February 26, 2016

in defense of "fuller house"

This is what I did during lunch today...
If you haven't been living under a rock, you probably know that Fuller House, the Full House reboot/continuation hit Netflix today. I've been VERY excited to see this--after all, Full House was my favorite show before Dean Cain as Superman came along and stole my heart. 

When the critics' reviews started coming in, I wasn't too concerned. After all, Full House wasn't a critical darling, either. But I haven't seen a single positive review from a critic. The best review I saw was from TVLine, which gave the premiere a B-. Hilariously, EW gave the show a C- and the first episode an F. Really, an F? 

Here's the thing: Full House was never considered edgy, and it looks like Fuller House won't be either. And that's exactly what I want--a sweet family sitcom that reminds me of a simpler time.

I've only watched the first episode so far, but here's my snap judgement:

From the opening strains of the original theme song, which opens the first episode, to the side-by-side old and new images of the cast in the opening credits, to "Forever," to every catch phrase the show ever spawned being uttered at least once, Fuller House presses practically every nostalgia button imaginable. And I loved it.

The good (besides what I've already mentioned):
  • Everyone easily slips back into their roles--especially the three who will carry the series: Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, and Andrea Barber.
  • Steve and D.J. still have chemistry ... and both are single. The producers, at least if the first episode is any indication, are determined to give the people what they want, so I have high hopes for the happily ever after that I always assumed Steve and D.J. found.
  • Andrea Barber (Kimmy Gibbler) is hilarious. Her comedic timing is spot on!
  • Steve's dog is Comet Jr. Jr.--of course there's a Comet!
The bad:
  • The first half of the premiere is so focused on nostalgia that the actual plot doesn't really exist. This is especially apparent in the opening scene, which is more about recognizing each actor than anything else.
  • While Fuller House is definitely tamer and more family appropriate than anything not found on the Disney or Hallmark Channels, I still cringed when Kimmy's ex talked about how well-versed she was in the Kama Sutra. Wouldn't want to have to explain that to a kid!
  • The Olsen twins joke: When it's said that Michelle isn't coming home because she's building her fashion empire, everyone turns to the camera and gives withering looks. This would be amusing, except it goes on far too long. It ended up feeling mean spirited, not funny.
The big question:
  • Joey is clearly wearing a wedding ring--but no wife is ever mentioned. Does Joey have a secret Vegas family?
Here's what it boils down to: Fuller House is a love letter to Full House fans. If you weren't a fan of the original, you probably won't like this. But if you were, and you still enjoy sweet, family-friendly programming, then you'll definitely want to give Fuller House a look.


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