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Lifetime's new Full House movie is as terrible as you think

Fake cast, real smiles! Just kidding, the smiles are also fake.
Fake cast, real smiles! Just kidding, the smiles are also fake.
Tanya Pai heads the standards team at Vox, focusing on copy editing, fact-checking, inclusive language and sourcing, and newsroom standards and ethics issues. She’s also a founder of Language, Please, a free resource for journalists and storytellers focused on thoughtful language use.

Lifetime's new The Unauthorized Full House Story is an unofficial look back at the '80s family sitcom that ran for eight seasons and soon returns via Netflix to torture us anew. As befits an "unauthorized" movie, Lifetime's film, which premiered Saturday, featured bad doppelgängers of all the main characters, clunky expository dialogue, and a very tenuous relationship with facts.

Given that the original Full House cast openly mocked the project, and Lifetime executives admitted they made the movie "based on what was available to the public," don't expect this to be an especially faithful exploration of The Way Things Were (Mashable rounds up some of the glaring factual errors). But for those who are ready to journey into the bizarro universe of Lifetime, here, according to its film, are 14 "facts" about Full House.

1) Series creator Jeff Franklin was some kind of omnipotent creative genius

When the network didn't like his original concept, he created the concept for Full House off the top of his head in a pitch meeting! He cast the Olsen twins on sight just because they were cute! He doesn’t get a single gray hair in eight years! If you're ever planning to play the lottery, call this guy first.

2) But Uncle Jesse was John Stamos’s idea

Stamos, then best known for being on General Hospital and having great eyebrows, pitched changing an "Uncle Adam" character to "Uncle Jesse" to Franklin. Over a martini-filled lunch, Stamos outlined a vague concept involving Elvis's twin brother and Stamos's desire to play guitar on camera. Franklin, a first-time showrunner facing the biggest break of his career, agreed immediately.

3) Bob Saget heartlessly stole the role of Danny from another actor

He thought Full House was beneath him — but after being fired from a morning show gig, he decided he needed the paycheck and got the already-cast Danny (John Posey) canned despite Posey having already shot the pilot. (You can watch the original Full House opening credits, featuring Posey, here.)

4) Dave Coulier (Joey) almost got his big break on Saturday Night Live

Cruelly he was dropped before the show began — but then he got cast on Full House. Even more cruelly, Lifetime denies us any mention of his relationship with Alanis Morissette, let alone a badly cast fake version of Canada’s angriest ‘90s singer/songwriter.

5) Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky dated IRL

John Stamos and Lori Loughlin dated as "kids," but by the time she got cast on the show she was married — and by the time she split up from her husband, John had met Rebecca Romijn. Someday a Lifetime movie will be made about their star-crossed love.

6) John Stamos and Lori Loughlin had to show Candace Cameron (DJ) how to kiss

She had her first kiss on camera and went to them for advice. Convenient!

7) The central trio were the original Judd Apatow-style man children

Lifetime Full House

The picture of morality and responsibility.


Bob Saget liked to joke about the size of his wife’s post-pregnancy breasts. Dave Coulier’s "superpower" was farting on command, which he did, often. John Stamos was a commitment-phobe whose favorite trick was impressing women of all ages with his shitty cover band. And all three apparently liked to tease one another about being gay and do whippets backstage before performing scenes in front of a live audience while covered in whipped cream. (Yes, this was a real scene that was really in the movie.)

8) But at heart, Saget was a tortured philosopher who just wanted to be appreciated for his art

Being America’s Favorite TV Dad was a kind of hell for Saget, forcing him away from his true calling: performing dirty standup in seedy clubs to half-interested audiences. He moped around set, saying things like, "It can't last. Everybody's too happy." Even more tragically, when finally freed from the shackles of his extremely lucrative TV gig he found that playing the cuddly, lovable Danny Tanner for so long had ruined audiences for his foul-mouthed shtick.

9) And John Stamos simply wanted to be loved

Women throwing themselves at him? Ugh, how tiring. Between dating Denise Richards and Paula Abdul, among many, many others, John pined for Lori Laughlin and yearned for a good woman to take his hand and lead him out of the cold, dark void of bachelordom. Then he met Rebecca Romijn and instantly became ready to settle down. (They divorced after six years, love is a lie.)

10) Jodi Sweetin (Stephanie) was apparently a maladjusted introvert with no friends or life outside the show

She says at various points in the movie, "I like it when it’s just us," "I hate it when we’re off," and "They can’t just take this away from us!" Apparently the show failed to prove an on-set child psychologist along with the tutors.

11) Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen are the real villains of the story

Come play with us, America. (Lifetime)

"Discovered" by chance (their mom brought them along with a friend whose twins were actually auditioning for Full House), the cherubic blonde twins who portrayed Michelle Tanner got audiences in their thrall, enlisted a cutthroat agent to get their salaries doubled, worked the talk show circuit at the expense of their co-stars, and parlayed it all into being millionaires by age 7. And to add insult to injury, they won’t even be in the Full House Netflix reboot (too busy hawking $55,000 pill-covered backpacks, no doubt.)

12) Bob Saget played Danny for so long that he actually became him

After Full House gets canceled, Saget's up-till-now saintly and long-suffering wife divorces him. As he signs the papers, Bob says morosely, "I’ve spent so long playing a single dad with three daughters … and now I’ve become one." (You know, in case the audience doesn’t get the parallel.) Which brings me to the next point...

13) Full House ruins relationships

Over the course of Lifetime's two-hour movie, the following people break up or get divorced: Dave Coulier, Bob Saget, Lori Loughlin, John Stamos and Paula Abdul, and the Olsen twins' parents. Do not watch this show with someone you love.

14) Mullets and acid-washed jeans were always horrible

Even in the fake '80s. Seriously.

The Unauthorized Full House Story airs next on Lifetime August 23 at 8 pm.