TGIF Week 5

Full House

Season 1 Episode 5: Sea Cruise

This episode of Full House is one of those absolute garbage episodes where they dress up the hilarious children in bee costumes and send them away to Grandma’s house in order to focus solely on the motional needs of the manchildren. I honestly can’t think of anything I’d like to watch less than Danny, Jesse and Joey begrudgingly pursue “male bonding” and spit nonexistent game at this week’s Bodycon-clad Aqua Net Goddesses (BANGs). I was also planning to do a whole thing on this blog where I look up who the actresses playing these BANGs actually are and give them the respect they deserve, and sadly the actress who played Roxanna in this episode died of breast AND brain cancer in 2010. So back to the show, then these women all went home with these guys and the show winkingly insinuated that Joey may have possibly had a threesome with two of them? (A) This is Joey Gladstone we are talking about; (B) I am not about to accept that they had a threesome in that alcove; and (C) this is a family show. There is just nothing going for this episode except for the fact that on our quest to figure out how old all of these TGIF characters are, tonight we learned that Jesse is “24-and-a-half” years old. Let’s move on.

Family Matters

Season 1 Episode 5: Straight A’s

In this episode of Family Matters we meet Eddie’s friend Rodney, and learn that Rodney absolutely sucks. He sends a fake straight A report card to Eddie’s house, and everyone believes it, and he thinks this is a real funny gag. We also learn that Carl sucks a little bit too. For example, he lavishes tons of gifts and a new computer and calls Ivy league recruiters for supposedly straight-A Eddie while giving first-B+ in-her-life Laura nary a second thought. When he learns the truth about Eddie’s not-so-great grades, and then realizes the recruiters are still coming, he is surprised that Rachel wants them to come anyway. His first response to her is “Isn’t it a little early for little Richie?” Fine, Rachel just wanted some gentlemanly company but UM HELLO CARL PERHAPS YOU MIGHT WANT TO INTRODUCE THE IVY LEAGUE RECRUITERS TO YOUR LOVELY BRILLIANT AND TALENTED DAUGHTER LAURA WINSLOW WHO IS ONLY A COUPLE OF YEARS YOUNGER THAN EDDIE AND MIGHT ALSO WANT TO GO TO COLLEGE SOMEDAY.

Perfect Strangers

Season 1 Episode 5: Check This

We are now into Episode 5 of the six-episode first season of Perfect Strangers, and basically praying that it finds its stride in season 2. (Wherrrrrrre are the blondes?) In this episode Larry teaches Balki how to commit bank fraud, Balki bizarrely short living room chairs, we learn that Mr. Twinkacetti’s wife’s name is Edwina Twinkacetti. We also talked it out and arrived at a happy consensus that while the show is in fact NOT racist, it IS most definitely culturally insensitive.

Step By Step

Season 1 Episode 5: Frank & Son

Who would have thought that held up alongside everything we’ve just watched, this week’s episode of Step By Step would be a surprising and impressive treatise on gender expectations and conformity. In this episode, Frank wants JT to follow in his footsteps as a contractor, and then sort of freaks out when JT fails miserably and then turns around to absolutely kill it as Shampoo Boy in Carol’s salon. But he then he not only comes around to accept it, he also happily discovers that his daughter Al is actually super good at carpentry (which comes about after she and Dana realize that they should definitely do each others’ homework assignments. They try to frame this as a moral quandry but I see no problem here we all have our talents carry on). Hey, Carl Winslow, check out feminist icon Patrick Duffy over here.

Postscript: Hollywood Darlings

Ok now that all of that TGIF crap is out of the way I need to implore everyone who reads this blog and ever enjoyed any TGIF or WB show to watch Hollywood Darlings on Pop. I know, I know, I rolled my eyes when I first heard about this show about year ago too. I was so wrong. I PROMISE YOU IT IS ONE OF THE BEST AND FUNNIEST SHOWS I HAVE EVER SEEN. If the intriguing friendship of Beverly Mitchell, Jodie Sweetin and Christine Lakin isn’t enough for you, how about cameos by Staci Keanan, Jaleel White, Patrick Duffy, Soleil Moon Frye, Andrew Keegan, Matthew Lawrence, Marla Sokloff, LORI BETH freaking DENBERG? If you, like me, do not have access to this show on the Pop network and are even mildly curious (and if I know you) I will literally Venmo you $10 to buy Season 1 on Amazon. I don’t even know how Venmo works but I will figure it out for you. I need this show to go on forever and never get canceled. Thank you for your time.







