Usually every night, I have to wait for Adam to go to bed before I can go to bed. I'll try and put him in his crib, but he'll kick and scream.
Evelina struggles to get Adam to bed.
Evelina: Do you want to sleep in your bed now?
Adam continues to fight bedtime, emitting little shrieks all the while.
Evelina: Sometimes I just get too tired to stay up. And I'm the last one to fall asleep in this house.
Evelina sits on the couch, watching Adam scream.
Evelina (to camera): Like right now, I'm just very frustrated and angry.
Robert: Sounds like I'm not even here! (Evelina gives him some side-eye and a small, incredulous grunt.) Well?
Evelina: Physically, you are!
Footage of Robert eating dinner on the couch, watching TV while the children eat at the dining table.
Evelina: I need Robert to be more involved. It's a lot to take on.
Robert: I help.
Evelina: Robert, you're-- You're sitting on your famous chair and you're trying to watch TV?
The famous chair is a shiny black rocking recliner. Robert is shown sleeping in it, as well as sitting down in it as he takes up the TV remote. Meanwhile, Evelina washes dishes in the kitchen.
Robert: When I come home, I'm exhausted. I have a real rigorous job. I don't do girly dishes, that's for girls, right?
At this statement, Jo looks up from the DVD player to glare at the camera with a mixture of confusion and criticism.She resumes viewing the Submission Reel.
Adam clings to Evelina's leg as she attempts to walk down the hall.
Evelina (shrilly): I can't go anywhere with you like that, come on! Adam!
Adam screams while Robert sits on the couch watching TV. Jo plugs her ears.
Evelina: Supernanny, please. We need your help.
Demetrius: We really want Supernanny to come.
Jo (closing DVD player): Stand by, Gorbea Family! I'm on my way.
The taxi arrives at the Gorbea Family home.
Jo knocks on the door of the Gorbea Family home. Evelina answers it.
Jo: How are you? Pleased to meet you.
Evelina: Pleased to meet you! (They shake hands.) I'm Evelina.
Jo: Jo. Frost! Pleased to meet you.
Evelina (interview): Mary Poppins was on [sic] my door! My first impression.
Jo greets Adam and Meya, who are sitting on the living room floor.
Jo: How are you?
Jo: What's your name?
Jo: Hi, Meya, pleased to meet you, I'm Jo!
Jo bends down and shakes hands with Meya as she stands up.
Jo (interview): When I first met the family, they were very warm and inviting.
Jo: Hi, Demetrius, pleased to meet you!
Jo (interview): Their mom seemed very relieved to see me.
Jo: Adam! Pleased to meet you.
Jo holds out her hand to Adam, who is busy playing Sorry with his siblings.
Evelina (offscreen): Adam, shake her hand.
Jo: Pleased to meet you! (They shake hands.)
Evelina (interview): I was just really excited. She was very sweet, very nice.
Jo: I know you've got some issues that need to be addressed.
Jo: OK? And I'm here to resolve those. Just carry on as normal, and I'm gonna to sit back and watch you. All right?
Jo sits on the living room floor with the Gorbea children.
Jo: I'm just gonna sit here and watch you play, OK?
Jo (interview): Adam is a little boy who has an enormous amount of energy.
Adam picks up Sorry cards and throws them around with a smile.
Evelina (offscreen): Here.
Jo (interview): My God. Does he have a temper.
Adam screams as Evelina refuses to pick him up.
Adam screams some more and throws himself on her feet. Jo sits on the couch and gazes helplessly at the camera.
Jo: Oh, he's clinging on for dear life there!
Evelina: Especially if I want-- If I manage to get away from him, then he'll run and charge me. And that's when he'll throw himself on me, and then-- (Shrugs)
Jo (interview): It would be really hard to believe that Adam was separated at birth from his mother. Because he is totally attached to her hip, 24/7.
Jo sits on the living room couch, looking at Adam curled up with his arms locked around Evelina's legs.
