When I first read Netflix was bringing the Full House cast back for a new show (titled Fuller House), I thought, “WHY?” Girl Meets World (Disney’s reboot/continuation of 1993’s Boy Meets World) was already a nostalgia killer; did Netflix think they would be able to do better with Fuller House?
I was 15 when Full House first premiered; It wasn’t a show I really watched until a few years later when it went into syndication. More of a “watching because there’s nothing else on TV” show than one I was really invested in the characters, but I did enjoy Full House. Lori Loughlin was beautiful (important to 19-year-old me) and the always funny Dave Coulier helped me laugh at even the worst times (long hemophilia-related hospital stays). The rest of the cast was enjoyable, except Bob Saget (I cannot stand him as a comedian, actor, or television host), but not really memorable (including the catch phrases). I actually don’t think I’ve seen all of the episodes.
Fast forward twenty-one years to the sequel. Since I woke up with an ankle bleed and my day of working on the next episode of The Button Mashers was shot, I decided to binge-watch the 13-episode first season. From the opening credits, including the theme song (now being sung by Carly Rae Jepsen) to almost the entire cast returning, I did feel a wave of nostalgia.
The premise of the show is a simple rewrite of Full House, but flip the rolls! DJ’s (Candace Cameron Bure) spouse dies so she has to raise her three kids on her own, until Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) agree to move in and help her out. Instead of Three Men and a Baby, it’s now Three Women and Babies with the requisite cameos by the original cast (which really annoyed me because of the overwhelming cheers by the audience. After the first episode, I kept thinking, “Give me a break! You know they’re going to show up!”). If this were a real family, I would honestly feel sorry for them. I mean seriously, what are the odds dad (Bog Saget’s Danny Tanner) and daughter would both lose their spouses to tragic accidents?
While the critics have bashed on the show’s pilot episode, I thought it was funny as hell. I especially loved “the Michelle joke” where the cast talks about Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen’s absence with the excuse she is, “running her fashion empire in New York,” and then proceed to dead-pan the fourth wall (knowingly looking at the camera). I never was a fan of the Olsen twins; and their decision to pass on Fuller House just smells of their “diva-ness,” so good on the producers for this laugh.
Speaking of laughs, while there were plenty of laughs over the course of the 13 episodes, there were too many that felt forced and the canned laughter didn’t give the jokes the help they really needed.
What greatly concerns me about Fuller House is the target audience. Is this for fans of the original? Or is it for fans of the original and their children? If it is the latter, I am disappointed in the writing. Some of the jokes and scenes are way too mature for pre-teens; but packed full of enough innuendo (among them: Gibbler’s extensive knowledge of the Kama Sutra; DJ’s “plumber” thinking he’s getting a booty call; and Stephanie showing off her boobs as much as possible, either with revealing tops or constant standing in profile) to make me second guess allowing The Button Mashers to watch.
All-in-all, by the end of the first season, I enjoyed Fuller House enough to hope Netflix brings us more. And speaking strictly as an adult male, I am especially hopeful if it means more of the beautiful Sweetin and her cleavage.