*Sigh* OK, it is once again “Fuller House” week here at the JOE-DOWN! Since we survived reviewing the first season, and people seem to love how much we suffered from it, we decided to return to the 10th Circle of Hell that Dante didn’t put in his “Divine Comedy.” Each day, we will review two episodes of the second season of Netflix revival of “Full House.” This will run until Saturday.
Froemming: Originally I was against this idea of returning to the show. During the first season’s reviews, I was going through a divorce and I figured there was no way I could match the raw anger from that time and place in my life. At the time, I thought by taking my anger out on the Fuller-Tanner clan, I was using my rage in a more productive way. I felt it was a constructive way to deal with those raw emotions of rejection and depression. I came away thinking “I didn’t really hate the show that much. I was just focusing my anger elsewhere.”
Then I watched the first episode of season two. And I realized that not only was my anger really spawning from this show, but it actually made that dark period in my life even worse.
So Brown, before we jump back into the saddle again, any words from you for this introduction?
Brown: Yeah. Why are we putting ourselves through this again?
I’m halfway through so far and I tried to do the best I could. Revisiting “Fuller House” season 2 was like knowing you were going to a party where an ex would be at. There’s been time to get over it and you go in thinking, “You know, this probably won’t be as bad as I think it is. We can be friendly. We can be cordial.”
Then, you catch a glimpse of them and immediately all that anger, all that sadness and ill feelings come rushing back. The scars, they start to ache enough to notice.
And once I heard the poppy singing of Carly Rae Jepsen, I was seething. “Fuller House” treated us like (REDACTED) before and it was back for seconds!
Am I being melodramatic? No. No I’m not. Lets just get this over with.
Episode 1: “Welcome Back”
(DJ finally decides between Matt and Steve, but they throw her a curveball before her annual back-to-school barbecue. A homeless Fernando moves in
while two pop-culture nuts fight the urge to cancel their Netflix accounts)
Froemming: My first note from returning was this: “I’m already angry.” Now, the summer has passed. DJ has finally made a decision between Matt and Steve, and remember this is a 39 year old woman treating relationships the same way she did in middle school. But that is not the worst part of the first 5-minutes of this episode. That goes the Kimmy dressed like the 90s vomited up the corpse of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as she and Ramona have returned from Dance Camp.
Now, Ramona’s dancing becomes a common thread from the episodes I have watched and I want to address this: This divided nation is currently normalizing white nationalism. We do not need to normalize Ramona’s terrible dancing. There is only so much evil we can deal with.
Brown: It’s that part of the “Make America Great Again” edict? The Gibbler Gallop! Ugg, why is this a part of our lives now?!
So because we need to reintroduce characters, everyone comes back from some big summer activity. Here’s what I can recall.
Ramona and Kimmy Gibbler: Back from dance camp. Well, at least Ramona was. Kimmy, I can only assume, is back after serving as the right-hand of the dark lord, Satan.
Jackson Fuller: Back from… irrelevancy? I didn’t pay attention. All I know is he still has a crush on Ramona’s friend, Lola, because she gave him a peck. And being a 13-year-old, that means he thinks they did the nasty.
Max Fuller: He didn’t go anywhere. He stayed at home and prepared to become my nightmares.
Stephanie Tanner: Back from England (?) to fix her singing career. In season 1, she was a drugged-out club DJ. And now she’s picking up an acoustic guitar and being a “real artist” because that’s what MTV made a generation believe with all the Unplugged concerts.
Froemming: And we have DJ, who is talking to her toddler about who she wants to date (which was kinda creepy and a lot to lay on a kid). As she is about to make her announcement to Matt and Steve about who she wants to date, they announce (after some of that 90s-style gay innuendo, because why the (REDACTED) not?) that they both have found girlfriends — at the same time.
This is only plausible if they were in high school to me. The way they announce this and parade their girlfriends, whom are waiting outside for whatever reason, seemed so weird and jarring. At least Matt found Crystal, who seems more together in life than DJ. Steve on the other hand, because he keeps his skinless victims in the trunk of his car and is unhinged, found DJ’s doppelganger in CJ. Let the canned laughter ensue!
Brown: I hate to be that guy, but considering you strung these guys along for months, you kind of deserve to get left out in the cold, DJ. Love moved on, you didn’t, Ms. Fuller.
What I don’t get is that DJ and Matt work together at a Chinatown pet clinic, how would the subject never be broached between the two? I don’t imagine that Matt or DJ took the summer off. But no, we don’t get that.
So one sister is out of love for the meantime. Then, there’s Stephanie, and I’ll let you start this one, Froemming.
Froemming: Well, it seems like Kelso escaped the Matrix of the basement from “That ‘70s Show” and wandered — probably stoned — into the Fullers’ backyard as Stephanie is playing guitar and singing.
He joins her in the song, which he somehow also knows the words to, and they kiss. But, it turns out, this isn’t Kelso! This is Jimmy Gibbler, Kimmy’s younger brother. And we once again see and hear of the Gibbler Gallop because Brown or I must have wronged a gypsy at some point and are cursed to sit through this.
Brown: I wrote in my notes initially that Jimmy is a broke man’s Ashton Kutcher. No, that’s an extreme insult to broke people. Jimmy is the cat-pee-soaked-couch-for-free-on-the-curb version of Ashton Kutcher. And as we’ll come to find out, Jimmy will be the guy who brings Stephanie back into the gutter.
There’s a reason all these characters are back at the house (besides the need for us to remember who the hell these people are). DJ is hosting an end-of-the-summer barbecue. So the Fuller and Gibbler families will be there, along with Kimmy’s estranged ex-husband Fernando (who is squatting in the house, apparently) along with Matt, Steve and their Stockholm Syndrome girlfriends.
