The Full House intro begins typically enough… except who the hell is this? John Posey? Who the fuck is this guy?! Apparently that’s what the producers said, too, because he only appears in this unaired pilot before being executed… or, I guess, simply replaced with Bob Saget.
The episode starts in the Tanner living room, as the eldest children, DJ and Stephanie, are begging their grandmother not to leave. The first thing anyone from San Francisco will notice is… who are these people… millionaires? Look at the size of that living room. Hell, I know people who would pay $1000/month to live under their staircase. Not like Harry Potter in a cupboard under the stairs, either – like, in the dark, under the floorboards with cobwebs for pillows. I’m one of those people.
Don’t leave me alone with this man.
Anyway, grandma has been helping take care of the family since Danny, the father, tragically lost his wife… but is time for her to go. As a replacement, Danny has arranged for his immature best friend Joey, and his dopey, mimbo brother-in-law Jesse to move in. That will certainly make up for the lack of any female role models in the house. The kids are bummed about having to share a room. Understandable. First their mom dies; next they’re sharing a room. In terms of childhood disappointment – those things probably take gold and silver, and not necessarily in that order.
What next? They find out Joey is a man-child with a penchant for doing annoying, outdated cartoon voices? But first we meet Uncle Jesse, who arrives his motorcycle, a guitar, and a helmet. It’s all you really need to know about his character and over the course of the show’s run they never really flesh the character out beyond that either.
Next up, the man-child, aka Joey, finally makes his grand entrance – complete with a trumpet sound from his mouth no less (soon to be a character staple). He proceeds to dump his dirty clothes on the floor. He declares that he’s happy to be somewhere that has a washing machine because today he’s officially out of clean clothes. Yep, exactly the successful type you want rubbing off on your three impressionable children. Did I mention neither one of these fools will be paying rent?
Meet Joey the Jackass…
Joey tries to entertain the kids with some Popeye impressions and cringe worthy sound effects, but it only makes them desire grandma more. I could relate… and my grandmother has been dead for almost a decade. If your comedic material makes children long for their grandmother, you might want to work on that material. (Spoiler: he doesn’t. He uses it for seven more seasons). Even the audience feigns laughter here… and the audience is a fucking laugh track.
Ever the ones to wear their emotions… everywhere… the girls have set up a divider down the center of the room. Naturally. Joey, keen to be the center of embarrassment, attempts to limbo under the divider set to the tune of some ridiculous music he makes – you guessed it – with his mouth. Why? There’s no sarcastic remark here… seriously… why? Did Joey limbo under the caution tape at the location of their mom’s fatal car crash too?
Read the subtext, you fucking clown, there’s a divider up because they’re upset. They don’t want your ridiculous, ill-timed noises fucking up their lives even more. We’ve only seen this character on screen for a couple of minutes and I am already asking… can he take anything seriously?! Having watched this show for more than two thirds of my life, the answer is a resounding *mouth trumpet sound* no!
… the world is his playground…
But hold on, the writer is about to shake things up again. That’s right – Alt-Danny is leaving for the night and he is placing Joey and Jesse in charge. It seems like a sensible idea, given that they’re both immature and have never taken care of a baby before – let alone two other children as well.
The obvious set up here, though, is that they’re guys, and we all know that men have no idea what to do with babies. Will they cook Michelle alive? Go to the supermarket and accidentally leave her trapped in a freezer? Try to wash her clean with a hose? The opportunity for failure is endless because they’re stupid fucking men and we all know that men have no idea what to do with babies!
The insanity starts almost instantly, and after an episode with almost ten minutes of zero hilarity, I’m ready for a laugh. This could be it. Michelle is fussy so Joey comes up with the idea to spit soda around the room like a sprinkler. Somehow it doesn’t calm her but, less surprisingly, it fails to entertain me. Is it the fact that she’s getting wet that upsets Michelle? Or merely the fact that even a baby knows a pathetic, unnecessary gag when she sees it?
