Fuller House (2016)
Everywhere you look...
Ah, TGIF. As a 9 year old kid, it was my Friday night, and my reason for staying up until 8:30pm (sure, the block ran until 9pm, but who the hell watched Just The Ten of Us?). The lineup? Full House, Family Matters, and Perfect Strangers. It was wholesome, had a lesson in each episode, and as a youngster, I thought it was genuinely funny. Sure, it's corny and perhaps unrealistic now, but it was fun. My wife also liked watching it, so when we heard that Full House was the latest TV show to get a reboot, we were pretty much sold on name alone.
The plot for Fuller House is actually pretty similar to the original Full House. DJ is now DJ Fuller (get it? Fuller...House?). Her husband, a firefighter, died in the line of duty. Because of this, DJ and her three kids moved back into her dad's house for a spell while trying to deal with the loss and attempting to get back on her feet. We pick up about a year later - Danny is selling the house to move to Los Angeles with Becky and Jesse to host a national news show. Joey lives in Vegas. Michelle moved to New York to run a fashion empire. Stephanie is a traveling DJ. As everyone gets ready to leave, DJ realizes she's overwhelmed. Stephanie and Kimmy Gibbler (and Kimmy's daughter) stick around to try and help DJ by raising the four kids (ah, get it again? Fuller House? There's one more person than last time?). It's nearly and identical setup to the original. Throughout the season, we see Stephanie's struggles with money, Kimmy's struggles with her ex-husband, and DJ's struggles with getting back into the dating scene.
This show NAILS the feeling of Full House. Some shows disappear and return with tones that just can't match the original run, like Arrested Development, but Fuller House picks up right where it left off. Danny and Joey got bigger and have more wrinkles. Jesse and Becky look just as they did in the 90's, and their chemistry is still on point. Even Kimmy is the same. Stephanie got a massive boob job in the 20 years since the show aired, and finds every opportunity to show them off (hey, she paid for them, right? Fuller Blouse?). The new kids blend right into the show, although the middle child is a bit extravagant compared to the rest. Kimmy's ex-husband is a bit of an eye-roller. We get a few old cast members dropping by - Steve of course, and also the bit player Harry, and guest spots from Hunter Pence and the gloriously awkward Macy Gray. Seriously, Macy Gray's guest appearance is so bad it's puzzling. The only character who doesn't make an appearance from the main cast is Michelle, which they poke fun at by breaking the fourth wall a few times.
The content? It's cheesy. It's the same story lines we got on the original run - don't come here looking for Breaking Bad level writing. Honestly though, if you liked the original, you'll probably find something to like here. They leave the house more than the original cast did - we get scenes at a pet clinic, a full episode at a nightclub, and others, which is refreshing. It's so weird seeing Full House with iPhones. I think the only thing weird to me about the content were the sex jokes. I'm no prude - if you know me, this is obvious - but hearing Stephanie make a masturbation joke at the Tanner dinner table is off putting. There's even a whole scene that's staged like a cheap porno knockoff, although I did find that was pretty funny. It was never to the point where I was disgusted or wanted to turn it off, it was just...weird. There are also some genuinely touching moments, one which actually brought a tear to my eye. The opening credits helps to bridge the gap between the old show and the new one, and the song is updated by Carly Rae Jepson.
Critics are bashing this show, but I have to ask - what were they actually expecting? This is FULL HOUSE. The tone, the characters, it's amazing how well they hit the nostalgia button while adding things to make it feel fresh and new. If you liked the original and get that warm feeling when you catch parts of it when you catch it in syndication, you're going to find something to like in Fuller House.