Jo: So then, he's got you completely locked down, then, ball and chain?
Jo: So what do you do now, in a situation like this?
Evelina: Um, usually I'll just try and get away.
Evelina: And then he'll come chasing me around the house. (Adam continues to scream and whimper, clinging to her ankles.) Adam, please--
Adam (screaming): No!
Evelina walks away. The footage speeds up as Adam continues to shriek and follow Evelina out of the living room. Jo looks dumbfounded. Footage of Adam chasing Evelina through the house continues, with high-pitched shrieking and crying all the way.
Evelina (interview): I just wanted to scream for help.
Jo stands up from the couch with a smile, then looks at the camera.
Jo (to camera): We're going full circle here!
Evelina (interview): I get very frustrated.
Jo stands in the kitchen doorway, looking at Evelina and Adam in the kitchen. Evelina is holding Adam in her arms while he dramatically sobs.
Evelina (interview): So, you know, I give into him.
Jo (interview): No one gets a chance to watch any programs they like when Adam wants to watch the television.
Adam sits in an armchair that sits almost directly in front of the TV. He watches a movie. Evelina stands next to him, waiting for him to turn the TV off.
Evelina: No...No. Turn it off. (Turns off TV)
Adam (screaming): No!
Meya lies on the floor of her bedroom, doing homework over the sounds of Adam's obnoxious screams. He emits a series of angry, dolphin-pitched screams as Evelina tries guiding him away from the TV.
Jo (interview): And even if they try to resist it, Adam has a floor display.
Adam sobs dramatically in front of the TV, pressing his hands and face against the blank, light gray screen. It looks as if the TV is still in video mode and just the movie has been stopped. From the couch, Jo looks on in silent consternation.
Adam: No, no, no! (Sadly) My TV. (Desperately, with a burst of emotion) MY TV!!!
Adam sobs some more in front of the TV. Demetrius sits slumped in Robert's famous chair. He picks his nails and glances anxiously at Adam's emotional display, then back to his fingernails. Evelina strides purposefully into the living room.
Evelina: No, no more. Come on. (Turns TV off.)
Adam: No, I want my TV!!
Evelina: Come on.
Evelina leads Adam away from the TV. Adam clings to Evelina's legs as she walks away.
Adam: My TV! My TV!
He falls on his knees, which makes Evelina unable to walk anymore.
Evelina: OK, that's enough. RIght now. Adam, come on. Get up!
Adam: My TV, my TV!
Evelina: Get up, stop. No.
Meanwhile, Demetrius has walked himself up to the top of the living room doorway, his feet firmly placed on each side of the doorframe. Meya stands behind him in the hallway, looking on.
Jo (interview): I really don't know how Evelina gets anything done in that house. Because Adam takes up all of Mom's time.
Very sad music plays throughout this segment.
Jo (interview): In the afternoon, I had the chance to have a one-to-one talk to Meya and Demetrius.
Jo enters the kitchen, where Demetrius stands at the counter, working on a project.
Jo: So you came into Mommy earlier, and said the noise was really loud?
Jo: Do you find it really irritating, and- And--
Jo: And too loud for you?
Demetrius: Every day.
Jo: Every day? Every day Adam is like that?
Jo: Right. And what do you do?
Demetrius (shaking his head): Try and hide in my room.
Jo sits with Meya on the kitchen floor.
Jo: So, do you get time with Mommy?
Meya: Not that much.
Jo: Not that much? Why is that?
Jo: Why is that?
Meya: 'Cause Adam.
Back to Demetrius in the kitchen with his paper project.
Demetrius: He always wants to hang onto her and be with her. And we hardly ever get time with Mom.
Back to Meya on the floor with Jo.
Meya: He hogs her.
Jo: He hogs her?
Back to Demetrius in the kitchen.
Jo: Huh. How does that make you feel?
Demetrius: I just wish that we could go on a vacation without Adam.
