Full House: Our Very First Christmas Show (1988)
Here's the thing - this is bad. Really bad, even. But, if I'm being totally honest, it was slightly less awful than I expected. That doesn't mean I liked it. In fact, I hated it. But I think I understand why the show caught on.
This was, in short, quite a bit better than the episode of the rebooted "Fuller House" we saw earlier.
That's not thanks to the writing. Although this one at least had some structure (Fuller House couldn't even manage that), the jokes were flat, and the emotional beats were hollow. It wasn't the characters, either - there was nothing about them that was in the least bit rounded.
But... and it kills me to even give them this... I think this was well cast. DJ and Stephanie, in particular, were able to hit their marks (again, more than I can say for their counterparts in the new series), and the two actresses were adorable. The adult actors also managed to come off as somewhat charming, despite that the dialogue and situations were just abysmal.
I want to be clear: none of this redeemed the episode. It was, as I keep saying, awful. But I think I understand why this one was remembered when so many other shows, both better and equally bad, faded into obscurity.
So then. Let's talk premise and plot.
The episode concerns the extended Tanner family flying to Colorado for Christmas. For a few brief seconds, the show implied an interesting hook: Danny was filming the preparations (and getting ready to film the trip) as part of his job hosting a morning talk show. If they'd used that as the episode's POV, they actually might have pulled off something worthwhile. So of course, it's just an idiotic recurring joke, rather than anything consistent.
At any rate, Stephanie doesn't want to go on the trip, because she's worried Santa won't be able to find her. The adults convince her Claus can pull it off, and that's act one in a nutshell.
The next section takes place on the plane. They're joined, somewhat randomly, by Danny's co-host, Rebecca, who's supposed to transfer to a different destination. This is mainly relevant because Uncle Jesse has a crush on her.
Oh yeah, there's a B-plot about Jesse's parents pushing him to make a move on Rebecca, culminating with him accosting her under a mistletoe and kissing her. This is obnoxiously successful, and the implication is that parents know best when they push their kids towards producing grandkids.
Sorry - getting ahead of myself. That all takes place in the show's final location. A blizzard forces their plane to make an unscheduled stop, stranding them in an airport for Christmas. Making matters more melodramatic, the airline seems to have lost their luggage, which means the kids won't get squat.
Uncle Joey slaps on a crappy Santa suit and tries to fix things, but the baby sees through his disguise and busts him. This depresses Stephanie further, which we're supposed to care about for some reason.
Jesse turns things around by reminding them that Jesus was born in an airport.
For the record, that's not what he said. It is, however, a better joke than literally any that appeared in this episode (Fuller House writers: feel free to use it in an upcoming episode).
They decorate a bunch of crap they find at the airport and throw Christmas anyway. Then the real Santa, wearing an outfit just as crappy as Joey's, shows up and magics their bag of presents onto the conveyor belt because the producers have that little respect for their audience's intelligence.
So, thanks to family and magic, Christmas was saved for this group of upper-class white people.
Needless to say, you don't ever need to sit through this drivel. Now, if you'll excuse me, my compulsive honesty compelled me to compliment one aspect of this piece of garbage, and I think I need to throw up.