TGIF Bonus Post: Meet Jesse Frederick

Confession: In addition to the fact that I don’t really know the real lyrics to the TGIF theme songs but always belt them out anyways, I also more often than not accidentally start singing the second verse of the Family Matters song right after the first verse of the Full House song. This is because they are basically the same song; probably the most important and most under-appreciated thread tying the TGIF quadrumvirate together is the fact that all of the theme songs were written and mostly performed by the same guy:

Jesse Fredrick.

Here are some facts I have learned about Jesse Frederick:

Bonus: The whole towel/tower thing last night got me wondering how many other TGIF lyrics I’m singing totally wrong, so I decided to figure it out. In appreciation of Jesse Frederick’s craft, below are his actual lyrics (according to online lyrics sites which I should mention can NEVER be fully trusted), with a side-by-side comparison to what I’m singing.


Show Supposed lyrics, according to The Internet Actual lyrics, according to Me
Full House What ever happened to predictability?
The milkman, the paper boy,
the evening TV?
How did I get delivered here?
Somebody tell me please
This old world’s confusing me
Clouds as mean as you’ve ever seen
Ain’t a bird who knows your tune
Then a little voice inside you whispers
Kid, don’t sell your dreams so soon!
Everywhere you look,
everywhere you go
There’s a heart
(there’s a heart)
a hand to hold onto
Everywhere you look,
everywhere you go
There’s a face
of somebody who needs you
Everywhere you lookWhen you’re lost out there
and you’re all alone
A light is waiting
to carry you home
Everywhere you look
Everywhere you look
What ever happened to predictability?
The milkman, the paper boy,
evening TV
How did I get delivered here?
Somebody tell me please
This whole world, confusing me
Love and tradition [oh wait no]
Clouds as mean as you’ve ever seen
And the world can be so cruel
Till a little voice inside you whispers
Kid don’t sell your dreams so soon
Everywhere you look
[everywhere you look]
There’s a heart
[there’s a heart]
A hand to hold on to
Everywhere you look
[everywhere you look]
There’s a place
with somebody who needs you
Everywhere you look
When you’re lost out there
and you’re all alone
The light is waiting
to carry you home
Everywhere you look
Everywhere you look
Family Matters It’s a rare condition,
this day and age
To read any good news
on the newspaper page
Love and tradition
of the grand design
Some people say
it’s even harder to find
Well then there must be
some magic clue
inside these gentle walls
Cause all I see
is a tower of dreams
Real love burstin’
out of every seam
As days go by
We’re gonna fill our house
with happiness
The moon may cry
We’re gonna smother the blues
with tenderness
When days go by
There’s room for you
Room for me
For gentle hearts
an opportunity
As days go by
It’s the bigger love
of the family
It’s a rare condition,
this day and age
To read any good news
on a news paper plate
Love and tradition
in the grand design
Some people say
it’s even harder to find
Well then there must be
some magic clue
Inside these tears of woe
Cause all I see
is a towel of dreams
Real love burstin’
out of every seam
As days go by
We’re gonna fill our house
with happiness
The moon may cry
We’re gonna smother the blues
with tenderness
As days go by
There’s room for you
Room for me
[mumble mumble]
As days go by
It’s the bigger love
of the family
Perfect Strangers Sometimes the world looks perfect,
Nothing to rearrange.
Sometimes you just get a feeling
Like you need some kind of change.
No matter what the odds are this time,
Nothing’s going to stand in my way.
This flame in my heart,
Like a long lost friend
Gives every dark street
a light at the end.
Standing tall, on the wings of my dream.
Rise and fall, on the wings of my dream.
The rain and thunder
The wind and haze
I’m bound for better days.
It’s my life and my dream,
Nothing’s going to stop me now.
(Nothing’s going to stop me)
It’s my life and my dream,
Nothing’s going to stop me now.
Nothing’s going to stop me now.
Sometimes the world looks perfect
Nothing can be arranged
Sometimes you just get a feeling
Like you need some kind of change
No matter what the odds are this time
Nothing’s gonna stand in my way
But a dream in my heart
And a long lost friend
Everyone sees
the light in the end
Standing tall on the wings of my dreams
Rise and fall on the wings of my dreams
Through rain and thunder
Wind and haze
I’m bound for better days
It’s my life And my dreams
Nothings gonna stop me now
It’s my life and my dreams
Nothing’s gonna stop me now
Step by Step [Verse 1: Jesse Frederick]
The dream, wide broken
Seemed like all was lost
What would be the future
Could you pay the cost
You wonder,
Will there ever be
a second time around?
[Verse 2: Teresa James]
When the tears are over
And the moment has come
Say “My Lord, I think I found someone”
And no one would be better
To be putting it together
For the second time around
We got the woman and man
We got the kids in a clan
Only time will tell
If all these dreams fit under one umbrella
Step by step
Day by day
A fresh start over
A different hand to play
The deeper we fall
The stronger we stay
And we’ll be better
The second time around
Patrick Duffy:
A dream wide broken
Seemed like all was lost
But to see the future
You gotta pay the cost
You wonder
Will there ever be
a second time around
Suzanne Somers:
Whoa-whoa when the tears are rolling
And the moment has come
Say my lord I think I’ve found someone
But couldn’t it be better
[indiscriminate mumbling]
For the second time around
We got the [more mumbling]
We got the keys in a can
[Lots more mumbling]
[Basically I give up]
Step by step
Day by day
A fresh start over
A different hand to play
People we fall
and stumble each day
But we’ll be better
The second time around

