You know how to play Fuck Marry Kill, don’t you? Of course you do. This week, editors Jennifer Wright and Ashley Cardiff are playing with the “uncles” of 90s sitcom Full House: Danny Tanner, Jesse Katsopolis and Joey Gladstone. Read their arguments and then vote below, or share yours in the comments.
Jennifer: Okay, so, I know I quite often make you debate things you are only vaguely familiar with, but I have not watched Full House in years. Can you refresh my memory?
Ashley: Okay! Well, I also needed a brief refresher because here’s what I remember from Full House: Bob Saget has some kids, who he raises with his two fuck-up brothers, Jesse, a struggling musician, and Joey, a struggling stand-up comedian/puppeteer (the wife/mother is never seen, a popular conceit with 90s sitcoms). Anyway, since Bob Saget has done so well for himself, he offers his fancy San Francisco row house to these two individuals. BUT NO.
Jennifer: NO? That’s what I remember too. Some kind of… weasel puppet.
Ashley: No, it was a woodchuck. Also, because I was very young and used to watched Full House every day in bitter anger–it came on before Simpsons, forcing me to watch the tail end of hundreds of episodes–I thought that it was actually called Fool House, indicating theirs was a wacky family indeed! This was very ‘problem play’ of me.
Jennifer: The rain, it raineth every day!
Ashley: That’s all I remembered.
Jennifer: And Joey was naked at a baseball game when he met his girlfriend. The naked thing is the one fact that has stuck in my head.
Ashley: Okay, I don’t remember that, but I will now explain the plot of Full House. Danny Tanner has three children with his beautiful wife Pam. She is tragically killed by a drunk driver. Because Danny is, I guess, emotionally unhinged by this, he asks his brother-in-law Jesse (John Stamos) and, indeed, wacky best pal Joey to… help raise his children, inexplicably.
Jennifer: NO! So, he was just waiting for her to die to get this Golden Girls fantasy underway?
Jennifer: Wow. That was bold of him. And then he threw one in the basement and one in the attic. I probably wouldn’t have gone along with that if I were one of them. It would seem too symbolic for me. And if I was in the attic there’s NO WAY I could stop making Jane Eyre jokes.
Ashley: Which is why I think he was emotionally unhinged. If my wife and the mother of my children had been tragically killed in a car accident, I’d probably shut myself away and smoke cigarettes in bed, staring at the ceiling and listening to the rain for six months. Not “Mayhaps, in lieu of a mother, my three young daughters can instead look up to an aspiring adult contemporary artist with an earring and a man with who fists a woodchuck professionally.”
Jennifer: That doesn’t make any sense!
Ashley: None. It makes none.
Jennifer: The Courtship of Eddie’s Father taught me that you’ve got to find a new WIFE. Not two bozos to live in the unused, unheated parts of your house!
Ashley: Oh, I’m sure Joey rigged up the basement with rotating beds and nipple clamps and whatnot. But! To the point: clearly you marry Danny because he’s a loving husband and great father, you fuck Jesse because you can touch his hair, and you kill Joey. You kill Joey and you enjoy it.
Jennifer: I actually forgot this was a fuck marry kill. Opt out. No one here is even a little bit sane. No one would make these choices.
Ashley: Remember! Jesse’s! Hair!
Jennifer: But they thought that was a good idea. They were convinced it was a good idea to live in a friend’s basement and raise his children. Like, if you said that to me, I would say “no.” Full stop.
Ashley: Really? I thought you were my friend.
Jennifer: Yes. No follow up or anything. I’d help you through the funeral and bake for you, but when you started throwing insane requests at me like “let’s pilot a car to the moon” or “come live in my attic!” I would gently but firmly say “no.”
Ashley: What about a granny unit? You wouldn’t have to walk through the kitchen or share a bathroom.
Jennifer: Would it have one of those little chairs that go around the wall?
Ashley: If it would aid you in the non sequitur task of raising my three daughters, then yes.
Jennifer: But… I’m an individual. I’m not an Egyptian slave. Why does my life have to be completely uprooted by your tragedy?
Ashley: Because my children are perfect symbols of different stages of psycho-sexual development! And they make quips!
Jennifer: HOW WOULD THAT BE A GOOD THING FOR ME? THAT SOUNDS AWFUL.
Ashley: Also, there’s a neighbor girl with whom we all have a perverse, convoluted relationship.
Jennifer: No. No, I do not want to live in your house of fools and foolery. I want to live in an apartment with heating.
Ashley: So, what you’re saying is you didn’t love my wife. Or me.
Jennifer: That’s what I’m saying. Not as a basement troll king. Seriously, he had no guest bedrooms?
Ashley: Maybe he did but his brother-in-law and best friend were compassionate enough to just buy another fucking blanket.
Jennifer: Ashley, I believe these men were forced into a nightmare position for years. I cannot fuck them. I can marry no one in this situation. Seriously. Marrying anyone here feels like I will actually be in one of Shakespeare’s more terrifying comedies.
Ashley: You’re looking at this all wrong. It’s actually an easy one: killing Joey would be so satisfying it would border on erotic. Erotic enough to make sex with the other two great, no matter what. You just have to kill Joey first.
Jennifer: Oh, God, this is Shakespeare. Okay. We slay Joey because he is the most foolish of them all and puppetry sucks. Or is Joey secretly the wise man in this prison of fools?
Ashley: Right! Is he Feste? Or Malvolio?
Jennifer: Better a witty fool than a foolish wit, eh? I’m sorry, I think Malvolio is an idiot because he can’t do up his damn stockings. So he’s Malvolio.
Ashley: Yeah, Feste had too much agency. Look, kill Joey. The issue is Danny and Jesse. Jesse turned out to be a good husband and father despite his one earring, but Danny just seems like a fundamentally decent guy.
Ashley: Because his wife died and he thought this would all be a good idea?
Jennifer: That’s not… as opposed to what? What was his alternative? Hire child care? You know what was a good show? The Nanny. Fuck Niles, Marry Maxwell Shefield. Actually, maybe the other way around. Either one seems like a good option. I would totally fuck or marry Maxwell Sheffield. Why didn’t we debate that?
Ashley: Look, we can’t just fuck and marry minor sitcom characters all nimbly pimbly. You have to make a closing argument. Kill Joey, fuck Jesse, marry Danny.
Jennifer: Burn that house to the ground, in the tradition of every overly sexual being trapped in an attic. Danny will wander blind. Joey will run out like a small child to tell the tale. Like the end of Camelot.
Ashley: As long as Joey’s dead, I think we’re both happy.
Jennifer: He’ll probably die from exposure.
Ashley: Very well.