Pre-Credits Gag: The Uncles sing, “Louie, Louie” with the twins. I’m pretty sure that there was a pre-credits gag almost exactly like this with Michelle in one of the first Seasons. Butchering classic songs is a rich tradition on this show. I still say that the twins aren’t nearly as bad as Michelle, though.
Joey is the coach of Michelle’s Soccer team because he’s one of only 3 adults that ever take an active role in any of these kids lives. Seriously, why don’t any of these other kids ever seem to have any parents? If they do then they must not want to have anything to do with any of their children’s activities. Sometimes these poor, neglected kids don’t even seem to have teachers.
Aaron Bailey demands that Joey buys them all pizza after the game and then Derek tells him not to give Joey such a hard time. Joey is so taken by Derek coming to his defense that he lets him pick his position on the soccer team, at which point Derek chooses the role of the goalie because he’s always heard that they “get the babes.” Say what? I can’t tell if the show is trying to convince us of Derek’s implausible heterosexuality or if he just hasn’t come to terms with being the gayest human being who ever lived quite yet. Actually, the latter seems to be the case because a few seconds later Joey hands Derek his rainbow colored goalie uniform and he really seems to love it.
It’s moments like this that make me think that this show was created just for people like me to make snide comments about. They’re really asking for it with this one. Still, I have to say that Joey helping a little gay kid come to terms with his sexuality is his first commendable act.
Stephanie walks through the door with a handheld video camera and tells everyone that she’s making a video about her family for school. I guess it isn’t really that important but I think that this premise could have used some additional context. Is the school just really fascinated by her family, or is this for a specific class, or what? What educational purpose could filming her family all the time serve? Is it a sociology experiment about what happens when you cram a bunch of pushy, corny white people into one big house? All we know is that it’s “for school.” Anyway, she starts filming Joey and makes some shitty comments about how gross his nose hairs look and then he tells her “you can’t use that” in reference to the footage she just took.
DJ and Steve hobble down the stairs because her chain got caught on his sweater and they need help getting unstuck because it’s really difficult to resolve a problem like that. People this stupid should not be allowed to have chains and/or sweaters.
The kids all taunt them because they obviously got stuck together while making out (which is, of course, DJ’s choice. If she is not comfortable with making out with him, it is her right as a woman to abstain from such acts. U.N.I.T.Y., that spells unity) while Stephanie films the whole thing, even though DJ tells her “you can’t use that.”
Becky hangs out in the kitchen with the twins while they bang on tupperware, which prompts her to start singing the theme song from COPS into a turkey baster for kind of a long time. Stephanie comes into the kitchen with Jesse and films the whole thing, but when Becky finds out she tells Stephanie, “you can’t use that.” Jesse tries to goad Becky into letting Stephanie use the footage by chucking her chin and telling her to “be a good sport” and it seems pretty heavily implied that he’s going to punch her in the face if she doesn’t do what he says.
There’s never been any implications of spousal abuse on the show before but it really wouldn’t surprise me. It’s not necessarily in-line with the sugary, family-friendly behavior of the characters but it is pretty much the only unexplored avenue of terrible husbandry on Jesse’s part.
Michelle’s soccer team meet on the field for some rare outdoor scenes. I’m kind of surprised that all of the soccer games don’t just take place in the back yard. Joey tries to help Derek not totally suck ass at being the goalie and then Danny strolls onto the field to see how things are going. Michelle takes her turn at trying to kick the ball into the big netted goal post thing and she’s as bad at playing soccer as I am at writing about it. On her second try she makes her shoe fly off, which is cause for concern for Danny.
Danny forces Michelle to practice in the backyard with him for several hours in order to accommodate his own fragile self-esteem. Kimmie Gibbler peers over the fence and talks about her new bug zapper for several minutes, which seems pretty shoehorned in for no reason. Jesse comes out and witnesses Danny Joe Jacksoning Michelle as she pleads with him to call it quits on their practice and her conviction is undeniable because she has her arms outstretched with her palms up.