… and he’s a real fucking asshole.
So Joey comes to the realization – with the kind of dreaded pause you might witness before someone uses Voldemort’s name out loud – that Michelle might need to be changed. Uh oh. Every man’s fear. Changing a baby. It’s like women changing a car tire. It cannot be done. Cannot! Now we’re in for some laughs.
The children, I mean men, carry Michelle downstairs to the kitchen. Not like they’re carrying a baby, though. They hold her like she’s strapped with hand-grenades… that are sprinkled with anthrax… and covered in AIDS needles. Why? Because they’re men and that’s just how men act. Now, first of all – I’m a dad so let me point out it isn’t that hard to change a baby. Even if you have never changed one before. Might you fuck it up the first time? Sure. Might the fear of that be comparable to cutting the wire on a bomb? No. So you get shit on your fingers, we’re in the first world here, wash them and move on with life.
Next, I can’t fathom why Danny didn’t anticipate the baby needing to be changed. Yes, we wouldn’t have an episode if he did but let’s be realistic. It’s utterly irresponsible to leave your baby with two people who have obviously not been taught where even the most basic materials are. And that brings me to the biggest point: why are they bringing her downstairs? Her room is almost certainly full of diapers and probably even a changing table and diaper pail. The kitchen? Really?! We’re lucky they didn’t try to change her in the oven.
Some ugly baby, huh?
Which, sadly, brings us to the next scene… the men don’t know where to put the baby to stop her from rolling around so they decide to put her in a pot. And you thought I was being ridiculous when I suggested they might cook her alive. Uncle Jesse, seemingly aware that it is a dumb idea, points out that Michelle is a living thing… and suggests they use a meat rack as well. Yeah… that’s pretty… weird… and not at all logical or funny. But they’re stupid guys, right? So let’s let this one slide.
They place a meat rack in a pot and cover it with a towel… because… um? Anyway, yeah, off comes the diaper. Crazy Joe Davola… I mean, Joey Gladstone, takes off the diaper and surprisingly he doesn’t use a blow torch. He does, however use some tongs, and stores the filthy diaper away an air tight Tupperware container. Hey, Joey, do you use tongs when you wipe your ass too? You immature fuck.
Next Joey uses the kitchen sink hose to wash Michelle’s butt, followed by a conveniently placed fan to dry her. But where the hell are the diapers?! They’re not in the kitchen… surprisingly… I mean, it’s the first place I would keep them. Right next to the Corn Flakes! So the clever men must improvise – making do with paper towels and a garbage bag. Oh, men! We’re so fucking stupid. So impossibly fucking stupid.
Fucking seriously guys?
Danny arrives home to find the men have burned through an entire wardrobe of baby outfits, which they’ve inconsiderately, and implausibly, dumped in a pile in the living room (must have been Joey’s idea). Just then, the door bell rings and it’s one of Jesse’s girlfriends. And boy is she… 80s-looking. Stephanie reveals that DJ has run away from home and of course Joey and Jesse are on the hook. Joey and Jesse, the two immature nitwits that no one in their right mind would leave a hamster with, somehow dropped the ball. Was it before or after they changed a baby on a meat rack?
Danny is, of course, furious – having been gone seven whole hours and providing zero instructions. Turns out DJ ran away… and hid… at home… in the garage, and she’s on the phone talking to her friend. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the one and only Kimmy Gibbler. We’ll learn more about this freak later, but for now, all you need to know is Gibbler has her own phone. Again, as a parent, screw this kid and the expectations she’s setting for other kids. There’s always one kid who has to get something completely unnecessary before everyone else and set an annoying, nagging precedent that all the other kids expect to follow. A ten-year-old with their own phone? Surprisingly, I guess some things never change.
