I gotta be honest with you: I really wanted to do a Family Matters review blog but they never released it on DVD. I just thought it was only fair that I let everyone know that before I got started.
So here we go: The saga of the Tanner family begins with Danny Tanner telling his mom that it’s seriously time for her to get out of his house. It’s not really clear why he’s so adamant about her leaving… Maybe she’s always raggin’ on him, or competes with him for his children’s love? Based on their body language, I think it’s most likely that Danny was becoming consumed with Oedipal urges and needed to get her out of his sight before it cost him his eyes. Whatever the reason, he wants that sexy mom out of his house, so out she goes!
Danny’s kids are pretty upset about Grandma’s departure, but Danny assures them that everything will be fine because their two idiot uncles are on their way to come live with them. So who are these guys? I bet that some people have seen hundreds of episodes of this show without being totally clear on how exactly everyone’s related. So: Jesse is the brother of Danny’s deceased wife and Joey is just some friend of Danny’s. It’s pretty clear that neither of these guys had much else going on and aren’t moving in so much to be charitable as for free rent. Jesse arrives first, carrying his entire personality in the form of a guitar and a motorcycle helmet. He regales Danny with an anecdote about his rebel lifestyle and some hot poon-tang he just scored until he’s interrupted by Danny’s kids. Here we see for the first time Stephanie’s total disregard for others. She forces Jesse to dance around with her like a ballerina even though all he wants to do is strum his guitar and talk about how much pussy he gets.
When Joey enters the scene, even the kids aren’t excited. Every single line this guy says throughout the entire series makes you want to punch him in the face. I was always under the impression that the rest of the family found his antics to be hilarious, but in this first episode everyone seems surprisingly cognizant of what an obnoxious asshole he is. In order to feel welcome he unloads his shit into the alcove behind the living room and does a shitty Popeye impression.
Later we find the oldest daughter, DJ, creating a line down the middle of the room that she now has to share with her younger sister, Stephanie. What an original concept! Stephanie tries to figure out how to leave the room without crossing the divider, which leads to the most amazing moment in the whole episode. She climbs up the drapes and is supposed to be sort of shimmying across them but the effect used is so awkward and unnatural that it creates a really surreal moment. I guess someone is holding her up from the other side so she looks kind of weightless, sort of resembling when you get to see full body shots of the muppets in action. There’s also this recording playing throughout the sequence that I think is supposed to be her straining but it’s this sort of hypnotic moaning sound.
Everyone comes in to trip out on the freaky visuals when Danny remembers he’s gotta get to his sportscaster job. He leaves Jesse and Joey alone with the kids for the first time, which just might result in some hijinks.
I know that incompetent parenting is hilarious and everything, but it’s actually kind of terrifying to watch these two totally unqualified guys take care of children. When the baby cries, Jesse yells, “Hey, shut up!” at her. No shit!
When that doesn’t work, Joey does terrible impressions of Kermit, Pee Wee and a sprinkler. Eventually they realize that she needs her diaper changed so they spray her with the sink hose and wrap her up in paper towels. How are three single men gonna raise a baby!??!
A knock at the door reveals some cheap hoe who’s come over to bang Uncle Jesse.
Stephanie works hard to salt his game, but it’s DJ who successfully cockblocks him with the news that she’s moved into the garage. I don’t know how she got all her stuff down there but it’s actually a pretty sweet set-up. She’s chatting on the phone with Kimmy Gibbler, who, interestingly enough, doesn’t actually appear in the episode.
Rather than let her have her own room, everyone flips out and takes turns trying to get her to move back upstairs. Joey does the absolute worst Bill Cosby impression I’ve ever seen in my life and then Jesse bribes her with 20 bucks. Finally, Danny sits her down for a heart-to-heart chat and then the music comes on. THE MUSIC! That’s right, at the end of every episode of Full House some heartwarming music comes on and a touching moment occurs. This one’s actually kind of valid on account of DJ is dealing with all the changes following her mom’s death, but just you wait! Lots of forced emotional climaxes are on their way!
Now that DJ’s not sad anymore about her mom dying, the family all gather together to sing the Flintstones theme to Michelle. It’s pretty bizarre to end the first episode of a sitcom with the theme from another sitcom, but somehow I doubt anybody gave it much thought.
Firsts: Danny Tanner, Grandma (Danny’s mom), DJ Tanner, Stephanie Tanner, Michelle Tanner, Jesse Cochran, Joey Gladstone, Stephanie’s total disregard for others, the music, Kimmy Gibbler (does not actually appear but is referred to as the person on the phone with DJ), Jesse says, “Have mercy”.