Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"Mmm it's wet and cold and... that's about it." or Shape Up (4.8)

Blah blah, Ug woke up Uncle Jesse so he could give her her favorite cereal Fiber Bears, which appears to be a bowlful of chocolate Teddy Grahams (Side note: Mmmmmm I LOVE chocolate Teddy Grahams with a nice tall glass of icy cold milk, but I digress...). Turns out that Ug only wanted the cereal to retrieve the prize awaiting inside. I can't help but feel that this plot device has been recycled about 6 different times throughout the series. Haw Haw we get it, sometimes kids just want products for the prizes and gimmicks and not for the taste. Got it. She tells Jesse to make her two eggs over easy, and he's all "I'll over easy you!" and blah blah incest-cakes.

DJ's working on a collage birthday card for Kimmy and munching on some Entemens cookies in her room and Stephanie comes in toting her brand new recorder. Man, I used to love rocking out on the recorder in elementary school. She asks DJ is she has a request to which Deej replies, "Yes. Don't play." Stephanie launches into "On Top of Old Smokey" but one of the notes is coming out sharp and off-key. More on that later. Kimmy comes in with an invitation to her surprise birthday party that she's throwing for herself at the Excelsior Hotel where her brother Garth is a bellboy. DJ is miffed that Kimmy's having a pool party in the middle of November because she doesn't feel like she has a banging bikini bod a la Kimmy. Um, no comment.

DJ tapes up photographs models on the refrigerator as motivation and Becky comes in and inquires in a concerned tone if she's trying to lose weight. She just tells her that she needs to eat sensibly and cut out the junk food. Cue Jesse coming in with a boxful of cake samples for the family to try to weigh in their opinions for which kind of chocolate cake they should get for the wedding. DJ declines the offer of cake in favor of a delicious frozen water pop. Mm ice cube on a stick.

Ug can't resist the temptation to chow down on some cake, and piggishly lunges across the table and begins grubbing up all the cake. Nobody stops her of course, because Michelle can do whatever the fuck she wants, and she destroys all of the samples in a matter of seconds, and when asked which cake she preferred, simply replies "Chocolate." Great, except there were about a dozen different chocolate varieties. It's supposed to be cute and funny, but it just pisses me off because what a waste. Stupid shit.

It's weigh-in time, DJ's least favorite time of day. Stephanie offers her some weigh-in music, more "On Top of Old Smokey" with the one sharp note. DJ is bummed to learn that over the course of two days she's only lost half a pound. Jesse comes in and tells Stephanie to have mercy on his ears with her off-key recorder stylings. He offers to show her how to properly play it, but the note comes up sharp for him. Just then, Ug comes in to bitch about the "music", and Jesse blows into the recorder full force and shoots out a piece of chewed gum onto Ug's forehead! Bwah! That scene alone makes this episode amazing. Jesse tells DJ that she doesn't need to diet, and she should just hit up the gym if she wants to lose weight.

The next day, DJ and Kimmy come in and Kimmy shows off her new bathing suit for the party. It's a loud printed bikini and Danny comments that the suit matches the wearer's personality. He gives DJ a sandwich because she missed lunch, and once he's out of the room, she tries to pawn it off on Kimmy. We see Stephanie lurking on the stairway as Kimmy complains that the sandwich is ham again. She says that she's been eating her lunch for the past week and every day it's ham. She asks if Danny hit a pig with his car or something. She leaves and DJ feeds the sandwich to Comet and then Stephanie comes down to bust her. She says that she hasn't been eating breakfast or lunch for 3 days and voices her concern. DJ makes Stephanie pinkie swear promise to not tell anyone that she hasn't been eating and tells her that she'll start eating again after the pool party.

The next day the entire Tanner clan hits up the gym. Danny tells DJ to take it easy and start on level one. Becky and Stephanie go to their aerobics class, and the guys take Michelle to the kiddie gym. As soon as she's left alone we see DJ change the difficult level from 1 to 75 on a machine with skill levels of 1-100.

The guys see the crew of hot ladies attending aerobics class and decide to give it a shot. They can't hack it and make for a pretty pathetic display. And that was just the warm-up. Stephanie goes to grab DJ to show her the hilarious display, and we see her working it on the Stairmaster dripping with sweat. She gets off the machine and immediately stumbles and falls to the floor. Stephanie panics and yells for Danny who comes running. The guys give her water and take her home.

