Fuller House, against all logic, is a thing that exists. And, y’know, some digging around shows that there is also no shortage of reviews of the gaping horror that it, apparently, represents. And hey! it’s probably pretty terrible! But why believe what those people have to say, when I could be experiencing it for myself. How on Earth can we be expected to take reviewers’ opinions seriously if we don’t occasionally calibrate their opinions against our own experiences?
Full House had less of what I would call a “fan base” and more of what I would call a “bunch of people that remember it”, which makes it an odd candidate for a revival, at least in Netflix terms1. Arrested Development was a beloved sitcom cut down in its prime. Gilmore Girls (whose revival is forthcoming) was a cultishly-adored television show with nothing plot-related keeping it from coming back. Full House existed for a long time, played itself out creatively and now…exists again2. And now, without any clamor, it exists again, because it was easy enough to nostalgia-market into existence. But maybe that frees it from the shackles of TGIF tradition! Maybe it could be funny with time to stretch out and not have commercials! Maybe I somehow won’t find a show with half a dozen child actors to be completely insufferable! Probably none of this is true!
1 although, really, it’s not so different from the Degrassi reunion, although Degrassi – which I also don’t like – is at least possessed of a surreal daffiness that’s lacking from Full House.
2 it is, in this sense, probably most like Girl Meets World, which I’ve watched a total of two episodes of, and had basically the exact same relationship with its parent show that I have with Full House, but that isn’t available to binge-blog, so I’m afraid my opinion of that will have to be summed up merely by me saying in this footnote: it sucks. Or sucked. Or whatever.
To start from a place of biographical truth: I certainly watched Full House, in that it was on in the house in which I was a child, and I remember bits and flashes, and exactly one whole scene: Dave Coulier buys a new fancy car, notices a nick in the paint, and leaves to go buy some touch-up paint. Through some contrivance, someone (Stephanie, I think?) drives it through the wall of a garage (or possibly the house?), and Dave Coulier returns. The driver of the car says “didn’t you realize this had happened?” and Dave Coulier says “if I had known I would have bought a bigger can of touch-up paint”. That plus various and assorted catchphrases. Anyway, with minimal memories that aren’t basically buried, I endeavor to dive into the new season (or, well, “new” “season”) with fresh eyes and a generous heart.
It opens on the old theme song, certainly. This is a strong move.
1:30 John Stamos just shoved a baby foot into Dave Coulier’s balls. So it begins.
2:00 I feel like there’s a bunch of in-jokes here, and I don’t remember them, but they are certainly making the studio audience whoop.
4:00 the line “[Michelle] sends her love but is busy in New York with her fashion empire” is delivered as a joke, and then literally everyone on screen turns and looks at the audience for a really, very long time, but this is not a joke. Perhaps this is some sort of weird cultish ritual? The audience went bugnuts crazy for it, certainly.
5:30 I feel I should say that I have experienced the first legitimately funny joke in the series, in which it is revealed that Stephanie’s DJ name is DJ Tanner, which is a source of annoyance to DJ, whose name was, the last time we saw her, DJ Tanner, although it’s changed since to that of her erstwhile husband, which can’t sit well with Candace Cameron Bure’s real husband, who is Jesus.
8:00 OK, Carly Rae Jepsen is like six thousand times better at this than whoever did the first one.
11:30 Why has anyone ever hired Dave Coulier to do anything, ever? OH GOD WHY DOES HE HAVE THAT PUPPET WHO LET HIM KEEP THAT PUPPET OH GOD.
12:30 at least this child’s reaction to the puppet is precisely correct.
19:30 I realize that in this episode it is necessary to bring back every “thing,” but “Forever” never should’ve been allowed to be a “thing” in the first place, so I feel like this should have been stopped.
24:00 THERE IS FULL-ON A JOKE ABOUT HOW NO ONE BUT KIMMY GIBBLER WOULD WANT TO GO TO CLEVELAND. I WILL FIGHT YOU, WRITING STAFF OF FULLER HOUSE. I WILL FIGHT YOU.