TGIF Week 4

Full House

Season 1 Episode 4: The Return of Grandma

Actually, you have two!!!!

I’ve decided at this point that I really intensely dislike Dave Coulier. JG agrees and doesn’t understand his purpose on the show.

In a surprising twist, in this episode Danny is struggling with the fact that the two aimless bachelors he brought into his home to help raise his children are aimless bachelors. The house is a wreck. Joey can’t operate a dishwasher. Jesse is carousin’ and philanderin’. Danny’s mom shows up to help, his buddies go full on chauvinist douche mode asking her to clean the house and make them dinner (!!), his mom calls their moms, their moms show up, it becomes a whole thing. Lots of moms. And then they clean the house.

Honestly, though, how is Danny Effing Tanner out of cleaning supplies in a messy house, this is very out of character and wildly implausible. And later on we are to believe that he is afraid to enter a bathroom to clean it?! IT’S DANNY TANNER! Cleaning bathrooms is his jam!

This episode also (heavily) features a turtle. Much like they will not stop referring to Michelle as “The Baby,” they repeatedly and incessantly call the turtle an amphibian. My wife challenges:

“Echo, is a turtle a reptile or an amphibian?”
“No, reptiles are not amphibians”

THANK YOU, Grandma.

Tonight, at 37 years old, having watched Full House sporadically for almost three decades, I am just now noticing that Joseph Gladstone dresses his mannequin in the exact same outfit he is wearing every day. Two things: (1) that is sociopathic behavior, and (2) that means he has two copies of every outfit in that tiny alcove room I am sorry but no. He doesn’t even have a room. WHERE IS HE STORING ALL OF THESE DUPLICATE OUTFITS. I hate this show, next.

Family Matters

Season 1 Episode 4: Rachel’s First Date

Opening Scene: Enter STEVEN QUINCY URKEL. Thank god we caught last week’s episode of Step By Step from the future so we know who Steve Urkel is, otherwise we’d be lost.

This episode is a bit sad, as Rachel is struggling with Carl’s pushy forcing her out to date even though she’s still grieving her husband. This family is pretty cute and I can’t come up with anything snarky to say about them, sorry.

I guess let’s just talk about the bangin theme song a bit more: Ok in the opening song do they say “all I see is a tower of dreams” or “all I see is a towel of dreams”? Because the former obv makes more sense but then the next line he starts talking about “seams” and I don’t know anymore.

Perfect Strangers

Season 1 Episode 4: Baby You Can’t Drive My Car

Recap: In this episode Larry tries to teach Balki how to drive and there are a several disparaging jokes made by Mr. Twinkacetti about Mypos, the fictional country that Balki is from. I don’t know about your household, but in mine we are having an ongoing deep existential debate about the degree to which one can really be racist against a fictional Greek island full of white people, which will surely last for the entire 147-episode run of this show. Spoiler alert: Balki gets his driver’s license.

Ok, on to Step By Step…

Step By Step

Season 1, Episode 4: First Anniversary

Before you get your panties in a bunch about the title like I did, it’s their one month anniversary. After all, this couple just met on vacation and got married and merged their entire families together a mere four episodes ago.

At the beginning the wife asked me if I had a crush on anyone in the show and I replied “ugh, this show? No.” This becomes important later because I had completely forgotten about CODY (I <3 Cody 😍😍😍).

In this episode two of the jockish Patrick Duffy spawn are harassing the nerdish Suzanne Somers spawn about his knowledge of baseball stats, which is a highly prescient foreshadowing of the sabermetrics moneyball era we are all plodding through. I guess we can assume the nerd kid is now the GM of the Astros in this fictional Step By Step universe.

THE CODEMAN ARRIVES. If you own a electric guitar and did not sing the “Dana dana dana dana dana” song on it the first time you picked it up and played it I don’t know what to say.

The show got 1000x better for about three minutes, until the Codeman wore out his welcome when the premise of this episode became JT wagering $20 that Cody couldn’t date his stepsister Dana, who is technically Cody’s step-cousin. Another week, another TGIF plotline that is basically indistinguishable from this week’s harrowing episodes of Escaping Polygamy.









