Friday, April 24, 2009

Oh, Dear God, this one is AWESOME

In December of 2007, I detailed two of my favorite Full House episodes (the one where DJ gets beer spilled all over her and the one where Stephanie drives the car into the house).

But today. TODAY.

I turned on my TV and caught the end of a fantastic episode. I was able to rewind it to experience the whole brilliant thing, sans commercials.

Gibbler decides to throw herself a surprise birthday party. (This is the exposition)

(Did I mention I used to teach the story narrative arc using an episode of Full House?)

Anyway. Gibbler's surprise party is a POOL PARTY. For all of us who do not look like the models in the magazines (unlike, apparently, Gibbler), these two words engendered fear in the heart of our middle school selves. At least, Full House suggests it does.

DJ decides she need to get as skinny as a model in the two weeks before the party. To do this, she tapes pictures of models to the refrigerator and enjoys ice on a stick while everyone else samples wedding cake. Of course, in the process of sampling cake, Michelle crawls across the table and starts stuffing her face with slices of cake, getting a ton of it on her face, hands, etc. I don't know about you, but I don't really find this charming. Especially if I was supposed to have some of that cake. I imagine that watching these types of scenes were one of the reasons Mary Kate later had a "relationship with food" of her own.

Anyway. Over the course of the half hour, DJ gets more and more focused on weight loss. She decides not to eat for three days, even at one point giving her lunch to both Gibbler and Comet the dog (who might be my favorite character).

Line of brilliance: DJ says to Comet, "You're lucky. Dogs don't have to wear bathing suits."

So DJ goes to the gym with the family. Of course, all the girls in the family minus DJ have workout leotards and leggins on. Poor DJ seems to have an oversized sweatshirt on and then bike shorts on underneath it. (Can I also add, the aerobics instructor has on a thong bikini bottom OVER leggings. This seemed to be a workout style in this time period. I can think of nothing more uncomfortable. And I really hope the girls wearing leggings-as-pants don't watch this show and get ideas.)

Another line of brilliance: Michelle to a very muscular man at the gym, "Hey mister, you are very lumpy." Zing!

DJ works herself into such a ferver that she passes out. This of course causes, rightfully, consternation and gnashing of teeth. Later that night, Stephanie spills the beans and DJ's secret is exposed!

During the inevitable heart to heart where DJ's eating issues and self-confidence issues are completely resolved, DJ does utter another Brilliant Line: "Show me one girl in here [these magazines] with this round face and these Charlie Brown cheeks!"

We know this is a Very Special Episode. And this is a huge concern for parents of girls (and guys, for that matter). So I guess I give them points for trying to tackle an important issue. But, for pete's sake, there has to be a better way to do it than this.

What do you think? Was there a Very Special Episode of a TV show that changed you or touched you in some way?

For me, I think I watched this episode as a kid and was shocked that someone would STOP EATING ON PURPOSE!


DailyNewsie said...

DJ doesn't want to have dinner and makes the excuse that she just brushed her teeth, and she was freaking out that no one in the family cared about dental hygiene. Danny says, "I happen to care very deeply about this family's teeth and gums!"

I could probably recite that episode from memory. :)

Sadako said...

I remember, too! I remember also that DJ said she had 2 weeks to look like Aunt Becky and then Becky talks about eating skinless chicken and other fun healthy foods. Yum.

I can't remember if this was my first exposure to eating disorders...or if it was that Secret Between Friends movie on Lifetime where the girl has anorexia and her friend has bulimia.

Anonymous said...

I love(d) Full House. As soon as you mentioned the ice on a stick I was right there with you.

As for shows that impacted me, well, the episode of Saved By The Bell where Jessie has the freak out and takes the pills to help her study more kind of stuck with me. We were joking about it the other day, actually, as we thought about preparing for finals. Someone said that outlining was enough to make her want to pull a "Jessie Spano" and we all knew what she meant.

Thomas said...

There was an episode of The West Wing where one of the characters helped a homeless veteran get a proper burial. Teared up several times during this episode.

Stacie said...

Teasinglydiverse -- Yes, "I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'!!!!" Brilliant episode.

Sadako -- I haven't seen that movie, but if it's on Lifetime, I'm sure, somehow, a man is at fault.

Rachel -- You got it! :)

Thomas -- That actually sounds like it IS a very special episode. I would tear up as well.

Thomas said...

Oh, there is also this episode of "Sports Night" where one of the characters helps a homeless person. Have watched that many times.

Children of the Nineties said...

That is also one of my favorite episodes. It just screams After-School Special in such a satisfyingly cheesy way.

The moment between DJ and Comet is pure brilliance.

Kim said...

The one where Stephanie drives the truck into the kitchen is fantastic. I don't know if you can top that one, really.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I remember that episode.

For me it was the ABC Afternoon Specials--oh how I eagerly anticipated those.

BoufMom9 said...

OMGosh! i remember that episode! LOL
You know what does it for me, the "beautiful music" that comes on during the Lesson Portion of the show. LOL

dtjunkie said...

Totally came here to mention Jessie's caffeine pill freak out. Glad I'm not the only one who remembers it. "I NEED THEM!"

Sadako said...

Kim--topped only by the time they did it again, with DJ and Steve and the concrete mixer.