Full House: The Complete First Season

Very few television shows have earned a detestable reputation for displaying sentimentality, teaching life lessons and practicing jockstrap-safe humour, but there was always something about Full House that made such family-oriented television too over the top and nauseating. Then again, even fewer shows have sprouted multi-billionaire sex-kitten icons from the age of zero. Created in 1987 by executive producer Jeff Franklin, the series' premise was a deliberate and cheap rip-off of the then blockbuster-hit movie Three Men and a Baby (something Franklin subtly admits in the commentary). Of course, there was no Magnum, Mayday Malone or even Officer Mahoney, for that matter, to give the show a lift, so ABC relied on a hunky soap star (John Stamos) and two no name comics (Bob Saget and Dave Coulier) to carry the show. Season one actually began with a pilot that didn't star string bean Saget as father Danny Tanner. Instead, because of Saget's contractual obligation to CBS, Franklin had to settle for an even lesser known actor, John Posey. This unaired pilot is included here and as overwhelming and abominable as Saget's Danny became throughout the series' eight seasons, Posey's cardboard, lifeless personality has you quietly begging for the more convincing and (gulp!) comfortable Saget. Nothing of interest is revealed in Franklin's commentary in the first episode, other than the truth behind Danny, with the exception of the show's laughable adoption of the hug as its signature trademark (they even made sure to include at least one hug per episode). It's difficult to note any standout episodes, as they're all so formulaic: one character fucks up, the others explain the fuck up, lightly wag a disappointing finger and finally the whole family joins together for a big hugging orgy. Most notable though is the show's desperate attempt to cash in on connections. Roping in babealicious teen idol Kirk Cameron (cast member Candace "D.J. Tanner" Cameron's real life bro) to play good old Cousin Steve was a winning ploy that reeked of opportunism, but also showed fans some "highly anticipated" interaction between the two real siblings. Full House really offers little more than the unappetising and lost pilot. So for those looking to catch a naughty little peak at the now legal Olsen Twins, be forewarned: in the first season they are still in diapers and not even a year old. Sickos. (Warner)