26:00 So DJ is a veterinarian, but the way I’m finding this out is “she starts doing medical stuff to this pregnant dog,” which just looked like a colossally bad idea, rather than an act of professional skill. I guess when you have to squeeze a hundred different catchphrases into the first 26 minutes of your show, it’s hard to remember to drop necessary expository information in there as well.
28:30 So Dave Coulier just did the “Cut it Out” thing, and it made me think that I should be making a list of all the stuff that happens in this show that’s literally nothing more than references. And then I realized that that is the sort of thing that drives a man to madness. The crowd totally cheered because a character said “otter pop” several minutes ago. I suspect that there is something afoot here. And that something is madness.
1:30 the first laugh line is “She used duck eggs for more nutrition and a deeper flavor profile” which, 1) isn’t a thing you would do and 2) also isn’t a think you would say, even if you, as the following line avows, “like [your] cooking shows”. The audience, predictably, went apeshit for it.
2:00 the kid suspects something is up because DJ offers him a breakfast milkshake and also hot fudge on his pancakes. The show has officially made a major break with reality, and gone headfirst into Sitcom Logic.
3:00 A mere minute after the “cooking show” joke they have a Good Eats-style “through the fridge” shot. And also they then use the exact same joke structure (with slightly different words) twice (breaking the rule of three).
4:00 A series of jokes about how the Tanners are “the whitest family in America,” which, y’know, that’s great and all, but it’s not like they did a whole lot about it. I guess Kimmy has a latino ex-husband and half-latino daughter. There’s an asian girl in it later also. Soooooo.
5:30 So…the kids loathe Kimmy as much as everyone else. This is because it is Kimmy’s role, not her punishment. She is a hate-flush, designed to gather and create catharsis for the disgust of the people around her at all times. I am beginning to see the shape of what’s going on here.
8:00 No really, even her own daughter openly loathess her.
10:00 Fuller House must be somehow running on loathing, given the Loathing Generator that’s openly courting the audience’s derision in the form of the youngest kid.
12:30 Today in comedy horizons: baby poop smells bad.
13:30 Oh thank god John Stamos is back. Unfortunately, he’s back just to make more references to the original run of Full House, while also laying out that Fuller House has basically the exact same setup, right down to the widowing and the number of children. That’s because this is not a sitcom. This is about the stable time loop these people exist in.
16:00 This diaper changing is, I’ve decided, the show in microcosm. The mass of the world’s ejecta is being replaced by Stephanie, subjecting herself to further humliation, with the help of Kimmy, who of course is always there to take care of the metaphorical (and, apparently, literal) shit. Also Stephanie is literally talking on a cell phone embedded in a baby’s diaper.
18:00 Can you actually make a phone call while you’re playing music at the same time on an iPhone? Like, iPhones are a thing that people have. This should be pretty easy stuff to figure out.
19:30 Confronted with the nightmare of a continued existence in close proximity to such constructs, the oldest son learns that there is no such thing as escape, and return is inevitable. He also learns that it is his job to always be the one who is at risk, and always the one who is punished. He represents chance in the face of The Sameness.
22:00 Also the last time a “my wife can’t cook” joke was funny was 1970. Also they’re still talking about the places where the plot mirrors that of the original. This is not only about the futility of escape, but the inevitability of repetition.
1:00 is there anything more soul-destroyingly depressing than a crowd full of people going “WOOOOO” in response to a woman in a semi-revealing dress? I mean, there are, but it is horrifying every time it happens. I wonder if this audience had to be coached to do that? OR if they’re already inducted into whatever supernatural horror this is playing out, and WOOOOO is how they chant.
1:30 Oh, wait, this “on fleek” joke is more soul-destroyingly depressing. I found something.
2:00 I mean, it’s “on fleek,” not just “fleek”. It’s…you can’t just….AAAAARGH. YOU CAN’T JUST MAKE A JOKE ABOUT HOW SLANG EXISTS AND YOUR CHARACTERS DON’T SPEAK IT THAT’S NOT A JOKE THAT’S AN INSULT.
3:00 I swear to crisp, if ever anyone surprises me with Dave Coulier and expects me to consent to having him care for any child, anywhere, I will murder that person. If he’s carrying that puppet I will enter it into evidence as defense of my crime. Seriously.
