Thursday, November 20, 2008

"You know what would drive me really, Really wild?" "Painting sad clowns on my toenails?" or Kissing Cousins (7.18)

This definitely ranks as one of my top episodes... in fact, one day I'll get around to listing my top ten FH episodes of all time. Or maybe make a poll out of it.

We begin with Danny practicing the moves he's learned from his new self-defense class. He urges Joey to come at him with a banana gun so that he can practice his disarm/disable maneuver. He ends up smashing the banana on Joey. Just then Uncle Jesse arrives back home from Greece. He flew over there for Papouli's funeral and remarks that it was a wonderful celebration of his life. To top things off, Jesse has returned with a surprise for the family.

It's Cousin Stavros! AKA John Stamos at his most hilarious.

It's time to play hug the cousin. Stephanie and DJ remark that Stavros and Jesse look so much alike that they are definitely related. Stavros scoffs citing that his nose is that "of Greek God. That is nose of cock-a-poo." Stavros says he's got to go check into a seedy motel, and Danny insists that Stavros stay with them at Casa de Tanner, ole! Becky comes in with the kids to greet the returning Jesse, and the boys mistakenly run to Stavros and call him Daddy. Stavros comments that the boys get their looks from their beautiful mother. Becky is at first flattered, then wary, "Why thank you.... who are you?" Jesse explains that when he was 11 and spent the summer in Greece, his cousin Stavros took him in and taught him everything he knows about the birds and the bees, etc. Stavros pipes in that it was actually goats and weasels, and Becky's response? "Goats and weasels? That explains a lot." Dirty! And ew. That sounds like some freaky boudoir behavior.

The next afternoon, Stephanie and Ug come in from taking Stavros sight-seeing around San Fran. Danny asks where they go, expecting to hear them say something like the Golden Gate bridge, and Steph reveals Stavros brought them to the racetrack. Ug whines that she learned to not bet all her tooth fairy money on a horse named Long Shot. File this one under: No shit, Ug. Stavros says he parked Danny's car in front of the little rocket ship out front where dogs go pee pee. After a few seconds of processing, Danny realizes he means his car's in front of a hydrant and rushes out to try to avoid a ticket. For some reason, Joey's sitting down to play cards with himself at the kitchen table and invited Stavros to play a game of Gin. Stavros feigns ignorance about the rules of the game, but ends up hustling Joey out of $20 and his watch, calling it a "friendly game."

The doorbell rings and DJ, Kimmy and Steve answer. It's the pizza delivery guy and Stavros comes in and says he ordered lunch for everyone. They thank him until he grabs the pizza without paying. Claiming he has yet to convert his drachma into US currency, Stavros asks DJ to "be gemstone" and pick up the $20 pizza tab. She does, but is cleaned out and asks if anyone else can get the tip. Kimmy steps in and tells the pizza boy that if you tickler her with a feather duster, she purrs like Catwoman. Eep. The pizza boy is similarly skeeved out. Anywhore, who the hell charges $20 for a small pizza?! What a rip-off! Stavros opens the box and unleashes the unholy smell of lamb guts and double feta cheese on the unsuspecting teens. Where the hell do you find a place that will put lamb guts on a pizza? That sort of accounts for the steep price though... Steve and Kimmy rush out the door citing that Steve's about to hurl.

Just then, Becky comes in from the gym sporting some brightly colored spandex and catches the eye of Stavros. He mutters, "That is HOT," but not quietly enough as Becky totally hears him. She asks him what he said, and Stavros claims he was talking about the cheese on the pizza and says it's so hot, "It's dang near bubbling." Becky uncomfortably cautions him to not burn his mouth and moves into the kitchen with Stavros in hot pursuit. She's got a carrot in hand and he says "Beautiful." Becky awesomely plays this off with "It's just a carrot. He comments on her pleasant aroma and she says that she rubbed some Ben Gay on before leaving the gym. "This Ben, lucky guy." Stavros also adds that she smells "popping fresh" and I mean it, Stamos KILLS it in this episode. Stavros goes in for a sniff and Becky threatens him back off of her with the carrot. Stavros blames it on his nose and lightly raps his shnozz saying, "Bad nose. Bad nose." Becky is understandably creeped out.

