The first season of Fuller House came out on Friday on Netflix. Fuller House is a sequel series to Full House, the ABC sitcom that aired from 1897-1995.
Even though Full House’s original run ended over 20 years ago, the show has managed to stay culturally relevant due to a strong syndication presence. I personally have strong nostalgic feelings for the show even though it was already a classic when I watched it. Full House was introduced to my childhood best friend and me by our mothers because we had watched all the Mary-Kate and Ashley videos available at our local Blockbuster. It seems a little ironic that Fuller House is coming out on Netflix, the main reason there are no more local Blockbusters.
This episode covers the first two episodes of Fuller House. They where basically what was to be expected and they where enjoyable. The two episodes were nostalgic, cheesy, good, wholesome fun with so many winks and nudges that were anything but subtle. Anyone expecting a new innovative show is going to be disappointed, but this show was not made for them.
The first two episodes both serve as the pilot. The first episode, Our Very First Show, Again (the first episode of the original series is called Our Very First Show), is in a lot of ways more of a long overdue proper finale to Full House. John Stamos (Uncle Jesse and an executive producer) related in an interview that Full House was canceled with little warning and they didn’t have much time to make their finale, “We scrambled to do a final episode but we really never did.”
The episode starts with the original opening of Full House and truly stars the adults from the original show. The audience gets to know what the characters have been up to in the years since the show ended. Many of the characters have ended up where one would expect, but there were some surprises.
In the vein of references to the original show, when Michelle’s (Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) absence is explained by referencing the Olsens’ actual fashion empire, the cast stares at the camera. Steve’s dog does not just look like Comet, it’s his descendant judging by the name, Comet Jr. Jr. The characters literally force Uncle Jesse to sing Forever. There are special guest opening credits where the cast recreates their original opening shots. The cast also recreates an iconic scene from the original pilot, making sure everyone knows that that’s whats happening by using a split screen.
The second episode, Moving Day, serves as the actual pilot for the show Fuller House will actually be. It only has the new opening which, visually, is great. It has the lead actors with younger versions of themselves (even the new kids), which is a nice way of suggesting the theme of new generations. The remix of the theme song that is used however, is a bit grating.
It is in this episode that the viewer really gets to meet the characters that will hold up the show. It shows where the new team of parents, DJ, Stephanie, and Kimmy, are in their lives. There is some of that in the first episode but it takes a back seat to other aspects. DJ is now a single parent of three boys after her husband died. Stephane is a globe trotting DJ whose stage name is “DJ Tanner.” Helping her sister raise her children is a big change for her. Kimmy is divorced but her husband is trying to get her back and says some things that were a bit disturbing to hear about a character that the audience saw as a child. When she moves in, she brings with her a teenage daughter and her event planning business.
It is in this episode that the kids of the show really get fleshed out. DJ’s oldest son, Jackson, seems to be the troublemaker. Her middle child, Max, is so precocious I started calling him Little Danny because he clearly takes after his grandfather. The youngest boy, Tommy, is a baby. He is very cute but right now being cute is about all he does. Kimmy’s daughter, Ramona, is a sassy teenage girl who is mad she has to move in with “the whitest family in america” since she herself is biracial. The kids are all pretty decent characters, but, for me, but the stand-out was Max, a really cute little kid who will win the audience’s heart.
There are still plenty of call backs to be had in the second episode, but most are more subtle than those in the first. It mirrors the first episode of Full House with people moving into the house and kids being forced to share rooms and deciding they are just going to run away. Uncle Jesse and Stephanie trade catchphrases and there are even jokes about how there seemed to be two Michelles. However, the last shot of the episode has an inside joke that is so unsubtle, John Stamos pretty much winks directly at the camera.
Fuller House may not be a great show, but it is enjoyable in the same way the original is. It is cute and filled with nostalgia and family friendly fun that reminds the audience of a time with “The milkman, the paperboy, (and) evening tv.”
The first season of Fuller House is available on Netflix.