Oh, hey there! Did you enjoy a summer weekend outside, with other people? Me, I was inside, enjoying air conditioning and the epic Lifetime movie: The Unauthorized Full House Story. I regret nothing. To the tape!
(I should tell you upfront that I totally grew up watching this show and loved it with the passion that only a tween can. (Though they didn’t have the word “tween” back then.) I 100 percent wanted to be DJ.)
You said it, Michelle!
We open on Season One: 1987. They’re filming an episode where Joey is sleepwalking and calling Michelle a bad puppy. Sounds about right. The casting for this movie is hilarious, making it feel like some sort of bizarro world Full House. But weirdly, the voices are right. In particular the actor playing Bob Saget got his tone just right. He must watch a lot of How I Met Your Mother. Everyone laughs at the punch line.
A visual, in case you, you know, went outside this weekend.
We fade back to 1985 with the helpful chryon: Two Years Earlier. It’s August, no one wants to think. Thanks, Lifetime! Bob is doing standup. Dave Coulier is there, as they’re buddies. Dave congratulates Bob on being the dirtiest standup around. Bob’s wife Sherry, who’s also there, agrees. This is a lot of characters to throw at us at once. Must be why no Alanis.
Dave and Bob are celebrating because Dave got a job on SNL. They talk about how all the stand-up comics they know are getting sitcoms, like my beloved Roseanne and Tim Allen. Bob is bitter.
John Stamos is working at his dad’s diner, as he’s left his job as Blackie on my beloved General Hospital (this movie is right in my wheel house, if you can’t tell). He wants to be an actor. The wig “John Stamos” is wearing is epic. You guys. I can’t.
You look better than Uncle Jessie, honey.
Bob tells his wife a morning show wants him — well, a watered-down version of him. He does that thing where he’s talking over her even though she’s clearly trying to tell him she’s pregnant. I mean, we’ve all seen a Lifetime movie before. He makes a joke about if he’s the father or not and his wife hugs him instead of punching him. I’m resisting googling Bob to see if these two crazy kids make it. I’m going to let Lifetime take me on this ride.
Dave’s agent calls, he lost the SNL job. Bob takes the morning show job at CBS. They both look miserable.
Over at ABC, Jeff Franklin is pitching a sitcom about three stand-ups living together. The network honcho shoots down the idea, saying they want more family-oriented fare. Like any good writer, he spins, “Three men — and three babies.” Network honcho is nodding her head, pleased.
Bob’s not doing well at the morning show, and his baby arrived early! He makes some inappropriate boob jokes and looks worried.
They’re shooting the Full House pilot! They’re casting for DJ and Candace Cameron reads, but the agent says she’s not great. Lies! Poor Candace overhears. Her mom is super nice and cheers her up. She gives her a pep talk and Candace goes back in and wows them. Dave gets the part, too. He’s excited. Jeff meets John for drinks as he’s fighting off fans. John tells Jeff that he thinks his character should be named Jessie, after Elvis’s twin, who died at birth. Jeff is sold.
Casting for Michelle, Jeff walks through the waiting room and stops two adorable blonde twins. They’re not auditioning, they’re just waiting for a friend. Except their names are — Ashley and MaryKate. Boom.
Bob gets fired from the morning show. His wife tells him to read the Full House script, or he has to stay home and take care of their daughter while she goes back to lawyering. In the meantime, they cast someone else, and shoot the pilot with him. Is all of this true? Because I am here for this. (According to Twitter, not so much. I choose to believe!)
The series gets picked up, but Jeff Franklin wants Bob. They make the switch and it all gets started! I’m excited, but they get panned and garner terrible ratings. Bob’s wife and sister convince him to bond with Joey and John, to help the show get better. Bob’s obvious idea: Vegas, baby!
I am not, Michelle.
They bond over shots and craps. Bob exposits he’s been with his wife since he was a teen. If they break up I’m going to be so mad.
Back on set, John’s complaining about the twins. (This is true, he admitted he tried to get them fired! Love you forever, John!) Bob’s being inappropriate in front of the kids, which stage mamas Cameron and Olsen do not like. Bob wants to bolt, the goody-two-shoes antics are getting to him, but the guys convince him to stay. Mama Olsen also wants out, but Dave sweet talks her as well.
At the end of season one, they’re waiting to see if they got picked up, despite dismal ratings. As we all know, they got a second season!
