Season 5, Episode 7, “The Volunteer”

This episode doesn’t have a pre-credits gag, which made me nervous because the last time that happened there was a lengthy Jesse and the Rippers performance at the end.  Thankfully that wasn’t the case this time, which leaves me wondering why we’re just left holding our dicks, pre-credits gagless.  Maybe they’re going to stop having them all together?  I’m pretty sure that bumpers like that are intended to snag casual viewers by offering them a portion of the show before they have to sit through the credits, so maybe by this point the series was popular enough that they didn’t think they needed them anymore.  Or maybe they just forgot to do them sometimes because nobody working on this show gave a shit about anything.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Aunt Becky complains about the difficulty she’s been having with sleeping because she’s become so bloated with Jesse’s seed.  Jesse totally doesn’t give a shit and complains about how he’s been having trouble sleeping, too, because he has no empathy for other people whatsoever.  He then realizes that he’d better appease Becky if he wants to continue living off of her income so he utters some contrivances about how he wishes that he could share her burden of carrying children.  Becky says that she’ll arrange to make that happen and then the audience all go “Ooh!” for some reason while she walks away.  Studio audiences usually reserve those kinds of “Ooh’s” for sexual innuendos.

DJ comes downstairs to remind Danny that she’ll be home late because she’s volunteering her time at a senior citizens home.  I think that if most people’s high school age kids said something like that then it would be a pretty dead giveaway that they were doing cocaine, but Danny totally buys it.  DJ tries to strengthen her ruse by asking Danny and Joey what she should talk to her adopted old person about but all she gets for advice are impressions of the Three Stooges.

As DJ and Kimmie Gibbler exit through the back yard, they find Stephanie attempting to train Comet to jump over Michelle.  Why aren’t the younger girls also going to school?  Comet just sort of rests his head on Michelle instead of jumping over her and then Kimmie Gibbler’s like, “my dog can do hella better tricks than your stupid dog.”  Stephanie gets all competitive and then she and Kimmie Gibbler end up deciding to host a competition after school for all of the dogs in the neighborhood to determine whose is the smartest.

Wait, DJ really was going to an old folks home?  Maybe there’s cocaine inside.  We’re introduced to DJ’s adopted old person, Eddie Johnson, as we watch him kick the shit out of another old guy at cards who, incidentally, will play Jerry Seinfeld’s adopted old person later in the decade.  DJ and Eddie meet and have a hard time finding common ground until he starts to recall his youth playing guest roles on Sanford and Son and 227.  Eddie tells DJ that she reminds him of his estranged daughter, Gloria, and then he challenges her to a game of bumper pool.

Stephanie preps Comet and Michelle to rehearse their trick for the dog show and when she asks Michelle if she’s ready, Michelle replies with “Duh!”  I wonder if they’re gonna keep busting that one-liner out every episode.  It already feels obligatory.  Comet successfully jumps over Michelle and the audience respond almost as enthusiastically as they did when Michelle said “Duh.”

Becky coerces Jesse into coming downstairs in the pregnancy suit she’s acquired for him.  She says that she wants him to wear it so he can understand what she’s going through and I have to say that its not surprising that she’d have to stoop to such outlandish measures to try to teach this man some empathy.  She bets him that he can’t wear it for one whole day and they end up wagering the choice of wallpaper in their twins’ bedroom.  Becky wants circus themed wallpaper and Jesse, surprise surprise, wants Elvis wallpaper.  I like how they don’t even try anymore.  It’s like, “hey Jesse, where do you wanna go for dinner?”  “I want to go to the Elvis restaurant.”  “Hey Jesse, which beach should we go to?”  “Elvis beach.”

