Posted by: billysuperstar | April 29, 2011

Season 3, Episode 14, “Misadventures in Babysitting”

Pre-Credits Gag:  Joey shows Michelle one of those mechanical flowers that dance when you play music.  Remember those?  They were pretty big around the time this episode aired, which is just the first of many tidbits of evidence in this episode that 1989 was a glorious year.  Exhibit B: check out Michelle’s cool shades.

Everybody in the full house is standing around waiting to use the phone because DJ wont stop gossiping with Kimmie Gibbler about all the heavy petting that’s going on at their middle school.  While they’re all waiting, Joey mentions to Danny that he needs a spot to play his poker game and Danny offers to join the game and host it at the full house.  Joey is hesitant to accept the offer because he’s wary of the social ramifications of Danny’s obsessive compulsive cleaning addiction but since he really doesn’t have anywhere else to go he eventually agrees.  Danny sees the game as an opportunity to make some changes to his behavior, probably because once Joey’s embarrassed of you, you can’t help but realize that it’s time for some personal growth.

Rebecca Donaldson and Jesse enter the scene and make a big point about how they’re finally getting along.  They discuss a disagreement they’re having about whether to visit either Rebecca Donaldson’s family or Graceland for the holidays and instead of reaching an agreement they just make out in front of everybody.  How could that even be a real argument?  Why are Jesse’s ideas always so fucking ludicrous?  Seriously, his girlfriend wants to go visit her family for the holidays and he wants to go to some tourist attraction instead?  There’s never any reason to take his side.

DJ’s phone hogging reaches a climax when Kimmie Gibbler comes over to the full house and, utilizing the cutting edge wizardry of cordless telephones, continues her phone conversation with DJ while they’re in the very same room.  Danny enters the scene and tells those broads to hang that shit up already and so DJ protests that she needs her own phone line.  Danny explains that he has two worthless assholes living in his house who don’t pay rent and a bunch of bratty materialistic daughters so even though he has a sweet job as a morning show host he can’t afford to get her a phone line of her very own.  Kimmie Gibbler breaks down the expenses of her own phone line at her house and Danny agrees to set it up if DJ can pay for it with her own money.  Kimmie Gibbler graciously offers up one of her babysitting gigs to DJ to help her earn money and with that you have:  a premise.

While the dads all play cards Stephanie is put in charge of putting the baby to bed and, boy does that baby give her a hard time!  Meanwhile, the dads put on their poker game with two guests, including that actor Bruce Baum, who kind of looks like Gallagher.  Those of you who have been taking notes may remember that he made an appearance as an MC at a comedy club in Season 1, but there’s no mention of whether he’s reoccurring as the same character or if that actor just happened to be hanging around the parking lot again when they were casting this episode.

So Danny tries to prove that his cleaning tendencies are not a psychosis by ignoring the poker guests slobbish behavior even though most of what they do defies basic human decency.  The guest who isn’t Bruce Baum brings a big stack of cigarette packs and chain smokes inside the full house the whole time they play the game.  You can’t just go to someone’s house and pull that shit!  I know that smoking has a lot more of a stigma these days than it did in the magical age of 1989 but even then you couldn’t just go into someone’s house and light up like that.  It’s hard to laugh at Danny suppressing his cleaning neurosis when you can actually sympathize with him.  Not that it would have been funny anyway, but I’m always really annoyed when I can actually empathize with these shitty characters.

Jesse starts bitching about Rebecca Donaldson at the poker game and is quickly whipped into a chauvinistic frenzy by the other players that results in him calling her up and acting like a gigantic asshole.  Doesn’t Jesse know better than to take advice about women from a bunch of gross dudes who never get laid?  Guys like that are always trying to recruit you into their ranks.

DJ starts her first night of babysitting by meeting a kid who, like Bruce Baum, has appeared on full house before as a bit character (he’s one of Stephanie’s friends) even though it’s not acknowledged in this episode.  The kids name is Brian and his parents are dirty hippies who are going to a Grateful dead concert.  Even though the parent’s personas are cartoonishly bad and totally unnecessary, it’s at least an attempt to represent some sort of archetype of the kinds of parents you might encounter in San Francisco.  So even though the representation is terrible, I’m so happy to see some element of the show where it seemed like someone almost sort of tried to do something that involved some consideration.  Anyway, as soon as the parents leave, Brian starts acting like a total shithead and jumping all over the furniture and yelling about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and DJ’s like, aw hell no, this babysitting shit aint all it’s cracked up to be!

Kimmie Gibler comes over and helps DJ assuage Brian.  They take their eyes off him for about ten seconds and he manages to get his head stuck in the banister.  While DJ searches for a way to free him, Kimmie Gibbler torments Brian by making him smell her stinky feet, which is just the first of many, many Kimmie Gibbler stinky feet references to come.  DJ rubs butter all over Brian’s head but when that doesn’t work she considers calling Danny to bail her out.

