Everywhere You Look: 90’s Sitcoms, Revisited

One of the benefits of working frequently between the hours of 4 PM and 2 AM is that you are available to watch some great afternoon TV.  Recently, I discovered that MTV2, in addition to actually existing, shows two hours of Saved by the Bell and Boy Meets World back-to-back from noon til 4.  As you’d imagine, this was a revelation and ever since I’ve been reliving some of my favorite childhood shows.  What follows is the third of several look-backs at some of those incredible shows and what made them so (not-so) great.

Let me say that while I never was a die-hard Full House guy, the show was fantastic. When you look at the show conceptually you have to admit it was pretty well done, especially for what it became. The dynamic between the sisters (how often do you see shows with no brothers of any kind?), the fact that the mom was killed off before the show even started (Single fathers? What is this, a Matthew Modine film? Dated reference in a dated blog post, hey now!), and the idea of three men (one nincompoop best friend, one studly, albeit too cool for school, brother-in-law, and a neat-freak morning TV show host—now how’s that for diversity?).  All of those ideas were and continue to be fairly original in the world of sitcom television (which isn’t such an original place to begin with).

There was also a really neat little theme song (ridiculously/unnecessarily long version, yes sir) and all of the cheesy cheese we come to expect and love from these type of shows. And, all of the cast members seemed to actually get along.

Maybe I did like it more than I remember… I digress.

I think the important thing to note (besides the Uncle Jessie-led efforts of a Full House movie, but more on that later) is that any serious discussion about Full House should truthfully start with the debate over which of the women on the show was the hottest.  Then, and now.

Before we pick a winner, let’s clarify that this show has to be the runaway favorite for most collective hotties in the “Where Are They Now?” photo shoot for any sitcom of its time (or, any other really). As a group, we’re talking ’27 Yankees here. Straight Murderer’s Row, son.

Individually? First, let’s go back to the time when the show was going on.  It’s easy to look back and say Lori Loughlin because she was the only actual woman on the show. But to that point I remind you of Lindsay Lohan in Parent Trap. If you were born between 1982 and 1988, you’re lying to yourself if you didn’t think she was cute back then. Sounds gross now, especially considering that she was 12 then and that she’s become more this than that. But remember, you too were around 12 back then.

So, after all that build up, I’m still going to vote for Lori Loughlin (Wake Up, San Francisco, indeed!).  Sorry, but I had to make that point about Lindsay Lohan. I was obsessed with her for years after that, unsure of exactly why. First step is admission.  Anyway, Loughlin wins because the twins were too young, Jodi Sweetin was too curly and that “How Rude” line drove me nuts, and Candace Cameron really didn’t get hot until the show ended. You could argue that Uncle Jessie was easily the 2nd best looking person on the show after his TV-wife.  In fact, I’d argue that.

The interesting debate comes in the present. Let’s go one at at time:

Olsen Twins: I was never a fan of these two. I didn’t find them cute back then, I don’t like babies bossing people around or having cute little retorts. As I have a penis, I was also never a fan of their movies or makeup lines or books. Throw in the fact that they’ve seemed to adopt more of that heroine chic look and that their younger sister is not only the most talented actress of the bunch but also the hottest (that could just be on a technicality as she’s the only Olsen daughter to have consumed a sandwich in the last 5 years, but I digress), and I think you can eliminate them right off the bat.

Side bar on the twins, if this quote from Wikipedia is true, then it says all you need to know about parents of Hollywood stars:

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen nearly left the show after the first season because their real-life mother was concerned about them missing out on having a “normal” childhood. After a significant raise in salary from the show’s producers, she agreed to let them continue.

Yes, because nothing says normal childhood like a pay raise at age 2.

Lori Loughlin: You know how I feel if you’ve already gotten this far down. Now, fast forward to present day and consider that she’s nearly 50 years old and still looks amazing. Who else gets to create and star in a show featuring a ton of bikini action… in her 40s?

Jodie Sweetin: Jodie gets tons of credit for being a good looking blonde with a, shall we say to be polite, curvy upper body. Those are generally well-regarded traits. But, I’m not a big of taking long trips so you could imagine how I feel about baggage.  Here we have a 30-year old gal with one divorce under her belt (couldn’t have seen that coming) and a drug-addict past (and, as if that wasn’t enough, she actually lied about being clean at first to get more money via speaking engagements to buy… you guessed it, drugs).  Close, but I’ll also pass here.

Candace Cameron Bure: OK, so she’s my winner. Let’s go through the reasons why. In no particular order, she was the 1st person (of many) to host the Nick Kids’ Choice Awards more than once, her brother is Kirk Cameron (we love him from Growing Pains, we hope to forget the homophobic nut job he’s become), she’s married to a hockey player (not a huge deal, but better than the cop Sweetin married), and she has 3 kids and still looks amazing.

Ultimately, she wins out for me because she went from being not-so-hot (read: chubby) to gorgeous, all while kicking ass, taking names and keeping her family and career going. Oh, and she is closer to my age than Loughlin, didn’t get into drugs, and doesn’t look like a heroin addict.  Cameron Bure wins, TKO.

Before we wrap it up here, just wanted to take a moment to mention two things. First, I love John Stamos/Uncle Jesse (literally, both) but the fact that he’s ever even had this thought makes me seriously question him. Would I watch? Sure, but that’s more of a morbid curiosity than anything else.  Second, I realize the show was cancelled, but did it have to end with that ridiculous “Michelle loses her memory, then gets it back, then Steve and DJ go to prom together” two-part finale? Who is advising the endings of these shows?

Thankfully, not this guy.

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