Hit or Sh**: Netflix’s FULLER HOUSE
In this Crossfader series, our intricate and complex rating system will tell you definitively whether new television pilots are worth your valuable time. We call it: HIT OR SH**.
2:47 AM: You sit down at your desk. The city’s been sleeping for hours now, and you envy the plain fact that it knows when to call it quits. You pour a third shot of bourbon and knock it back. A familiar sense of dread bubbles in your gut. “You mustn’t do this to yourself,” you whisper. “Nay,” you respond. “I must.”
You wish the router would explode so you could delay the inevitable for the slightest bit longer, but alas, the internet’s up and running and your fingers come into a mind of their own as they languidly drum along the keyboard; N-E-T-F-L-I-X.
And there she lay.
A patent indication that our world knows not an inkling of shame, FULLER HOUSE is available to stream. You offer up a prayer for a new generation of malleable minds, and following a cavernous sigh, you advance your mouse into the territory of no return.
2:53 AM: You hate that baby’s face. Straightaway, that brash, toothless grin ‒ that of a fool’s ‒ effectively rescinds 10 arduous years of attempted healing. Is it Mary Kate’s? Is it Ashley’s? It hardly matters, as neither could subdue your sudden lust for violent action. How else are you to deal with those responsible for this resurgence of banality than by way of bloodshed?
“Alright, take it easy,” you hiss over the sound of Jesse Frederick’s deplorable theme. You realize that the emotionally manipulative inclusion of the series’s classic credit sequence has only now concluded. There’s a long way to go.
2:54 AM: Who did this? Goddamn it, who’s to blame for this irreparable oversight in the evolutionary process? Every last son of a bitch who’s so much as tangentially culpable for a reality wherein Bob Saget is allowed an infant grandson, fictional or otherwise, deserves to be impaled slowly, and with blunt stake reserved for the nastiest of reprobates. You feel futile sympathy for this child, yet another witless pawn in a game he will doubtlessly grow to loathe.
Enter John Stamos from a staircase which leads not to a hall, but surely to a succession of homogenous dressing rooms. You can’t help but liken this facade to the vacancy of his soul.
You tolerate a calculated amassment of the show’s regular players, one mannered introduction after the next, not to mention a lethargic endeavor to establish a penchant for the meta. They’re all there: Danny (Saget), Jesse (Stamos), Becky (Lori Loughlin), Joey (Dave Coulier), D.J. (Candace Cameron Bure), Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), and Kimmy (Andrea Barber), and they don’t find it unwarranted in the slightest to describe exactly what it is they’ve been up to since 1995, unprompted.
Stephanie, who has since assumed a career amid England’s music scene, attempts to supply D.J.’s two children with the “hottest dance hits from the clubs of London,” to which D.J. replies as if an antiquated mannequin of a mother, “I’m sure there are no inappropriate references to sex, drugs, or violence on those songs?” If your memory serves you well, a setup such as this precedes an inevitably backwards punchline, for which you brace yourself accordingly. The younger of the siblings quips, “Relax, mom. I already know the bad words: darn, booger, and Donald Trump.”
It all comes flooding back to you ‒ the normalization of predetermined gender roles, the endorsement of flagrantly orthodox childrearing, the dismissal of acute personal crises as remedied by a fleeting heart-to-heart with a loved one… You take a deep breath so as to pacify your nerves, and—
You whip around to check your six. Nothing. You are alone. Cautiously, you turn back, certain you had discerned a shadowed figure’s reflection in the screen of your laptop. All is still.
3:12 AM: On edge, you struggle to focus your attention on the program. D.J.’s husband died in a tragic firefighting accident; noted. Stephanie plans to move back into her childhood home; noted. Kimmy’s ex-husband was unfaithful, and aside from his infidelity possesses only one defining trait, which just so happens to be that he is Hispanic; noted.
Subsequent to a prolonged sequence of exposition during which it is established, if it wasn’t already painfully evident, that FULLER HOUSE is D.J.’s story as opposed to Danny’s, the gang mandates that Jesse sing a song for old time’s sake. Luckily, his band is present in the living room, instruments and all.
You ready yourself for an unparalleled exemplification of shoddy ADR work, but as soon as Jesse belts his first note, you are frozen stiff with terror. Rather than a sterile, inoffensive vocal recording, a Hellish growl discharges from between his pampered lips.
A series of moist, forceful breaths seem to parrot Jesse’s lyrics on the back of your neck.
“You just had to push it, didn’t you?” You ask yourself. The breaths do not relent. In fact, an acrid spittle begins to condensate upon your skin. You muster the gall to answer to your inquisition: “I had to know for sure whether I’d left it all behind. I… It turns out I was wrong. We were wrong.”
A crack forms in the screen of your laptop, splintering outward at a feverish pace. Jesse hits a particularly sinister note, prompting the cooperation of his friends and family; their every voice ‒ male or female, high or deep ‒ amalgamates into an ungodly choir of virgin malevolence.
Suddenly, your screen is savagely decimated into an incalculable number of projectile shards, which lacerate your face and reveal your furtive identity: you are a pair of fiendish imps, and it’s back to the underworld for the both of you.
3:25 AM: Home sweet home. Faraway flames seem to engulf you from every side. Seated atop a throne comprised of human cartilage is Oh, Dark One. He looms over you, his spindly fingers tangled like ivy all through his armrests. “Have you not the capacity to learn from your prior foibles?!” Thunders he.
You can’t feel to stand, trembling, “Forgive us, Oh, Dark One! For we could seldom bare the thought that such vapidity could be brought forth into the world not merely once, but twice! We thought it to be a cruel trick, and thus resolved to discover for ourselves the wretched truth!”
“Hark! I hath warned you once, when you turned to FULL HOUSE as a touchstone by which you may learn to assimilate yourselves amongst humankind! As it transpired, that which was depicted was so far removed from reality that your emulation of Danny Tanner, of Jesse Katsopolis, and of Joey Gladstone was instrumental in the near-foiling of your guise! And now, despite the fact that the eve of ruination is drawing nigh, you fatuous imps risk vanquishment yet again! For what, I ask? The flaccid exercise in disingenuous nostalgia that is FULLER HOUSE?! I think not!”
“But Oh, Dark One—”
“Be gone with you! Cast unto the hounds alongside they who too cannot resist the allure of feckless amusement!”
The blistering cobblestone upon which you kneel unfurls like a gargantuan mouth, and you plummet headfirst into the turbid gloom.
3:29 AM: Though you’ve gone indefinitely blind, the unending torment of the Hell Hound’s tooth inspires in your head images of the Golden Gate Bridge. From the remote distance, Carly Rae Jepsen’s rendition of “Everywhere You Look” echoes piercingly, and you desire nothing more than a chance to start over; to have been fostered a well adjusted individual rather than a child shackled by the conventions of a storybook San Francisco.
FULLER HOUSE is available to view in its entirety on Netflix