The family meets in the living room where they all discuss their experiences with Stavros and determine that he's a conman. Jesse comes in and can't believe what they're saying. He was thinking of asking Stavros to stay longer because he's like a brother to him. Stavros overhears their griping and comes in and apologizes, and returns the money and items he took. He tells them that he has to return to Greece because there was a mudslide that wiped out his entire village. Stavros laments, "If only there was a way to raise funds..." Stephanie suggests a fundraiser. DJ goes one further and says her school did a Dance-a-thon and it made a shit ton of money.

It's Dance-a-thon time. Somehow Steph got roped into dancing with Ug, and by dancing with, I mean, Ug's standing on top of Stephanie's feet, weighing her down. Stavros walks in and promptly removes his plaid sportscoat and awesomely drops it on Michelle's head, temporarily sparing the viewing audience from looking at her ugly mug. And for that I say, Thank you, Stavros. The girls find a one way ticket to Orlando in Stavros' coat pocket and go to DJ, who brings it to Becky. They figure out that the mudslide was another one of his scams, and that by this time tomorrow "Stavros will be cruising the Magic Kingdom trying to get Tinkerbell's number." Rather than tell Jesse, Becky says they have to catch Stavros in the act and prove he's a slimeball.

Becky lures Stavros into some back dressing room and plants a microphone in a bouquet of flowers for her one woman sting operation and puts the seduction on him. Again, another brilliant exchange ensues:
Becky: Let me be Frank...
Stavros: Can I still be Stavros?
B: Last night, I couldn't take my eyes off of you while you ate Spaghettios with your fingers.
S: Spoons are for wimps!

Becky says she wants to run away with Stavros to the kind of place you go to after you win the Superbowl. Stavros is elated and declares it must be Fate "with a big 'F' and a little 'ate'" as he's already booked a ticket to Orlando! He goes in for the smooch and Becky says that she has the feeling they're about to be interrupted any minute. Just then there's a knock at the door, "Man, did I call that?" Unfortunately for Becky it's not Jesse in a jealous rage, but instead UgSnot who snottily tells her she forgot to turn the microphone on. Becky distracts Stavros by telling him his loafers are untied and clicks the microphone on. She convinces Stavros to tell her his plan one more time to really get her blood pumping. Stavros replies, "Ohhh so that's what floats your tuna boat." Is that some sort of Greek sexual slang? He repeats his dastardly scheme, how he fabricated the whole mudslide story and plans to sneak off to Florida, then asks why Becky keeps shoving the bouquet in his face. She replies, "So everyone can hear you!" He discovers he's been set up "A meecrophone!" and tries to make a break for it. He grabs the money, but is stopped by Danny doing some martial arts (nice revisit to the opening segment) and is finally subdued by Danny and Joey.

Jesse tells them to let Stavros go, but not before chastising him with the mother of all guilt trips. He says that Stavros was like a brother to him and asks how he could betray him like this. Stavros' excuse is that he was jealous of Jesse and his wonderful life in America. He sends him packing and apologizes to the crowd, offering to return their money. DJ pipes up that they could donate the funds to another worth cause, like the Children's Hospital. The crowd cheers their approval and the dancing resumes. Man, I wish they could have had Stavros make one more appearance before the show's run ended. Wasted opportunity there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

"I'm too dumb to be scared." or Love on the Rocks (7.19)

Danny is cleaning up a storm in his living room, dusting and pledging and goes so far as to dust his can of Pledge. His obsessive compulsiveness is interrupted by the arrival of Kimmy and her new beau, "Keanu" as she greets him with the most awesome epithet yet, "T-Bag." Heh, surprised that one slipped by the censors. Keanu reveals that his real name is John, but Kimmy prefers to call him Keanu. Danny says his name's not really T-Bag, but Kimmy's just an idiot. DJ and Steve are scrutinizing the movie they just saw, some fictional installment of the Ernest movies, and Kimmy and Keanu are shocked that they actually watched the movie as they just made out the entire time. They call Steve and DJ boring and leave them to sit and be boring. Steve reveals to DJ that his film class professor chose him to go on a class trip to LA because of his critical eye. DJ is bummed because his trip falls over her school break and she was hoping they could spend the time together.

The next morning, the entire family is dragging ass in the kitchen, wondering why they're all so tired. Joey comes in chipper and spouting off "Top o' the mornin' to ya,!" like some deranged leprechaun. Then Becky comes in and says that on her drive to the health club, the radio said it was only 5am. Joey cackles and yells, "April Fool's!" He turned back everyone's clocks and watches in the house. It's not even April, but Joey can never fool them on the actual day, so he decided to strike prematurely. There are a lot of instances on this show where I would kill Joey, but for tampering with my sleep I would literally MURDER his ass.