Jo looks on sadly, then makes a pouty face at the camera.
Jo (interview): Demetrius and Meya are really missing out on their mom's love, attention, and time.
Evelina steps into the living room with Adam in her arms. Demetrius eats lunch at the dining table, looking on. Meya also eats lunch and watches as Evelina picks Adam up to comfort him through one of his crying fits.
Jo (interview): 'Cause it's always about Adam. And that's really, really sad.
Dad home from work
Cha-cha music plays as Robert enters the house.
Robert: Hello! How are you?
Jo: How are you, pleased to meet you!
Robert: I'm Robert.
Jo: I'm Jo Frost.
They shake hands.
Jo (interview): The first thing that he introduced me to, was transition time.
Robert sits in his famous chair. Having taken off his work boots, he changes into slippers as Jo observes. He and Jo stand in the kitchen as he explains his routine.
Robert: Normally, when I get home, I do a thing called transition time. I'll relax for maybe about 15 minutes.
Robert: I won't allow the kids to uh, bombard me with anything 'cause usually the house is pretty hectic by the time I get home.
Evelina (interview): He'll just sit on the couch and just, do nothing. So, when that's his time, it's his time-- Only. And nobody can approach him and you know, talk to him.
Robert sits down in his famous chair and hikes the leg rest up. The kids run around and babble happily while Robert sits in his chair, oblivious to his surroundings.
Evelina: Calm down, you guys, this is a madhouse! Calm down!
Sitting on the couch, Jo raises her brows at the camera. Robert sits in his chair, determinedly staring at the TV.
Evelina: You guys, did you not know the ice cream was out there?
Jo (interview): It's the busiest time in the house.
Adam screams. Evelina does laundry. The kids play in Meya's room.
Evelina: You guys, calm down! You're too loud!
Jo (interview): And Dad's out of action.
Robert continues to just sit in his chair watching TV.
Evelina (interview): It shouldn't be just one person doing 110 percent. (Footage of Evelina continuing to do laundry.) And the other person sitting on his throne. It's exhausting.
Adam clings to Evelina and sobs. Evelina carries him on her hip as she tries to continue making dinner.
Evelina: Stop. Be quiet.
Jo (interview): Evelina was just doing everything. And she needed a break. And she handed Adam over to Dad.
Evelina: What are you doing?
In the living room, Evelina passes Adam to Robert. Adam gives more high-pitched shrieks of protest.
Jo (interview): And Adam didn't like that at all. So he got aggressive, and he started pinching Dad? And Dad just-- Just really couldn't cope.
Jo enters the hallway. Adam screams and runs away from Robert. Robert rubs his face and neck.
Robert: He just pinched me and bit me.
Robert: He pinched me.
Robert (interview. over footage of Robert eating alone in his famous chair at a TV tray): We're just usually reluctant to intervene, because he just starts crying even more. At that point, I just put him down. "Go find your mom!" (Laughs)
Announcer: Coming up, on Supernanny: Adam puts Mom to bed. And Jo exposes Robert's hidden agenda. When Supernanny returns.
In the living room, Jo looks on as Evelina hugs and kisses Demetrius goodnight.
Evelina: Goodnight. I'll be up there soon. (Sits down at dining table)
Demetrius: Goodnight, Mom.
Evelina: You guys brush your teeth and clean up?
Robert (offscreen): Yeah, they did.
Meya hugs and kisses Evelina next.
Evelina: Demetrius, stop it.
Meya: Goodnight, Mom.
Jo observes Evelina changing Adam into jammies, then letting Adam have free rein of the house. He leans over the arm of Robert's famous chair, reaching down to a large pile of toys scattered at the base of the chair.
Jo (interview): I really couldn't believe at nine o'clock at night, Adam was emptying his toy box. When Mom tried putting Adam into his crib, he was refusing to go in, point blank.
