From the opening moments of this painfully long heist show, one thing immediately springs to mind. What has Uncle Jesse gotten himself into? Appearing in his first series since “Full House,” John Stamos, the formerly mousse-inclined favorite uncle is back as a smooth talking cat burglar in tonight”s 9 p.m. premiere of ABC”s “Thieves.”

Paul Wong
Where”s Aunt Becky, you bastard? Have Mercy.<br><br>Courtesy of ABC

The pilot episode opens with Johnny (Stamos) on the verge of a diamond heist when he makes the acquaintance of Rita (Melissa George), an accomplished thief herself who just happens to be staying in the same hotel. Discovering their similar diamond intentions, Johnny and Rita eventually work together to pull off a daring broad day robbery shot in a fashion so closely reminiscent of “Snatch” that the film”s actual soundtrack was used. Fleeing the scene of the robbery, Johnny and Rita are met by the police. Much like the future of this series, Johnny and Rita”s escapades are cut short by the authorities. To have the charges against them dropped, the feuding thieves agree to work for the government by obtaining a top-secret videotape.

This highlights “Thieves” major problem, the lack of any originality. From the precarious action sequences to the stars repetitive, forced sexual conversations, “Thieves” never seems to be covering any new territory.

For anyone weak minded enough to give the show a shot for this long, the unbelievable action sequences now transform into the just plain silly. Highlighting the excruciating second half of the show is the lifeless detective portrayed by rapper Tone Loc, but you cannot blame him for getting paid, I guess.

Johnny”s gentle thief persona does not mesh well with the volatile Rita, whose remarkably perfect lip-gloss remains evident throughout her fighting sequences. Awkwardly running through action sequences or nimbly escaping from handcuffs, Stamos and George are unable to carry the roles of action characters in the least. While basing all the non-action moments of the storyline around what Johnny believes is an inevitable sexual relationship, the chemistry between the main characters soon becomes tired. Johnny”s smooth talk eventually evolves into blunt observations like his enjoyment of the rear view of Rita during an air duct escape.

“Thieves” is simply bad television. From laughable action to Johnny”s comic duds, this show always seems to be coming up short. It really should not be a surprise the network owned by Disney delivered a series that feels more like a fairy tale. But Uncle Jesse as a famous cat burglar? What is everyone back in San Fran going to think?

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