Later, Kimmy and Keanu try to urge DJ to come to a party with them. But she declines, citing that she promised she'd watch the twins that night and besides, Steve was due to call her from LA that night. DJ's playing with Nicky and Alex and their farm toys and is making some killer goat sounds. Steve calls and she says "Helloooo?" with a bleating goat inflection. Ha. Not really though. Steve's calling from a posh restaurant in Beverly Hills, gushing about the celebrities he's met (like Tom Cruise's dental hygienist (ah, the days where Tom Cruise wasn't a loony parody of himself)), when he's tapped on the shoulder by the uber rude Suzanne Somers. Her bitchy ass asks to use the pay phone because her flip phone died. And rather than be polite and let him use the phone for the all of 5-10 minutes he paid for, her twatty self feels the need to interrupt. She's actually not a bitch in how she asks, but I think the fact that she interrupts to ask at all is bitchy in itself, if that makes any sense. Plus, I hate Suzanne Somers. Steve freaks out, star struck and promptly hangs up on DJ. Miffed that she waited around all night for that pathetic conversation, DJ vows to go out and have fun... starting tomorrow.

The next day, DJ goes hiking up Eagle Mountain with Kimmy & Keanu. DJ is getting freaked out by the heights and asks Kimmy if she's also scared. Kimmy awesomely replies "I'm too dumb to be scared." As she admires Keanu's tush while he climbs to the next level, she nearly falls off the side of the mountain until DJ pulls her back. Kimmy is unfazed by her near brush with death and simply remarks "What a way to go." DJ is too scared and doesn't want to move from the ledge and Kimmy tells her to sack up and face her fears. She does and feels a great sense of empowerment from climbing the mountain.

Later in the week, DJ comes in from being out with Steph and Michelle and sees an irritated Steve sitting at the kitchen table. Apparently he'd been there for 3 hours, waiting. DJ forgot that this was the day he returned home from LA, and Steve gets all assy about how obviously she didn't miss him all that much if his return slipped her mind. And while Steve's being a bit bratty, especially given his phone manners (did he even try to call another time while in LA?), I can't imagine forgetting when a significant other returns from vacation. DJ just says that she's kept pretty busy this week and got her dates crossed. She also mentions the Suzanne Somers incident and Steve accuses her of being jealous of him and Suzanne. That's the last straw for DJ who tells Steve to go home. He says fine, but that he's not going because she said to. He's going because his mother told him not to be late for dinner "and I don't intend to."

The family gathers in the living room to pull their April Fool's joke on Joey. They recorded an earlier lottery drawing and purchased a ticket with those exact numbers and switched that ticket with the one Joey bought. They think they've convinced him he's won and then accidentally toss the ticket in the fireplace. When they reveal the April Fool's joke, he says there was no tape in the VCR, because he took it out to clean it earlier, and then the entire family freaks out and tries to retrieve the ticket from the fire. Joey then calls "April Fool's" on their asses, and this is way too much April Foolery for not even fucking April. Turns out UgSnot labelled the tape in question "Joke on Joey." This is why you don't let fugly little trolls handle even the most menial task, as they always will find a way to fuck things up. Thankfully, the family had a backup plan. As Joey tells them they'll never be able to prank him, he walks through the kitchen door and has a bucket of water dropped on his head. Awesome. I love Joey getting his comeuppance.

In the middle of the night, Danny goes down into the kitchen to find DJ sitting there, unable to sleep. She tells him about her fight with Steve and how she feels like they're no longer on the same wavelength. Danny says that sometimes people start to grow apart and she asks if that's how he felt when him and Vicky broke up. He says it was, and that they need to talk about it. DJ thanks him for the Dad talk and says that they're a lot more enjoyable when she's not in trouble.

The next day, DJ bring Steve to Eagle Mountain to see if he feels the same empowering clarity she felt. All Steve feels like is eating a Chili Dog. DJ sadly tells Steve that it feels like something is missing from their relationship, like someone let all of the air out of it. She says that the heat and connection between them is disappearing, and Steve says that they still have fun together. She says that what he's describing is a friendship, and there's no more romance. She says they'll always be best friends, which pleases Steve as she's the best friend he's ever had.

