Pre-Credits Gag: Danny and Joey measure Michelle and tell her that she’s grown half an inch since the last time she was measured but she doesn’t give a shit.
Danny, Joey, Jesse and Rebecca Donaldson put Michelle to bed and set up the premise for the episode by reminding her that tomorrow is her first day of preschool. Why this child is starting preschool in the middle of the season isn’t explained, but I assume it’s either another symptom of Danny’s fucked up parenting or so Michelle could get her own first day of school episode that didn’t compete with Stephanie and DJ’s. The grown-ups all tell Michelle that preschool’s the shit so she gets real excited about going.
After Michelle is put to bed she has a dream about preschool. The idea of venturing into Michelle’s psyche is already pretty odd, but even being mindful of that going into the next scene cannot prepare you for the totally bizarro shit that appears.
The Vaseline smear over the camera lens combined with the incredibly cheap sets makes the whole sequence look like a 70’s porno movie. During the scene, Michelle imagines all the adults that just put her to bed as…I’m not really sure what. Toys or kids or something? They all overact in their embarrassing costumes for a few minutes before the most unholy site you’ve ever laid eyes upon makes its way onto the screen and into your subconscious mind forever.
Michelle appears as a princess before all the other characters and they do this really fucked-up (and really, really cheap looking) effect where she’s as tall as everyone else. The thing that makes it so scary is that a 3 year old’s body is proportionately very different from an adults, so when you stand them next to each other it just looks wrong. Combine that with the fact that Rebecca Donaldson has painted on Howdy Doody freckles and Jesse’s dressed like a cowboy and top it off with the group of them chanting some weird song about how rad Michelle is that’s made to sound like something a baby would make up and you have a sequence that’ll put a man like me in therapy. I mean, really, what the fuck?
DJ is leaving early for school and when she won’t tell Stephanie the reason for it she is bombarded with invasive questioning. They never do say what DJ’s up to but my money’s on her and her friends doing whip-its in the school parking lot. DJ tells Stephanie to fuck off and then heads into the kitchen where she catches Michelle packing herself a lunch by putting everything in the refrigerator into a big paper shopping bag. DJ also discovers that Michelle’s dress is on backwards, which really makes you wonder where the fuck all the adults are in this scenario.
Stephanie gets so desperate to learn more about DJ’s illegal nitrous oxide habit that she rips the lock off of her diary. Her invasive behavior is interrupted by Jesse, who enters the scene and quickly finds the hastily discarded diary in Comet’s mouth. The diary gets all chewed up but there’s no notion that Stephanie will blame Comet for the lock being broken or anything. Stephanie trying to fix the broken lock plays out in the next few scenes but there’s no mention of Comet having chewed it up so I’m really not sure why it happens.
Danny escorts Michelle to her first day of preschool. It seems like the class is already in session so maybe we are supposed to assume that she’s starting in the middle of the semester or something? Anyway, Michelle is introduced to her classmates, which ushers in a whole new era of bizarre interactions between small children on screen. Seriously, every time these kids have an exchange it’s all stilted and awkward like they’re all on Quaaludes or something. These kids must’ve all come from the Drew Barrymore school of child acting. Anyway, Michelle is introduced to a new character, Aaron Bailey, who’s usually the only other little kid that they bother giving lines to.
Aaron Bailey is played by that scary ass baby from Pet Sematary. Actually, this kid was kind of everywhere for a while, like for example he’s also the kid in Kindergarten Cop who tells Arnold Schwarzenegger, “boys have a penis, girls have a vagina,” which is a line that’s at least as funny to me now as it was when I was 9 years old. I’d pay ten million dollars to hear him say that shit on Full House.