Night-vision footage of Evelina putting Adam in his crib while Jo looks on. Adam kicks and screams.
Adam: No! No! No! No! No! No!
Adam's cries of "No!" devolve into general screams. He stands up in his crib and reaches up for Evelina, who picks him up. He sobs.
Evelina: It's so hard to get Adam to go to sleep in his own bed. By this time Robert's tired, I'm tired...We all just want to go to sleep.
Jo (interview): She has to wait until he decides that he's ready to go to bed.
A Disney movie starts on the living room TV. Adam stands in front of the screen. Evelina cleans up in the kitchen. Jo checks her watch.
Jo (to camera): It's half-past nine. Mom's out in the kitchen, still working. Dad's gone off to bed. And Adam's watching cartoons.
On the TV, the credits to A Goofy Movie begin.
Jo (to camera): This is not working. Seriously isn't working. And it needs to change now.
Evelina: Let's turn Goofy off.
She reaches for the off button of the TV. Adam starts, then jumps out of the chair.
Adam: No! No! (Evelina turns the TV off.) No! No! No! No! No! No! No! No, no, NO!!!!
Adam starts screaming again. Jo watches Evelina pick him up.
Evelina: Come on. Come go to bed with Mommy.
Jo (interview): As she picked him up and took him into her bedroom, he refused.
Jo looks on as Evelina carries a crying Adam into her bedroom.
Evelina: Ow! OK, he got me on the neck. Ow!
Adam repeatedly pinches Evelina's neck.
Jo (interview): Adam's so desperate to cling onto Evelina that he pinches and scratches.
Evelina and Jo stand in hallway. Evelina continues to carry Adam. They talk over his sobs.
Jo: So that's what he always does?
Evelina: He grabs me by my throat and my neck and, to just squeeze me as hard as he can. And his nails dig into me.
Close-up of Evelina's red, abused neck.
Jo (interview): Evelina was in real pain! And it was just awful to watch.
Evelina: I just have to keep him-- Keep him away.
Back in the living room, Evelina turns A Goofy Movie back on. The clock shows the time of seven minutes after ten. Adam jumps happily on the sofa, watching the movie. An exhausted Evelina sits next to him, just waiting for him to be ready for bed. Jo observes them from the other couch across the room.
Evelina: Settle down. Stop. Stop. Ready to go to bed?
Evelina: Please? (She lets out a huge yawn.)
Jo throws her hands up in silent consternation. Evelina falls asleep sitting up. Adam jumps around on the floor, then climbs on Evelina. Jo shakes her head at the camera. Adam climbs on the other sofa next to Jo and calls to Evelina from across the room.
Adam: Wanna play?
Evelina: No, I don't wanna play. I wanna go to sleep.
Adam turns the TV off as the movie ends. Evelina is now completely laid out on the couch.
Evelina carries Adam out of the living room.
Evelina: I'm sleepy, now it's Adam's turn to go to sleep. OK?
Jo waves goodbye from the bedroom doorway.
Jo: Evelina, goodbye. I'm going to let you go get some rest.
Night-vision of footage of the master bedroom. Robert stirs as Evelina sits on the bed with Adam. Robert sits up and waves goodbye at Jo.
Evelina: Goodnight. Thank you.
Jo: Goodnight, Adam. (To camera) It's now quarter to eleven, and Adam has now decided that he wants to go to bed, so everybody can go to bed now. What a palaver. I just can't wait to get into this house tomorrow and change everything.
Jo (interview): When I first meet a family, I go in and watch the dynamics between the children and the parents. After yet another big tantrum, it was time for me to sit down with the Gorbea Family.
Jo, Robert and Evelina stand in the kitchen.
Jo: Evelina and Robert, I've seen more than enough. So let's sit down and have a talk. OK?
They exit the kitchen.
Evelina (interview): I'm really, really, really nervous. 'Cause she's there to be judgmental, and I'm not used to that.
The three sit down at the dining table and smile at each other.