The show starts up again and starts to hit its groove. We get our first look at Lori Loughlin! Hi Lori! Apparently she and John dated in the past. They banter about who dumped who. You’re both beautiful people! Lori’s married now. (Timing issues happen to even gorgeous actors, folks.)
The show picks up speed. The twins are killing it and Mama Cameron tells Mama Olsen it’s time to renegotiate. The fan mail starts coming in. Screaming fan montage! Bob buys a big house, Sherry’s pregnant with twins.
Season three! Kimmi gets cast as a season regular, Candace is so excited as Jodi looks on jealously. Dave wants to ask out a model, and John’s cheering him on. Bob comes in with some news — the Olsen twins are the most popular cast members on the show. LOL.
The Olsens are trying to renegotiate. Mama wants to make sure they can go to college. LOL. Bob, meanwhile, gets America’s Funniest Home Videos. He’s not happy about it. But we all know how this turns out. Hilariously. His wife is really nice about it. Team Sherry!
There’s a singalong. I don’t know why, but it was delightful. Dave is super happy, Bob tells him it can never last.
It’s 1990 and TGIF. You guys, how awesome was TGIF? Dave and Jane the model are getting engaged. John is snarky because he’s lonesome, you see.
Candace is nervous about her first kiss ever, which will be on the show. She asks Lori and John to show her. “Just professional.” Dave’s quickie fiancé Jane is pregnant. John is dating Paula Abdul, which is a thing that I did not know happened. It is glorious. Less glorious? Bob’s sister has a rare, fatal disease.
John is sad because he wants a movie role, to be taken seriously as an actor. The twins are blowing up with their production company, videos, TV movies, T-shirts. You remember. You were there. Bob is joking around, in his usual dirty way, and he gets in trouble with Jeff.
Candace and John have a heart to heart about growing up famous. Kirk’s told her to get closer to God. Candace just wants to try normal school.
Meanwhile, Dave’s sister died — and he’s getting divorced. He says, “Wouldn’t it be great if real life were like Full House?” My birthday is soon, someone please embroider that for me? TIA.
It’s 1993! They aged up the actress playing Candace, and she does a spot-on impression. Good job! Candace starts regular school and the girls are not nice. Kimmy and Stephanie try to cheer her up. They’re on a mall tour. It is obviously amazing.
The guys do whip its (yes, really) as they wait to shoot their scene. Jeff finds them, and is not pleased. Bob’s sister is sick, so he’s never home, between work and trying to help his sibling. The long-suffering Sherry sighs.
Mary-Kate and Ashley continue to be the break outs. The other kids are jealous. Mama Olsen is nervous, especially now that their company’s exploded and the girls are millionaires at age 7.
Bob’s sister dies. He stays behind to joke with the cast and Sherry goes back to the house by herself. Bob, no!
John serenades the cast some more, and I still don’t know why and yet I am still here for this. My only wish is that I was watching the real John Stamos. Jeff’s sold a new show, Hanging with Mr. Cooper, and so he’s leaving. This never bodes well, remember the last season of Gilmore Girls? Let us never speak of it again.
Bob ditches Sherry for work. Bob!
John meets Rebecca Romijn. They did not do a good job casting her. I’m here to report the facts, folks. But Lori’s getting divorced. Noooooo!
Dave sees a Seinfeld poster being put up. And … after eight seasons, they pull the plug. The cast is super bummed. Also they note that they still had 11 million viewers, which would be an insanely popular show these days. But this was the 90s!
At the final taping in 1995, DJ comes out in her prom dress. Sniff!
Two years later …
Bob’s dirty stand-up act is turning people off because they don’t want to hear Danny Tanner be gross. John’s on Broadway, and Rebecca’s by his side. And, oh man. Bob and Sherri get divorced. Sonofa!
Candace and Lori go to see Dave in a celebrity hockey game, where Candace meets her husband. This better be true. At Candace’s wedding, John tells the guys he’s proposing to Rebecca. Mr. Olsen is there with his new wife — his former assistant. The cast toasts. And the movie closes on a voice over from Dave (weird choice) about how they’re still all close.
Admit it. You loved this show.
Did you watch? Did you love every minute of it like me, or hate it like a lot of Twitter? Let me know! And if you’d like to procrastinate more at work, my other LIfetime movie recaps are here.