All of the poker players are forced to pretend that they’re sleeping in order to get Michelle to finally go to bed.  I guess when you sign up for an evening at the full house you have to be ready to participate in some corny bullshit like that.  DJ calls the full house and tells Danny that she needs his help so he leaves the game, but not before condemning the poker guests for being disgusting assholes.  The moment Danny exits, Rebecca Donaldson enters the scene and cuts Jesse’s balls off in front of his little boyfriends, which you totally can’t even blame her for.

Jesse and Rebecca Donaldson continue their inane debate after the guests flee the scene and finally decide to settle their issues with a poker game.  Before the game is won the two of them come to their senses and decide to discuss their issues rationally and reach a compromise.  It’s weird how we’ve barely seen Rebecca Donaldson at all this season and then we get two episodes in a row where she’s featured prominently and they’re pretty much exactly the same.  It’s like if she’s not arguing with Jesse about something he’s totally wrong about then the writers just have no idea what to do with her at all.

While Danny saws the banister apart so he can free Brian, DJ apologizes for being such a shitty babysitter and says she doesn’t deserve to have her own phone.  Danny consoles her and says that running to get her daddy to bail her out was better than trying to solve the problem herself and fucking it up even worse, which is a pretty confusing moral if you ask me.  At least the music never comes on.

Anyway, Brian’s parents come home before Danny is even able to free him from the bannister so it doesn’t even end up making any difference that he came, but they’re both peaking on acid when they get back anyway so they don’t even give a shit about what’s going on and hire DJ to babysit again next week.   Danny gets her a phone line of her very own in the final scene but then Stephanie gets a phone call instead of DJ.  Wah wah!

Firsts:  Kimmie Gibbler’s stinky feet, DJ’s own phone

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Responses

  1. so i’ve gone through and read most of this blog this week, and it struck me how much it almost reads like someone’s write up of the activities of their Sims, because the characters act so inexplicably all the time sometimes-kind-of-sort-of based on a few stock characteristics assigned to them in the beginning. i find this to be especially true whenever someone is angrily gawking at people making out or a random person just appears in the Tanner household without being let in, that is classic Sims behavior. so, props Full House for being about as emotionally complex as a computer game where the fake computer people can’t even figure out how to walk around a fucking plate if they place it on the ground in front of themselves.

    but, anyways: great blog, thanks for the procrastination fodder, i hope you do not come out of this project too psychologically damaged. keep it up.

  2. Ah, the one where DJ babysits the kid who gets his head stuck in the railing (that’s how I remember it, at least)…

    DJ wont stop gossiping with Kimmie Gibbler about all the heavy petting that’s going on at their middle school

    Don’t they live next door to each other? Why are they even bothering with phones?

    Kimmie Gibbler comes over to the full house and, utilizing the cutting edge wizardry of cordless telephones, continues her phone conversation with DJ while they’re in the very same room.

    Well, that answers that. Sorta. Also, 1989 rules!

    They discuss a disagreement they’re having about whether to visit either Rebecca Donaldson’s family or Graceland for the holidays and instead of reaching an agreement they just make out in front of everybody. How could that even be a real argument? Why are Jesse’s ideas always so fucking ludicrous?

    Seriously. It would be one thing if they were arguing over a vacation during, I dunno, spring break, but for the holidays? It’s not that unreasonable for people to want to spend time with family and not at an Elvis museum.

    Also, isn’t Jesse essentially a freelance ad guy at this point? Couldn’t he go to Graceland whenever?

    Doesn’t Jesse know better than to take advice about women from a bunch of gross dudes who never get laid?

    Seriously, between the Gallagher lookalike and the guy who appears to still be wearing his letter jacket, where does Joey meet these people?

    Brian starts acting like a total shithead and jumping all over the furniture and yelling about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

    1989 rules!

    Seriously…

  3. I can recall exactly the way Lori Laughlin says the phrase “macho idiots” when she storms the poker game. It reminds me of the part at the lake in Tommy Boy where the horrible love interest yells at the two boys.

  4. I can’t help myself. I love this blog. My innocent child brain loved Full House when it was on, because it didn’t know any better. And now my cynical adult brain loves to see it ripped apart.

    • my innocent child brain HATED this show.

  5. So we finally get to the Kimmie Gibbler stinky feet gags. The two things I remember about Kimmie Gibbler is that she’s annoying (well, annoying to the rest of the cast which, in turn, makes her incredibly tolerable to the audience) and she has stinky feet.
    That’s two character traits and, as you know, that’s all a character gets on Full House (unless it’s Uncle Jesse, who gets the bonus character trait of liking fried chicken). John Stamos must’ve entered a secret code or something to get that….