Danny is apprehensive about leaving Michelle at preschool by herself but she tells him to back up off her jammy so he finally splits. Moments later, the teacher calls for story time and everyone gathers around except for Michelle because she’s trying to get the class bird out of his cage. As soon as she gets the cage door open the bird immediately flies out the window and all the other kids in the class get all pissed. No, but really though, why is nobody ever supervising Michelle? It’s bad enough that she can roam around the full house unsupervised, but now she’s been in this class for like 5 minutes and already the teacher is totally oblivious of her behavior while she fucks around with the birdcage in front of a big ass open window? Those little kids should be pissed at their teacher, man. But, no, they blame Michelle, and she and Aaron have this really unsettling exchange of dialogue right before the commercial break. Feeling guilty, Michelle says, “I’m sorry, I’m a bad girl.” And then Aaron says, “A very bad girl!” and then Michelle looks upset and says, “I’m a very bad girl” while sad music comes on. Now is it me or is that really disturbing? First of all, there’s the whole stilted child acting element, so watching these kids talk to each other is like witnessing an out of body experience. I always wonder why they don’t edit the cutaway shots of the kids better. It’s really clear that they’re just doing a bunch of separate takes of the kids saying their dialogue and splicing them together to create these scenes, so why do they always leave an extra couple of seconds of dead space before and after the kids say anything? They don’t do that when the adults have cutaway shots. You can actually see the kids looking around and waiting for someone to feed them some lines. But, you know what? That’s not even what really freaks me out about the end of the scene. Now, this might be my problem instead of Full House’s, but I just had to put it out there that I’ve never in my life watched anything filmed where two characters are exchanging dialogue like Michelle and Aaron’s without leather bondage gear on.
While trying to repair the damage that’s been done to DJ’s diary, Stephanie accidentally glues it to her hand. What follows is yet another tired ass scene where someone acts all nervous and unnatural while trying to hide something that’s really obvious. We haven’t gotten one in about 2 episodes so I guess it’s about time. DJ invites Stephanie to the mall and then Joey invites her for ice cream but she can’t go to either because she’s got her hand hidden under a pillow. What an hysterical circumstance! Anyway, Joey decides to figure out what Stephanie is hiding and discovers the diary glued to her hand.
Meanwhile, Danny and Jesse show Michelle a new bird they’ve purchased for her classroom to replace the one that she freed. Michelle says that she still doesn’t want to go back to preschool so Jesse tells her that she doesn’t have to. It’s actually pretty funny because Jesse sees not making her go to school as this really great solution for the problem. He sits in a chair and folds his hands while looking all smug and says, “problem solved.” What an asshole! Danny tells Jesse that his plan was fucking retarded and then Jesse shares an anecdote about a traumatic episode from his youth when he accidentally killed his class fish and then the other kids gave him a real hard time. The story ends with the kids leaving Jesse alone after moving on to treat some other kid like shit instead and then after he’s done telling it Jesse decides that Danny was right after all. Wait… what?
Joey manages to detach Stephanie’s hand from DJ’s diary but he glues it to his own hand in the process. DJ enters the scene and gets all pissed at Joey but then he narc’s out Stephanie. DJ gets hella pissed at Stephanie and tells her to stop fucking with her shit but then Stephanie tells DJ that she’s fascinated by her and DJ gets all flattered and decides to include Stephanie in her life more. So, yeah, it’s basically just the same exact DJ and Stephanie storyline we’ve seen a dozen times already. Seriously, that’s like their whole relationship.
Michelle makes Danny come with her to preschool and he interrupts the class and demands that everyone pay attention to him and his stupid daughter so they can make a peace offering with the new bird they bought. The kids decide that Michelle is ok after all and so she tells Danny that she likes preschool again and he doesn’t have to stay with her. Yeah, that’s it.
So, just to make sure we didn’t miss anything, let’s just briefly revisit the main storyline for this episode: Michelle goes to preschool, loses the class bird, the kids get mad at her, they buy a new bird for the classroom, Michelle is accepted by her classmates. What the fuck was that? Was that the most banal storyline you’ve ever seen in your life or what? It was such a total non-story that they had to pad it out with a dream sequence, which is a cheap trick that they’d resort to pretty often in the earlier episodes. I was foolish enough the think that they’d moved past it. Also, the arrival of Aaron Bailey brings us ever closer to more and more Michelle-centric storylines with her and her little cast of bratty friends. It’s like, hey, great, I already can’t stomach one hideous little kid who spouts out obnoxious one liners all the time, let’s just get a whole herd of them. Yeah, hey, that’s fuckin great. Well, shit.
Firsts: Michelle in preschool, Aaron Bailey