Friday, November 23, 2007

Sassy Black Sidekicks

I came of age in the mid-90s. I have poetically described my love for this era previously, so I'll spare you, but I would like to talk about one specific aspect of this wonderful time: Full House.

I grew up watching the premium cable Disney Channel (Ocean Girl!) and Full House. That was basically it, I think. I have an encyclopedic knowledge of Full House trivia. I have often reenacted, in its entirety, the episode where Michelle buys a donkey named Shorty that will only stop braying if Uncle Jesse sings it the theme to Three's Company. It's probably the best worst episode of any television show ever. I also have a soft spot in my heart for the Disney World two-part ep, but now I'm just getting nostalgic and we need to stay on topic.

There were many characters on the House that were semi-regulars, but not enough to be in the ranks of say, Kimmy or Steve. Remember Gia? I just thought of her. What a bitch. But I'm talking about character like Aaron, the most annoying kid ever, or, my personal favorite, Denise.
Denise was my first experience with the sassy black sidekick stereotype that seems to permeate movies and television. Just look at any role Queen Latifah has ever played. Denise was kind, enthusiastic, and wasn't afraid to tell it like it was. I wanted her to be my friend so bad.

For some inexplicable reason I bought the latest issue of Teen Vogue, and who do I see on page 155 but Denise herself, Jurnee Smollett. Apparently she's making a triumphant comeback! They don't mention that she was Denise, but they do say she had a "regular part on Full House." She totally looks the same though, and I spotted her immediately as the object of my sassy black affections. I love when the past comes back to haunt you, especially when it's the greatest decade ever.

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