Is Netflix’s The Manny Inspired by Real Life?

From creator Carolina Rivera, ‘The Manny,’ or ‘El Niñero’ is a Mexican romantic comedy TV series that sees a male nanny (Manny) accidentally being hired by a rich but busy executive to take care of her three uproarious children. Jimena has the most hectic life imaginable — she is competing for the presidency of her father’s company, going through a divorce, and on top of that, has three children who drive away any nanny she hires. Everything changes when she unintentionally hires a male nanny, a charming cowboy named Gaby, who turns up at her door and turns her life around.

Jimena’s kids take a liking to him; Gaby supports her with running the house and even becomes a lively part of family gatherings. As she grows increasingly attracted to him, she is unaware of a hidden motive Gaby harbors towards her. Gaby himself begins to question his initial motives upon becoming increasingly fond of her and her family. The Netflix show may ring very familiar with some, and one might get curious to know if such a story has any origin in real-life events.

Is The Manny a True Story?

While ‘The Manny’ is not explicitly based on a true story or directly inspired by another production, it certainly has a lot of company from a narrative standpoint. The script for the show has been written by Carolina Rivera, and with the culture of male housekeepers on the rise, there are an increasing number of films, shows, and even plays that have told a similar story revolving around gender roles. These include multiple movies and shows sharing the same title, and also those who have come before and touched upon similar themes.

Perhaps the most identical work to ‘El Niñero’ is the 2022 TV movie directed by Doug Campbell called ‘The Manny.’ The Tubi original film sees a single mother hire an attractive male nanny and become romantically involved with him. While she considers herself extremely lucky to have found him, things take a darker turn when his ulterior intentions towards them surface. A 2023 romantic movie by director Damián Romay, ‘Falling for the Manny,’ also sees a single mother hiring a handsome manny and going on to fall into a romance with him.

Moreover, the 2015 German film, ‘The Manny’ or ‘Der Nanny,’ helmed by directors Matthias Schweighöfer and Torsten Künstler, involves a male industrialist who accidentally hires a manny for his children. Yet again, the manny harbors ill will, and is actually seeking revenge against the father. The movie takes a wholesome twist in the middle and has won two Jupiter awards. Not just that, the real-life experiences of a male nanny, Sam McArdle, are dramatized in his play ‘The Manny.’ The Irish theatre actor performs a black comedy inspired by his time nannying for rich single mothers in West London. It revolves around a manny and his client, Molly, an actress past her prime.

While the play has comedic and romantic themes, it focuses on being thought-provoking and introspective. Both characters are attempting to make peace with their place in life, with unfulfilled dreams, and trying to stave off loneliness with the warmth of mutual understanding and admiration in their romance. McArdle has been actively working on a TV pilot with his story and pitching it to producers and studios with a two-season arc.

While not sharing a similar title, many other narratives in popular culture ring familiar to ‘The Manny.’ In season 2 of the inter-generational family drama, ‘This is Us,’ one of the main characters, Kevin, acts in a life-draining sitcom called ‘The Manny.’ The multicamera sitcom involves him being objectified as a male nanny, with the focus of the show on romance rather than child-rearing. A real-life 2010 sitcom, ‘Melissa & Joey,’ follows Melissa, a local politician who has to take her niece and nephew under her wing, and hires a male nanny, Joey, to help her care for them.

With a societal rise in acceptance of househusbands and male nannies, we can witness a similar trend of shows playing with the amusing premise of a male nanny endearing himself to work-oriented single mothers, and the romantic side effects of their growing relationships. Therefore, while ‘The Manny’ may not have been directly based on any one true incident or previous work, it does come from a developing ecosystem of real life and media interested in portraying reversed gender roles and their enthralling relationships.

Read More: Netflix’s The Manny: Where Was the Show Shot?