*** These opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinions of ANYONE else at Place To Be Nation dot com. They’re all great guys. I’m the only heartless asshole here.***
I think we’re all a little more forgiving when someone describes something as “one of my favorite childhood shows.” We try to see the world through the eyes of a child, we try to connect with their innocence and look past their complete inability to discern quality entertainment from liquid human shit. We try. They’re kids. The problem is that these kids grow up to become adults; adults who make preposterous statements like “Full House was actually a really great show,” or “Yay free gum on the sidewalk.” Both statements, while completely insane, show a rose colored world not seen since kids were going to sock hops and pretending that Elvis wasn’t singing about banging hookers (Those hips weren’t for dancing.)
I can get Full House as a complete immersion into childhood nostalgia, I can respect you if you dive in head first and simply refuse to cut it out. What I cannot abide though is the fallacy that Full House belongs in the pantheon of television’s greatest. It was the bad show on TGIF, the bad one. Let that sink in. In a world that not only houses Steve Urkel but also Stefan Urquel THIS was the bad show. Full House made “Just the Ten of Us” look like “Cheers” and “Mr. Belvedere” look like “The Wire.” For Christ’s sake watching it back in the early nineties we were relieved, RELIEVED for the smooth sounds of Patrick Duffy and Susanne Somers. It was Three Men and a Baby without the mustaches and the talent. It was the god damned worst.
So this is where I stand, proudly at the threshold of Hell as I try to get through this series. I want to go in with an open mind but I unfortunately live in reality. Fuller House season one, episode one. Fuck you.
Why is the house so colorful? No one’s home is that colorful. And I don’t want to hear the argument that Danny Tanner basically bred one of DJ’s children to be some sort of autistic butler. In theory this is still Danny Tanner’s home. Danny Tanner who wears like two colors in his entire wardrobe yet decorates his house as though it were a very tidy Cinqo de Mayo. Two seconds in and I’m raging at colors. COLORS. Then an overweight Bob Saget pops up and tortures his grandson while he lies helplessly in his crib/bouncer/babysitter. If there was ever a clearer snapshot of Hollywood’s sexism I don’t think I’ve seen it. Imagine if Candice Cameron Bure (The bad Bure), Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber had let themselves gain more than an ounce of fat? Can you imagine the outcry? I can’t. Know why? Because they wouldn’t have even made the show if they had, that’s why.
We’re next treated to android Jesse Katsopolis and suicidal Joey Gladstone fighting over a baby dressed as Elvis. They fling him around and make him kick the sad comedian in the junk in what is sadly not the last act of child abuse in the following twenty-seven minutes. John Stamos then proceeds to nearly have a brainurism (coined by Mark Henry, who is a better actor than anyone on the show) desperately trying to act the shit out of a joke where he claims his wife’s thighs used to be tight. I’d be more baffled that the sheer amount of double takes he does didn’t cause him whiplash if I didn’t believe he was some sort of cyborg with old skin stretched over his body.
I guess I should mention at this point that every time ANYONE enters the scene the audience screams as though there were multiple guns to their heads. The audience is a major problem throughout. Do you need to scream at the slightest hint of familiarity? They must have had to keep subbing them in waves as no human throat can sustain that frequency of screaming. Danny Tanner: scream! Uncle Jesse: SCREAM! Fucking Bullwinkle: SCREAAAAAAAAM! I would wager my cat’s lives that the people screaming for Dave Coulier’s Bullwinkle impression have never seen the original cartoon and only know it from this monstrosity. Coulier proceeds to kiss Danny Tanner after the endless string of introductions which probably killed at least seven audience members from sheer ecstasy.
