In 2010, using the pen name "Billy Superstar," Portland cartoonist Ryan Alexander-Tanner* started the website Full House Reviewed (fullhousereviewed.com). Since then, he has reviewed every single episode of the terrible sitcom—nearly 200 in total—posting once a week with admirable diligence. His reviews are an irresistible combination of plot recap and unadulterated snark—and though he palpably dislikes the show, Full House Reviewed is now the most comprehensive Full House reference on the web, attracting more than 100,000 readers a month.
In 2012, after finishing Season 5, Alexander-Tanner wrote, "Reviewing every episode of Full House in chronological order is really starting to wear me down, you guys. I can't believe that there's three more seasons of this shit. I just can't stand it." But he made it: This week, he reviewed the last episode of the final season, a milestone he's celebrating with a reading and slideshow at the Waypost.
WHY FULL HOUSE?—"Everyone watched it, and nobody thinks it's good. I don't know if there's another case that extreme in culture, for people our age. It's like everyone had this delirium."
FAMILY MATTERS—"There are weird connections that come out—the accidental politics of the show. It's sort of about gay parents, but it's never intentionally or actually about gay parents, it's almost facetiously about gay parents. I was raised by a gay mom, and I found myself writing about how shitty it was that it was kind of treated like a joke.... I'm not even sure it's offensive, because I'm not sure that much thought went into it."
FANS—"[The website] developed this whole community, and everyone was really nice to each other. People started leaving comments like, 'I'm having a shitty week, this cheers me up.' It's this totally negative take on a crappy show, and the community that built around it was really warm and positive."
THE END—"[Ending the site] is like getting out of a bad relationship, where you're like, 'I'm so glad I don't have to deal with this anymore.' I used to spend all this time doing this thing that was bad for me, and now I don't know what to do with my time."
FULL HOUSE, REVIEWED—"It just sucks. The show doesn't change. It's not like there are new things to talk about. As the show became uniformly bland, it was difficult to write about. I thought that breaking down every episode like this would bring about an encyclopedic knowledge of the series, but it's all just blurred together in my brain like a big pile of shitty mush."
Join Ryan Alexander-Tanner for a live presentation of Full House Reviewed at the Waypost, 3120 N Williams, Friday, January 24, 8 pm, free.
* Full disclosure: Ryan Alexander-Tanner's art regularly appears in the Mercury.