Posted by: billysuperstar | September 30, 2011

Season 4, Episode 11, “Secret Admirer”

Pre-Credits Gag:  Jesse catches Michelle eating the middles out of a whole jar full of Oreo’s and then putting the outer parts back in the jar.  When he tells her to cut it the fuck out she retorts, “next time, only buy the middles.”  You know what would have been a funnier punchline?  If he’d put her up for adoption.

As Danny prepares for the “First annual Tanner family quality time BBQ”, a knock at the door discloses the arrival of Cindy and Rusty.  I had a feeling we hadn’t seen the last of them after their introductions last episode (mainly because I checked IMDB), but I’m surprised that they’ve returned so quickly.  Considering that I have no recollection of these characters whatsoever, I have to assume that they won’t last long, but I guess it’s good for Danny that he’s finally gettin’ some action for the time being.

A second knock on the back door (It’s like no one ever uses the front door at all anymore!) announces the arrival of the paperboy, and DJ is pretty insistent about answering it because she’s totally hot for his wang (although this makes me wonder why she didn’t want to answer the door 1 minute earlier when Cindy and Rusty were knocking… how did she know it wasn’t the paperboy?).  DJ opens the door, revealing a pre-teen stud with the worst haircut you’ve ever seen in your life.  His posture is that of a man who is clearly ready to fuck.

DJ, as always, has absolutely no game, but since Danny only carries large bills, she is at least guaranteed a return visit from the paperboy because he owes Danny some change.  Rusty witnesses their awkward interaction and gives DJ shit about it.

Michelle walks in on Rusty dictating a fake love letter to DJ from the paperboy as a prank.  He decides to include Michelle in his scheme by paying her 10 cents to deliver the letter for him.  It seems that Rusty is still up to his old tricks, and I have to say that I’m pretty surprised that someone’s character flaws lasted longer than the traditional 22-minute episode.  Well, I guess that if they were going to bring this character back he had to continue being a puckish weasel because what else were they going to do with him?  Characteristics on Full House seem to work 2 ways:  either their character flaws are brought up out of nowhere and resolved over the course of an episode, such as DJ’s eating disorder a few storylines past, or their character flaws define their whole personality, like Jesse’s creepy obsession with Elvis, Joey’s obnoxious, inept impressions, and now, Rusty’s pranks.

Michelle gives Stephanie the letter because Rusty only specified that she was supposed to give the letter to her sister.  Although the letter is anonymously signed, “Hot For You,” Michelle admits that it was written by Rusty, which leads Stephanie to believe that Rusty is in love with her.

Her reactions are described by a voice-over of her inner thoughts, which is a device that’s never been used on the show before.  Stephanie is totally grossed out by Rusty’s feeling for her and decides to hide the letter in a nearby laundry basket.

It turns out that the laundry basket belongs to Joey and contains a dirty load that he’s put together for Cindy to wash.  When Joey gives Cindy the laundry basket, he tells her, “by the way, I left a little note in there.  It explains everything,” which has no context whatsoever.  Obviously, she finds the love note and assumes it’s from Joey, but what the fuck note was he actually referring to?  Cindy reads the letter in another voice-over and decides to hide it in a nearby folder because she doesn’t want Danny to see it.

The folder contains Danny’s work notes for Rebecca Donaldson, so he hands it to her when she shows up for the BBQ and says that there’s some important shit that he wrote inside.  Naturally, she finds the love note and assumes it’s from Danny and wonders how to handle the situation, as described by yet another voice-over.  This one’s remarkable because she comes to the conclusion that if Jesse finds out he’ll kill Danny, and then she starts to scheme about how if Danny died she’d have her own show.  This ominous train of thought backs up my theory that the Full House is in fact a living entity that negatively affects the psyche of its inhabitants, and that Rebecca Donaldson is slowly being driven crazy as she is pulled further and further in.  So, yeah, I don’t know, plotting Danny’s death seems like something that would naturally occur to you if you had to spend any amount of time with him, but also maybe the full house was built on top of a sacred Indian burial ground or something?

So the rest of this episode is basically just the same thing happening over and over again, kind of like that Jim Jarmusch movie, The Limits of Control, but without any artistic merit or quality of performance, or any reason for existing at all for that matter.  It’s just a repetitive, monotonous cycle of misunderstandings as the letter is handed off between cast members, all described by voice-over narration that is not once implemented with any cleverness or insight whatsoever.