Froemming: Well, to curb the embarrassment of being single at her own barbeque, Steph and Kimmy devise a plan in which Jimmy will pose as DJ’s boyfriend. Because he is stoned out of his mind, as soon as Steph shows up he breaks up with his fake girlfriend DJ and starts to creep on her sister.
Well, DJ is embarrassed and talks with the demon spawn from hell Max, and they both share an existential breakdown which brought me joy.
Then we see the toddler, Tommy, walking on his own. Probably his first documented moment of trying to escape this house of insanity. But hey, they all hug it out in the end — even the dead-eyed girlfriends of Steve and Matt.
Brown: I know I glossed over it and they do, too: Fernando is just moving in with no resistance (at least in this episode). Hugs: The best way to feign ignorance until we write the script for the next episode. And on that note, let’s go to episode 2.
Episode 2: “Mom Interference”
(It’s a full house for game night when Steve and Matt bring uninvited guests. Jackson decides to join the football team)
Froemming: Right away my sanity is being tested in this episode as Fernando is cooking breakfast in a pink robe.
Brown: Also, when someone (DJ) ACTUALLY calls out Fernando for just thinking he can move in, he thinks cooking breakfast just makes up for this. And she agrees to it because he pulls the Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck “Duck season/rabbit season” joke on her.
Also, because Fernando is wearing Kimmy’s robe, we get a blurred butt joke. This script was written by elementary-school kids, apparently.
Froemming: We also have Jackson trying to woo Lola by joining the football team. Yet, he has no idea how football is played and doesn’t understand the lingo. I just wanted him to stop talking because the joke that his voice is changing got real old real fast.
We also have Max becoming a vegetarian because of his school project. He, like too many vegetarians/vegans I know, loudly pronounces this as if people should care. They don’t. Also, Max says bacon doesn’t come from pigs …. I thought he was supposed to be the somewhat book-smart character on this show.
For some reason, Jimmy’s RV is parked outside the Fuller’s home, making him and Fernando unwelcomed guests who ignore the pleas of the people who own the house and become squatters.
Brown: Since when have characters in “Fuller House” picked up on social cues? These people are probably how Dee and Dennis Reynolds grew up before becoming full-fledged sociopaths in “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
There’s also a joke when Crystal, who is a health nut, makes DJ a salad shake. It has no fat, no unneeded vitamins and according to DJ, no taste. Then she gags. That means there is taste, DJ. Do you understand how English works.
Speaking of DJ’s incompetence, it’s Game Night at the Fuller house and DJ is the only one without a date. So, Crystal decides to play matchmaker. So when date night begins, we are greeted by Alan Thicke, an 80s sitcom dad who should really have known better than to come on this (REDACTED) sandwich of a show.
Froemming: Was his character, Mike (or Pops, because he is Crystal’s grandfather), senile? He starts every sentence with “Mike here…” and while I chuckled a little at first, it seems like this character has a serious health issue.
Now, as they play the game and Mike is creeping everyone out, we find that Jimmy and Steph have a connection in that Jimmy can answer all the questions without even hearing them. This is the “Fuller House” version of Dock Ellis throwing a no-hitter while tripping on LSD, right?
Brown: Either it was the Shinin’ or (more likely) I think they cheated. Like Daniel Bryan and Derrick Bateman during a guessing game on WWE NXT. Stephanie hasn’t been shown to be the brightest bulb in this series, and Jimmy is a Gibbler so he’s already working behind the 8-ball.
Part of me does thing that Alan Thicke showed up on set drunk and they could only get him for one day so it’s like “OK, I guess we’re rolling…”
As all the couple are succeeding and DJ and Mike fail gloriously, I can only say again: DJ, you brought this upon yourself. Also, you were a jerk to your kid who wanted to play football.
Froemming: DJ is afraid Jackson will get a concussion and says no to him. To be fair, Jackson isn’t the best athlete so that is probably the right call. Everyone on the field would be gunning for him. She even says he has a “ping-pong” body. So he protests by taking the silent treatment with DJ and parades around in a suit made of bubble wrap, mocking her concerns.
Brown: Because Jackson doesn’t want to talk to his mom about this, she (and Kimmy, using a terrible good cop/bad cop routine) convince Lola to tell him to not play to try and impress her. Then there’s a hug because “Full House” and all.
Now, because we need nightmare fuel here, we got to Stephanie and Jimmy’s date in Walter White’s meth lab… I mean the RV, Jimmy’s home. And honestly, if Jimmy were cooking meth, a whole lot of things would start making sense in this series.
Froemming: But we don’t get that. We find out that Jimmy is a photographer for “National Geographic.” And you know print journalism has hit rough times when a photographer for a national magazine lives in an RV — just like motivational speaker Matt Foley once warned the world about, though not exactly a van down by the river.
Brown: I don’t think Jimmy’s getting those “National Geographic” magazines for the writing, but for rollin’ doobies!
And because they have the uncanny ability to say stuff in unison, apparently that’s enough for Stephanie to be turned on by a homeless man who eats nothing but food out of his deep fryer. And if you want sex and McDonalds to simultaneously be ruined for the rest of your life, enjoy this exchange:
(Kissing passionately, a bell rings in the meth lab/RV)
-Jimmy: “You want fries with that?”
-Stephanie: “I want the whole Happy Meal.”
I hate that we’re watching this again. I really hate it. This is our daily reminder to my co-worker and our “friend” Kyle Stevens, who recommended we do this: (REDACTED) you, Kyle.
Froemming: This…this is just the worst. Anyway, Fernando gives Tommy his first haircut, and everyone cries. And I began crying because I realized I still had 11 more episodes to watch.
Reviews for episodes 3 and 4 will be up tomorrow, Dec. 13.