After DJ kicks Eddie’s ass at bumper pool she tells him that she has to get home to watch the dog competition that her ugly sisters are putting on and then clarifies that the competition is between actual dogs, not her sisters.  Eddie’s like, “Gee, I sure would like to go to a dog competition, but I guess I’ll just sit her and wither away instead because nobody ever invites me to anything…”  DJ is effectively manipulated into inviting him and asks if they need to check with someone to let them know that he’s leaving the home.  Eddie’s like “Fuck that noise,” and then creates a diversion by setting Jerry Seinfeld’s adopted old person up to get in trouble with the nurses.  DJ totally manages to not notice that Eddie is obviously sneaking out of the home and the two walk out with linked arms and similar vacant expressions.

Upon entering the full house, Eddie is immediately confronted with a barrage of stupid bullshit.  First he meets Jesse, who is more than happy to complain about his pregnant man circumstances to a complete stranger, and then he’s forced to meet the worst person who ever lived, Joey.  Joey’s sporting his Ranger Joe gear in this scene and it occurred to me that even fucking Joey has a job now, making Jesse an even more incredible loser than he’s ever been before.  Joey’s got a job, you guys.  A good job.  And Jesse’s just sitting in the living room in a pregnancy suit, wondering how to make it all last.

As DJ and Eddie head to the backyard to judge the dog show, Eddie becomes confused and starts calling DJ “Gloria” and telling her to get ready for school.  DJ’s like, “what’s your fucking problem, Eddie?  I’m counting on you to help me evaluate this dog show and now I’m really doubting your perspicacity.”

Danny comes home and shows Jesse the pooper scooper that he’s purchased as first prize for the dog competition.  Jesse tells Danny that he’s gonna cheat on his bet with Becky and take the pregnancy suit off for a while because he’s totally unwilling to put any effort into anything and has no respect for his pregnant wife.  While he sits and bemoans his aching back, Becky sneaks up behind him and starts rubbing his neck.  Jesse, quite naturally, assumes that Danny is the one who is tenderly rubbing him and then right before he asks for a reach-around he finds out that it’s Becky.  He tries to weasel his way out of losing the bet but Becky tells him that he’s fuckin’ done, son, and their kids are going to have circus wallpaper.  I actually have to admit that having Elvis wallpaper would probably be less psychologically damaging for a child than clown wallpaper, but a bet’s a bet.

As everyone gathers together in the backyard for the dog competition, I can’t help but be amazed that this entire event was put together in half a day.  They got like a dozen kids to bring their dogs.  I also like how Danny and Joey seem to regard the dog competition as a legitimate, important thing.  Anyway, Teddy shows everyone his dogs funny walk, which is when he drags himself by his front legs.  I’m pretty sure Teddy’s dog is played by that dog from the Mask who later had that show, Wishbone.  That dog was like the Dakota Fanning of the mid 90’s.

Stephanie gets Comet ready to do his trick but then Kimmie Gibbler shows up with her dog and then the two dogs fall in love.  Since the dogs are both too smitten to compete in the competition, Teddy’s dog wins because all of the other dogs belong to extras.  Danny awards Teddy with the pooper scooper and Teddy’s like, “This is a weak ass muthafuckin prize is what this is.  Shit and damn.”

Eddie spies his nurse coming in through the back yard and he sneaks away into the full house.  The nurse tells DJ that she wasn’t supposed to take Eddie out of the home and DJ goes into the house and finds him in her room where he’s acting all confused and starts calling her Gloria again.  DJ acts bewildered and irritated by Eddie’s unusual behavior and tells him that he got them in trouble by sneaking out. She also makes a big point about how friends should be honest with each other so Eddie explains that he has bouts of confusion occasionally.

His nurse comes in to collect him and Eddie tells DJ that he’ll understand if she doesn’t want to come see him anymore but he had a really great time with her corny family and also he’s old and lonely and is probably gonna die soon.