Jo: Robert and Evelina, I know you love your kids. You know, that's clear as day for me. And I can see that. And that heart shows very clearly. But I'm here to talk about the things that need to change. Adam controlling this house has to stop. You guys have lost control. Where is your authority in this house? Adam screams. He kicks. He is aggressive. Why have you not dealt with the aggression, Evelina? Why do you allow your son to pull your hair, mark your neck, and treat you the way he treats you?
Evelina: I don't know what to do. Inside, I'm screaming and crying. But I'm probably just as attached to him as he is to me.
Jo: You treat him like a baby, and he behaves like a baby. It isn't working.
Evelina: I know.
Jo: He's two years old. When he screams, he doesn't get told that that behavior is unacceptable. He gets placed onto your hip so that that screaming will stop. Let's move onto bedtime. Adam decides when he goes to bed, and he decides (points to Evelina) when you go to bed.
Evelina: I mean, I can't just make him fall asleep at the time I want him to. I'd love that. If eight o'clock was the time that he can fall asleep, then I would definitely have him in bed at eight o'clock.
Jo: So Adam yet again dictates when he's going to bed. And you go to put him in his crib. And he doesn't want to be in his crib.
Evelina: I mean, he's always slept with me. Almost every single night.
Jo: You've let this go on for far too long. Now, Demetrius and Meya. Lovely kids. Don't you know how much they're suffering? Meya wants her mommy's time.
Jo: And so does Demetrius.
Jo: And they need that. And that responsibility, you've both walked away from. You both need to come together equally. Robert, your transition period is how long?
Robert: 15 minutes.
Jo: 15 minutes? You could have fooled me, Robert. 'Cause I think it's going on all night! (Robert smirks. He and Evelina both laugh.) You sit down in your chair, "throne," television on, and you can see with your own eyes what's going on all around you. But your butt does not get up from that seat and do anything. Why?
Robert (chuckling): 'Cause I don't feel like it. (Shrugs)
Jo: It wouldn't harm you to put your hands in the sink and do a bit of washing up. It wouldn't harm you to discipline your own children. It wouldn't harm you to upgrade yourself a little bit and put yourself out there?
Robert: I suppose I could try.
Robert (interview): It was kind of a humbling thing. She blew my transition time out of the water. I was getting away with it, and now she came and messed it up for me.
Jo: And now, are you willing and committing to want change?
Evelina: Absolutely. (Robert nods in agreement.) I'm ready.
Jo: Yeah? Great. OK then!
Evelina (interview): When Jo was telling me how Adam was not my little baby, that almost made me cry. To separate myself from that, is just really hard for me to do.
Announcer: Coming up on Supernanny: Robert ventures into unknown territory. And will Evelina find the strength to separate herself from her baby? When Supernanny returns.
Jo gets out of the taxi and strides up the walkway to the Gorbea Family home. In the house, the family gathers around her.
Jo: Hi, guys, come around me! I have something I want to show you all.
Jo (interview): Day 1 of Teaching, I went into the house and gave the Gorbea Family a new routine.
Jo posts the routine next to the kitchen doorway.
Jo: The Family Schedule!
Evelina: All right!
Jo (interview): Mom desperately needs help, and Dad needs to get more involved! With his family.
Jo: Dad, we're doing Chore Time on the weekend. (Robert looks at the schedule with confusion.) From 11 to 12:30. OK? And then between 1 and 3, Dad, I would like you to take all three children out. The fact is-- Mom, break time. That means, no chores. It's You Time, OK?
Evelina (interview): I need Robert to realize how important his help is, and how it can bring us together as well. Although, I don't know what I'm going to do with myself for two hours without my kids. I don't know what that's like!
Evelina: We'll see how well we can apply that.
Jo: Oh, we're gonna do this! We're gonna do this! We're gonna do this and change things here.
Jo (interview): Every time Adam screams and shouts, Evelina picks him up.