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McCovey Chronicles Reviews: Fuller House

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The big news over the weekend was that Hunter Pence appeared on the latest TV show revival. The bigger news is that this TV show might actually be a mass delusion.

Stephanie Tanner makes an impassioned speech in defense of nostalgia, even though it will cause the downfall of America.
Stephanie Tanner makes an impassioned speech in defense of nostalgia, even though it will cause the downfall of America.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Holy flurking schnit. What the crap is this? Who is this for? Netflix intends to spend $6 billion dollars on original programming in 2016. Those first dollars spent include a revival of {RECORD SCRATCH SO LOUD YOUR EARS BLEED} Full House?

Netflix could have funded a show about literally anything. A company with literally billions of dollars at its disposal to produce scripted shows of any kind and they choose to revisit the vanilla flavor of a generic to a brand that had been pulled off the market for being poisonous of sitcoms - my god, these are end times! When it comes to revivals like The X Files24Heroes, and Twin Peaks, the method behind such madness is that the original episodes are playing very well on a variety of other platforms (such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon) and ahead of those licensing agreements expiring, the license owners want to go into the next round of negotiations with leverage to raise the licensing fees.

When it comes to things like Arrested DevelopmentThe Killing, and Gilmore Girls - revivals driven specifically by Netflix - their returns are the result of passionate viewers who subscribe to Netflix. And Netflix has the technology to track all sorts of viewer interests and have become quite good at predicting what people will watch next from their catalogue and what they'd like to see added to it.

However, I refuse to believe that there was a clamoring for more Full House. It doesn't fit Netflix's M.O. They pay to the top of the market to attract the top of the market. Full House is not the top of the market in terms of sitcoms. UNLESS... this is all your fault. Maybe this really is the fault of nostalgia junkies and adults who don't know how to grow up. Maybe Fuller House is Netflix's way of playing to the top of the nostalgia market. First they bought all of Friends, now they want to take all of those Friends fans back just one more decade back in time to something else they used to watch all the time without ever knowing why.

Or maybe Fuller House is a Hunter Pence fever dream that has, as the result of his alien physiology, become viral and airborne. Like a Star Trek: Voyager plot, maybe we have all been infected by a mass delusion simply because Hunter Pence got sick while he was on the DL last season, infected by a sinister virus of unknown origin.

There is a preponderance of evidence to support The Hunter Pence Fuller House Fever Dream Theory.

Exhibit A. The Giants filmed a brilliant parody/homage to Full House last season.

Full Clubhouse was one of the highlights of the disappointing 2015 season. So, Full House was already swimming around Pence's brain for a good long while. It debuted shortly before he went on the DL for the remainder of the season with an oblique strain. It was his last good memory in a Giants uniform last season.

Exhibit B. Hunter Pence appears in Fuller House.

There is an episode titled "One Giant Leap" wherein Hunter Pence is the special guest star, playing himself. He's there because he's dating Stephanie Tanner (Jodi Sweeten) and decides to deliver tickets to that day's Giants-Dodgers game in person to her and her extended family. It makes sense that in order for the parasite to take hold, it would need to ingrain itself in Hunter Pence's psyche, using his id to sustain itself there.

Exhibit C. The jokes are all well-known Hunter Pence memes.

One of the "jokes" in the episode involves Kimmy Gibbler asking Hunter Pence if it's true that he eats pizza with a fork - a reference to the #HunterPenceSigns movement of yore. The exchange in question:

KIMMY GIBBLER

Is it true you eat pizza with a fork?

HUNTER PENCE

Don't trust anything you read online. Except for THAT.

And then he pulls a golden fork out from under his Giants jacket that's chained around his neck. He has a fork! Har har har.

He also says the line, "I put on my uniform two legs at a time." This line, like the fork exchange before, is delivered in the stilted, uncomfortable way that athletes deliver punchlines when they're on sitcoms or really any other scripted event. In other words, Hunter Pence never stops being himself, another clever trick by this virus to maintain the delusion that Full House has been revived. He's both a part of it and a witness to the proceedings.

And the virus really asserts itself thusly:

STEPHANIE

I just get lost in those big ol' crazy eyes.

HUNTER PENCE

I only have crazy eyes for you.

It's as though the TV has told him it loves him. He reciprocates in kind with something we've all heard about before: his crazy eyes.

Exhibit D. There is no romance in the Hunter Pence-Stephanie Tanner relationship.

The only reason why they seem to be together is that he's famous and he's helping her become famous by setting up a performance of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" for her (in this incarnation of the show, Stephanie is trying to become a famous singer for some reason). This is a subtle move by the parasite infecting Hunter Pence because it doesn't betray his relationship with his now-fiance Alexis Cozombolidis (to whom he had not yet proposed at the time of this dream) and it doesn't bring up any doubts about their relationship. In fact, it subconsciously confirms that he's with the right person already.

And their relationship is complicated by the fact that since they started dating, Hunter Pence has been in a horrific slump, to the point that diehard Giants fans on the Internet have started calling Stephanie Tanner "The Jinx"! Now, that famous HBO show wrapped up in March of 2015, but that was during Spring Training. Perhaps a binge watch mixed with the Full Clubhouse memories and the Stephanie/Jinx storyline came to life in Pence's fevered state. The Jinx is all about betrayal and pain, just like a prolonged baseball slump makes a player feel betrayed by his talents and pained by the terrible results.

