Oh, great, an episode that focuses on Joey.
Pre-Credits Gag: Jesse and Michelle lift weights together and she’s got little baby weights. Awww. Then he flies her around like she’s super baby then there is some tickling. Usually these pre-credits gag scenes are pretty concise, one-note skits but this one just sort of meanders. Really it’s just Jesse and the baby horsing around for about a minute. I wonder if someone actually writes these pre-credits gag scenes or if they just film the baby for hours and see what comes out of it?
As we begin the episode, the Tanner family is finishing up a delicious fried chicken dinner. Uncle Jesse is conspicuously absent, as eating fried chicken is, like, his thing, man. The baby refuses to eat, expressing an interest in cookies only. Jesse finally comes home and declares that his crappy band has a gig at some lame club. He wonders how he should promote the gig and Danny offers to let them play on his lame ass morning show. Jesse’s like, “fuck yeah!”
As Danny and Jesse head to some undisclosed location to develop an audition that will win over Mr. Strowbridge, the producer of Wake Up, San Francisco, Joey is put in charge of the full house for the evening. The girls immediately conspire to get Joey to let them watch Tiffany Live From Tokyo, which comes on after their bedtime. They’re confident in their ability to manipulate Joey’s soft and feeble mind, and have a fail-safe method called the “bunny nose.” Even though they demonstrate it, I’m not really sure how it works. They wiggle their noses like bunnies, but I’m not really sure why that’s supposed to be persuasive. Is it because it’s cute or disgusting or what?
The girls try to butter Joey up by sitting through him rehearsing a terrible impression of Bullwinkle talking with Bill Murray. If wonder if Bill Murray’s ever even heard of Dave Coulier? After he’s done not being funny, the kids ease him into their Tiffany Live scheme. Joey catches on to them and resists but then they give him, “the bunny nose.” I was really curious to see what this “bunny nose” strategy would look like in action and as it turns out they rub their noses on his face. Again, I can’t really understand why or how this works but that’s usually how shit goes down in the full house. The aesthetics are baffling. Best just to say fuck it and move on.
As Joey and the girls perform a choreographed dance to, “I Think We’re Alone Now,” Danny comes home and is all, “what the fuck?” After sending the girls to bed, Danny tells Joey to stop being such a fucking pussy and learn how to be an authority figure for his kids.
Jesse’s crappy band perform an elevator-worthy rendition of, “Devil With a Blue Dress,” while Mr. Strowbridge shakes his little wrinkled hiney. Wait, I’m sorry, but can we take a minute to talk about Jesse’s band? First of all, where did these people come from? When Jesse was talking about his band, I assumed he was referring to those cheesy do-wop guys he sings with. These people just totally came out of nowhere. Second of all, just look at them.
Third, while you’re looking at them, really take a minute to look extra hard at the drummer. I just know that there’s something really wrong with that guy. I can’t trust that moustache and those beady little eyes. Also, why the fuck is he wearing hospital scrubs? Whose idea was that? Where ever did they find that amazing weirdo?
So anyway, Mr. Strowbridge isn’t sold on Jesse’s horrible band for some reason but then Rebecca Donaldson suggests that Danny sing a song with them on the show and the Producer goes for it. Just when I thought Jesse’s band couldn’t get any worse, they put Danny up in that mix.
Meanwhile, back at the full house, Joey’s all shitting his pants because it’s getting late and he doesn’t know where DJ is. On the other side of the kitchen Michelle tries to score cookies off of Stephanie. See, that whole baby wanting cookies thing is a reoccurring story element. An enticing subplot to compliment the already rich narrative, if you will. Stephanie offers broccoli as an alternative to cookies and the baby’s all, “Hell naw.” DJ enters the house in her karate suit and blows Joey off when he starts buggin’ out about not knowing where she was. Joey starts yelling and DJ is confused by his first display of adult emotion. When he declares that she’s grounded and will have to miss her karate tournament, DJ challenges his authority and busts out the ol’, You’re not my father” line. That’s some heavy drama right there.
In the morning Joey tries to talk the baby into eating eggs instead of cookies and vents his hurt feelings. See, the cookie subplot just got deep. Bringing the episodes myriad assortment of complex storylines all together in a single moment, Jesse walks through the kitchen as he prepares for his appearance on Wake Up, San Francisco. Joey expresses his guilt over the altercation he had with DJ but Jesse encourages him to stick to his guns. DJ enters the kitchen and snubs Joey, going so far as to refuse the bag lunch he made her. Harsh.
As Danny’s morning interview with Ms. Kadota Fig wraps up, he looks around with a puzzled look on his face and Rebecca Donaldson says it’s time for Jesse’s band to perform but since the interview ran so long they’ll only get to play one song. The best part is how she blatantly states that it’s Danny brother-in-laws band. Way to be indiscreet about nepotism, Rebecca Donaldson. So, anyway, the camera cuts to the band but the producer is standing in front of them waving his arms and insisting that Danny sing the one song the band is to play.
How come no one on the set of Wake Up, San Francisco ever knows what the fuck is going on? It’s always a big clumsy disaster. When’s the last time you saw a producer frantically waving his arms in front of the camera on live tv? All of these people should be fired. So anyway, Danny sings, “Proud Mary” with Jesse’s band and it’s pretty much the white people equivalent of a minstrel show.
During the performance, DJ walks right onto the set of the show. Really? No one stopped a little girl from just walking onto the set of a live tv performance? Was the panicking producer not already bad enough? Also, why is she there? What a random occurence. Anyway, Danny finishes his performance and closes the show with Rebecca Donaldson. All the while, the drummer lurks in the background, sharply dressed and displaying subtle emotion.
After Wake Up, San Francisco wraps, Jesse acts pissy towards Danny and then Danny asks DJ the very logical questions of what the fuck she’s doing there? She recounts the Joey incident and protests her punishment, which still doesn’t really explain why she’s there. She’s supposed to be at school. How did she even get there?
Back at the full house, a family meeting is held. DJ contests Joey’s punishment and asks Danny to undermine his authority. I do think it is kind of weird to forbid her to go to her karate tournament. That’s like an extracurricular activity, you know? I bet those karate classes cost a lot of money. Anyway, all the dad’s back up Joey and then DJ has a big hissy fit. Soon everyone’s arguing but then Joey cuts in with a monologue about how he can’t stand the fighting because his own family was so shitty. Joey’s shitty family has been alluded to before, but this vulnerable display of emotion reveals yet another layer of the unraveling enigma that is Joey Gladstone. DJ finally accepts her punishment but sulks off to her room, expressing a need for one last heartfelt exchange. Joey follows her and they talk as the music comes on and the strength of their relationship becomes that much greater. Hugs.
I have to give this episode a granule of credit for having a storyline that actually explores a relationship between two characters and the way it operates within the structure of their non-traditional family. It wasn’t at all well executed, but it stands out after you watch a bunch of episodes about DJ secretly getting a horse or Jesse being an Elvis impersonator or some shit like that. I also think it’s kind of amazing that in a Joey-centric episode, the most excruciating moment came from Danny (when he sang on the morning show). God damn that was hard to sit through. Speaking of the morning show performance, the whole plotline with Jesse being pissed at Danny had no follow-up whatsoever. Man, fuck this show.