Full House: The Complete Eighth Season (DVD)
Half the fun in following a long-running series comes from watching the cast grow and change. In Full House
's final season, Joey (Dave Coulier) grows out his hair, seventh-grader Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) starts wearing makeup, and preschoolers Alex and Nicky (Dylan and Blake Tuomy-Wilhoit) form complete sentences. Other (non-cosmetic) developments: Jesse (John Stamos) forms a new band--and dubs them Hot Daddy and the Monkey Puppets (yikes!)--while senior D.J. (Candace Cameron) prepares for college. As in years past, the best episodes incorporate dream sequences. In "Making out Is Hard to do," Jesse imagines hes the subject of a documentary--with Kimmy Gibler (Andrea Barber) as his wife. "My Left and Right Foot" mixes humor with horror when Michelle (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) imagines she's a circus clown because her feet are growing so fast. The third-grader also appears in the season's low point, "Claire and Present Danger," in which she dresses up as a trash-talking floozy (tiny tarts are rarely a good idea).
After eight years, Full House hadn't run out of steam, but family sitcoms were on the wane. Though the show was never the coolest or most cutting-edge, its life lessons still apply. Sometimes it could even be unexpectedly insightful, as when Danny (Bob Saget) remarks, "When kids seem the least lovable, that's when they need love the most." He jokes that he stole the line from his Ziggy calendar, but truer words were never spoken, and the Tanner household was never short on love. Fans who missed the final episode ("Michelle Rides Again") will also be pleased to find that the writers came upon a clever way to unite Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen onscreen. That's right: two Michelles--in her imagination, of course. --Kathleen C. Fennessy