3:30 When DJ says (and I’m paraphrasing here to avoid repeating a terrible joke) that she is not entirely happy with the suggestion that a strange Uber driver should be exposed to her breasts, Dave Coulier suggests that this is a desirable outcome. He is playing this woman’s uncle.
5:00 More WOOs.
6:30 There are two characters who appear to be twins. They are swarthy and accented, and their appearance caused more WOOs than DJ in her dress. This is, I presume, because they are in some way associated with Dancing With the Stars. They instantly and irreversibly hate Kimmy Gibler upon meeting her.
9:00 “Holy Chalupas” is clearly an invocation, perfectly designed to up the ire of anyone that hears it so they can dump it out on Kimmy Gibbler. It’s a cleverly efficient system.
10:30 Kimmy is aware of the stable time loop that The Sameness keeps them in. Her curse is not only to be loathed, but to be the only one that knows anything is even happening. She is able to correctly recognize that their actions are predictable. The question now is: is this a part of her punishment, or the reason for it in the first place?
16:00 As the general Enabler and Catalyst, DJ (The Manipulator) must show sympathy for her misfortunes, lest the whole family have to do without her. Stephanie (The Unrepentant Self-Centered One), of course, is uninterested in anything that is not wholly related to herself, so is going through the motions of sisterly solidarity for her own eventual benefit.
18:30 DJ remembers the dance routine from their fourth grade talent show because she is the anchor holding them in the stable time loop. She remembers everything.
20:00 The suggestion that fourth-graders were doing this cheescakiey Sapphic Jiggledance is something of a disturbing proposition.
24:00 For one brief moment, it is possible to see our three putative protagonists doused in milk (or whatever? I mean, I think it’s milk?) and imagine a world in which this show has a Carrie-style ending where Stephanie uses her telekinetic powers to murder every other person in the family. The remaining episodes would simply be a series of stills of the aftermath of her righteous fury.
1:00 Stephanie, as the show’s avatar of ego-satisfaction, is insistent upon ascribing malicious intentionality to an infant. In this world, however, it could just be that the child’s role in the cosmogony is still in flux, and he could be an instrument whereby Stephanie’s commitment to her ego is tested.
8:30 Dogs are trying to devour Max, the Loathing Generator (for the audience). Dogs are, truly, the would-be heroes of this show.
10:00 Stephanie, rendered unable to provide herself with the food that would comfort her, finds vindication in the fact that someone else believes in the intentional manipulations of this baby.
10:30 I’m sad that Stephen Tobolowsky is here to teach science and not continue his study to get to the bottom of just who, in fact, was the boss.
12:00 Once an episode so far someone has tried to escape from something. Once an episode so far this has failed. The message is clear.
14:00 DJ becomes the third character to credit the baby with being able to intentionally manipulate Stephanie.
16:30 If Stephanie didn’t have the money to buy a bearclaw, a muffin and a latte, where did she come up with the scratch to buy what appears to be a few dozen gallons of tomato juice? The answer, of course, is that the economy of the Fuller House world operates in accordance to the characters’ pre-ordained roles in the cosmogony. That is to say: it is more humiliating for Stephanie to be unable to purchase the coffee, but also more humiliating for her to be successfully able to sit in a barrel full of tomato juice.
20:00 Rules are the Most Important Thing. Without Rules, the World cannot function. We must obey The Rules at all times. That’s why Kimmy must make even her own daughter loathe her. All beings’ hate must be focused upon her. The loathing cannot be truly released until it is all aimed at Kimmy.
0:30 There is no Earthly reason for this kid to have a fucking trombone. It is, however, the catalyst for this child to admit that his emotional state does not match his exterior behavior, giving us a glimpse at the crawling horror underneath the performative exterior of The Sameness.
2:30 A scarf, clearly a fetish (a totem of old magic, not a boner-creator), representative of a portion of Stephanie’s powers of self-centeredness, is passed along to the Loathing Generator. Is this a tithe, or a way of strengthening the horrifying child’s powers? Is it given freely, or impelled by an IRresistible Force?