Jesse explains to Danny that his dad used to make him practice playing baseball with the same psychotic, self-aggrandizing rigor and that it totally fucked him up. This is a tough one. On the one hand, Danny forcing Michelle to practice soccer for hours is clearly unhealthy. On the other hand, Jesse is probably only having such a negative reaction because he’s so opposed to seeing anybody work hard at something. They’re clearly both in the wrong here, so the only question is, who’s more wrong? Is an obsessive work ethic better or worse than no work ethic at all? There was a time when Rebecca Donaldson would show up and set things straight when all the dads were doing such a shitty job, but those days are long behind us and now all she’s good for is singing tv theme songs into a turkey baster. Anyway, Danny decides to demonstrate how good he is at soccer and then he kicks the ball right over the fence, breaking Kimmie Gibbler’s new bug zapper. Oh, so that’s what that was all about! Kimmie Gibbler informs Danny that he owes her $90 and then Stephanie emerges from the bushes with her camera, at which point Danny tells her, “you can’t use that.”
At the kids’ soccer game, Danny and Jesse both backseat drive the shit out of Joey’s soccer coaching. With the score tied and only a minute left in the game, Danny grabs Michelle and tells her that he wants her to score the winning goal. Jesse tells her not to buy into Danny’s bullshit and that it’s not that big of a deal is she doesn’t win, then Joey tells them both the back the fuck off his coaching gig. Michelle goes onto the field and gets control of the ball but then she immediately takes it in the wrong direction. All of the dads, plus every single person who’s watching the game, yells at her to turn around but I guess by this point she’s learned to block out everything that everyone’s telling her. She scores a point on Derek and doesn’t understand that she won the game for the opposing team, even when they all come up and commend her. It isn’t until her own team approaches her and Aaron Bailey tells her what a gigantic fuck-up she is that Michelle realizes what she’s done, at which point she hangs her head as sad music plays.
Later, back at the full house, Jesse and Danny argue over who is to blame over Michelle’s enormous fuck up, the joke being that they’re both blaming themselves. Michelle comes downstairs and feigns a broken leg so she won’t have to play soccer anymore but her acting’s only as good as it ever is is so nobody believes her. Danny apologizes to her for being such an overbearing weirdo and tells her that she should just play soccer for the fun of it but then she says that she wants to follow Uncle Jesse’s example and be a big pathetic quitter. Jesse attempts to convince her that she should keep trying and then, with no sense of irony whatsoever, quickly gives up and hands the very special talk over to Joey. The music comes on as Joey explains that everyone gets embarrassed sometimes and just because she made a complete ass of herself and ruined the game for everyone and they all hate her now, she should still stay on the team. Then he decides that the best way to get her to be comfortable with being embarrassed is if they all watch the invasive footage Stephanie has been compiling throughout the episode.
We are then forced to re-watch several scenes we’ve already seen throughout the episode, now from a shaky-cam perspective. There’s one scene that we haven’t already seen that was referenced but not shown in which Stephanie films Jesse while he gives his hair a pep talk in the bathroom. It’s really unnerving to think about how she was hiding in the bathroom closet and filming him like that. What if he’d taken a big shit?
Everyone laughs at the humiliating footage Stephanie has taken of them without their consent. It’s weird how this footage is ultimately treated as a constructive plot device and nobody ever confronts Stephanie about how invasive and sociopathic it is to secretly film people like that. Seriously, I find that very troubling.
Eventually they get to the footage of Michelle fucking up at the soccer game, at which point she hangs her head as the audience goes, “aww.” A few seconds later she bounces back by making light of the situation, showing us all that she’s learned a valuable lesson about laughing at your own mistakes, and that poorly-written wise-cracks are the panacea to every problematic circumstance.
Michelle meets her crew of neglected youths on the soccer field and Aaron Bailey immediately starts talking shit to her. The dads all start ganging up up him in Michelle’s defense, which seems a little unfair to me. Jesse suggests that there’s a height requirement for being obnoxious, which is easily unproven by everything that any of the kids has ever said or done throughout the entire series. Why, Michelle was obnoxious when she was still in diapers! Anyway, Michelle says that she doesn’t give two shits about Aaron Bailey’s worthless opinions and then she starts running the wrong way after prompting everyone to head onto the soccer field. They all yell after her but then she turns around like, “I was just fuckin’ with y’all.”