  6. As someone who still occasionally watches the 6 AM showing of Full House on Nickelodeon while getting dressed for work–yeah, what of it?–I just want to thank you for what you’re doing. (It’s inspiring. I would do it with Golden Girls, except Golden Girls is actually terrific and awesome, and it wouldn’t be nearly this much torture).

    • thanks, caroline! you are the writer of our 200th comment! a few friends of mine have talked about doing a similar blog and the golden girls is always the top choice (i’ve also heard some rumblings about a night court one….). i think it’d be neat to do one of these about a show you actually liked. i say go for it!

      • I’m in the process of doing a similar blog for Degrassi: The Next Generation. It’s a wonderfully terrible mix of ridiculous drama portrayed by ugly Canadians who can’t act.

        Few people realize that rapper Drake had his start as Jimmy Brooks from Degrassi: TNG.

      • send me the link!

  7. I’m fairly certain I actually saw this episode. The image of girls talking on the phone on their beds on their elbows and with their feet kicked up in the air like that was imprinted on me so strongly that it was like, a) you’re supposed to talk to your best friend on the phone for hours at a time, and b) you must do it in this position. (Although in full disclosure, this was–and probably still is–portrayed ubiquitously and uniformly as the position all teen girls talk on the phone in, so this may not be an all that great sign that I’ve definitely seen this episode.)

    Anyhow, when it finally came to my turn in junior high to join the ranks of millions of other girls and talk to my best friend on the phone all evening, I assumed this position, and found it extremely uncomfortable. I never did it again. I usually laid in bed normal-style, or sat at my desk. Who are all these weirdo stomach-down-layer teen girls that this position is supposedly based on?! My theory? It’s the most photogenic, or what 40-something male, childless writers decided a spoiled teenaged brat would be doing while talking on the phone.

    But the second clue that I’ve seen this episode is the idiot kid getting his head stuck in the banister and their greasing his head with butter. But even this isn’t a sure give-away that I’ve seen this episode, because it sounds like a pretty common trope that must have been mandatory for all 80s sitcoms. But it’s kinda weird that I would remember that, and not, say, anything about the poker game. It’s just interesting to note what was so traumatizingly stupid that I still remember it, nearly twenty years later, and what was just blandly stupid.

  8. In that screen cap of Jesse and Rebecca Donaldson making out it totally looks like Joey is trying to rub one out as he looks on.

  9. Okay wtf at that second screen cap. Let’s sit down on the coffee table here in a super awkward and uncomfortable position and suck face!

    The pre-credit gags are really starting to bother me. They really are just a toddler acting like a toddler. I’m pretty sure the writers for the show were men, and not that men can’t love babies, but dude. The only people I can picture liking this show are overly conservative dumb women who want to land a man and have babies, but can’t. Plus kids, because kids will watch anything that somehow gets dubbed as “cool”. I honestly can’t figure out how the Olsen twins got so popular, either. Maybe because they were the only babies who were able to take any sort of acting cues? But there’s obviously a reason they don’t act anymore… because they suck at it. They only stayed in the spotlight because of horny pervs who decided they would be hot when they grew up, aka they already found them hot as children and needed a way to express that without sounding overtly pervy.

    • The olsen twins still act, that’s why they’re billionares… they own their own movie production company, which, you guessed it, cranks out shitty movies starring the olsen twins. they’ve made DOZENS of movies.. They have even made a movie on location in paris. They got money, and a laundry list of teen fans… they are a popular as can be without being marketed by disney.

  10. PS: what the hell is Danny wearing at the poker table? His clothing is always questionable at best, but is he trying to be cool? Hey chain smoker in a high school letter jacket – check out my totally badass sideways baseball cap and unbuttoned shirt!

    And Kimmy’s stinky feet… the most boring part of Kimmy Gibbler. She really is the best character on the show, and I love how she pisses off the Tanners… but the feet thing is so dumb and doesn’t even really make sense. But why am I looking for sense in this show?

  11. Oh, yes. The butter. When I watched this show for the first time, I was a little kid….like, seven. And even I thought it was MORONIC to put butter on the kid’s HAIR in an attempt to free him. As if that was what was holding him back. “If only we could restrain that one unruly cowlick, this kid would slide right out of the banister.”

  12. and why, WHY did “the head caught in the stairs” happen on like every tv show? i dont know about you, but i was totally a child once and it never occurred to me to shove my head places it didn’t belong. can they find some kind of device even slightly more based in reality?

  13. I remember when I was a kid (same time around Michelle’s age) my cousins had a dancing 7UP can when you played music, I thought that was the coolest thing.

  14. This episode came on today…

    First…why do the dress michelle like all Danny can afford is goodwill…

    Secondly….I think this may be the point that bob sagat realizes he hates his life….you can see the hatred and disdain for the full house in his every line and nuance….


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