3:30 The sentence “if I’m not ready to date my first love, how would I be ready to date a stranger?” Is indicative of, if nothing else, DJ’s role as the weight that keeps them held down in this river of sameness. Of course anything from the past is much better than anything from the future. That’s literally who DJ is.
8:00 Kimmy alone embraces technology fully, probably because everyone hates it.
13:00 The audience agrees that the idea of DJ wanting to fuck anything is simply hilarious.
14:00 in the interest of full disclosure, the plumber sequence here actually made me laugh, insofar as I snorted lightly at one of the jokes. That makes twice that’s happened.
16:00 to be clear, it isn’t Stephanie’s fault that her role is to be the Unrepentant Self-Absorbed One – the world is such that a dj at Coachella breaks his arm and they find Stephanie, heretofore just a ticket holder (albeit a ticket holder that was also a famous dj in the world of the show), to fill in. She, like all of them, is pushed into her role by the very world itself.
19:00 When Max makes horrible trombone noises for the Coachella crowd, they love him. This shows that the audience itself has a role here – the people in the world don’t loathe Max, the audience must do so. The audience must participate in the loathing-cycle that the whole cast is designed to perpetuate.
23:30 Stephanie has revealed that she is, for a reason never disclosed, unable to have children. This is, presumably, because it would grant her a human reason to think of someone other than herself, and that would be against The Rules.
25:30 Wait, if the plumber said “houseboat,” (because he lives on a houseboat) did Kimmy start clucking like a chicken? If so, how did he get her to stop? Or is this just common knowledge?
4:00 Kimmy can earn contempt by providing children cookies.
6:00 DJ is called out for stalking her kid by someone who does not understand that DJ is supposed to see all. The Rules supercede whatever passes for “rules” on lawless Earth.
7:00 Any question of how this stalking app works is actually only answerable by it being supernatural: There is no way of which I’m aware to remotely take location data from someone else’s cell phone without that phone being provided in the first place. This is some sort of perverted god-like magic that enables her to, from her technology (which is good) take control of his technology (which, as we established previously, is bad and needs to be replaced with Dave Coulier’s prop comedy). DJ is meant to see all. She must regulate. She must catalyze.
7:30 Furthermore, Max is unharmable, as without him the anger energy that powers this world cannot be generated, thus there is no reason to worry about him.
10:00 Stephanie just accused Kimmy of being “stuck in the nineties”. This suggests (paired with Kimmy’s bout of similar situational awareness earlier in the season) that at least two of them are capable of knowing about the stability of their loop, and their own unchangingness. Presumably Stephanie, who represents pure self, is occasionally aware of herself as it is, to better be able to loathe Kimmy (the manifestation of pure catharsis, the character toward whom all negativity is drawn).
11:00 Kimmy Gibbler is teaching ostensibly “sexy” dance moves to an infant. Yep.
11:30 Jackson has the same food-based approach to bribery as his mother.
12:30 Max is currently holding a plastic bone on which is Stephanie’s real, actual blood. This represents the second time Stephanie has been responsible for a potentially magical totem on behalf of Max. Is she giving this freely, or is he somehow taking? I believe the latter.
13:30 That is, no joke, a seriously cute dog.
14:30 The diktat is that everyone do something nice every twenty-five televised minutes, but that no one learn from their behavior. Obviously this affects Stephanie (who learns to be less selfish once every couple of episodes, but never permanently) less than it does Kimmy (for whom, every time, affection is granted only to be forcibly taken away).
16:30 Andrea Barber is objectively a bad dancer.
20:00 At first, the reliance on the kind of hoary old sitcom trope that was played out when Full House did it in the first place seems lazy, but it’s actually just a result of the stable time loop: they’re unable to make any events but these happen to them. Their inevitability is part of the time loop.
23:00 Sinisterly, it becomes apparent that the boys’ father had to die to set this plot in motion. DJ had found happiness in a marriage, and must lose that happiness to move into The House with her Siblings (real and spiritual). Thus is the cycle perpetuated.
3:30 DJ’s childhood First Love makes his first overtures by pointing out that his bed is empty. That’s a bold move and also this is the most sex-obsessed show I’ve watched in a very long time.