They break up and DJ asks what do they do now? Steve says they head down the mountain to face the world. DJ hangs back for a minute, and tells Steve she'll be okay, and then looks out into the wide yonder and repeats to herself "I'll be okay." Cheeeeeeeese! Bye Steve! I'll miss your human garbage disposal ass!

Monday, November 17, 2008

"Well, usually that's my idea of a Happy Meal..." or The Perfect Couple (7.13)

No, you're eyes aren't playing tricks on you. It is I, actually updating my blog. I don't have a good reason for neglecting it for so long, but I'm updating now, so yay!

We open with another one of Vicky's weekend visits is coming to an end and as she's leaving, her and Danny keep kissing. Ew. Not sexy. Never fear though, she'll be back next weekend to visit again.

Danny glumly goes into the kitchen and tells Joey that the distance and living visit to visit with Vicky is killing him and that he wants to settle down and begin their life together. Joey, always the sympathetic ear, jokes that he's not ready for that level of commitment, to which I reply, then maybe you should finally move out of his house after 7 fucking years, Gladstone. Danny vows to sit Vicky down during her visit next weekend and set a date for the wedding since they've now been engaged for 6 months.

Joey begins blowing smoke up Danny's ass and complimenting him and builds Danny and Vicky up as the perfect couple and segues into asking him to participate on his new gig, the trial run episode of a game show he's hosting, coincidentally entitled "The Perfect Couple." DJ and Steve are also going to take part as the dating couple and Jesse and Rebecca are going to be the married couple.

Jesse is less than thrilled about being on the show, but Becky thinks it will be fun. He claims he is an enigma and she reveals that she essentially knows everything about him. A few of the Jesse Katsopolis fun facts she reveals: for Christmas he wants the pepper grinder to complete his Elvis kitchen set, his favorite midnight snack is chicken (as he often returns to bed "smelling like the Colonel"), When he gets angry he goes to tune up his Harley. Jesse is miffed that he's so predictable and stomps off in a huff.

Steve comes in to see DJ, excited to be on "The Perfect Couple" which will henceforth be shortened to TPC because I'm lazy. He reveals he's planning on wearing his lucky ring from his Uncle Artie, who also taught him how to juggle... all facts DJ was unaware of up until this moment. DJ panics that she doesn't know anything about Steve and questions what the relationship is based on. Kimmy replies, "You're cute. He has a car. What more is there to know?" Bwah! Score one for the Gibbler. Steve doesn't get why DJ's freaking out, because they love each other, and isn't that enough to build a relationship off of? Remember this when the end of the episode rolls around.

Steph is baby-sitting Nicky and Alex and asserting her authoritay, Eric Cartman style. Stephanie asks them to put on their pajamas and they refuse and start running amok all over the house. Obvs we have UgSnot lurking around to offer her bratty commentary of the situation. Poor Stephanie, can you imagine being left on your own with those 3 demon spawn?

Meanwhile on the set of TPC, the couples nervously prepare for the show. Becky tells Jesse to drink some water because she knows how his throat gets dry when he's nervous. Jesse tries to insist that's untrue, but as he does, his voice catches in his extremely dry throat. For those playing along at home the score reads, Becky: 982354892102, Jesse: 0. Every couple is nervous, that is, except for Danny and Vicky, who's running late. The show's producer has his assistant Estelle step in for Vicky. Estelle is a short stout curmudgeonly old woman sporting a page boy haircut. Cue Joey sporting a ridiculous wig, capped teeth, affected voice and the pseudonym, Joe Stone.

Danny is miffed that he has to participate in the game show with a complete stranger, wondering what Estelle could possibly know about him. She immediately and smartly snaps back, "I know you're a whiner." Bwah! Score one for the stout troll! DJ is equally unenthusiastic, saying theres no point in playing the game because her and Steve are practically strangers. They bicker back and forth and Joey tries to smooth things over, until the producer pulls him aside and tells him the goal of the show is to embarass the couples and instigate arguments.

Joey tries to fan the flames, but DJ has simmered down and exasperatedly asks for Joey to just ask the first question. He obliges and asks Steve: "Which fish does DJ think you would say she kisses like?" Steve incorrectly guesses flounder. Oh snap! DJ's actual answer is that she hopes he'd say angel fish. Steve plays this off awesomely saying, "Oh! Tropical fish are allowed?" Joe Stone pipes in, "Looks like this relationship is floundering!"