Rebecca Donaldson puts the letter in Kimmie Gibbler’s overdue library book, which leads Jesse to hand it off to her and tell her that there’s a “surprise” in it for her, which in turn leads Kimmie Gibbler to believe that Jesse is in love with her.  Kimmie Gibbler welcomes Jesse’s confession of love, and doesn’t consider for a second that it is a crime.

Jesse finds the note after it’s left in the living room and concludes that it was written to Rebecca Donaldson by either Danny or Joey, so he decides to keep an eye on both of them so he can figure out who to beat the shit out of.  As Jesse investigates, there are further wacky interactions between himself and Kimmie Gibbler, as well as between Joey and Cindy.

Stephanie confides in DJ that Rusty wrote her a love letter and says that she’s gonna tell him to go fuck himself.  DJ intervenes by saying that she thinks that she can let Rusty down more tactfully.  DJ’s confrontation with Rusty is extremely vague and suggestive, so much so that it’s actually pretty understandable when Rusty thinks that she’s hitting on him.

The family convenes in the kitchen so they can head to the backyard together to start the BBQ.  Rebecca Donaldson takes Joey aside and tries to ask his advice about what to do about Danny’s feelings towards her but she describes the situation with misleading generalizations that cause Joey to think that she’s confessing her feelings to him.  When oh when will this web of intrigue end?

Rebecca Donaldson confronts Danny with the letter in the backyard but he thinks that she’s giving him a letter that she’s written, so now they both think the other is in love with them.  Danny panics as Jesse approaches and hides the letter under Michelle’s hat.  It’s a good thing that she just happened to be wearing a hat for the first time ever, because otherwise he’d have had to shove that letter up his ass.

Cindy tries to let Joey down gently and makes like the 10th misleading speech in as many minutes, causing Joey to believe that both his roommates women wanna bang him.  To be fair, Joey seems like the kind of guy who would mistake any compassion or sympathy a woman expressed towards him as romantically suggestive behavior.  You’d have to be pretty delusional in general if you were Joey… how else do you think he keeps from blowing his fucking brains out every single day of his life?

As the family all sit down to eat, Danny gives a rambling address while the camera pans over each character, revealing their inner thoughts.  There are some pretty choice quotes during this sequence, particularly when Stephanie thinks, “one false move and Rusty gets a weenie in his ear,” and Jesse’s notion that if he killed either Danny or Joey he’d “be doing mankind a favor.”  Truer words were never spoken!

When Danny’s seemingly endless babbling finally comes to a close, Michelle pulls the love letter out of her hat and everyone freaks the fuck out.  All of the misinterpreted origins of the letter are presented as accusations and chaos ensues.  Eventually Michelle, who’s actually the only person who really knows what’s going on, outs Rusty as the author of the letter, and the family all gather together to beat the shit out of him.

As Rusty is being torn apart, the paperboy swaggers into the backyard to return Danny’s change and strikes up a conversation with DJ.  DJ coerces him to stick around by offering him some hamburgers, and the episode ends with her giving him a handjob under the picnic table.

Yeah, I’ve given it up to some pretty homely girls for a hamburger, too.

Firsts:  Voice-over narration



  1. So nothing really happens here…I must admit it’s pretty clever, since “actors” didn’t have much to learn that time -that’s what I guess from the voice-over narration device !

  2. Haha, the sitcom-required “secret admirer love letter leads to confusion/alleged hilarity episode”! I’m kinda surprised it took the show this long to get to that old chestnut (though I suppose they needed to round out the cast a bit first).

    It’s kinda sad how both this and Saved by the Bell cribbed so shamelessly from the stock sitcom playbook. Yet, Saved by the Bell has some nostalgic/ironic charm and this…does not.

    she comes to the conclusion that if Jesse finds out he’ll kill Danny, and then she starts to scheme about how if Danny died she’d have her own show

    Awesome, awesome screen cap.

