Fuller House: A Review

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Well I did it. I survived my weekend of binge-watching Fuller House in order to get this article out today. I can’t believe I watched the entire season of essentially a Disney Channel show in two days. Truthfully, I watched nine of the 13 episodes…I felt like I could skip a few without missing basically anything.

For those of you who missed it, I wrote an article on the Full House reboot announcement several months ago, hypothesizing the reasons for the TV show’s resurrection. The primary point I rested on was the heavy pull of nostalgia. We like to think back on days that felt simple, days when we watched these innocent shows and laughed, only worrying about tomorrow’s spelling test. Life as an adult is full of stress and business; sometimes it’s really nice to lose yourself in a show that brings to mind a time of relative ease. So, with Friday’s release of the 90’s sitcom comeback, I turned on Netflix and hit play. I thought to myself… “Maybe this will be nice, or maybe crazy painful…”

Let me start with the list of what I liked:
  • I liked the intro: an updated version of the same song (though I’m not much of a Carly Rae Jepson fan), and images from the original Full House intro incorporated. I remember singing along to the theme song as a kid, and anticipating updated pictures of the characters with each new season’s beginning.
  • I genuinely laughed during the first episode of when the cast referenced Michelle being in New York working on her fashion empire, and then stared directly into the camera (To be honest…this might have been the only laugh…more of that to come in the other section)
  • I was glad to see that the entire original cast wasn’t in each episode. Danny, Joey, and Jessie’s roles were more like cameos. It was nice to have space to get to know new characters.
  • Overall, I was thankful to see that the general integrity of Full House was maintained. Fuller House is family-friendly, and usually conveys some kind of moral message, similar to the original series.
  • And even though the kid yells nearly every one of his lines, Max is kind of awesome.
  • As a viewer of The Bachelor, I did find amusement in the last episode’s nod to the dating-competition show.
Ok…now for what I didn’t like…I’ll try to condense this as best I can.
  • Let’s start with the general plot. While above I mentioned that I appreciated the reboot’s upholding of the original’s character, Fuller House feels like a near replica of Full House. It’s basically the exact same show. It appears that DJ has filled Danny Tanner’s role as the responsible, level-headed parent. Stephanie is the musician, a DJ to be exact (…which I won’t even get into), who has more of a wild side. The parallels are clear between her and Uncle Jessie. And Kimmy Gibbler is basically Joey: eccentric and unfashionable.
  • Now for the sub-plots. Nothing feels remotely original about Fuller House. Many episodes are nearly identical to those viewed in 1987. For instance, in the second episode, DJ’s oldest son is unhappy because he must move in with his younger bother. As I sat there thinking, “Wait…haven’t I seen this episode before?” Stephanie quickly jumps in to put my mind at ease, confirming that yes, DJ once moved into the garage because she too didn’t want to share a room with Stephanie.
  • None of the characters have evolved or grown over the past two decades. Steve, DJ’s ex-boyfriend is still hungry and scavenging the Fuller’s fridge (DJ’s married last name is Fuller by the way…which again, I will refrain from commenting). Joey still plays with Mr. Woodchuck, his puppet. I mean, the dog is Comet Jr. Jr. Seriously. Everyone is doing exactly what he or she was doing 29 years ago.
  • Macy Gray appears in episode three…what? So weird; the singer doesn’t look super pleased to be on the show and made me feel uncomfortable.
  • As an adult, with a little knowledge about his stand-up reputation, it’s really hard for me to watch Bog Saget on this family-friendly sitcom. Anyone else cringing as he hugs…really anyone on the show?
  • In episode six, we learn that Stephanie can’t have kids. This serious topic feels out of place in the midst of really cheesy jokes and relatively shallow plot lines. It’s like you’re watching the movie Bean and all of a sudden Mr. Bean’s crying because he was diagnosed with cancer.

So in a nutshell, I found a few 15 second clips that I enjoyed, while during the rest of the time, I made my grocery list to Fuller House in the background. I quickly lost the fondness of nostalgia, and began to feel embarrassed…especially when other people came into the room. While I hoped that the reboot would be an updated evolution of Fuller House, the show proved to be predictable and unoriginal.

To be fair, I’m in my late 20’s; a 10-year-old kid may feel differently. Do I wish I had that time back? Not really…it did bring the ease of thoughtlessness to my day. But will I watch Season 2? Not likely.

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