DJ asks Danny about what’s wrong with Eddie and they have one of those special conversations that only a sheltered, privileged child and her rich father can have.  He explains that Eddie has Alzheimer’s disease and that he’s only going to get worse and then DJ says, “I can’t believe this!  I really liked Eddie.” (Note the past tense.)  Danny isn’t able to offer much advice about caring for the elderly because he’s callously discarded two separate actresses who’ve played his mother over the course of the series so DJ just continues to feel sorry for herself.  Eventually the music comes on and Danny says some crap about how making people happy is great or something and then DJ gets up and runs downstairs.

DJ stops Eddie just as he’s walking out the door and invites him to stay for dinner.  The nurse says that he can stay even though the whole reason she’s there is to come get him because he’s not allowed out of the home and then Eddie and DJ head to the kitchen, arm in arm, to set the table.

What a patronizing episode!  This is just the latest example of Full House trying to address a serious issue and completely trivializing it in the process.  How are they going to tell a morality play about caring for the elderly by introducing a character that we will never see or hear from again?  Now that I think about it, I wonder if the writers of Full House didn’t suffer from Alzheimer’s themselves.  It would certainly explain a lot.

Also, don’t forget that Bay Area Tanners shirts are now for sale through the best t-shirt company in the history of the universe, Like Minded People.

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62 Responses to Season 5, Episode 7, “The Volunteer”

  1. carinthekitchen says:

    Joey’s sporting his Ranger Joe gear in this scene and it occurred to me that even fucking Joey has a job now, making Jesse an even more incredible loser than he’s ever been before. Joey’s got a job, you guys. A good job. And Jesse’s just sitting in the living room in a pregnancy suit, wondering how to make it all last.

    Oh, hell. We’re all fucked now.

    Like

  2. Teebore says:

    Oh man, the “main character volunteers at an old folks home to learn an important lesson about mortality/growing old/caring for the elderly”. We can now check that sitcom chestnut off the Full House scorecard.

    …because she’s become so bloated with Jesse’s seed.

    That’s totally how I’m referring to pregnant women from now on. “Bloated with X’s seed.”

    …but all she gets for advice are impressions of the Three Stooges.

    That sentences pretty much sums up her child rearing in a nutshell, doesn’t it? It’s wonder DJ didn’t become a serial killer.

    They got like a dozen kids to bring their dogs.

    Shit, I’m impressed that many kids have dogs…

    That dog was like the Dakota Fanning of the mid 90′s.

    Hahaha! Love it.

    Teddy’s like, “This is a weak ass muthafuckin prize is what this is. Shit and damn.”

    Keep calling those Tanner wanks on their BS Teddy. Never change.

    How are they going to tell a morality play about caring for the elderly by introducing a character that we will never see or hear from again?

    Maybe they’re trying to make a metatextual point, likening Eddie’s disappearance from the show to the way Eddie’s memories are disappearing, and…

    Sorry, I couldn’t finish that with a straight face.

    Like

  3. carinthekitchen says:

    It’s wonder DJ didn’t become a serial killer.

    We actually don’t know that she didn’t…

    Like

    • Martin Tanner's Ghost says:

      She probably ended up marrying that Nelson guy we meet later on and he pays hush money to people who might squeal on his serial killer wife.

      Like

  4. Hebrewersfan says:

    I’ve always thought Eddie was one of the most normal-minded people to step foot into that house, even with the bouts of confusion.

    On the topic of episodes with a serious tone, just wait until we get to the episode with the smart mouthed kid from Mighty Ducks who gets beat around by his dad…ohhhhh boy.

    Like

  5. Bridget Hainline says:

    I think Danny should have gotten a Petco gift card as a prize instead of a crappy pooper scooper (no pun intended). As for DJ, she should have asked if Eddie had permission to leave the home and when he was talking about how weird the Tanners are, the nurse thought he was dotty because normal people don’t act like those jack wagons!

    Like

    • carinthekitchen says:

      Really? You’re actually trying to insert logic into the Full House lexicon? That will never happen.

      Like

      • LORIMAR-Telepictures says:

        Did Petco even exist back in 1991? And given the way they treat their animals at that store, I would’ve stuck with the pooper scooper.

