Who, exactly, was clamoring for a biopic about the origins and backstory of Full House, the ABC sitcom that garnered huge ratings, spawned catchphrases, and introduced the world to the Olsen twins? It’s entirely possible that the movie was greenlit in reaction to the news that Fuller House, a continuation of the series focusing on eldest daughter D.J. Tanner (Candace Camerone Bur), will premiere on Netflix in 2016. Or it’s possible that, after the success of The Unauthorized Saved By the Bell Story, Lifetime sensed an opportunity to keep the nostalgia-fueled train going. But whatever the reason, here we are: Bring on the Uncle Jesse dirt.
Unlike Saved By the Bell, however, no cast members have written juicy tell-alls, and 20 years after the show went off the air, the actors seem to genuinely like each other. Any particularly sensational stories — such as Jodie “Stephanie” Sweetin’s drug and alcohol addiction — happened after the series aired, and mercifully aren’t addressed in Lifetime’s version of the story. (Ditto the whole Dave Coulier-Alanis Morissette thing, in case you’re curious.)
So what did make it in? Surprisingly, plenty of actually true moments — along with some seriously cornball lines and plenty of fart jokes. Here are 10 of best worst — and the most “WTF did I just watch?!?” — moments.
1. Lifetime apparently wasn’t allowed to use anything that remotely resembled the real Full House in the film.
That’s the only explanation for why the the “house” looks nothing like the sitcom’s actual set, or why none of the show’s best-known catchphrases — “You got it, dude!” or “Have mercy!” — are uttered. You won’t hear the theme song, written by veteran TV tune scribe Jesse Frederick, either, but that’s less surprising.
2. Dave Coulier almost appeared on Saturday Night Live.
This is actually true: Coulier was cast on SNL, but was let go before he could even start because his comedy stylings were too close to those of Dana Carvey. (Think about it: That could’ve been Ranger Joe yelling “Live From New York!” instead of the Church Lady.)
3. Continuity was not a big concern to the movie’s producers.
Everything from John Stamos’ hair to the clothes cast members wore in certain episodes is off, to a degree that’s genuinely distracting. Worse, the actors playing the Olsen twins, who were babies when the show premiered, first appear as toddlers. They stay that age for the first half of the movie, even as their production company, Dualstar, is founded; in real life, that happened when they were six. Oh, and One World Trade Center appears on the New York City skyline in a shot that’s meant to be from 1997. Good job, producers.
4. Bob Saget wasn’t the first choice for Danny Tanner.
Originally, series creator Jeff Franklin had cast John Posey, an actor whose sole pre-Full House credit was in the movie Manhunter, in the role of Danny Tanner; they even shot the pilot with him as the doting dad. In the movie, Saget is one of the producers’ top choices for the role, but he’s dismissive of the show’s family-friendly content. Eventually he decides to take the role and Posey gets cut from the series. (Fun fact: A version of the opening credits with Posey as Tanner does exist. Thanks, Internet!)