This piece was inspired by an episode of The Cooler, KQED’s weekly pop culture podcast. Give it a listen!
Fuller House, the reboot of '90s TGIF staple Full House, has officially landed on Netflix. You probably already knew that though, thanks to the countless reviews out there branding it every synonym of bad. Why are these people surprised? The original was schmaltzy, corny, and not that great; why would the reincarnation be any different?
Over the past three days, I watched all 13 episodes of the revival's first season and thoroughly enjoyed the experience because of its shortcomings. Fuller House knows its limitations. It embraces the slapstick, the stuck-in-the-past dad jokes, the weak catchphrases, the embarrassing call-backs to the original series and, most of all, the what-in-the-world-is-going-on, how-did-we-get-here moments. I find the latter most interesting so, without further ado, here is a collection of all the WTF moments from Season 1:
The cast doesn't waste any time breaking the fourth wall to shadily address the absence of the Olsen twins a.k.a. Michelle:
Uncle Jessie swings a baby wearing an Elvis onesie into Uncle Joey's testicles.
Kimmie Gibbler alludes to having given birth to her daughter in a rental car. She also allegedly knows Kama Sutra secrets.
It's never too late for a New Kids on the Block breakdance for no reason:
Uncle Jessie reminds his wife that they won't be having any more kids: "You know that ship has sailed. It sunk. All semen lost."
In stop-trying-to-make-fetch-happen news: Candace Cameron exclaims "Oh my lanta!" almost every episode (in a dogged attempt never to take the Lord's name in vain), DJ's middle kid constantly says "Holy chalupas!" at the slighest provocation, and DJ's very white eldest child continuously refers to himself as J Money, despite never exhibiting any interest in hop hop culture or anything that isn't suburban.
The entire cast earnestly sings along to Uncle Jessie's "Forever," which was allegedly a big hit in Japan, followed by a "Wild Thing" encore:
A cell phone accidentally gets caught in a diaper during a changing, leading Stephanie to take a call from the baby's butt. The baby, of course, farts. And, as if that wasn't enough, the writers throw in a "butt dial" joke for good measure:
When contemplating changing clothes in an Uber, D.J. says: "What if Uber sees my boobers?" Yep, someone was paid to write that.
Several cast members debate whether Neil deGrasse Tyson farts.
Macy Gray (!!!) makes an appearance as herself. She apparently rode an elephant in Cambodia with Stephanie after a bender. She proclaims "I'm crazy for Swayzee" before breaking into a rendition of "I've Had the Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing. She goes on to utter these words: "And the winner is these two luscious lesbians!" And the cherry on top: the moment Macy Gray realizes she's too good for this cameo: "What am I doing here? I won a Grammy!"
Pre-teen masturbation jokes are very much on the table:
A second grader slaps his face with slices of bologna to attract puppies.
An old man scratches his grown son's belly, causing the 30-something to act like a dog.
After being skunked, Stephanie ends up naked in a vat of tomato soup with a baby and a second grader. They are surrounded by golden retriever puppies who are in tomato soup-filled kiddie pools.
D.J. confuses a blind date for a plumber she's expecting, causing the following line to be deeply misinterpreted: "I just need a man to get to work on my pipes."
Stephanie helps Iggy Azalea find her missing contact lens. Iggy rewards Steph with one of her hair extensions:
The second-grader works through recital stage fright by performing at Coachella over WiFi. No, really.
Kimmie Gibbler gallops in a circle while hitting her butt, saying "Spank it!" and neighing.
Kimmie draws attention to a distracting part of Stephanie's (well, actress Jodie Sweetin's, really) anatomy, by declaring: "Look at me! I'm Stephanie! I have big boooobs!"
In an attempt to shoe-horn in diversity and balance out the glaring whiteness of the Tanner family ("They're albino polar bears drinking milk in a snow storm watching Frozen"), the Fuller House writers make sure that Kimmie's half Latina daughter reminds the audience of her heritage at every turn by making her say stuff like this: "Sarah ate some bad pollo and her butt went loco!"
D.J. randomly beats up two Mexican wrestlers dressed up in chicken costumes. "Oo, right in the chicken McNuggets!," an announcer shouts.
D.J.'s eldest son starts performing dangerous stunts to impress a new friend who always wears a one-size-too-small leather jacket (the designated uniform for all trouble-making bad influences). At the end of the episode, without any explanation, said bad influence enters his friend's room wearing nothing but a towel. Why is he showering there? Future gay tween subplot?
The family has an altar in memory of their father Danny Tanner...who isn't dead.
DJ and her high school sweetheart Steve sing "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers, while mixing meat with their hands.
Kimmie's very Latina daughter comes home from shopping and is excited about her new Elizabeth & James designer dress by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, which opens up the opportunity for another Olsen twin diss: "At these prices, no wonder they don't have to act anymore!"
Kimmie's "Latin lover" ex is a full-blown caricature of a human being, whose over-the-top accent is only rivaled by Hank Azaria in The Birdcage. He also slaps another man in the face with a dishwashing glove:
In every episode, there is some reminder that Stephanie is a dancer:
...a DJ, or all the above. But only once does she utilize a text exchange backdrop for marketing purposes:
DJ tries to stop any fun from occurring at a teenage birthday party by screaming: "Nobody pair up! Nobody make out!" This line may or may not have been taken from actress Candace Cameron's real life protesting icky gays getting married.
If Aunt Becky's life is any indication, the forecast for your walk into the sunset with your beloved boo is BLEAK:
Stephanie's boyfriend is revealed to be San Francisco Giants player Hunter Pence, who really shouldn't quit his day job. He wears a golden fork around his neck, which is only used to eat pizza.
DJ's two suitors accidentally kiss each other and Candace Cameron surprisingly doesn't walk off set in protest over all the gross gayness.
One of DJ's kids really needs to poop, but there's no toilet paper because the unattended baby wrapped it all around himself. In a move of desperation, the kid grabs the toilet paper baby and runs into the bathroom to take care of business.
Two teens massage a second-grader's feet and things are weird.
No one should be surprised that this show features a problematic cultural appropriation party. Theme: India! And yes, that's a "sacred cow" in the background.
Which previously barged into the family's kitchen.
Here's one more for good measure (poor guy):
Someone approaches this baby and asks, "Where did you get that hat? Turban outfitters?"
The entire cast (plus nameless extras with zero lines) burst into a very long choreographed Bollywood dance sequence:
DJ, Stephanie and Kimmie get drunk and squeeze in one last dig at the Olsen twins by prank calling Michelle and taunting her with all her former catchphrases:
And the writers throw in one last same-sex kiss to freak out Candace Cameron some more. I bow to their trolling:
Worried that we will only get one WTF season of Fuller House? Well, fear not:
What a time to be alive!