TV Review: Fuller House S1 E04, “The Not-So-Great Escape”

Published on February 29th, 2016 in: Comedy, Netflix Reviews, Reviews, TV, TV Reviews |

By Tyler Hodg

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Four episodes in, Fuller House finally shakes its past loose (as much as it can), and features no multi-series characters with the exception of the core three female leads,D.J., Stephanie, and Kimmy. This allows more scenes that develop not only the older characters, but brand-new ones, like the kids, as well.

In fact, most of “The Not-So-Great Escape” is dedicated to painting a better picture of what life is now like for the Fullers and Gibblers, both inside and outside of the house.

The main plot line follows Kimmy’s daughter Ramona as she struggles to find her footing at her new school, and Jackson, the eldest Fuller child, who agrees to devise a plan to help his sometimes-friend escape from class and run free. In typical sitcom form, things go totally wrong.

The two get caught purposely setting the fire alarm and  both receive a three-day suspension from school. When it comes time to punish their children, D.J. and Kimmy’s parenting skills divide them and highlights the completely different situations of the two single moms.

D.J. implements a no-nonsense approach filled with chores for Jackson, while Kimmy’s idea of discipline is taking her daughter for a spa day and to say hello to her old friends. The Tanner mom confronts her best friend, only to find out Kimmy feels a sense of guilt for all of the turmoil that Ramona is being put through.

This is a side of Kimmy that is rarely shown throughout the Full House saga. The loveable, happy-go-lucky Gibbler has depth, and it’s heartbreaking to see the mighty fall.

Meanwhile, Stephanie’s role feels tertiary and completely unnecessary. With “no boyfriend and no job,” she’s forced to watch Tommy all day, before getting a request from D.J.–who is heading to the school to pick up Jackson–to keep watch over her veterinarian clinic and other son Max.

Stephanie unknowingly lets a stray skunk in, which results in a tomato bath for her and the kids. Forget how she got two barrels of tomato juice in the clinic, the real question is: why do Stephanie, Tommy, and Max have to bathe in it naked? With this, things get super weird.

With that aspect aside, most of “The Not-So-Great Escape” is positive. A new side to old characters is shown and, although not entirely witty, it was still an entertaining watch. D.J. and Kimmy’s relationship with each other and their kids is the most satisfying element to Fuller House, and hopefully Stephanie’s role can become something of more substance.

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