There are no reboots out there happier to seek attention than Fuller House. The caveat is that you need to know a lot about the original sitcom to enjoy it. The old catchphrases are brought back, as are old stars, with new kids bringing in newer, and even worse cornier lines. If you enjoyed the original Full House and didn’t mind the predictable nature of it, you may find this retread enjoyable. Unfortunately for everyone else this show serves as a reminder of something better; John Stamos’ other show Grandfathered.
Stamos is back with the other original cast members such as Lori Loughlin and Bob Saget in the pilot, but they aren’t in the show too much after that. Fuller House is centered around DJ Tanner-Fuller, who makes her return to the “Full House” after the father of her sons dies. Sounds very familiar to daddy doesn’t it? Her sister Stephanie and friend Kimmy help her to raise the boys, the youngest of which is just a baby played by a set of twins.
This is a bit of a flip in gender roles from the original show. Full House had the youngest member of the family played by female twins with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. They declined to be in the reboot, and they are mentioned momentarily in a fourth-wall breaking moment of the pilot. That scene is just one of many scenes that suggest maybe the twins were rather wise in avoiding this self-obsessed reboot. In essence, the show is clearly trying to recreate a TV program that, even at its peak, was just a compilation of clichés.
Cameron-Bure is as skilled as ever and a great base for the show. There are even some laughs in there somewhere. Stamos is always funny when he’s around, but he’s not around often which makes for a problem that even the most diehard fans can’t ignore. We should also be celebrating the idea of Netflix, a streaming company, creating a mainstream comedy. Everything is becoming so niche lately, but there’s nothing that says good old fashioned storied TV has to die. We can only wish that rather than pulling out tired retreads, Netflix can create an original comedy that can rival shows like NBC’s rather smart Superstore.
Although it’s a little sad that Netflix chose this series out of the multitude of series’ that deserve to be brought back. Of course, Netflix does have the money to bring back old shows people love to get attention. They did the same thing with X-Files (Netflix is planning on bringing back the X-Files revival) and Gilmore Girls. Even so every reboot needs to have a reason to exist. Fuller House tries but fails.
Overall it’s silly for this show, as stupid as it is, to give the impression that it’s celebrating the fact it exists. It would have been a lot better if Fuller House had added to the show and adjusted it for a new age. It would be even better if it was actually funny too, but the best jokes don’t happen very often. The show is filled with jokes about wacky friends, Latin lovers and, of course, fart and poop jokes. There are senseless scenes and awkward cameos abound. Worst of all the episodes can last past 30 minutes. Portlandia can pull off these types of jokes with a style that Fuller House only wishes it could attain.
To be fair, there is a niceness to the familiarity the original cast display, and there’s nothing wrong with a show that highlights the loyalty of friends and family. There’s nothing wrong with a group hug either, and this show definitely has plenty of those. Unfortunately, Fuller House takes this stuff too far and relies on the overly cute kids being overly cute. The show is just too self-congratulating though. Actual affection comes through in bits and pieces, but most of the affection is so faked and forced it’s obvious to even the least jaded person on our staff who gave up after only two episodes where I had to sit through the entire season.
There is actually a scene where one of the children plays with a litter of puppies while a baby watches. This is sickeningly cute, but after a while of this, I began to feel the need to test my blood sugar as it was making me feel rather tired and woozy.
If you aren’t blinded by the nostalgia of Full House you’ll find it very easy to resist Fuller House.