6:30 Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, here mentioned once again, are just as much a part of this: Michelle’s role is to be the only one that escaped, to tantalize the others that it has been done, and could theoretically be possible. It is not possible for them, however, only for Michelle.
7:00 Jackson tries to change his appearance, not knowing the futility of such, when the avatar of The Self (The Unrepentant Self-Centered One) visits him, explaining that his own image is paramount, and should never, ever change.
9:00 There are also a damn sight more poop jokes than I’m entirely comfortable with.
10:00 Once an episode – at least – there is a joke about how much things cost. What the actual fuck.
12:30 Stephanie answers a cellular phone and says she’s not happy with her long-distance service. Even leaving aside that there may be a landline in the house, and that there’s some possibility that it might even be in her name, it’s still a terrible, hackneyed joke. But it’s evidence that even technology is no might for The Sameness.
13:00 I mean, in any real sense, DJ is absolutely a zombie. This is the only thing Max has ever said that I agree with.
14:00 Stephanie encourages children to explore each other sexually because it’s what she would’ve done. It’s a fantastic combination of an exertion of the time loop and Stephanie being horrible.
20:00 “We’re here for you, not here for the party” is not something a kid would say unless they were being magically compelled by forces outside of their understanding to desire the company of an Avatar of the Opinions of Others. In this regard, Ramona is the perfect opposite of Stephanie, representationally, and thus precisely correct for a direct-line descendent of Kimmy Gibler.
21:30 Although, really, obviously Lovecraftian cosmogony aside, this show invariably presents technology as ridiculous and in no way preferable to the world of The Past, but only when it’s wielded by children.
23:00 Kimmy does not know why she kissed Fernando, and expresses doubt that it was something she did of her own volition. She was allowed another glimpse of herself and The Truth.
2:00 I feel genuine pangs of sympathy for Jodie Sweetin that this is her lot in life, and I occasionally feel like John Stamos is doing this as some sort of charity. I can even feel a little weird about Lori Loughlin’s involvement. But nobody in this cast makes me feel as much like their life should have turned out differently than that adorable-ass dog.
5:30 OK, here’s a real observation that has nothing to do with the horror story that this sitcom veneer is hiding: why is Fernando a gay stereotype? He’s clearly into Kimmy, I get that, he’s not a gay character, but why is he a gay stereotype anyway?
6:30 Bob Saget is back. Even when he’s not here regularly, he must reassert his place as Head of the Family, even if it is now a hollow, figurehead position.
7:00 Also, for the love of all things Bob, please stop making “meta” “jokes”.
7:30 Danny Tanner’s subjects demand their payment for performing their roles. This being an economically-focused hellscape, this payment comes in the form of actual cash.
9:00 “Why can’t you girls be more like Kimmy Gibbler?” – selfless flushers, gathering and releasing contempt and loathing. They can’t because the complex ecosystem that runs on the coincidence and happenstance of this sitcom world requires that there be only one Kimmy Gibbler, but also a DJ and a Stephanie and all of their subavatars.
10:00 Max had the temerity to lie to DJ, so now he is unable to stop himself from lying to his friends about his dead dad. This is what happens when you are a Loathing Generator.
12:30 Danny Tanner is officially here to have his influence (in the form of his favorite couch) stripped away from him. DJ is in charge now. Danny no longer matters.
22:00 All things are second, in this episode, to the loss of Danny’s divine power. Since it wouldn’t be an episode of Fuller House without a scene devoted to the economic implications of their reality, this is the scene where Max earns some anger and Jackson puts himself in harm’s way by taking money (the unusual focus of this season) from Danny.
22:30 “At least,” Danny thinks as they play poker, I have a hand that’s literally named after my show, and I can remind them that even though my time is passing, I am still worthy of being a figure of respect.” “Full House,” he says. Jackson, knowing that it’s his job to place himself in front of the potentially-harmful wrath of a Danny Tanner scorned, as it is always and ever his job to place himself in harm’s way, points out that that is not the name of the show, and that the show is the name of his daughter now, and that it is the comparative form, making it greater. “Fuller house,” he says, playing his preordained role and finishing the job of depleting the remaining power of Danny Tanner. Thus, eight episodes in, is the transition complete.