    “one false move and Rusty gets a weenie in his ear”

    Careful Stephanie, he might like that…

    • funny you should mention saved by the bell! right around the time i watched this episode i also watched the secret admirer love letter episode of sbtb (it’s one of the later episodes, with tori in it) and i came really close to going off on a tangent where i broke formula and wrote about the sbtb episode instead, with screen caps and everything. i thought it might be a fun change of pace but then i was reminded of the ol’ jim shooter era marvel comics adage of, “every entry is someone’s first” and thought it might confuse people. also, i think i’m just too anal retentive.

      the thing i liked best about the sbtb secret admirer episode is that lisa gets a love letter and actually goes to great lengths to find out who wrote it. WHY DIDN’T SHE JUST AUTOMATICALLY ASSUME IT WAS FROM SCREECH!??! OF COURSE IT WAS WRITTEN BY SCREECH! IT’S ALWAYS SCREECH! but at least we get to see screech and slater make out, dressed as gumby and an astronaut, no less!

      • Seriously. Lisa was a few eggs short of a dozen in that episode. Even if she didn’t just (correctly) assume it was Screech, why wouldn’t he at least be the first person to ask?

        I also love that it’s the second “secret admirer/love letter” episode SBTB did (there was one during the “Miss Bliss/middle school years” too. It just wasn’t enough to go to that well once…

        I’d have loved a random SBTB interlude, you’re probably right vis a vis Shooter’s edict.

      • i’ve actually talked quite a bit with another blogger about doing a post fhr project where we create commentary tracks for every episode of sbtb, a la rifftrax. i think it could be a lot of fun, and less of a strain on my psyche because, although it’s totally retarded, i have a real reverence for that show. ill think about it more as this project comes to a close in about 10,000 years….

  3. I would be on board with any Saved by the Bell project, so if you ever get around to it, you’ve got at least one follower.

    It’s funny how that show isn’t qualitatively any better than this one, yet I hold much more esteem for SbtB than Full House, and can actually watch episodes and get something out of it other than the trainwreck factor.

    Must be nostalgia, and the fact that even when I was a kid, I liked SbtB more.

    • I will download the crap out of the two of you riffing on The Bell. But please, start with Miss Bliss, if only because that section of the Bayside Universe is so strange and so awesome! Also I assume one or both of you could at some point start singing “Let’s Get Together”

  4. Additonally, this episode is almost a carbon copy of a movie called…Secret Admirer starring….Lori Loughlin. This episode must have occured not too long after the movie. i’m guessing Lori had some input in the writing.

  5. As soon as you mentioned voiceovers, memories came flooding back. Doesn’t Comet have one too? Some dopey voice about wanting somebody to drop a hot dog or something? I wish I didn’t have this knowledge.

    Also, that is an awesome cap of Rebecca Donaldson up there. The one thing about Full House I’m not ashamed of is that Rebecca Donaldson was probably the first TV woman I remember giving me “down there” feelings. She is one pretty lady.

    • Yes, Comet does eventually have a few voiceovers. They’re voiced….by Dave Coulier. I’m already pumped for the commentary on that delightful use of Dave in multiple ways in one episode.

  6. Isn’t this the episode where DJ actually uses the phrase “Oh Mylanta!”? Epic nerdiness!

  7. Why is no one else slightly concerned about joeys sweater…

  8. First: DJ finally has some game!

  9. First: Michelle wears a hat!

    This sounds like absolutely the worst episode of this show so far. It was actually painful to read… it’s like there was a competition for who could make an episode that took the least amount of effort on the part of the writers, directors, producers, and actors!

    I also like how this family normally specializes in just busting into a room and blurting out whatever they’re thinking super directly without any forethought about who they’re talking to… and now suddenly they’re all super vague and full of misunderstanding… wtf?

  10. Grr, because it sounded like the worst episode, I felt compelled to watch it. I’m not sure if it’s really worse, but seriously… so painful. They really completely threw logic and, you know, things people would actually say in such situations right out the door. One of those people – probably the first one, Stephanie – would’ve just put the note in their pocket and that would’ve been that.

    Annoyance: the paper was $3.50. Danny gave him a $20, and said to keep a dollar and bring back the change. The kid gave DJ back only bills, no coins. Totally ripped him off, douche.

    Second annoyance: I’d totally forgotten about DJ’s horrible catchphrase, “Oh, Mylanta!” I think it’s the most painfully annoying, right after Joey’s “Cut. It. Out.” Michelle’s at least have the essence that she’s a fucking baby, Jesse has somewhat of a delivery for his dumb catchphrase, as does Stephanie.

    Shining moment of the episode: Kimmie Gibbler and her entire response to thinking Jesse’s in love with her. Just the right amount of super creepy.

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