I want to immediately dispel any hopes our readers might have that this episode in any way whatsoever makes any reference to George Miller’s Mad Max series of films. It resolutely does not. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s reconnect with the Tanner family and see what they’re up to. In today’s episode, Max has a trombone recital for his second grade class which he is very, very nervous about. Steph decides to go off with a friend to party at Coachella. And Ramona is tasked with taking care of baby Tommy (she does a bad job).
Here are some thoughts.
1. I’m glad we finally get an episode with Max front and center
As I’ve mentioned before, Max is this show’s secret weapon. He’s the only character who can be relied on to deliver pathos, humor and unendurable cuteness in equal measure. Giving him a storyline in which he’s nervous about a performance was a stroke of insight into what we love about this character. He’s deeply precocious, so giving him a plot in which he has a normal 2nd grader’s anxiety, while still talking like the intelligent kid that he is tickles the audience to no end.
2. Honestly, I just want a show about Cosmo
Cosmo is the ridiculously cute golden retriever puppy ostensibly owned by Max, although DJ has ended up taking care of it. Yeah. Just give me a show about that dog. That dog is so cute, it makes me ill.
3. Dating website jokes stopped being funny in 2009
Kimmy has set up a dating profile for DJ (on glutenfreesoccermoms.com, no less) in an attempt to get her back in the dating pool after her husbands death. Of course, Kimmy does the thing that every single show has done that has ever made a reference to dating websites, ever. That is, make a profile that lies about the person. HAHA. MUCH FUNNY. WHAT LAUGH. She turns DJ into a neuroscientist/Victoria’s Secret model, then swaps out her boobs with Channing Tatum’s butt cheeks (which, you know, ew). This is pretty insulting, considering DJ is actually a very attractive woman who’s a veterinarian raising three children. That’s incredibly impressive, she should be playing that up, KIMMY you unbelievable nincompoop.
I cannot believe I’m actually starting to care about these characters.
4. Stephanie realizes what we have known all along…
A friend of hers shows up to their house (unannounced, no less) to “rescue” Steph because she sees what her life is like on her Facebook profile. Ignoring for a moment that her friend is clearly an air-headed jerk (she’s helping her recently widowed sister, JERK), Steph tries her best to defend her life choices and comes to the realization that she’s basically living in a cult. Uh, duh, Steph. You are all deeply involved in each other’s lives and you hug thirty times a day. It’s been a cult since the eighties.
5. Of course Ramona has a vlog
Because she’s terrible. It’s not entirely her fault, she’s a teenage girl. Most teenage girls are terrible. Most teenage boys are also terrible. It’s basically that teenagers are just terrible. She decides to make babysitting Tommy fun by doing a vlog entry about changing his diaper… which, you know… wait, why would she do that? That’s a terrible idea. And so is flushing a diaper down the toilet.
Ramona, why did you flush a diaper down the toilet? Is this a cry for help? Blink twice for yes.
6. The mistaken identity scene with the “plumber” was legitimately hilarious
So Kimmy just goes ahead and invites over a hunk from the dating website for DJ (he’s a famous romance novelist, except he’s clearly not), just around the same time DJ called a plumber to get that diaper out of the pipes. What ensues is a genuinely well written series of double-entendres about “fixing pipes” that lead this poor blind date to think he’s about to, ahem, “lay some pipe upstairs.” Mistaken identity is old hat, certainly, but when it’s done correctly, it’s satisfying humor.
7. Oh, wow. DJ Tanner in the flesh
So Steph’s terrible friend has absconded with her to Coachella, the music festival. Unfortunately, DJ Unbreakable has broken his arm (HAHA MUCH FUNNY), so now DJ Tanner has to go up and spin!!!! OH GAWD LAWD AND SAVYUH!! STEPH GETS TO SPIN AT COACHELLA. That was more or less their reaction. I guess I don’t really understand what DJ-ing is. It just looked like she had hooked up her iPod and was dancing. But then she gets a call in the middle of her set. It’s DJ (the real one), saying Max won’t perform for his recital because Steph accidentally took her “magic scarf” meant to give Max some much needed confidence with her. Sooo…
8. DJ MAX Tanner in the flesh
Through a series of unlikely technical maneuvers, Steph hooks up a video of Max playing the trombone to the monitors and he performs for an audience of thousands. This helps him get over his stage fright and he goes on to play his recital. Okay. Again, seems unlikely. Have you ever tried to hook up anything to a TV monitor? It takes a minimum of, like, ten minutes.
9. WHOA those are some intense pathos
Near the end of the episode, DJ and Steph have a conversation about why Steph decided to come back home instead of fly off to Italy with her friend. Steph says she missed the kids and wanted to stay at the house. But DJ pushes her, sensing there’s something else. I was fully prepared for some kind of joke about the perks of free food or something like that. Instead, Steph reveals that she found out she can’t have kids. It was a genuinely shocking moment, one that actually elicited a gasp from me. DJ of course comforts her, saying her kids are Steph’s kids, and that they’re all a family. Jeez, this show definitely has some real pain running underneath the sunny exterior.
10. Kimmy got the short end of the stick this episode
Every time someone says ‘houseboat,’ Kimmy has to walk around like a chicken. That was her contribution to this episode, along with bringing in Hunky McPlumber. Seems about right.
I’m instituting a new rating system, for the edification of my readers. Today’s grade is below.
+ Genuine pathos and revelations
+ Hilarious plumber scene
– Bad dating website jokes
–Ramona and Kimmy remain vapid and poorly utilized
Check out previous reviews for Fuller House below!
Fuller House – Our Very First Show, Again
Fuller House – Moving Day
Fuller House – Funner House
Tags: Full House, Fuller House, Mad Max, Netflix, Netflix Original