I’m taking this week off from reviewing Fuller House because otherwise I felt like I was going to go mentally insane but I did not want to leave my beloved readers in the lurch (I know how much you count on me for providing material with which to shirk your duties at your jobs) so I conducted this interview with an actual real-life Full House fan. I’ve met a handful of people beyond the computer screen as a result of writing this dumb blog (shout-outs to my internet husbands David and Austin, Amanda and Maria on the East Coast, Carrie in Seattle and Mary from poker night, to name a few) and one thing that they have in common is that they are all total weirdos. But perhaps the most perplexing individual I’ve crossed paths with is internet author Jess Tholmer, who actually, genuinely likes Full House. Like, what’s the fuckin’ deal with that shit? She was kind enough to let me grill her about it, and I thought I’d share the results with all of you:
FHR: So, are you really a fan of Full House? Like, you actually think it’s a good show?
JTholmz: YES, I really am a fan of Full House. Like I honestly think it’s a really good show, for what it is.
I clearly don’t think it’s like…The Sopranos or some other good show that people like, but I do think it’s good.
How can you justify liking this piece of shit show? Are you crazy or something?
Haha well, yeah, probably a little crazy but I SUPER believe in the power of nostalgia and I think most of it comes from that. Like when it’s on TV, I feel genuine warmth in my soul. It’s like hanging out at a relative’s house or something. But like, relatives that don’t hate me and say racist stuff.
There is no reason to really HATE the show, in my opinion. It’s not laugh-out-loud hilarious, but it is very watchable!
Is it like hanging out with your pushy, narcissistic relatives who won’t shut the fuck up ever?
Haha well, yeah, kinda. I feel much more fond of the Tanners for the most part than my actual distant family.
I’m not crazy, though! Like, I definitely think Joey is really annoying.
What do you mean when you say it’s very watchable?
It’s just really unoffensive, relatively entertaining, easy background noise at the very least. You don’t have to worry about changing the channel if kids are in the room (I mean, duh). I liken it to how I feel about The Beatles’ music. Like it’s familiar and can be on in a shop or something without having to worry about the audience.
I KNOW The Beatles’ music is kinda trippy, but kids don’t know that!
Yeah, why don’t you just take a big shit on John Lennon’s grave after making that comparison?
Hahaha I know, that was awful. Don’t tell my mom.
I get what you mean about it being watchable. There’s something about having it on that sort of numbs your brain or something. I worry sometimes that I have become a dumber person for having watched so much Full House. Do you ever worry about that?
Look, my mom used to tell me that I didn’t have enough brain cells to waste to keep me from doing stuff that causes kids to lose brain cells and most of that probably came from the Full House obsession. I don’t mind being kinda dumb because of Full House.
I think maybe it kept me wholesome though! I was such a square kid!
When you watch Full House, do you laugh at the jokes? Like you genuinely think it’s funny?
I HAVE laughed at the jokes but it’s not like a constant stream of laughter. I’m not wiping the tears away or anything.
Though Fuller House genuinely made me laugh WAY more than I thought it would. I thought it’d be eye rolls for the most part.
The function of the show seems to be primarily to make people laugh… But that doesn’t seem to be what you’re getting out of it. What’s it doing for you?
I don’t necessarily know if that was the real intent of the show. Were any “family” sitcoms back in the day actually that funny? Besides Fresh Prince, I can’t think of really laughing out loud at any of them. I think it was like the 80s-90s era of just presenting people with warmth and functional families and that’s what we expected from our Friday night sitcoms.
So I guess that’s what I got from it. I don’t want to cue the violin music but my family is pretty dysfunctional but the Tanners were so not that and I loved it. I also have three brothers and no sisters or women in my life really so I think I envied their like “you stole my clothes!!!” storylines.
You’ve alluded to liking the show as a response to your own family issues a few times… Do you see the Tanner’s as a sort of ideal family? Or closer to the family that you wish you’d had?
