Rather than talk about my undying love of Kimmy Gibbler, we need to discuss the Fuller House theme song as sung by Carly Rae Jepsen, the Alanis Morissette of her generation (minus the whole “going down on Dave Coulier in a theater” thing).
She sings, “When you’re lost out there and you’re all alone, Aaliyah’s waiting to carry you home.” Isn’t that a crazy thing to say? Aaliyah died in a tragic plane crash, so she can’t really carry anyone anywhere. Unless the song means that if you’re lost out there, an angel who used to be a pop goddess will guide you toward what is rightfully yours while a stirring rendition of “Are You That Somebody?” is played by all the seraphim on their harps and all the cooing babies of heaven provide the background tracks.
So, that’s that. This episode of Fuller House is a great summation of the season, because it contains every one of the show’s obsessions.
Eating: As if it weren’t enough that Kimmy Gibbler has a Liz Lemon–esque attack of the night cheeses, she also demolishes an entire wedding cake with the help of D.J., Stephanie, and Ramona. Steve also threatens to eat three pizzas, because that is what Steve does.
D.J. being selfish: D.J. has three young children at home, but wants to go to her best friend’s bachelorette party. What is a girl to do? Oh, just saddle Uncle Jesse with babysitting duties without asking him. Yup, that’s the responsible thing to do!
Reliving the ’90s: I knew that we were going to get some cameos from the old cast in the season finale, so it wasn’t that surprising when Uncle Jesse and Becky showed up to renew their vows. Joey pops up, too, with his hand in a beaver once again. But the most ’90s moment of the whole thing is all the girls coming into the house singing the Spice Girls. What, hasn’t there been a pop song made in the past 20 years that they could slaughter?
Mildly homophobic jokes: When Joey comes out wearing his priest vestments, Uncle Jessie asks why he’s getting in touch with his feminine side. Really? Are we even reliving social mores of the ’90s?
Crazy parties in the backyard that no one attends: Is there not one single event venue in the San Francisco Bay where these people can throw a party? No, they all happen in the backyard and the only people who RSVP are people already living under that roof. It’s like they have no friends or acquaintances outside of a 10-meter radius.
Getting to first base: No one gets laid on Fuller House, not even slutty Stephanie. Even her walks of shame are chaste. In the finale, Jackson finally gets a kiss from Lola, Ramona’s friend, because that is as good as it’s ever going to get for him. In this universe, a kiss is all it takes to wind up with three children, so Lola better start using a mouth guard.
Making fun of Michelle: We get it, the Olsen twins didn’t want anything to do with this show, but do we have to make more jokes about them? On the other hand, if I had Mary-Kate and Ashley’s cell phone numbers I would call them up drunk at 2 a.m. and recite all their catchphrases to them, too.
Catchphrases: While we’re at it, this show is definitely obsessed with repeating its former laugh lines as often as possible. Not only did we have Michelle’s litany, but Uncle Jesse got in one last “Have mercy!” Luckily, Max did not bust out a “Holy Chalupas!” because that is the last thing I need.
In the end, Fuller House is most obsessed with being a classic sitcom. There is nothing more like a classic sitcom season finale than this. You know how it goes: Something comes into the environment — a job change, a big move, an argument — which threatens to upend the order of everything we hold dear. Someone is going to move away, break up, or stop talking forever.
That’s what happens with Kimmy Gibbler’s wedding to Fernando, which threatens to drag her and Ramona out of the house and away from this new family. The same thing is going on with D.J., who has to choose between Starving Steve and Hunky Vet Matt in the most dramatic Bachelorette rose ceremony yet. (I do give them props for the spot-on parody of the speeches on that show.) But none of that happens. Kimmy Gibbler decides to stay and just be engaged to Fernando, which is probably for the best (because he’s gay). In the most predictable Bachelorette twist ever, D.J. decides to choose herself and both of the guys decide to stick around and wait even longer for her to make up her mind.
This is how it always goes down. At the last minute, there is a reversal that reverts everything to the status quo so we can keep on having the show that we love and so no one ever really grows or changes. These characters are just like model trains, going around and around the same track, passing the same milestones, and making the same mistakes over and over while we’re lulled into submission by the familiarity of it all.
Meanwhile, that leaves Steve and Matt, who put himself through school as an underwear model, heading off to the bar for a whole bunch of beers and a few pizzas. After competing over a woman for so long, they find it odd that they’re enjoying each other’s company so much, their stools inching closer and closer as the night goes on and the fizzy buzz of Michelob Light takes over their heads. There is one slice of pizza left; they both reach for it at the same time. Steve’s hand lands on top of Matt’s and they look at each other and neither of them can fight it, the pull that draws them together, reliving that one moment that neither of them can get out of their heads: The kiss.
They do it again, this time voluntarily. Matt is excited at how strong Steve’s embrace is, something that he’s never felt before. Being matched with a body that is his equal. Steve isn’t quite sure how he feels about that scruff rasping against his, the two manly faces pulling at each other on a cellular level. It ends as suddenly as it started, and they find it hard to go back to just being two dudes sitting at a bar, drinking beer, whining about D.J., that same old train track of pursuing and being rejected — attract and repel. Why should they fight their feelings any longer? They can get off that track, or at least change cars. They can explore the scenery of this whole new world together.
Just as they’re about to go in for some more beer-and-pizza-flavored intimacy, they each feel a hand on their shoulder. “Well, it looks like tonight is going to be a lot of fun,” Fernando says to them as they all smile and Matt and Steve each slide an arm around him, each grabbing a cheek.