All right, it is officially “Fuller House” week here at the JOE-DOWN, where we will review two episodes of the Netflix revival of “Full House.” This will run until Saturday.
Episode 3: “Ramona’s Not-So-Epic First Kiss”
(Ramona’s first kiss leads to a heartbreaking lesson in love. A memorable “Sister Night” makes wedding crashers out of DJ and Stephanie)
Brown: So right away, we get Ramona, our spunky starlet in training waiting for Jackson in the same room as some kid who’d win a consolation prize in a Bruno Mars look-a-like contest. Turns out, his name is Popko… and his defining characteristic is… a pork pie hat.
Listening to these characters talk to each other, it dawned on me that if I talked and acted like that in middle school, I wish I could go back and kick my own ass.
Instead, Popko convinces Ramona to kiss him, just to get that dreaded first kiss out of the way. Like any bit of romance in a young person’s life, baggage develops.
Froemming: Popko is the living embodiment of every skeevy man ever, right down to the stupid hat and — as we find out later — cheating on his girlfriend. But since Ramona is doomed with the Gibbler bloodline, she doesn’t realize Popko is the worst, and develops a crush on him.
Steph wants to have a “Sister Night” with DJ (AKA: Getting wasted and crashing a wedding, because this is Stephanie after all). And within the first 10-minutes my blood pressure was going through the roof from my seething anger.
Brown: As soon as the She-Wolf Pack was brought up and the thought that idea was going to be redone, I started getting a thousand-yard stare like Joker in “Full Metal Jacket,” complete with The Doors’ “The End” playing in my head. In fact it just happened to me again.
Ramona decides to still go to a movie with Popko, Jackson and a bunch of girls in what I can only hope is the ultimate night of Friend Zoning to ever take place. Popko is scum and Jackson is kind of a weenie, and because I’m watching this series again, my empathy is right out the window.
Now, lead us, Froemming, as DJ and Stephanie become the worst Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson ever.
Froemming: Well, they decide to crash an Irish wedding. OK, that’s different I guess. But we soon go back to some old tropes of 90s sitcoms. Because Stephanie is a degenerate she is stealing food, and DJ falls for Shawn, some random Irish man at the wedding. But Shawn is gay, and obviously there is miscommunication between him and DJ! And as this unfolded, I wished that asteroid from “Armageddon” would crash down upon that planet where “Fuller House” exists so I could simply stop watching.
And we have Max (who is watering the plants with dirty bathwater because he obviously is a sociopath in the making) helping Ramona get dressed for her big date.
Brown: The big problem I have with the Irish wedding is how easy the jokes they go for are. Use an Irish accent, DJ. OK, I’ll talk about Lucky Charms! Make up an Irish name, DJ. OK, I’ll be Sinead O’Connor. Hit the dance floor, DJ. OK, I’ll river dance!
“Fuller House:” Going for the lowest-hanging fruit since 2016.
Speaking of the low-hanging fruit, when Shawn reveals that he’s gay, DJ talks about how she was raised by three dads. So, Danny, Joey and Jesse are gay, show? OK, sure. Whatever. Just end this insanity.
Froemming: As Ramona’s date begins, she finds out early on that Popko has a girlfriend and she is along with this movie night (a Kevin Hart movie they make a point of telling us). Ramona goes along for a little while, but sneaks out and hides in the house so her parents don’t find out how crappy her date went. Ramona, you’d be better off just telling your parents than watching a Young Dexter named Max examine the baby and dog like a blood-thirsty maniac.
Brown: Can you imagine the rage built up inside Tommy just by living with this family?
When Ramona finally fesses up to her mom (along with DJ and Stephanie, because NO ONE in this house respects boundaries), they explain how inconsequential their first kisses were. And we get flashbacks to their respective first kisses, which was enjoyable just to see awful ‘80s hair. Basically, the lesson is yeah, it kind of sucks at the moment, but you’ll have plenty of kisses to go in life. That’s like Homer Simpson telling Bart in the movie that “This is the worst day of your life so far.”