I want to say yes to that, but I honestly don’t think that’s true. I WILL say, I come from a mixed family and I have really grown into being super duper proud of that and I have a lot of issues with hella white families so it’s kind of a weird thing that I love the Tanners and Full House so much. I mean, I don’t dislike white people by any means but I never really relate to them, and I guess I never really did. I related to Fresh Prince more than Full House. I DO think that the aspect of caring for each other no matter what, like the Tanners do, is really appealing.
And big families are really awesome. Like I used to love the movie Cheaper By the Dozen because having 12 kids and a full ass house just seemed rad to me. And I don’t even really want any kids, so I don’t know.
Do I need therapy? This is what this interview is teaching me so far.
Yeah, that was going to be my next question. Or, like, do you think that liking Full House is a sign of something having gone wrong in your life?
Haha YES, probably. So I mentioned that I have brothers and like, they didn’t like it at all, so it wasn’t a big happy family thing for us by any means. Maybe it was like “my thing” before I grew up a little and found other things (like Titanic). It wasn’t something I watched alone necessarily, but the rest of my family definitely doesn’t care about the show like I did. I think there was much less to relate to for my brothers, though. They had like real problems and I just got lost in Full House and The Simpsons.
I don’t want people to feel bad for me!! Some families are MUCH worse than mine. And like, neither of my parents died in a car accident like the Tanner mom, so I’m not complaining.
I feel like the show is more disturbing that comforting, though… To me, it doesn’t present an ideal family at all. They’re a bunch of dicks.
Yeah, you know, I never noticed that kind of stuff until I started reading your blog a couple years ago or whatever. Like Jesse is the WORST but I always thought he was the coolest uncle ever. I definitely wanted an Uncle Jesse.
But I was a kid, right? And then it’s like kid opinions that stick around. There are a lot of things I liked as a kid that are probably shit as an adult.
I think that Joey’s the worst. Although I do think that the way that Jesse treats his wife is one of the most disturbing aspects of the show… Do you think that if a man is impossibly attractive, he’s entitled to treat his wife like shit?
I am well aware of how you feel about Joey Gladstone haha. But yeah, Jesse is fucking terrible to Becky but again, not really a thing I picked up on as a kid.
Though I do remember being proud of Becky for standing up for herself when she was pregnant and stuff but there are probably a lot of episodes that would make me cringe watching them now as like…a radical feminist.
Do you think that elements of the show like that may have instilled really negative values into the kids who watched it? It was supposed to be this family show about being wholesome and shit but to me it’s actually setting a really bad example. It’s like a Trojan horse for horrible behavior.
Ummm, that’s a good question, but I want to say no and I know there are a lot of people who would disagree with me. I feel like some people are just really easily swayed by movies and TV and music, obviously, and I’m just not one of them. It’s the Disney movie argument, you know? I have friends with kids that refuse to let their kids near Disney movies in case they become sad little girls who want tiny waists and long hair and their princes to come save them but man, I fucking LOVE Disney and I never looked to those movies as any sort of truth. I guess that’s how I feel about Full House or any 90s sitcom. I watched a shit ton of Friends but I didn’t live my life like I could be Rachel Green with a part-time job and a swanky ass apartment in New York, you know?
I think the Tanner family is SUPER unrealistic so it never made me feel like I should follow their example or anything. They are ridiculously good-looking blonde people. It’s not a thing I relate to at all.
Because I am a ridiculously good-looking BRUNETTE.
But I feel like the show is generally trying to set an example in terms of morality and conflict resolution and things like that…
Well I honestly don’t think their conflict resolution is all that bad! It’s not going to work for all families, but I’m sure some people sit down, work it out, and then go for ice-cream, right? And if your family doesn’t do that (like most families), I think it’s an okay thing to present.
Full House isn’t Roseanne, you know? It’s a different kind of family.
Yeah, I mean, I think that sitting down with your kids and talking things out without yelling and stuff and then hugging at the end is fine. It’s the part where they also give the kids whatever they want all the time that bugs me. Nobody ever learns any hard lessons. Like, if you fuck up at the school talent show, you gotta just suck it up. You shouldn’t have a very special talk with your gentle dad in front of an auditorium full of people who are waiting to see their own kid perform and then get a do-over. That’s really not fair to everyone else.
