Posted by: billysuperstar | January 28, 2011

Season 3, Episode 1, “Tanner’s Island”

Pre-Credits Gag:  The cheaply produced animated openers have been replaced with a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Now that’s progress!

The Uncles come home to find that the rest of the family has made a surprise party for them.  Danny explains that the streamers and cake are to celebrate the Uncles’ having been at the full house for two years.  Two long, horrible years.  Danny then surprises both the Uncles and the rest of the family by announcing that he’s bought them all tickets for a week long trip to Hawaii.  I guess the rest of the family thought that streamers and cake were the whole surprise.

Usually the pre-credits gag is just some throwaway bit where the baby says a phrase or eats a cookie or something, but in this case it sets up the premise for the entire episode.  It’s also the only time you see the full house, as the rest of the episode is filmed on location in Hawaii.

As we come into Season 3, the credits are pretty much the same except that there are a few updated vignettes and Lori Loughlin has been given a spot for her role as Rebecca Donaldson.  That’s right, y’all, Rebecca Donaldson is down for life!

A lot of shows did these types of episodes where the cast goes to Hawaii or Disneyworld or something, so much so that you have to assume that it was part of a promotional deal with the network.  There was always something fundamentally unappealing about these episodes, even when a good show did it.  I don’t know if it was because the whole thing felt like a big endorsement or that they always had a different look and feel than other episodes because of the way they were filmed.  Regardless of the reason, these episodes were always fucking duds, and when you come across one when you’re watching reruns on tv, it’s always a disappointment.  So, even though it’s a given that the episode of Full House you’re about to read about sucks a bunch of ass, this one is extra fucking lame in its own unique way that stands out from the rest of the series (except for when they inevitably go to Disneyworld.).

So the Tanner’s get to the resort and exemplify the horrible injustice that the natives of Hawaii have to endure due to American tourism.  Joey sees some Hawaiian dream Woman who makes goo goo eyes at him because this show really needed another Uncle Joey romantic subplot.

Everyone wants to go do separate shit but Danny insists that they all do everyone’s activities together as a family.  This sounds somewhat reasonable until he further explains that he’s dutifully scheduled out their whole week on his, “clipboard of fun,” which is just the latest example of Danny’s anal retentive bullshit ruining everyone’s good time.

So everyone sits around looking bored and miserable while the one person whose activity it is tries to enjoy themselves.  There are a bunch of location shots of Hawaii (kind of makes you want to go there…) and Stephanie learns about Menehunes, which are kind of like Hawaiian Leprechauns.  There’s an extended sequence of the family riding around on dolphins in a big pool that doesn’t even have any jokes in it.  Seriously, the script for this episode must have been like 3 pages long.

Jesse makes everyone go look at every piece of the island that ever had anything to do with an Elvis movie and then the family goes on a canoe ride (or whatever they call canoe’s in Hawaii).  Joey sees his Hawaiian dream girl and jumps off the canoe to go hump on her but she gets away.  And now, here’s a little sumthin’ for you ladies:  wet t-shirt Joey.

Danny rents a boat so he can take the family to a smaller island but after hours at sea he realizes that the island he was looking for on the map was a potato chip.  The family start to think about who they’re going to eat first until they see an island off in the distance.  Once they get to the island they wander around trying to figure out what to do and then their boat floats away.  Even though it’s visible from the shore and letting it get away means being trapped on a presumably deserted island and having to pay for the boat if they’re ever rescued, the family just can’t seem to find the motivation to swim after it.

The whole family accepts being trapped on an island and decide to forage.  Joey gets hit on the head with a falling coconut, which is the greatest moment in the whole series.

Jesse and Rebecca Donaldson get into an argument because he won’t ever stop talking about Elvis for five fucking seconds.  As understandable as that is, I’m kind of surprised that the squabble never ventured over into whose outfit was more amazing because, man, look at those two.

Anyway, Rebecca Donaldson gets so mad that she jumps off the cliff they’re on into a waterfall and Jesse leaps after her, exclaiming, “have mercy” on the way down.  I guess that if he was gonna die right then he wanted to be sure that his last words were his annoying catch-phrase.

Stephanie spots a menehune but DJ wont believe her.  Stephanie worries aloud to DJ about their impending doom on the island but the music comes on and DJ reassures her with the power of sisterly love.  Hugs.

The family all try to flag down a plane from the beach but they’re not spotted even though Jesse is wearing the loudest neon green shorts ever made.  All the adults start to argue but DJ interjects and gives an inspiring speech that ends with, “I bet if we start working together as a team, we can make potato chip crumb island a totally rad place to hang.”  This miraculously inspires the family to get along, leaving DJ two for two in the inspiring speech department in as many minutes.

After sundown, the family follow the sound of jungle drums and are accosted by a group of island savages.  Yeah, they totally went there.

The suspense last for about 5 seconds as the natives quickly reveal that they’re actually just fucking with them and are leading them to a Tahitian dancing stage performance.  The weirdest thing about all of this (which is really saying something) is that that native who explains all of this clearly has a New Zealand accent.  Gee whiz, not only does this show totally stereotype Hawaiian culture for the whole episode, but then they can’t even hire an actual Hawaiian to play the big scary Hawaiian native?

So the Tanner’s are invited to go up on stage for the performance because they seem to get to do that everywhere they go and even if they’re not invited to they just do it anyway.  The family dance for several minutes and Joey finally meets up with his Hawaiian dream girl.

Rebecca Donaldson asks the band if they’ll play “Rock-a-Hula” while Jesse sings and sure enough, they let him do it.  The family all dance around like assholes while Jesse sings and the audience loves it for some reason and then the credits come on.

As if that ending weren’t terrible enough, there are also built-in advertisements for Northwest Airlines and Turtle Bay Hilton and Country Club.  Does Northwest Airlines even still exist?

That was the season premiere, you guys.  That was supposed to get us excited about the rest of the season.  I feel upset.



  1. Does Northwest Airlines even still exist?

    As a Minnesotan, I can assure you it does not. It “merged” with Delta a few years back and all the Northwest planes and stuff were re-branded as Delta.

    Which just means Uncle Jesse’s deafening neon shorts aren’t the only horribly dated thing in this episode.

    A lot of shows did these types of episodes where the cast goes to Hawaii or Disneyworld or something, so much so that you have to assume that it was part of a promotional deal with the network.

    I’ve always heard that after Disney acquired ABC in the early 90s they mandated that all their shows send their characters to Disneyworld at least once, which is why this show went there even though they’d already done their obligatory “we’re going to Hawaii!” episode.

    I have no idea if that’s true or just one of those urban legends that gets repeated so often it becomes true, but it sure sounds like something Disney would do…

  2. I thought sending the cast to Hawaii was the prescription for very low ratings.

  3. As a New Zealander, let me tell you, it was pretty exciting realising the Hawaiians were actually Maori. Almost as good as the time Stephanie and Michelle accidentally flew to Auckland when they thought it was Oakland.
    What can I say, we crave recognition, we don’t care what form it takes.

  4. OMG this is like that movie when Amy Adams cooked all of the food in a Julia Childs cookbook and blogged about it ! Awesome!

  5. When I was younger (19) and bored at work I made a list of female celebrities I would do if I were to become a lesbian. I then compared that list to my gay co-worker’s list of female celebrities he would do if he were to become straight.

    Lori Loughlin as Rebecca Donaldson appeared on both lists.

    • seriously, hands down, that is the best comment ever.

  6. the plane did see them. said fuck that and flew on by.

  7. Your blog is way cool, but I don’t know if I’ll ever forgive you for the wet t-shirt photo of Uncle Joey.

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