I’ve always been a TV lover, but in the past 4 years, I’ve amped it up to enthusiast and darn tootin’ fanatic. So after I graduated from U of T with a super impressive and very useful Bachelor of Science, I figured it was time to do what I love. Since September, when I started my post-grad TV Writing and Producing program, I’ve watched more television than ever before in the past 22 years of my life – and that’s really saying something.
I’ve learned a lot about the industry in the past six months. But most of all, I learned that enthusiast or not, I am WAY behind. My list of “Must-See’s” grows longer each day and I can never catch up to all the greatness that is out there in the world, but I’m hacking away at it as best I can. But even though amazing recommendations like The Wire, Walking Dead, or I Love Lucy (I know, I know! Throw stones if you must!) sit at the top of the pile, I decided to tackle the entire Desperate Housewives series (which I am caught up on, thank you very much) and a rewatch-from-the-start marathon of Full House. Why not, right?
People may say what they will about this ’90s family sitcom, but there’s no denying its huge fan base. And how could you not love it? ’90s slang, Beach Boys songs, life lessons and some great hair all add up to one very Full House (Yes, somehow the blatant meaning of the show’s title didn’t ever hit me in the first 22 years of my life. That is, until a month ago when the lightbulb went on. Oh! It’s because the House is FULL! I promise I’m much smarter than this on average).
If you really think about it, the show was progressive in its own ways. I mean, I wasn’t even born when Full House premiered, but I’m guessing there weren’t too many television shows that allowed not two, but three men to raise three impressionable children – and do a darn good job, too. That’s a “modern family” if I ever saw one! And it was made for a broad audience: adults and children alike, otherwise known as “co-viewing,” which we hear so much about in my classes.
The characters were different and left room for everyone to pick a favourite. If you like the stand up guy who could win the Father of the Year award every year and has kitchen floors you could eat off of, Danny Tanner is your man. For the music (ahem, Elvis) enthusiasts who want a man who’s heart is bigger than his hair, you’ve got Uncle Jesse. And last but not least, best buddy Joey Gladstone can make you smile with his impressions and his love for the girls that he raises as if they were his own. And speaking of the fine female gender, let’s not forget Aunt Becky (nee Rebecca Donaldson). In an obvious, yet necessary and tactful move, the Full House writers brought in a mother and gal pal figure for DJ, Stephanie and Michelle, something that was lacking in their lives after the loss of their mother. The kids themselves are larger than life. DJ is the ultimately cool big sis that everyone simultaneously wishes they had and wishes they could be. Stephanie, the eternal middle child, is usually getting the short end of the stick, but can hold her own, even if it requires throwing a couple “nerd bomber” or “geek burger” insults at her older sister. Or my personal favourite catchphrase, “How rude!”
And then there’s Michelle: the pride and joy of the Tanner clan and of Full House. Watching every episode in order now, I can see how much focus is placed on the baby of the family, and I am not complaining. Being a tiny one myself during my first forays into the Full House world back in the ’90s, Michelle was always my favourite, which led to a huge obsession with the fabulous Olsen twins. I’m so happy to note that even now, in my twenties, I had a basis for this fanatic fascination. If you can watch an episode of Full House without cracking a giant grin at the sight of Michelle sticking up that thumb and saying, “You got it, dude!”, well then, I am sorry to tell you that you have a black, black soul. I’m completely amazed with every episode how such young girls were able to not only follow direction, but remember lines and deliver them in a hilarious or heart-breaking manner. My hat’s off to Mary-Kate and Ashley, and yours should be to.
Are you doubting my views? Not to worry. I come from a background of science. I have proof of my strong opinions. Watch the Season 4 episode entitled “Fuller House” and watch a four-year-old Michelle cry and bring you to tears. This episode also displays my second favourite element of the show: Michelle’s relationship with her Uncle Jesse, arguably one of her most influential guardians. There’s nothing I love more than a Jesse-Michelle scene.
Alright, that’s the end of my raving. Am I alone in this? All my Full House-ers please stand up.
I bid thee adieu with these wise words: When you’re lost out there and you’re all alone, a light is waiting to carry you home. Everywhere you look.
You can read more from Cassandra Sottile on her blog.
Feature image via.