But all’s well that ends well. Ramona will be OK, DJ made a new friend, even if they’ll never be lovers, and FERNANDO IS STILL FREELOADING AT THE HOUSE. WHY IS HE NOT OUT.
Episode 4: “Curse of Tanner Manor”
(Jackson and Ramona would rather die than go to DJ’s “scary” family Halloween party, where Fernando and Kimmy pull off the ultimate couples costume)
Brown: This Halloween-themed episode begins with Max doing what he does best: Being a whiny jerk. He’s mad because his friend Taylor has a blog that A. a lot of people apparently read. He’s in third grade. And B. in said blog, the house is considered the least frightening in all of San Francisco. Apparently Danny Tanner wasn’t into the festivities.
Times have changed, however, because I think this is the scariest house in San Francisco. Why? The Gibblers live there.
Froemming: Taylor was you and I’s avatar in this episode. Snarky blogger pointing out everything wrong with the Fullers. I liked Taylor. He saw the (REDACTED) from a mile away.
Because Max is insufferable, he makes DJ throw a party that will prove Taylor wrong. And because DJ is a terrible parent, she enables this kid by doing everything he asks for. I mean, what parent throws a party to prove a point to a five-year-old blogger?
Also, Danny wasn’t going to blow his cover by making his house creepy. Remember when he gutted his favorite couch and wore it as a suit? Yeah, he’s too smart to show the world his dark side.
Now comes the part of the show that drove me bonkers: Kimmy and Fernando dress as Ricky and Lucy from “I Love Lucy” for Halloween. But they don’t break character. It is like they pulled a Daniel Day Lewis and went full method actor for their couples Halloween costume. It was unsettling.
Brown: I think I was more bothered by hearing the Conga drum that Fernando was allegedly playing but not seeing his hands match up. It’s a simple instrument, bro. Not hard to pantomime. And where were the band horns coming from?
There’s also a sub-plot where Jackson and Ramona go to a haunted house to get away from little kid Halloween. And it turns out that Stephanie and Jimmy are working at the haunted house for the night as zombies. Well, zombies that look like they stuck hands in an electrical outlet. And what kind of uncles and aunts would they be if they didn’t meddle in the kids’ lives, make them feel guilty and keep them around the nest instead of letting them fly free from their parents for one evening?
Froemming: I thought they looked like background zombies from any “Mortal Kombat” video game.
So as Jackson and Ramona are trying to develop as people and not be co-dependant on their immediate family like their moms, Steph and Jimmy scare them by locking them in a room and yelling guilt trips at them. Oh, and after the two children flee, we meet a vaping vampire who I could have been happy to never have seen or heard of. (REDACTED) this show.
Brown: We hate you, Kyle.
Now, at this point, I think they want to keep Ramona and Jackson sheltered. Then, they’ll become confused teenagers like Maebe and George Michael from “Arrested Development.”
Because Taylor needs his comeuppance, and because we’re not allowed to have nice things, some zombies and ghouls from the haunted house start coming into the Fullers’ backyard and freaking out third graders. Eventually, Taylor goes running out of the house. Hey guys, you’re responsible for him. If he goes missing, you’re getting in trouble from the authorities.
I will say one positive thing: I think one of the kids was dressed up like a Katy Perry shark. I smiled at this.
Froemming: A tear went down my cheek as I saw Taylor escape this madness. Fly free, Taylor!
And we get more “I Love Lucy” banter from Kimmy and Fernando. Fernando performs “Babalú” with Kimmy. I don’t remember what exactly happens because I briefly blacked out from the anger, but I recovered just when they make up and we get the classic “I Love Lucy” style ending. I nearly tossed the controller at my TV, screaming and raving from what I had just sat through. But I didn’t. I shut off Netflix and played “Mortal Kombat” for a few hours to regain my composure.
Brown: We’re not going to survive this, are we?
Froemming: Probably not.
Reviews for episodes 5 and 6 will be up tomorrow, Dec. 14.