Uncle Jesse (John Stamos), Joey (Dave Coulier), Danny (Bob Saget) and Aunt Becky (Lori Loughlin) are all back for a nostalgic blast from the past that has critics hating on this much-anticipated reunion. I understand the conflict with the show’s corny humor and attempted warm moments that always ended with hugs. However, keep in mind that the show is a revival of a sitcom filmed at a time when G-rated shows were the bomb! I must come to the defense of DJ (Candace Cameron-Bure), Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), and the goofy Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber).
The show opens with a pan of the revamped Tanner Family kitchen, reintroducing the central location we remember all too well. There’s Danny’s classic corniness, Uncle Jesse’s suave Elvis Presley-loving personality and Joey’s bullwinkle impersonation (while in his Bugs Bunny pajamas of course). Jesse and Joey engage in their usual banter while Aunt Beckie makes her way to the kitchen and Jesse makes a comment that revitalizes their spicy marriage. But don’t get too attached to these characters who made Full House what it was because they mostly star only in episode one and then visit throughout the rest of the show.
Next enters DJ Tanner-Fuller (let the puns begin) with Stephanie following shortly after. Who’s missing? Michelle (Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen)! Making light of this absence, Stephanie asks where her little sis is to which Danny responds, “Well, Michelle sends her love, but she’s busy in New York running her fashion empire.” To top it off, the cast, perfectly framed, takes a moment to stare directly into the camera, breaking the fourth wall. Uncle Jesse reintroduces Nicky and Alex (Blake and Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit) sporting “hella” surfer Californian styles. “Hola, Tanneritos!” Kimmy Gibbler intrudes on yet again another family breakfast. And finally Steve (Scott Weinger) is raiding the refrigerator, romancing DJ back into his life.
DJ Tanner-Fuller is newly-widowed with three sons, whose ages mirrors those of herself, Stephanie, and Michelle in the original show. DJ now takes the place of Danny as head of the house. Stephanie, who has been off traveling the world as “DJ Tanner,” an actual DJ (the puns are on overload throughout the season), and Kimmy, newly divorced with a teenage daughter, decide to move in with DJ to help raise her three boys.
Fuller House, released on Netflix, is jam-packed with throwbacks of taglines and the return of Mr. Woodchuck. The season focuses on a mix of the new and the old. DJ’s son, Tommy (Dashiell and Fox Messitt) is even played by twins, just like the Olsen duo. It is nice to see most of the original gang back together again. I’ll give Jeff Franklin credit for capturing the essence of 2016, just as Full House captured the 80s and 90s. Selfies, cell phones, and sadly, the new Disney-esque acting styles that resemble Girl Meets World, the spinoff of Boy Meets World. At times you will scratch your head and wonder why the makers decided to put Stephanie in a tub of tomato sauce with a baby. At others you will be applauding the actors for how well they reconnect with their old characters. There are laughable moments that cannot be taken too seriously. After all, it is Fuller House.
The live audience, a first for Netflix, is a nod to retro sitcom atmosphere. If you loved watching Full House reruns before school when you were little like I did, I would suggest that you accept Fuller House for what it is, and remember Full House for what it was.
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