Full House brings classic nostalgia back to Netflix with reboot
Whatever happened to predictability, the milkman, the paperboy, evening TV? The evening is not the only time you can catch Fuller House, the Netflix reboot of the original, Full House. Appreciating and enjoying Fuller House will depend a lot on how fond viewers were of the original, which ran for eight seasons on ABC. The show is nostalgia at its finest, with the same old house but a different trio trying to negotiate parenting. Fuller House seems like a forced march down memory lane.
When it aired from 1987-95, Full House was a popular family sitcom, relatable to the lives of many. However, it was not until seasons 4 and 5 that the original show started to see good reviews. Critics did not like the show at first, and the reviews were scathing.
Now with the series making a comeback to the surprise and joy of fans, the reviews have not been great so far either. It may be the case that it is a visit to the past, but the critics are just taking it a little more seriously. The 13-episode season was highly anticipated and long-awaited, with rumors swirling about a reboot for months and even a couple of years in advance.
At the forefront of pop culture, most of the cast of Full House signed on to return for the Netflix series except for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who shared the role of the youngest Tanner daughter, Michelle. Fuller House revolves around the eldest Tanner daughter, D.J. (Candace Cameron-Bure), a recently widowed veterinarian who is taking care of her three sons Jackson, Max, and baby Tommy. D.J. is surrounded by her sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and her best friend Kimmy (Andrea Barber), who help D.J. raise her three sons with her father, aunt and uncles gone from her childhood home.
The season is mainly comprised of quotes and references with catch phrases that wink at the original sitcom. Many characters go in and out of the Tanner’s famous home during the season, including Danny Tanner (Bob Saget), Jesse Katsopolis (John Stamos), Rebecca Donaldson-Katsopolis (Lori Loughlin) and Joey Gladstone (Dave Coulier). Saget, Coulier, Loughlin and Stamos—a producer on the show who worked with the original show creator Jeff Franklin—drop in periodically to give viewers a reminder of the original Full House.
Forced to raise her children by herself, D.J. tries to decide whether she is ready to move on from the loss of her husband and begin dating again, with both her high school ex-boyfriend Steve Hale (Scott Weinger) and her co-worker Dr. Matt Harmon (John Brotherton) vying for her affection. When it comes to Kimmy’s life and her character, she has an on-and-off-again relationship with her husband from whom she is separated, Fernando (Juan Pablo Di Pace), whom Kimmy had a child with.
In addition to the lives of D.J. and Kimmy, Stephanie struggles to balance her family life with the career she has built as a disk jockey. She goes on to reveal that being an aunt has come to mean so much to her because she is not able to have children of her own. The show brings all of these threads together in the season finale, in a way that seems like an appropriate conclusion to the series if it were not to come back for a second season.
Fuller House was created for a very specific audience: the original fans of Full House. The show is a continuation of the beloved and popular sitcom that in a way celebrates its success due to its fans but has little for those new to the Tanner family.
A lot of the references and story lines found in the series seem incomplete for those who did not watch the original show. There are certainly low points of the first season, as the show could have given its main characters more development and original material to work with. The new, young cast has potential of being further developed, and there is barely a balance of the old and the new.
On the surface, Fuller House is every sitcom revival’s dream. The chemistry among cast members is even better than that of the 1990s show, and the set is a freakishly accurate recreation of the original. The set accurately captures the tiny couch that could barely seat two people and the famous stairwell involved in many family disagreements. Fuller House is huge among fans and is already renewed for a second season.
The show dominated social media over the weekend of its release. Netflix does not publicly announce its viewership data; therefore no one outside of the company knows how many people watched it. Even the creator, Jeff Franklin, does not get any wind on the numbers. It will be interesting to see how the second season of Fuller House will attempt to bring new storylines, keeping a touch of the old feel.