Moving on to the old married couple, Joey asks Jesse what Rebecca would say is his obsession. He says that it WAS his hair, but now he has a brand new obsession: proving to Becky that he is unpredictable. She nails it, practically word for word, much to the chagrin of Jesse.

Joe Stone moves onto our "engaged" couple prompting Danny to yelp, "We're not engaged!" He asks what song would Danny most like to hear at their wedding? Estelle rationalizes that because Danny is so high strung and sensitive, like her third husband Bernie, that it would be "Love Will Keep Us Together" which was Bernie's favorite song. Turns out that's Danny and Vicki's song. Again, please note this for later in the episode. Man, re-watching, the anvils, they are a-dropping.

Steph chases the twins all around the house. I beat my head against the wall as Ug steps in to save the day. Turns out that Steph had the colors of the boys' pajamas switched. You know, I liked this story line a lot better when it was Steph bailing out an incompetent Kimmy who was baby-sitting the twins. Trying to recycle an old plot and replacing Stephanie with Ug is a major DOWNGRADE. Because the writers hate us so much, they have Steph beg the wise Michelle for help because she's just so wonderful. The power hungry little Trollsen is energized by her sudden surge of authority and becomes all militant, barking orders at the boys. Oh, how I would have loved them to stage a revolt against the tyrannical UgSnot.

Back at TPC, Estelle is in the process of correctly identifying Danny's recurring nightmare as him being naked on a Stairmaster(TM). Yeesh, sounds like my nightmare... Bob Saget naked anywhere! I keed I keed, he's a sexy piece.

Becky says that she's tired of upsetting Jesse by proving his predictability, so she opts to pass rather than risk once again matching Jesse's answer. Jesse pleads with her to say something, and when they roll the video, we see Jesse saying "Let's see her try and match this: I pass!" Exasperated, Jesse says he gives up, and there's no way to surprise her. Becky says he should look at it as a positive thing that they know each other so well, as it's an integral part of being a loving married couple. They tell Joey to back off.

DJ shmoopily hopes to one day know as much about Steve as Becky and Jesse know about each other. Steve says that every day with her is like Christmas because each new thing he learns about her is like unwrapping a present. Joe Stone comments on the cheesiness of this statement, and DJ says that it's so sweet. They kiss and say eff TPC and go off to "learn" things about each other, wink wink.

Estelle and Danny end up being the Perfect Couple and win a trip to Cabo San Lucas! Sweet! Joey gets the job as the producer cites if he can be this vicious with his own family, imagine the havoc Joey can wreak on strangers! Joey says thanks but no thanks, and turns in his capped teeth and doofy wig.

Vicky rushes in, and way to miss the party there, Vic. She was late because she was in a meeting with the head of the network. Which network? Who knows? Better yet, who cares? She's been offered a job to anchor the network news... in New York. Danny is obviously saddened by the news. Vicky tries to put a positive spin on things, saying that they'll pretty much be the same as how they have been, only with her stationed in New York rather than Chicago. Danny laments that he doesn't want things to stay the same, he wants things to get better and closer. He tells her that he wanted to sit down and set a date for the wedding. Vicky tries to stay upbeat, and says they just need to wait a little longer. Danny sadly replies that he can't do that, because it hurts too much. Aww is anyone else's heart breaking? Just a little bit? Vicky unrealistically suggests that Danny moves to NY. He tells her that he can't uproot his entire family and that everyone he cares about is on the west coast... that is, everyone but Vicky. Vicky says she can't give up her dream and Danny says he can't ask her to give up her dream, so he'll give up his. They break up and admit that love isn't enough. Thud. There's that anvil that's been falling all episode long.

Damn, teary-eyed Bob Saget is really tugging at my heartstrings.

Back at the house, Danny is sitting alone by the fire as Christmas carols play. Shit, it's fucking Christmastime and he just broke off his engagement? Poor Danny! The girls come in and try to cheer Danny up. Well, DJ and Stephanie do. All Ug does is offer him a tuna melt. DJ and Steph tell him that they'll miss Vicky too, but also say they've been getting along fine without a mother thus far and even though it hurts, they still have each other. The brokenhearted father embraces his three daughters over the swelling music of "The First Noel" in the background.

There, now I've gotten everyone in the holiday spirit. I'll try to be much better with updates in the future. Promise!