TGIF Week 3

Sorry, I’m a little late. I decided the pressure to post on Friday was ruining the watching experience so I’m doing this on my own time.

Full House

Season 1, Episode 3: The First Day of School

Put an idea into the universe and good things happen. I spent Episode 1 wondering about the Tanner house and local comps and I now know more about the Full House house than I ever wanted to! It is worth about $4.6M on Zillow but only $4M on Redfin.  For my next trick I will mention that while waching THIS episode I was completely distracted about our treasonous president and wondering how long it will take to remove him.

At this point we are tiring of the intro. “When do we get to the season where they truncate this song?” For real, why are we watching them bicycle down Lombard street on episode 3, we get it, they are in San Francisco let’s move on.

DJ’s HARD headband looks like it HURTS.

Also hurtful was my wife’s HARD BURN of Joey Gladstone:

Joey: “Ever since I turned four I’ve just wanted to make people happy.”
Jess: “Except Alanis Morrissette”

I remember little else of this episode other than the fact that DJ was once again straight outta Escaping Polygamy. I’m serious.












Family Matters

I had a grand total of three thoughts during this show:

  1. 8 people, one pizza seems like a raw deal
  2. Mother Winslow is friends with Barbara Bush and I refuse to accept that, nothing against Mother Winslow or Barbara Bush but even in a fictional universe I cannot accept that they would have anything to do with one another.
  3. They brought Urkel in because this show is pret-ty bor-ring


Perfect Strangers

Season 1 Episode 3: First State

My thoughts during this show are more just an endless barrage of questions:

Do people even take ships to America anymore? I need to know.

How old are these guys supposed to be?

WTF is larry wearing?

Ooooh who’s this lady?

Also what the heck kind of store is this and where can I get one of those rainbow visors?

How is it possible for the store owner to be named Twinkacetti?

This episode was fun because we got our first exposure to the





This show ended in a way that really alienated me.\: Larry said something about a dirty rat, and then he asked if he sounded like Cagney, and Balki replied that yes, he sounded just like Cagney. So then Larry was happy, and then Balki asked “Can you do Lacey?” and Larry looked SO upset and chugged something like milk of magnesia and the studio audience laughed pretty much the hardest they have this whole episode and I have no idea what any of that meant HALP.


Step By Step

Season 1 Episode 3: Rules of the House

This is not an original thought but everyone on this show is sort of a monster except for Suzanne Somers and I’m not sure how many more eps of this I can watch bring on Dinosaurs.



TGIF Week 2

Full House

Season 1 Episode 2: Our very first night

Oh god I have seen this episode soooo many times. The plotline is very difficult to believe, in that the three grown men who are thrown together in this house for the sole purpose of caring for three children didn’t find it necessary to mention to one another that they all had to go out at night. Sorry. Purportedly, I might add, on their FIRST NIGHT (this can’t be possible but this is the BS that the episode title is feeding us). Like we are actually supposed to believe that this was the first night that these chumps spent together? And every single adult is intending to peace out for the night? I’m sorry, but either they are complete sociopaths, OR NO. (Yes, they are all sociopaths).

  • “Tarzan who was raised in the jungle by apes, was more put together than that baby.” THEIR NAMES ARE MICHELLE
  • DJ Tanner was definitely my main bedroom AND dorm room interior design inspiration. I could never match her, though, she always keeps us guessing, like “here’s a pennant for The San Francisco Giants, wooooo! And here’s a pennant for Alcatraz! Yayyyyyy, prison!”
  • I’ve been watching a lot of Escaping Polygamy lately and the limit of DJ’s hair is approaching sisterwife
  • I want DJs sleep shirt
  • Wait, is this a school night?
  • First laugh out loud (if it is not clear already I guffaw at all Stephanie lines) Stephanie “Does pep mean you can’t blink?”
  • Now the pizza guy wants to cut out of his job and stay and hang out with this tool and his weird band and two small girls? This is all extremely implausible. Also I’m gathering that the female singer here is supposed to be attractive but I, a redblooded American lesbian, just can’t even entertain the idea of it.
  • Seriously, “is this a school night” is approaching “how old are Larry and Balki supposed to be” levels of torment within my brain.
  • The Beastie Boys were/are fine gentlemen and I cannot believe that Bob Saget of all people would question their characters or babysitting skills and I am offended.

Quick pause in the TGIF to play HQ Trivia my name is starhanger you should play and enter my code to get me a free life too thanks. My wife’s name is kinetochore110 if you like her commentary better. Tonight, I was out well before this question but I deduced Candace was indeed a biblical name thanks to one Miss Cameron-Bure and her completely demented brother.