Yeah, that’s definitely fair. But it’s a television show and no one wants to see what’s happening with anyone else’s kid and their talent.
They are definitely privileged as fuck, like I’m not denying that at all
Ok, well, I’m glad we can agree on that. That brings me to my next question: What’s it like being a fan of something that you have to defend? Is it worth it?
Ohhh, Ryan. (Or Billy, I guess.) I am a fan of some CONTROVERSIAL things so I am very used to defending it. I actually feel like I defend Full House much less than you’d expect. A lot of people like that show as much as I do.
Or like, less than I do, but still a lot.
Have you had many heated debates about the quality of the show?
Nah, not really actually! And I didn’t fight with anyone who was complaining about Fuller House when it was announced. I saw people bitching on Twitter and stuff and I wanted to be like, “THEY ARE REVIVING EVERYTHING” but I didn’t. I bit my tongue.
I mean, my brothers and I would bicker about it when they didn’t want to watch and I did, but that doesn’t really count.
As standards for TV have changed, do you think there’s a place for a new Full House series? We have so many more options now, so we don’t just have to watch whatever bullshit is on anymore, which was a huge part of the original series’ success if you ask me.
Definitely agree with that and honestly, I’m a bit surprised at how well the first season seemed to do. I think they promoted it VERY well and anyone who knows anything about Full House knows that the cast has stayed super close and the show is a little better than I thought it would be, like definitely more modern. BUT, I definitely don’t think it’s entirely necessary. Television is in the prime of its life right now, in my opinion, and Fuller House is nowhere near the kind of comedy we need in our lives, like Broad City or Master of None. It’s pretty pointless, tbh.
Buuuut, I also don’t have kids so maybe it’s a special thing for parents to watch with their children or whatever.
Do you like the new show? Are you gonna watch Season 2 when it comes out?
I do like the new show, though I haven’t watched it since the night it came out and I was pretty tipsy by the end of it so I don’t remember it all very well. I will definitely watch Season 2.
DJ kid stuff is boring as hell, but I appreciate the Steph, DJ, Kimmy trio
Do you have bad taste in general? What are some other shows that you like?
Hahaha ruuude. I actually don’t think I have bad taste at all.
I’ll be the judge of that!
My favorite comedy shows are The Simpsons, Friends, Parks and Rec but I love love love That 70s Show and Malcolm and stuff. I was such a FOX kid. Other than that, I’m like X-Files, West Wing, Friday Night Lights.
I Love Lucy!
I have range, son.
I’ve met a handful of people who read Full House Reviewed but you’re the only one that actually likes the show. Usually fans of the show who stumble onto the blog just post a grammatically broken comment and then never look at it again. I got a great one this week:
Why do you like reading a blog that talks hella shit about a show that you like?
Hahahaha I promise that comment wasn’t from me, but that is very funny.
Do you think that I’m a sick?
Hahahaha I don’t think you are a sick.
So I looked up when I first found your blog and it was in April 2012! (Is that real?? Like were you doing the blog then?) Which is crazy. And I was having a super bad day and I remember it made me laugh so hard that I was crying. Your writing style kinda reminds me of the way my big brother talks and I remember making him read it too because he never liked Full House.
So I think the blog is awesome because it’s hilarious and because I’m fine making fun of stuff I like. If it was a philosophical breakdown of like…why every single Kanye West single is awful, I definitely wouldn’t read it and might leave a comment like, “you’re a sick.” I can poke fun at things that are very clearly not that big of a deal, but I prefer when someone else does it.
And your observations are great! It’s not unwarranted.
This is not me sucking up to you, I genuinely think you are hilarious.
Well, thanks! So does my mom.
Well we have that in common!
Your mom thinks I’m hilarious? That’s nice.
She probably would, honestly. I should tell her to check the blog out.
You should tell EVERYONE to check it out!
What a good sport she was! That was like the opposite of every interview with Gallagher I’ve ever seen. If you’d like to keep up with Jess Tholmer’s many fascinating opinions, you can follow her Facebook author page or her Twitter account, where she posts like 500 times a day.
As for me, I’ll be back to my usual routine next week, shit-talking Fuller House. I can’t help it. I’m a sick.