        Like

      • Bridget says:

        LT, I go to PetCo before work sometimes to look at the cats. They all look perfectly fine and cute! They’re fixed and I remember one cat who looked like my late orange striped tabby, Morris. The cat was named Leo.

        Like

      • Martin Tanner's Ghost says:

        Chain-brand pet shops get their animals from puppy mills and other such places. Regardless if the animals are healthy, there’s still abuse transpiring in the practice.

        I should know. I’m the ghost of a goldfish.

        Like

      • RIP Pam Tanner says:

        You’re half right Martin Tanner’s Ghost. While the animals sold at petco likely come from pet mills, the cats are not supplied by Petco, they are from rescue organizations. I know this from volunteering for a rescue who displayed some of their cats there to get visibility for adoptions.

        Like

    • Glenn says:

      I feel like every career aptitude test you ever took must have said… “Posses an extremely proficient, almost uncanny, ability in pointing out the glaringly obvious.

      Best Possible Future Career: writer for mediocre sitcom”

      Like

      • Corey says:

        I love you, Glenn.

        I never really considered before that it has to be the Captain Obvious types of the world who write for (and enjoy) these terrible shows, but it all makes so much sense now.

        Like

  6. Starved Dog says:

    Screencap 1: Look how arrogant Jersey is acting toward Rebecca. Look at that smug asshole acting like he’s bored and too good to hear her complaining! And it looks like he’s stroking his sideburn like it’s a pet kitten.

    Screencap 2: What an ugly-ass dog! But, Comet is nice looking…

    Screencap 3: DJ is sitting like she has a corncob stuck up her ass. She looks ill at ease there. It must be because that Wilford Brimley look-alike is staring at her through the fish tank.

    Screencap 4: Ugh, I hate any screencap with Joey in it. Is he trying to force out a fart? No, I bet he’s rubbing in the fact that he has a job, and Jersey must look like a fool to please the bread-winner.

    Screencap 5: Jersey looks high in this picture. Either that, or he has lazy eye.

    Screencap 6: I’ve always wondered why in sitcoms; all the furniture is just crammed together in the middle of the living-room? Also, what’s up with the statue of the elderly gentleman in the background?

    Screencap 7: What a visual feast this screen is! We have Mr. Woodchuck smelling Joey’s ass, Danny and DJ sitting on corncobs, Kimmy laid back and not giving a fuck, and a bunch of random kids sitting around wishing they were home playing Nintendo.
    On another note – in the opening pan of the real full house, we see a series of homes that look to be around three feet apart, whereas in this screen it looks like a large field over that fence. WTF?

    Screencap 8: It looks like that dog just likes to rub it’s dick across the grass. What a great trick!

    Screencap 9: Teddy is too awesome for this world. Look at him! That needs hung up above a mantle somewhere.

    Screencap 10: I wish Eddie would have grabbed those scissors and stabbed DJ in the eye with it, and claim he had one of his delusional fits.

    Screencap 11: He sure does have an epic neck-beard.

    Screencap 12: BAY AREA TANNERS SHIRTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  7. Wilkins says:

    They did the exact same ridiculous pregnancy suit story on “Step by Step”. Fuckin’ Miller-Boyett. Lazy-ass story recyclers.

    ” I actually have to admit that having Elvis wallpaper would probably be less psychologically damaging for a child than clown wallpaper…” I don’t think wallpaper choice will end up making that much of a difference when it comes to Jesse and Becky’s kids being psychologically damaged. They’re pretty much screwed already by being born into the full house.

    Like

    • It wouldn’t surprise me if they literally have those kids born into the Full House by way of a midwife guided home birth. They are in S.F., wouldn’t surprise me…

      Like

      • pdxcentric says:

        Home birth?: Of course. You think the cheap-ass producers are springing for a hospital set?

        Midwife?: Doubtful. Unless you count Stephanie.