Family Matters

Season 1 Episode 2: Two Income Family

First off, REAL JUDY! Whew.

JG: “Things sometimes change from the pilot episode.

But, I do think they get rid of this Judy lat—”

Me: “Yeah yeah yeah she goes up the stairs and never comes back down I know I know”

So, in this ep Carl tells Harriet to ask for a raise at her elevator operator job, she does, they fire her b/c they had apparently been wanting to switch over to new fangled elevators for years but they adored her and didn’t have the heart to fire her until she spoke up for herself. (?) Our thoughts:

  • Open on Carl: “Oh look at those jeans!” Cut to Eddie, enters kitchen: “OH LOOK A THOSE JEANS!”
  • Mother Winslow is pulling some demented shit right here but tbh I want to try the mashed turnips and bacon it kinda sounds good and I bet it is very low WW points
  • This show is so much better than the drivel that preceded it.
    • Full House lesson: three dudebro jackasses need to work on compiling a shared calendar to care for the three helpless children they signed on to take care of, and while they are at it also learn to say “no” from time to time.
    • Family Matters lesson: Women should go after that job and not be intimidated by job posting requirements they feel they don’t qualify for and assert themselves when douchey men are dismissive.
  • Wife and I have decided that Harriet and Carl are basically our style matches, and yes, that is an insult to me and a complement to her, it’s ok.
  • I was very prescient and predicted the comeback of shoulderless shirts so now please now can acid wash jeans come back?

That episode was excellent, I feel so inspired.

Now onto Balki Bartokomous

Perfect Strangers

Season 1 Episode 2: Picture This!

Just as I hit Play:

JG: “I looked up if Mypos is real. It is not.”

Me: “Does that make it less problematic?”

JG: “No. It does not.”

At this point in the night I’m pretty worn out on tracking these recaps.

  • JG Getting very deep at the outset: “Is Balki Barokomous the original Kimmy Schmidt?” Yes. Yes, he is.
  • Oh great cool Larry Appleton is justifying being paparazzi
  • This episode is the exact same premise as the Full House episode except now they are supposed to be caring for a dog named Gorbachev which today of all days feels a bit on the nose. The theme of the night is grown white men shirking their responsibilities, apparently. I can’t wait for Step By Step

JG: “I just want you to make it really clear that I really hate this show”

Me: “I love this show.”

JG: Laughs out loud at an epic Balki line and is BUSTED

  • I stopped paying attention but Larry just said “I learned I was a sleaze” and I gotta say, I’ve seen more episodes of this show, and spoiler alert, this lesson does not take.
  • I have no clue what happened in this episode, plot-wise, there was a dog named Gorbachev and Dolly Parton cheating and I just drowned in the 80sness of it all, sorry

Step By Step

Season 1 Episode 2: The Dance



I must admit we were well aware of the Family Matters/Perfect Strangers crossover and two episodes in it has already lowkey ruined the viewing experience given the discontinuity of the timelines, but neither of us realized that Urkel was on Step By Step and this must be WAY DOWN THE LINE chronologically and WE ARE NOT DOING THIS RIGHT but WE MUST PUSH FORWARD. SORRY.


JG (at a random blonde daughter on this show): “Was this girl on that show with the diamond that lit up pink?”

Before I can even answer that question, Urkel drops from the sky and my first thought is “This is why we should be watching Mr. Belvedere”

OK, took me a sec but “Out of this world” is the show with the diamond that lit up pink and the answer is no.

Oh good, Urkel is recapping the implausibility of the premise of this show.

Look at Suzanne Somers with her reusable bags! She is the only redeeming quality of this nightmare of a sitcom.

Ok I have just been leaning back and *taking this in* for a while, but I’m returning to let you know that everyone is now doing the Urkel dance. That they went to this in the second freaking episode of this show is something, I am not sure what that something is. I am not even going to bother with a recap because I don’t know what I just watced.



TGIF Week 1: Addendum and Corrigendum

As a quick followup to my last post: I realized two things the next day, as I was trying to map out the logistics of my next ~10 or so years of watching four TGIF shows every Friday night.

#1 All of the seasons of everything are different lengths and this is going to be absolute chaos. Season 1 of Perfect Strangers has only 6 episodes. All the other shows have 22! After that the season lengths basically never match again – 23 episodes, 25 episodes, would it kill the industry to have some standards here? Do I just watch everything linearly, or try to maintain some semblance of seasons? There are no good options!