So the plot to this point is DJ Tanner is a widow whose husband died doing what he loved “fighting fires and helping people.” Which is exactly the same job that Marshall the dog has on Paw Patrol and he manages to stay alive without the help of opposable thumbs. She has three kids, all annoying. Stephanie is a DJ, now named DJ Tanner (AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!) who has a couple of days off so has come home to spend one last night in the Tanner household before it’s sold. Also she spent some time in London and managed to catch the incredibly contagious English accent. (If only laughter were actually contagious this studio audience would heal the fucking world.) Jesse has been hired as a musical composer for General Hospital and is moving to LA, Joey has miraculously been headlining in Vegas for THE PAST TEN YEARS. Was every other comedian on Earth destroyed in some sort of Y the Last Comedian catastrophe? I feel he’d last about ten seconds in front of Simon and Howard Stern before they’d have him flayed for wasting their time. Finally we get Danny Tanner and Aunt Becky, who are also off to LA for their nationally syndicated talk show. Which by the way, would never in a million years be offered to a man his size. We learn about this show in possibly the worst example of exposition this side of Gower in Pericles. (Yes I know it’s obscure) DJ asks: “You must be excited to be starting your new job. WHAT’S IT CALLED AGAIN???” Someone got paid to write that line. Someone got paid more than I make in a year to write that line. Oh and Michelle isn’t there because the Olsens don’t NEED to be. The cast sadly stares at the camera for what feels like a metric eternity making sure we get the joke. GET IT???? WE’RE STARING A HOLE IN THE FOURTH WALL!!!! WE’RE PRETENDING TO BE ABOVE THEM, BUT DEEP DOWN WE ENVY THEIR DIGNITY!
Then Kimmy Gibbler struts in and cracks a joke about a “bad antacid trip.” The screaming is now making me lose all my faith in humanity. Bob Saget’s line readings are the worst in television history. He makes Hulk Hogan look like Sidney Poitier if Hogan respected black people. Now we’re treated to kid actors and Donald Trump jokes. TOPICAL! Someone’s going to “Take a Trump!” Oh man. Kimmy Gibbler’s smelly feet cure Stephanie’s accent! Hilarious and realistic! Get this: her feet smell so bad that she cures people suffering from horrendously awful fake accents. Again I have to stress that someone was paid more than your car or the guy’s watch from Glengarry Glenn Ross to write this war crime.
We’re only nine minutes in. NINE MINUTES!!!! The new intro is pretty cool though and the song sounds pretty good. I feel like they probably lied to Carly Rae Jepsen to get her to record it. That or threatened to rape her birds. And that’s not a euphemism.
We’re back in DJ’s old bedroom and Stephanie is wearing the lowest cut shirt they were probably allowed to pull off while still getting get a G rating. I’m not going to lie; it’s the best part of the show. Before you get all up in my face about objectifying her and not seeing her worth as an actress keep in mind that everyone involved is making a truckload of money to produce a shitty show that does nothing but take advantage of your nostalgia. She then chastises the baby for staring at her boobs, which again are hanging out. I mean don’t blame the kid, he’s probably fucking hungry and you are EXPLODING.
Hey remember all the old episodes? Well if you didn’t we’re going to do all the exact same dialogue and blocking as though we’re Meet the Spartans. I’m not sure this script could GET more lazy. I mean, crazy idea, but what if…what if you hinted at the old episodes without needing to beat us over the head with it. I mean that would require an extra ten minutes on the script; which I can only assume they didn’t have. I mean this was a labor of love right? Not a merciless cash in on a bunch of people’s childhood memories. You can look into the camera and say “this never gets old,” but you’re being as dishonest with yourself as when you said you were happy to be back. After a huddle and some inaudibles the three older men decide not to ground the fully grown women. “THEY SAID THE SAME LINES AT THE SAME TIME?” SCREEEEEAAAAAAAM! Bob Saget thanks them with all the sincerity of Rain Man? SCREEEEEAAAAAAM! Then Joey takes out the woodchuck and scares the shit out of the baby in the second act of child abuse of the night. I’m literally proud of the baby for crying.
Why is Danny Tanner’s wife so tanned? My wife straight up asked “When did he marry a black girl?” She is crisp. The story now is that everyone is having one last party in the old Tanner home, before Danny selfishly sells it and puts his single mom daughter out on the streets. That’s not mentioned but the subtext is palpable.
Then “Fernando” walks in. What is Fernando? Some sort of Spanish stereotype which I’m amazed hasn’t garnered them backlash from the social justice warriors of the world. It earns my backlash for making my ears bleed but I don’t post my feelings on Facebook enough to elicit real social change. He’s Kimmy’s ex husband and declares her to be some sort of sex goddess. Which is really only odd for the fact that he’s telling this to men who literally watched her grow up. I feel like if a Matador bragged about my sons friend’s knowledge of the Kama Sutra I’d be able to muster more than a quizzical look. Before this all sinks in though we’re treated to DJ Tanner the DJ rocking the night with “The Right Stuff.” This of course spurs the women to jump up and do a choreographed dance which is “hilariously” juxtaposed with the old men “dancing” by shaking their “asses” and acting “queerly.” Queerly meaning bizarrely as there’s a definite Mantis-like quality to their flailing.