24:00 After the humiliation, Danny is shown the token of his couch being restored. He has no power, but he still has a place: as a powerless figurehead in a jacket made from a couch. He is then allowed to interfere with probability to arrange the successful completion of a sitcom plot, as he should be.
5:00 I mean, I suppose Becky demanding to be included on the sitcom antics of the Fuller House Time Loop is a bit like people who immediately commit crimes to get thrown back into prison after getting out – life is too hard to adjust to, and the thing that was horrifying and punitive becomes comfortable.
6:00 Oh good. Fuller House is making Friendzone jokes. Fantastic. This is what the world needed.
12:00 Jackson prepares to risk himself emotionally (on account of the aforementioned friendzone jokes), and Max causes him harm. So things aren’t entirely topsy-turvy, even with Becky around to be super weird.
14:00 I feel like Becky is here to give us an interlude, to make us feel sympathy for a person that isn’t caught up in the divine cycle of Loathing and Purging. It’s certainly working. Dear lord is it working.
16:30 Ramona is not visited by the economic gifts that the elder Avatars are, and so must attempt to conventionally take advantage of her financial situation by stealing ice cream and facials with her friend Lola.
18:30 There is no shame in liking One Direction, Ramona. No shame at all.
20:00 The rose-related dramatis personae all arrive within seconds of each other.
20:30 OK no really, a character just said “you look like a million bucks, and in today’s uncertain financial times, that’s saying a lot.” This show is about the economic realities of the world in which they live. It’s an entirely new take on the Lovecraftian horror story.
23:30 Stephanie is once again denied romantic fulfillment. This time by the dog. The one actor I like is interfering with the happiness of the other actor I like.
24:30 the flowers were from John Stamos, guys.
25:00 The Loathing Sponge, the Unrepentant Self-Centered One, and The Manipulator sit last-supper-style at a table (no one is on the other side. This cannot be an accident) and summarize their failures and/or worries as romantic participants.
2:00 Well, Hunter Pence has now topped Macy Gray as the least-likely cameo on this shitshow.
3:30 A part of Stephanie’s lot in this simulacrum of life is to constantly perform in public on short notice.
6:30 Despite the fact that they spent uncounted years not speaking, only recently reconnected, and haven’t dated in multiple decades, the world is still telling DJ that she owes First Love something in order to keep dating Handsome Doctor.
13:30 There’s a very efficient way to complete the cycle by having Max make someone loathe him, and then have them immediately flush it out through Kimmy. In this scene, for example, Max is directly antagonizing Stephanie, who has only recently dumped some loathing on Kimmy.
18:00 Kimmy Gibbler chants and dances as a way to antagonize the crowd. Between this and all the fetishism earlier, this show is really connected with some very traditional forms of magic focusing. Clearly, the message that the old ways are best is true even for the magic of the talisman, the magic of the blood, the magic of the dance.
19:30 Stephanie literally cuts off her own romantic happiness to make a crowd of anonymous strangers happy. She is permitted to be selfless if it does enough damage to her.
20:30 DJ must create dramatic tension with this kiss cam, so it returns to her again and again.
22:30 Hunter Pence just hit a home run directly to Max, despite many characters telling him the odds against it. I know it seems like I’m reading too much into this, but honestly, these people are the center of this world, and this world is terrible.
24:00 Once again all the plot relevant people ring the doorbell within seconds of each other.
26:30 So, this show, for its own reasons, has to flash back to the first kiss of both suitors, which means that the first flashback is of footage from two episodes ago. And then they appear therein and comment about it. Then they do the same for footage from twenty years ago. They appear, as themselves, today, superimposed above the footage, which must, in the world, be some sort of mass hallucination of past events.
28:00 I suppose if nothing else that was a full on dude-on-dude kiss. So there’s that.
1:30 Hey a poop joke! How novel! And this one goes on for some time! And now Max is going to wipe his butt with a baby!