#2 I trusted a stupid website to refresh my memory of what the TGIF shows were, and I did not read closely enough because the website was only covering TGIF shows in the 1990s.  So correction to my last post, it is not true that Full House aired on TGIF for only one season. It was a tried and true anchor of ABC’s Friday night lineup starting in 1987, through the introduction of the TGIF concept in 1989, then lasted one season IN THE 90s before moving to Tuesday nights in 1991. We regret the error.

Now that we are rewinding our brains back to 1988 I know what you are thinking. “What about Just the Ten of Us?” (jk)

Guys, I am very sorry to be the bearer of bad news here but neither Hulu nor any other streaming service that I can find have Mr. Belvedere. This is, for me, pretty sad, and stirred up an odd memory:

At some point in the late 80s my family vacationed to Cape Cod for a week or two and it rained pretty much the ENTIRE. TIME. I mean, this happens. It is a bummer. But I must remind you that in the 80s it was a far more dramatic bummer because not only was there no such thing as the internet, cell phones or Kindles, in the 80s vacation homes (or, at least, the homes my parents vacationed in) DID NOT HAVE TVs. HOW DID WE LIVE.  And while I on the one hand appreciate that TV is not really the optimal activity one should partake in on a vacation, I on the other hand will not go to a dentist that doesn’t have a 42’ flatscreen airing weird oral hygeine programming in their waiting room, let alone a VRBO that doesn’t have that satellite box checked, no thank you.

I feel like my parents must have really *got* me, though, because why else would they have brought along their weird little handheld radio that picked up UHF/VHF audio? It could not possibly have been for any other reason than to allow my 8-year-old self, in Truro Massachusetts on what I assume was a stormy Friday night, to lay my head on the kitchen table, close my eyes, and FORLORNLY LISTEN TO THE AUDIO OF MR. BELVEDERE. A pitiful tableau and a poignant reminder that we can never have all of the things we want, and should appreciate all the things we have.

So FINE. My life’s experiences have clearly led me to this point of acceptance that there is no Mr. Belvedere to be had. When the 6-episode first season of Perfect Strangers ends I will appreciate what Hulu has given me and will watch the 6-episode first season of Dinosaurs. But THAT IS IT. NO MORE DINOSAURS AFTER THAT.  I don’t care if Hulu offers all five seasons, a 22-episode season of Dinosaurs is a line that I cannot cross.

And Hulu, if you read this, plz let my inner child have her Mr. Belvedere.

TGIF Week 1

As you are probably aware Hulu has an extensive catalog of wonderful shows from the 90s. I was settling into what was sure to be a Perfect Strangers marathon last week when it came to me: there is a MUCH better way to consume this content! I ask you, Dear Reader, why watch a million episodes in a row of a very terrible 90s sitcom when you can instead watch them as their makers originally intended? Yes, I think you know where I am going with this. Hulu has all of the shows from TGIF, ergo, I, now, in the year of our lord 2018, CAN RECREATE TGIF.

To what extent can I, and you, recreate TGIF? Well, according to Hulu, there are

  • 191 episodes of Full House
  • 214 episodes of Family Matters
  • 149 episodes of Perfect Strangers
  • 159 episodes of Step By Step
  • 158 episodes of Boy Meets World

The list goes on and on. So it looks like our Fridays are covered for the next 3-4 years or so. Will you join me? Every (most) Friday (or Saturday or Sunday). I will be here (maybe). Let’s do this. If you have Hulu and a free Friday night please join along and let me know what you thought of each episode in the comments.

First Up, Full House:

Hulu Description: “Danny Tanner, widowed father of three young and rambunctious girls recruits his two buddies, his brother-in-law Jesse, and his best friend, Joey, to move in and help him raise the brood.”

Season 1, Episode 1: Our Very First Show

Ah man it’s the Hulu Sophie’s choice at the beginning, do you want a long and torturous ad now or to have them interspersed throughout. My brain says “now” but my bladder says “I will MAKE you regret this,” help!

I opted for the upfront torture. This commercial has charts and graphs about Scott and Linda’s investment options that are somehow aligned to various mountain ranges? This is the worst commercial I have ever seen. This is like a Ross Perot speech. What even is this? Who even is the advertiser here? Ok sorry, this is not supposed to be about the commercials.

Opening credits: Full disclosure I have watched many a rerun of Full House on Nick at Nite over the last decade so and slogged my way through one too many (2) Fuller House episodes, so this has pretty much zero nostalgia value for me right now. Mainly wondering how much that house is worth? I’ll Zillow it later.

Well, we knew this coming in but this episode is really depressing. I’m struggling to remember how did the mom die? Jessica offered the possible suggestion she died while giving birth to Michelle (better known in this episode as “The Baby”) and I audibly gasped.

Enter Uncle Jesse. I’m calling it now that Uncle Jesse totally voted for Trump. He’s not telling people that he did, but he did. This is canon.