        Like

  8. Paddles says:

    Joey’s sporting his Ranger Joe gear in this scene and it occurred to me that even fucking Joey has a job now

    It occurs to ME that in the reality of the full house, the only form of employment seems to be appearing on television (or writing a hit song). This would be sort of funny like “Wow, those moochers are just waiting around for a TV gig because that’s the only work they think there is”, but it’s just baffling because they all actually do wind up getting jobs on TV…

    I wonder if in school, all of the Tanner girls are like “what does your dad do for a living? I mean, what TV show is he on?”

    Like

  9. “Perspicacity”

    Great word! Glad to see your college education paying dividends!

    “While he sits and bemoans his aching back, Becky sneaks up behind him and starts rubbing his neck. Jesse, quite naturally, assumes that Danny is the one who is tenderly rubbing him and then right before he asks for a reach-around he finds out that it’s Becky.”

    Hilarious!

    “ I’m pretty sure Teddy’s dog is played by that dog from the Mask who later had that show, Wishbone. That dog was like the Dakota Fanning of the mid 90′s.”

    Unlike Dakota Fanning, I bet that dog is dead now…

    “Danny awards Teddy with the pooper scooper and Teddy’s like, ‘This is a weak ass muthafuckin prize is what this is. Shit and damn.’“

    Seriously. What a “shitty” prize!

    “The nurse tells DJ that she wasn’t supposed to take Eddie out of the home”

    I hope DJ goes to jail for kidnapping an elder Alzheimer’s patient and is forced into a rug munching relationship with a bull-dyke.

    “Danny isn’t able to offer much advice about caring for the elderly because he’s callously discarded two separate actresses who’ve played his mother over the course of the series so DJ just continues to feel sorry for herself.”

    I seriously laughed out loud at this!

    Regarding Jermsey, we haven’t seen him eat fried chicken in a while. He seems to be down to only one character trait – Elvis nut. Possibly a second: patronizing misogynistic husband. Maybe they had to free up some character traits to make room for the nauseating annoyingness that will be the Cochran-Katsopolis twins…

    Great review! You are just getting better and better!

    Oh, and nice work on the Bay Area Tanners t-shirt. Just might have to buy one of those…

    Like

  10. Navarro says:

    You should of mentioned how the black nurse somehow discovered where DJ lives and just blatantly walks into their backyard out of nowhere

    Like

  11. Colin Sean says:

    The moment when Joey sees Jesse in the pregnancy pad really gets to me. His laugh on this show really matched his character – forced and obnoxious. I wonder what went through Dave Coulier’s head when he was trying to sell that shit to the Memorex studio audience.

    DEAD @ “note the past tense.”

    Like

  12. Rachel says:

    I think that dog also stared in Problem Child 2.

    Like

  13. Kayla says:

    I was surprised that you didn’t mention the little scene with Kimmy talking about how many corn dogs she can fit in her mouth.

    Like

  14. Dr.Victator says:

    Eventually Jesse does buy Elvis peanut butter. Though that Elvis wallpaper did look sweet.

    Like

  15. PuppetDoctor says:

    Haha I love that “adopted old people.” Now the Elderly must be adopted? Another great review.

    Like

  16. 71dude says:

    Wasn’t Gloria the name of his dead daughter?

    Like

  17. Bridget Hainline says:

    I think it would nice if the world ran like “Full House” did with a stupid man child getting his own show with very little effort and no experience. That would be sweet and it would make getting a job much easier for the unemployed of which I am one at this moment.

    Like

  18. — And Jesse’s just sitting in the living room in a pregnancy suit, wondering how to make it all last.
    I laughed so hard at that line (and the preceding paragraph) I had tears.

    Like

  19. TheGibbler says:

    I’m wondering why the budget suddenly grew for this episode. They had the set at the old folks home, a fat suit, Kimmy, Kenny, and all of those extras and dogs when they would typically would have just had old people wandering around the living room and references to a dog show that had occurred off camera.