It’s a great party until Steve shows up and tells DJ the mother that he’s been waiting for her. It’s been 21 years. Jesus Steve. As if his pathetic life weren’t enough to kill the mood DJ the Kraken then bursts into a strange monologue about being a single mom in the middle of a party. Jesse breaks up the sadness by singing “Forever” and his facials as he attempts to hit the high notes can only be described as “pooping.”
Why are Stephanie Tanner’s breasts hanging out at a party for exclusively family and very, very close friends? I’m all for people wearing whatever they want but I have to believe she’s hoping her evening ends with at least one of the Rippers.
The party’s over and Steve is now desperately raiding the fridge. He’s a podiatrist, single and apparently also still lives in his childhood home. Why the hell doesn’t DJ Tanner the veterinarian want to jump his bones right there? The child actors are now riffing on each other and I can’t help but think that we didn’t know what we had with Jake Lloyd listening to these kids go back and forth. The audience is going WILD. STOP ENCOURAGING THEM YOU MONSTERS! IF THIS KEEPS UP IN TWENTY YEARS WE’RE GOING TO GET FULLEST HOUSE STARRING COMET JR JR JR JR.
Speaking of dying dogs, suddenly Steve’s dog is giving birth and needs DJ Tanner the doting animal lover to deliver them. Danny probably regrets telling them to go outside when it spurs Kimmy to inform him that she gave birth in the back of a rental car and didn’t get her deposit back. His reaction can only be described as “nothing.”
DJ the dog whisperer then delivers the puppies and screams at her middle child for wanting a pet. She’s really immediately cracking under the pressure of motherhood. She runs upstairs to help the baby and Aunt Becky practically begs Jesse for another child. For a sitcom presumably aimed at mostly women they’re really painting Becky to be the traditional “baby crazy, sexy older woman.” Don’t worry though, Jesse has no seamen left. Class act Katsopolis.
DJ the snake now pulls the greatest passive aggressive guilt trip over a baby monitor in the history of parenthood as she laments how alone she is while the whole family listens down below. Just put a boob in the kid’s mouth and be done with it already. Man what is society’s phobia of breastfeeding. It seriously fixes almost everything.
In the end everyone decides to stay and help DJ the con artist but in the end she only accepts DJ the sex goddess and Kimmy Kama Sutra master for the positions of live in aunts. Effectively casting DJ as Danny, Stephanie as Jesse and Kimmy as Joey. The symmetry is actually nice as is the final scene where the family rallies around single motherhood. It’s a shame that the laugh track absolutely destroys any good will the scene has by just trampling over everything. Danny leaves DJ the house in the only decision that makes sense and the old make way for the new after again mirroring singing the Flintstones from the first episode of the series. Again had they not been blatantly copying lines throughout the whole episode this might come off as endearing. Unfortunately it fails before it starts despite the clever idea of splitting the screen between old and new. They hug and we’re out and the gun slowly gets removed from my mouth and put back under the stack of Monopoly boards next to my bed.
I feel like this show would be improved about a hundred fold by removing the damn laugh track. Holy shit what a problem. Let’s also face a little reality here: the cast is terrible but it’s not all their fault; the writing is worse, WORSE than it was twenty years ago. It’s lazy and aimed at the lowest common denominator. You can do a nostalgia show without making the audience physically ill with your dialogue. Again: SOMEONE WAS PAID AN ABSURD AMMOUNT OF MONEY TO WRITE DONALD TRUMP JOKES AND LINES LIKE “FINE AS WINE IN SUMMERTIME.” I think that’s the most insulting thing about Fuller House; it’s fucking lazy. If you’re a sub-par show, which Full House was, and you somehow manage to establish and keep a loyal fan base (inexplicably) you owe them the bare minimum of effort. The writers did not try. THEY COPIED SCENES VERBATIM. Bob Saget looks like he’d rather be anywhere else. Stamos is a plastic shell of his former self. The girls and Coulier sort of try but there’s a reason these actors haven’t been seen of since they left the air in 1995, and it’s not “Seinfeld syndrome.”
So in the end, will I watch the rest? Who knows? If I were researching a role where I needed to be filled with rage and or beat my wife/children I’d probably watch it on a loop. If you’re a fan of the original and are hoping for them to add to the concept and move forward this is not the show for you. If you’re a fan of the original and don’t have access to the DVDs and want to see the exact same show done with a deteriorated cast in an absurdly colored home than Fuller House is the show for you.
Out of 1,000,000