I like that DJ is creeped out by Joey, as am I. Why does Jesse get a full room and Joey gets an alcove? Because Jesse is family? Do you get a better room if you are “cooler” in this universe? Leather jacket points? Is Jesse paying rent? Chipping in busker money? This doesn’t make a ton of sense.

DJ’s room is timelessly cool.

First laugh out loud: Stephanie’s “just hanging around”

I wonder why the Olsen twins want nothing to do with this show??

Wait did Danny just leave these men with his children including an infant without making sure they know how to change a diaper?

I’m finding the constant references to Michelle Tanner as “The Baby” to be quite jarring despite the fact that calling a baby “The Baby” is a totally normal thing that normal humans do all the time.

Next Up: Family Matters

Hulu Description: What matters most? Family, of course! Over its nine hit seasons, Family Matters brings us a hilarious slice of middle-class Americana – along with one of TV’s wackiest characters, nerdy genius Steve Urkel. The extended Winslow family redefines the word “togetherness” ast heri home splits at the seams with chaos, confusion and laughter.

These descriptions are VERY melodramatic. Describing the Tanner girls as “rambunctious” is a stretch, and the Winslow household is anything but chaotic. They are both lovely households with wonderful children. Chill out, whoever wrote these things.

Season 1, Episode 1: “The Mama Who Came to Dinner (Pilot)”

First laugh out loud: Jess seeing Urkel’s face on the main logo

This is the second in a series of “move-in” episodes that are the hallmark of TGIF pilots, apparently. This show is the inverse of Full House. In Full House, the three kid family is widowed, grandma moves out, uncle moves in. In Family Matters, aunt is widowed, moves in with 3 kid family, grandma moves in. Got it? Got it.

PremiseFullHouse = (PremiseFamilyMatters)-1

Opening Credits: First impression this theme song is MUCH more sing-able than Full House

Other random thoughts:

  • “My digestion’s about to SHUT DOWN” is definitely my new line when I’m hungry
  • More widowing! So much widowing on TGIF.
  • Wait, who are these kids? Did they swap out Richie and Judy??
  • Love BOTH outro songs on this show. The music on this show is absolutely popping.
  • Also it was revealed and quickly brushed over in this episode that Eddie Winslow is a peeping tom which is not great? I would like to delve deeper into this but no time to rewind and review, there was no rewinding and reviewing in 1991!

I have very little negative to say about this episode, but keep in mind that this does not feature Sir Stephen Urkel, Esq. So let it be known that Family Matters sans Urkel is a terrific, enjoyable sitcom with very little to make fun of.


Perfect Strangers

Hulu Description: Emmy Award nominee Bronson Pinchot and Mark Linn-Baker star in this hilarious comedy series that showcases the fact that family is often stranger than, well, strangers! When Balki, who hails from the distant country of Mypos, arrives unexpectedly at his cousin Larry’s Chicago apartment, cultures clash…with perfect comedic timing.

Season 1, Episode 1: Knock Knock, Who’s There?

Opening scene: Cousin Larry can’t open a cracker bag. So relatable!

So, I  *thought* we all knew the premise of this show pretty well but I learned a new little nugget here – in the pilot episode Balki from the island of Mypos (yes, knew that) moves in with his cousin Larry (yes, knew that), after making an attempt to move in with Larry’s dad in Milwaukee and getting bounced out to Chicago, apparently? I did not know that! Not cool, Larry’s dad.

An immediate question that will haunt us all throughout all of this is: “How old are these two supposed to be?”

This show is ridiculous and as my wife put it, “problematic.”

Balki is supposed to be the dumb character but I relate to him most? For example Balki makes a supposedly dumb statement about pink lemonade coming from pink lemons that everyone laughs at but that moment I’m thinking “hey fun fact I have a PhD in chemistry and I have no clue how the heck pink lemonade is made or why?”

This episode has a lot of scenes in an antique shop, which is very confusing because Larry is a reporter? Ah! Larry mentions that he’s working at the antique shop until he can get his dream job as a photojournalist. Got it. So, I’m relying on very foggy memories here but I’m *pretty* sure the antique shop set is the same as the newsroom set and now I’m definitely wondering how they’re gonna reconcile this.

Balki is very excited about making minimum wage! Larry makes fun of him for being excited about minimum wage and not knowing what minimum wage is! “Echo, how much was minimum wage in 1990?” “THE CLOSEST ANSWER I KNOW IS FROM 1988, WHEN MASSACHUSETTS’S STATE MINIMUM WAGE WAS $3.65.” Thank you, Alexa, this puts the $10 a day the boss is docking from their pay into helpful perspective.