    Like

  20. kp199 says:

    I just randomly looked up the net worth of Candace Cameron (DJ), Jodie Sweetin (Stephanie) and the Olsen twins (Machete…I mean, Michelle), and it’s pretty sad

    Candace: $12 million
    Jodie: $4 million
    Olsen Twins: $150 million each

    Like

    • beautifulsorta says:

      I hate to admit it, but I always felt kind of bad for Jodie Sweetin. She really got a raw deal…playing the forgotten child on Full House, and then the trials and tribulations of her life.

      Like

      • kt says:

        So I know this article was written nearly 3 years ago, but I decided to check out the casts net worth again. Here’s my findings:

        Jodie Sweetin (stephanie) $400 thousand
        Andrea Barber (kimmie) $500 thousand
        Dave Coulier (joey) $4 million
        Lori Loughlin (becky) $6 million
        Candace Cameron Bure (dj) $10 million
        John Stamos (jesse) $40 million
        Bob Saget (danny) $100 million
        Ashley Olsen (michelle) $150 million
        Mary-Kate Olsen (michelle) $150 million

        Isn’t it crazy that the ugly monkey child of this shitty show would be the richest of them all?

        Like

    • How did Bob Saget get more than John Stamos? Stamos has been working consistently.

      Like

  21. Sarah says:

    Ugh-this is by far one of my least favourite episodes!!! It’s just beyond obnoxious and depressing as shit. Oh and I’m sorry but Joey’s fake, over the top laugh (when he sees Jesse in the pregnancy suit) is somehow more annoying than his usual giggle….it’s like dumping dirt on top of dirt! I can’t stand that wanker!

    Like

  22. JohnMo says:

    Just look at the screen cap with Teddy’s face in it and picture him saying “This is a weak ass muthafuckin prize is what this is. Shit and damn.” Hilarious!!!

    Like

  23. Em says:

    Did anyone else notice that Eddie was played by the same guy who played Grady on Sanford and Son?

    Like

    • BOTR says:

      One person did:

      DJ and Eddie meet and have a hard time finding common ground until he starts to recall his youth playing guest roles on Sanford and Son and 227.

      Like

  24. Sarah says:

    “It’s like, “hey Jesse, where do you wanna go for dinner?” “I want to go to the Elvis restaurant.” “Hey Jesse, which beach should we go to?” “Elvis beach.””

    You’re the best. (I only found your blog like, one day ago, but it has already brought so much light into my life and I am incredibly grateful. Thank you.)

    Like

  25. Allison says:

    Two things:

    1. I was born in 1991 (around the time of this season) and my room had the exact same clown wallpaper that the twins’ nursery will eventually have. My mom always mentions this excitedly when anyone mentions Full House, though I now realize that this was no cause for pride or celebration.

    2. I volunteered at a retirement home once when I was maybe 15 or 16 and my assigned elderly friend also tried to leave. However, he did not escape the home entirely, but rather suggested we take a walk back to his room and then propositioned me for sex until someone stepped in and saved me. This is how I was expecting DJ’s storyline to go down.

    Like

  26. LORIMAR-Telepictures says:

    Why did Gloria get all mouth when her father complimented her on how well she cleaned her room? You’re actually going to compromise your “Howdy Dooty” time because you questioned your father? Or you can say “thank you very much, Dad,” and move on. But not thanking our folks is a running theme of the Full House.

    Like

  27. Lila says:

    Danny and D.J have almost matching shirts!

    Like

  28. kt says:

    “Teddy’s dog wins because all of the other dogs belong to extras.”

    Ha! That line probably made me laugh the most. So, so true in the land of Full House.

    Like

  29. Jen says:

    ‘Mr. Johnson, how would you like us to set you up with a new friend?’
    ‘I’ll have a teenage white girl.’
    ‘Done.’

    Like

  30. NotADragon says:

    Episode seriously just came on. Must watch. Will be painful, but I must.

    Like

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