That night, it's dinner time and DJ comes down refreshed from a nap. She claims she just brushed her teeth and doesn't want to taste Joey's cooking and then tries to duck out by saying she's eating dinner at the Gibbler's. As the family continues to prod and ask questions, DJ's demeanor becomes more irritable. Stephanie finally tires of the lies and steps up to break the pinkie swear and tells Danny not to believe her. She tells him that DJ is cranky and got dizzy at the gym because she hasn't eaten for 3 days. The family immediately jumps in concern and tries to tell DJ that what she's doing is unhealthy and is the stepping stone to a more serious eating disorder and inflicting serious damage to herself.

She runs uptairs with Danny in tow. She cries that she doesn't look like a model, and complains about her round face and "Charlie Brown cheeks." I actually snorted and laughed out loud at that assessment because that's one of the most bizarre comparisons I've ever heard. Charlie Brown cheeks, wha? Danny tells her that she's beautiful and that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. She says she doesn't want to wear a bathing suit in front of her friends, and he asks her if she judges her friends based on how they look in a bathing suit. He tells her that her friends love her for who she is, and not how she looks, and makes her promise to eat healthy and exercise in a safe and responsible manner. She agrees, they hug, and if only eating disorders were that simple to conquer.


kiki williams said...

I totally remember this one...and DJ's body image issues are never brought up again.

michelle said...

I love how you never see the whole family at the gym except in this episode. Can we say plot device??

Ashley said...

Blah, I really need to watch my DVDs again so that I can keep up with this blog. I'm still on season three!! :(

Miss Bliss said...

"because she doesn't feel like she has a banging bikini bod a la Kimmy"

This makes me laugh :p I can't picture Kimmy in a bikini...only bright spandex.

"She agrees, they hug, and if only eating disorders were that simple to conquer"


snappleaddict said...

Yessssssss! You know the eating disorder episode had to be my favorite one. I love how DJ's all ano for a few days and then magically cured and it's never spoken of again. The Tanners should work at an eating disorder clinic.

Did you ever see the Full House E True Hollywood Story? No one was allowed to tell Candace Cameron she was getting a little chub from puberty because of the situation on Growing Pains with Tracey Gold. The producers had to figure out a tactful way to deal with it. If only everyone in Hollywood could follow their lead.

athenasmom said...

I totally saw that E Hollywood True Story. Does anyone have the dates lined up between when this episode of Full House aired and Tracey Gold had to leave Growing Pains to go into treatment?

What was really galling about the Tracey Gold situation was that she had had anorexia a couple of years before being cast on Growing Pains. So she recovers from Anorexia, gets cast on Growing Pains at a normal weight for her age and build. And then the writers lay on the fat jokes-- because Carol is a nerd, so she must embody all superficial characteristics that make women unattractive, including glasses, opinions, and being fat.

Stupid TV.

MilkMan said...

Wow, I'm pretty impressed with the feedback this recap generated, esp re: FH's take on eating disorders vs. the competing Growing Pains and their starlet's battle with anorexia. So, inspired by athenasmom, i decided to take Google to task and do a little investigating on the timeline at work here.

Apparently Gold gained a little weight in 1988, and the following season of Growing Pains was filled with fat jokes poking fun at her character, and between 1988-1991 was when her anorexia was at it's peak and in 1990 she sought therapy for it. This episode of FH originally aired November 9, 1990, so I think it's pretty safe to say that it may have been filmed in a cautionary response to Tracy Gold's struggle.

I haven't seen the E! True Hollywood Story in ages, but kudos to the producers for taking the steps to protect Candace Cameron from any hurtful comments about her weight because to echo the sentiments of snappleaddict, I doubt that any shows today would show that same display of tact and that's sad.

Gosh, this comment was like a blog entry unto itself, I feel like it should end with NBC shooting star with the slogan "The more you know." You all know what I'm talkin' about!

Fear Street said...

I remember this episode so was always one of my faves!

* Thanks for adding me to the blogroll :) *

BurtonFanatic said...

I remember this one so clearly!! And to be honest, sometimes I look in the mirror and say "Look at those Charlie Brown cheeks!" just because of this episode.
Also, I love chocolate Teddy Grahams as well. They're like oreos without the nasty white stuff.

13readingat30 said...

"Charlie Brown cheeks" always struck me funny, too. And I was really happy to see Michelle get struck with that wad of gum!!!