3:00 Actually, here in the back half of the sitcom, with the characters (The Loathing Sponge, The Unrepentant Self-Obsessed One, The Manipulator, The One Who Lives for Others, The One Who is Always at Risk, The Loathing Generator, The Baby and The Really Cute Dog) established, the situations are increasingly heightened, and there’s less to say about them consistently. Having illustrated what The Sameness is, less effort must go into maintaining it.
8:00 Also, it’s been my policy to think that the role of technology (as wielded by the kids) was just tone-deaf and “it’s always wrong,” but it really does appear that in this world technology is malicious, and does not behave like anything we have on Earth, as evidenced by this uh….password bypassing thing? That just borked a computer? So they could watch R-Rated movies? I guess? And calling it a computer virus? It mostly serves so that Max can be loathesome, which makes me think it’s all part of The Plan.
10:00 “It’s all meant to be! The Universe is saying ‘yes’!” Says the doctor, thrilled to be allowed to leave and live a normal life. “The Universe could be wrong,” says The Manipulator, knowing that Handsome Doctor is a part of this now, and he cannot be allowed to leave.
12:30 Max jumps into wishing fountains and pulls out usable paper money. This is part of the economic reality of the show, certainly, but it’s also testament to the ability of Max’s powers of loathesomeness to manifest themselves physically.
14:00 Indian-themed party = cow. Fuck you, writers of Fuller House.
15:00 Kimmy is rightfully horrified at the idea, but is powerless to stop it as everyone reacts as though it was a good idea.
15:30 Their cow pun game is strong, though.
18:00 The Loathing Sponge is blamed for the cow, officially, and comes to see it as her own fault. Another cycle is completed.
20:00 Kimmy just made a cow poop joke.
21:00 I mean, if a certain amount of spontaneously-erupting fully-choreographed dance numbers doesn’t let you know that you’re a pawn in a cosmic game, then what on Earth would? These people dance so often – in a coordinated fashion – that I can only assume they’re being actively possessed.
24:00 Handsome Doctor brings everything back to something like equilibrium
1:00 My third tiny laugh came when Stephanie said to the baby “I’m trying out my new song on the youth demographic, and you’re about as youth as they get.” This is, to be fair, three more times than I thought I’d laugh.
2:30 Handsome Doctor got an episode devoted to him, now First Love gets an episode devoted to him. This is how parity is arranged in The Sameness.
3:00 this one game of Twister haunts Stephanie, and represents a point of pride for DJ, after decades. The past always reasserts itself.
4:00 The Loathing Sponge and the Unrepentant Self-Centered One are back at odds with each other. No lesson can be learned permanently. Also, Stephanie just said “Matt is the future and Steve is the past,” which is literally what I said earlier. That makes me feel like I am also a part of the experience. That observing The Sameness brings you into The Sameness. I am now a part of this, I guess.
5:30 The audience just cheered for someone saying “slap bracelet”.
6:00 Stephanie successfully counted down Steve’s return to the room. She is probably also aware of me, right now, writing this. There is no escape from this world.
9:00 Max must be permitted to win things because Max must be permitted to win things. Jackson must intentionally lose things because Jackson must lose things. This is the way of the world.
12:00 A character named “Magic Fingers Boris” was revealed to be in a closet after Kimmy put on the “sexy” dress and I have to tell you, I feel like this is happening so that people will write that sentence, which brings me right back to being inside The Sameness. .
17:00 This episode is also a study in how much I hate Max. It’s a lot. Spoiler alert: I hate Max so much.
18:00 Obviously, having admitted my own place in this puzzle, I can’t help but notice that nothing is really happening in this episode, to the point where we are now watching two grown women play Twister. One of them ripped their pants. This is television. This is the world.
20:30 The Unrepentant Self-Centered One must sing a love song to the Loathing Sponge because Fernando is unable to do so.
21:30 Also there’s a whole lot of weird lesbianism between Stephanie and Kimmy (this is the second major occurrence, with minor flare-ups throughout), which I guess is meant to be prurient? I don’t know. I’m too close to it. I can no longer consider this. My wings are melting due to my proximity to the sun. I have looked upon the Stephanie/Kimmy kiss, and I can only hope to be an object lesson.
23:30 And there is also a falcon. Would it make sense for there not to be a falcon? I do not know.