First laugh out loud: I heartily laughed out loud every single time Balki messed up an expression and every time my wife just glared at me.

On to the next one!

Step By Step

Hulu Description: When two mismatched single parents (Patrick Duffy—Dallas and Suzanne Somers—Three’s Company) fall in love, marry, and move in together with their six mismatched kids, they hope its only a matter of time until they al come to love their new life.

Editor’s Note: We decided to go with Step By Step for show #4, which is not really an accurate TGIF lineup, but they always put a crappy show in the 4th slot that never ran past one season, and I don’t remember any of them and none of them are on Hulu. Step By Step suffices in my foggy recollection of what TGIF was all about. And it was part of TGIF for way more seasons (6) than Full House was (1) so just deal with it! Also do not bring up Boy Meets World or Sabrina the Teenage Witch, I do not like Boy Meets World or Sabrina the Teenage Witch but will begrudgingly bring them and Hangin with Mr. Cooper and Sister Sister into the fold later, as TGIF did, when all the cute child stars get older and things start to boring.

Was stressing about finding Step By Step on the various platforms and worried for a moment that I’d have to pay Jeff Bezos for it, but I’m happy to report at the end of Perfect Strangers I got a timely pop up “YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THIS SHOW CALLED STEP BY STEP CHECK IT OUT” message from Hulu, so thanks Hulu, you really know me boo.

Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot

Opening Credits: I am now learning many things about Six Flags Magic Mountain from my wife, as that is where the intro for this show was apparently filmed? I don’t know, I’ve never been to Six Flags Magic Mountain. I lived in Massachusetts when this mess of a show aired. Ask me about Canobie Lake Park, I’ll tell you everything. She is asking me to confirm that the big roller coaster from the opening credits has been torn down. I DON’T KNOW! Now she’s appalled that I have never been to Six Flags even though I’ve not been able to ride a roller coaster since age 14. Also, she has not been able to ride roller coasters since age 14? I have never ridden a roller coaster with her, we actively avoid them together as a couple. I’m a bit confused and just trying to get through these opening credits, finally understanding how she feels when she is trying to quietly watch a show that I feel compelled to talk about (all shows).

So, you will want to sit down and grab a beverage for the premise of This Show, which is a Brady Bunch knock-off based on the idea that a divorced single father of three played by Patrick Duffy was apparently mildly stalking a divorced single mother of three played by the incomparable Suzanne Somers, to the extent that he somehow conned her travel agent into giving him all of the details about where and when she had booked a solo Jamaican vacation, so that he could *also* travel to Jamaica in pursuit of her, all the while leaving his children either (a)alone in squalor with rapidly depleting food supplies or (b) possibly away from the squalor with their as-yet-unidentified mother. I somehow question the existence of this mother, though,because she was nowhere to be seen later in the episode when her only daughter was hospitalized for an emergency appendectomy. BUT WAIT, I AM GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF.

So single father goes to Jamaica in pursuit of single mother where they have a whirlwind romance which in their own words is described as purely sexual, and decide to get married, and then, as you probably inferred from the Brady Bunch reference, return to the good old US of A and don’t for a moment rethink or doubt this decision at all, and rather opt to immediately merge their bewildered families together as they take the time to get to know and learn about one another as a couple.

At this point, can we revisit the series description? Like, in what way are the kids “mismatched?” Is it because they don’t have a perfect Brady-esque same age antigender pair? Why are we blaming all of this drama on these kids, and their supposed mis-matchedness? I mean really.

As you may have already inferred, this show is a HOT MESS. My wife is appalled we watched this as children. In fairness, I remember while watching it I was constantly thinking it was somewhat naughty. But I also seem to recall that 90s parents (not MY parents, but you know, friends parents and parents friends who were parents and parents on wholesome sitcoms I watched on a weekly basis) pulled this kind of crap all the time back then. They thought nothing of it! Do parents still do this kind of thing now? I want to think that they don’t, but I know deep down that I’m naïve and wrong!

Not gonna lie, with all of the insanity which is these two strangers getting married and moving all their kids in together after a lustful affair spurned by a questionable amount of stalking, and almost losing one of said children to appendicitis in a half-assed boy who cried wolf situation, this ep kinda drags.

Echo: Is Suzanne Somers still alive? SUZANNE SOMERS IS STILL ALIVE. SHE IS 71 YEARS OLD.

This was a nice moment because I recall a time when Alexa would phrase her answer to these questions differently, to be specific she would say “Suzanne Somers is not dead yet,” and that was really disturbing. Has someone talked to her about this? It’s a terrific development.

Ok, we’ve successfully survived all of the move-in, premise-setting episodes. My wife is already over it, but I’m excited for at least two more weeks of this! Tune in next week for more!