And knowing he was on the DL for the rest of the season, knowing he wouldn't be back to live action for six-plus months might have made him feel like he was in the worst slump of his life.

To really drive it home, when Stephanie's rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" flops (the crowd recognizes her to be The Jinx after she dedicates the song to Hunter Pence) and she's booed, Stephanie asks them, "What do you want from me? You want me to break up with Hunter Pence?"

The crowd cheers.

"How rude!"

Ahh, the ol' catchphrase. A classic example of the brain replaying popular moments in only slightly new context to soothe an anxious brain of any fears that it's in new territory. Another trick by this sneaky virus to keep Hunter Pence - and the rest of us - engaged in the material as it drains the life from us.

Exhibit E. The episode's perspective on life could only have come from Hunter Pence's brain.

You expect weird POV from Hunter Pence, don't you? Well, "One Giant Leap" has got that going for it all over the place. DJ's youngest son requests that Hunter Pence hit him a foul ball. The kid's excited for a foul ball! This is the idiosyncratic Babe Ruth request - one that a young Hunter Pence might make.

Later, when this kid has a chance to catch the foul ball he desperately wanted, some old diehard loser fan snatches the ball away at the last second. When the kid claims that was going to be his to catch, the old diehard becomes an even bigger buffoon, exclaiming, "Better get used to it now, kid, because life's a series of broken dreams and bitter disappointments - except today! Because I got myself a foul ball! Hoody-hoo to you!"

Hoody-hoo to you.

If that isn't how you'd imagine Hunter Pence imagines bad fans, then I don't think you've been watching the same player as the rest of us all these years. He thinks they're clowns - absurd! Relics to be mocked.

Another storyline revolves around one of the other kids (I didn't track which parent was his) trying to hang out with the friend of Kimmy Gibbler's daughter. This friend is a huge Giants fan, but an even BIGGER fan of Tim Lincecum. In 2015. As a, like, 9-year old. When he takes her to the dugout store, she yearns for a game-used Tim Lincecum jersey (which costs $270 dollars). She remarks of Tim Lincecum - again, in 2015 - "He's my favorite pitcher of the modern era!"

This is Hunter Pence's id just going crazy. He loves his teammate's freaky style. Of course he's going to be a big fan of the unconventional approach and of course he's going to find a way to remember the good times with The Freak (even though he never really got to see the best years up close and personal) in a nostalgia-laden meta scene in his own fever dream.

And the real capper, the thing that makes this a crazy-strong exhibit, is that in most of the scenes where DJ and her friends and family attend the Giants' game, there's a gay couple in the background making out with each other. It's not distracting, it's just there, and they're clearly motivated by the presence of a "camera" (remember, this is Hunter Pence's fever dream). Later, when the story calls for the appearance of the stadium Kiss Cam and DJ Tanner is forced to reveal that she's been kissing two dudes (one of those being her ex-boyfriend from the original series who now, sadly, looks and sounds a lot like Dave Coulier in the original series), this same couple boos and gives a thumbs down to the whole idea of the Kiss Cam. It's a reflection of Hunter Pence's progressive superego, and that there's room for everyone. And that the Kiss Cam is dumb.

Exhibit F. Hunter Pence hits a home run off of Clayton Kershaw.

Hunter Pence is a career 5-for-56 against Clayton Kershaw and he's certainly never hit a home run off of him. In the bottom of the ninth with the Giants trailing 4-1, two outs, bases loaded, though, Pence manages to hit a home run to RIGHT FIELD OVER THE WALL and onto the concrete walkway down below (specifically - and predictably - into the glove of the kid who had originally requested a foul ball).

Only in his fevered dreams could Hunter Pence get a hit off of Clayton Kershaw. Only in critical condition would that hit be a home run. And only under the influence of a potent virus would that home run be over the right field wall at AT&T Park.

Not convinced? Check out the batting order shown as Hunter Pence comes to the plate:

Fuller House JumboTron

But who were the runners on base? Brandon Belt at third, Brandon Crawford at first, and at second base... ANDRES TORRES.

Hunter Pence got sick during his rehabilitation and had a fever dream about starring in an episode of a theoretical revival of Full House, lamely titled Fuller House.

The number of teams on the writing staff would ordinarily indicate a cost-saving measure by the show (getting two writers for the price of one), but are more like the result of the virus's duplicating properties. Thom Gammel & Max Pross, two Seinfeld veterans, make an appearance during the end credits as "consulting producers", something so absurd that those names being attached to Fuller House can only be the result of a fever dream.

Was this simply a continuity error the producers didn't care to fix or was this like when you try to read a book in a dream and all the words are gibberish?

The evidence presented proves my theory beyond a reasonable doubt: Fuller House is an infection spread by Hunter Pence's alien physiology. His initial infection was with the nostalgia virus, which now threatens to destroy us all.

And it's not better than his last fever dream.

Grade: Zero. As in Patient Zero.