Danny lays down the law – and we find out DJ stands for Donna Jo (no wonder she goes by DJ). Joey provides us with another stupid voice and Danny asks Jesse to talk to his daughter about the situation. I mean he’s been absent all night; he may as well have someone else take care of his kid now, too. Jesse explains that the world is not a perfect place, as evidenced by the fact that Bruce Willis has a record deal. What a joke for the ages. Another sign that the world isn’t a perfect place? A drunk driver just killed their mom and they’ll never see her again. But a balding action star recording a gold certified album is definitely a much softer blow. Good call on that, Jesse.
Something… something *laugh track* something… something.
Jesse tries to bribe DJ into moving back to her room with cash, which she accepts – perhaps the only believable aspect of the episode. Kids, like adults, can absolutely be persuaded with cash – it is a goddamned life saver. It isn’t long, though before Danny finds out how Jesse managed to convince DJ to move back, and he’s forced to dump feeding Michelle in the hands of whichever body happened to be closest in order to talk to DJ himself.
Danny asks if she can just try sharing a room with her sister and reveals his vulnerable side when he points out her mom was a much better parent than he was. No shit, Danny. Frankly, their mom could have been a spicy chicken wrap to do a better job, but I digress. Danny asks DJ what her mom would have done to solve the situation, to which DJ explains, their mom would have caught her before it ever got this far. No doubt. Next we have the first of the series trademark Full House Heartfelt Moments. This is one that anyone who’s been a parent for more than, say, one day, might anticipate.
Unsurprisingly, DJ explains that she’s upset because she lost her mom, her grandma left, and she doesn’t even have her own room. You don’t even need to be a parent to see that coming. She’s upset because she’s losing everything – and sitcom characters aside, I hardly think the two morons her dad moved in are the kind of people she needs right now.
I know now why you cry but it’s something I can never do.
Danny explains that he knows how the girls feel – he misses their mom, too. The good news is they still have him. This probably might have meant a lot more if he wasn’t completely absent the second grandma left, leaving his emotionally vulnerable children with Joey and Jesse. Yeah, I think the problem, Danny, was that they didn’t have you… they had dumb and dumber running around the house wrapping babies up in garbage bags, you know, like madmen.
Danny somehow pulls a convincing speech out of his head, as he’ll do for many episodes to come, that consoles the children instantly. They’re a team. He loves them. And they love him. Everything is wrapped up in a neat little bow and we get a cute little joke to break the lump that has formed in our throats. I’m referring to an emotional lump, by the way, I’m not insinuating Full House causes throat cancer. Despite the fact that the first night went completely went off the rails, Danny, is optimistic. He thinks everything went great, and who am I to argue? None of the kids died, after all.
The episode ends with Danny saying Michelle needs a song to fall asleep. Alarm bells go off inside Joey’s head. It’s his time to shine, and he sings the only song he knows the lyrics to: the theme to The Flintstones. Honestly… in real life, this man would have been slaughtered by the end of the first act. The entire family joins in, and I legitimately wonder how people put up with this sickening level of phony wholesomeness. Or is this how normal families act? If so, I’m glad to have grown up in an impoverished, broken home, where my school lunch was always a disappointment and no one sang me to bed at night, and when I shit my pants, I wasn’t sautéed clean in a fucking saucepan.
Start the reactor.
RATING: 1/5 – Have Mercy
Okay, so Danny’s wife is dead, but just what kind of dad was he before she died? It’s as though he’s just becoming a father now. He has a ten-year-old daughter for crying out loud – is this stuff really that new to him? The children come across pretty convincing enough, though. Eager to exploit for money, all too aware that adults are a never-ending source of amusing failure.
Uncle Jesse is hardly a necessary component in this family. He defers almost everything to Joey, who isn’t even a relative. As for Joey, I honestly would rather invite Freddy Krueger into my home. This guy has the maturity of a child and solves almost all of his dilemmas with dumb noises he makes with his mouth. Do you know who else does this? Mental patients. Do you know who does it less than Joey? Mental patients.
Quote of the episode:
“The world is not a perfect place… Bruce Willis has a record deal!”Episode 00: Season One - Unaired Pilot,