4:00 Even a wedding is not safe from Kimmy’s powers of gathering loathing. The real purpose of episode 12 falls into place: to use Max to get everyone angry and generate the rage energy necessary to be released by Kimmy literally stealing a wedding.
6:30 Jessie and Becky exist to show that long-term relationships can exist without one partner dying tragically before their children are grown. This is a tantalizing hope, of course, but is up to the powers that be, not to any of the people onscreen.
9:00 Becky is a part of this to retain her youth, as part of some Faustian deal. As she continues to not age, she loses her moorings in reality. It happens to all of us when we spend enough time in this world. We think of these behaviors as normal. We think of the changes as inevitability, even though the time loop must be stable and those changes must be erased.
10:00 They just shouted a bunch of Michelle’s catch phrases into a phone, because this is what must happen. They are together, their powers united, and catch phrases are their totems. As the finale steams to a close, it becomes more important to summon their powers for the home stretch. The Sameness must be appeased.
12:00 It is nice, having accepted my place in the world, to be allowed to see the machinations. The Loathing Sponge invited First Love and The Unrepentant Self-Centered One invited Handsome Doctor. The final burst of acceleration is in place.
13:30 Max must be reassured. All things must be served. There is a time for every purpose unto heaven.
14:30 For the last time, both of DJ’s suitors arrive within seconds of each other. They are Shakespearean in their unity of appearance.
16:00 Even Handsome Doctor acknowledges the power of the First Love, which is something that would not make sense in another world. But here, in this world, it is the only thing that would make sense.
16:30 Uncle Joey must appear, because all things must come together. Where before this would have caused wailing and gnashing of teeth, now it is merely accepted as necessary. All things must serve The Sameness.
18:00 No but seriously – Lori Loughlin did something to stop the aging process completely, right? Jesus.
19:00 OK, it would justify the existence of that puppet if, as implied by the montage, the dog gets to fuck the puppet
21:00 The Loathing Sponge is again denied happiness by being unable to go through with a wedding that she was railroaded into and that has already failed once. Then she ate cake, having been allowed the comfort of food. “Cake makes me happy,” she says, putting aside her reservations about continuing her terrible relationship. Cake makes us all happy.
23:30 “This happens at all our weddings,” Fernando says. He knows. He knows it’s not just the first or the second, but that for as long as this cycle continues, he will be left at the altar again and again by his indecisive Loathing Sponge bride. It is ever thus.
24:00 “What really matters is that the three of us are never going to feel lonely or unloved, because we’ve got each other.” Even as the Unrepentant Self-Centered One says this, thinking back on the time she has just spent feeling lonely and unloved, breaking up with a man in front of several thousand of that man’s fans, coming clean about her barren womb, she knows that it is a lie, and what she is really telling the others in the triumvirate is that there’s nothing they can do. They’re always going to be together. Always. There is no exit. Hell isn’t merely other people for them, it’s these specific other people.
25:00 Kimmy tries to run and is forcibly blocked by the crowd. She must do what she must do. There is no escape. Escape does not serve The Sameness. Ramona is happy. Kimmy is happy in the house, insofar as Kimmy is allowed to be happy. The compromise is not to make a decision. She is to be passive, as am I, as are we all, as The Sameness continues to happen around us all.
28:00 This episode is going to end like an episode of The Bachelorette (and make no mistake, that’s exactly what’s happening, meta-reference language and all – it may be the legitimately funniest scene in the show), which is only heightening what is true for DJ: that her life is so far beyond her control, and in service to such a higher power that it won’t really be her decision at all. She is as passive as Kimmy, as me, as you. She is powerless, even though she is the one with the power. There is no wrong decision, because there is no decision. There must, after all, be season 2. Season 2 must have drama, must have twists, must have turns. All things must serve The Sameness. DJ chooses herself. DJ chooses her role. DJ chooses the only thing DJ could ever have chosen in the first place.
If you want to imagine the future, imagine a multicolored-legginged foot in a vintage tennis shoe kicking open the door of a Painted Lady, forever.
Whatever happened to predictability?
It’s Everywhere you look.
Everywhere. You. Look.