Fuller House is a Netflix original series…that is a sequel series to the 90s classic Full House. The original was a series about a recently widowed man trying to raise his three daughters DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle with the help of his brother-in-law and quirky best friend. Fast forward about 28 years and we have Fuller House, a series about the recently widowed oldest daughter from the original series trying to raise her three sons with the help of her sister Stephanie and quirky best friend Kimmy. It’s a gender flip of the same premise. How well does it do when implemented? Let’s talk turkey.
Episode one is a heavy handed attempt to get you to ride the nostalgia train and get sold on the new series. It includes flashbacks, side-by-side comparisons of scenes, and every single main character from the original series (except Michelle) present and accounted for. The reasoning behind it works. Danny and Becky are going to be hosting a nationally broadcast morning show – you’ve got some competition Kelly and Michael. Michelle’s absence is mentioned a few times jokingly, including one moment where they mock the missing Tanner by directly looking at the camera, breaking the fourth wall and letting you know, “Yup, she’s not here, her choice, not ours.”
After the build up and Danny handing his recently widowed daughter his house, we get into the series proper. Each episode is generally a single issue which is summarily solved by the end of the episode with love, talking, and lots of hugs. Family comes first. There’s lots of hugging. Basically, it’s the original Full House with the genders of the core cast flipped and the inclusion of cell phones.
And really, that’s kind of the beauty of it. While there is some humor that is targeted toward adults who would have watched the original series, it’s still cheesy, family fare that I would not feel uncomfortable with my young children watching with me. That’s saying something, considering I do not necessarily feel the same way about other shows on television today (including certain episodes of Family Feud).
One of the things which does set this apart from the original series is Kimmy Gibbler. While similar to Joey in many ways, she’s not merely a bachelorette who’s just goofy comic relief. Kimmy is actually a successful small business owner with a teenage daughter of her own who’s in the middle of a divorce from her husband who, she very clearly is still in love with (and him with her). This creates some subtext and drama to the otherwise entirely comedic series that is needed and well crafted.
Overall, the series is getting destroyed by the critics. You know what else was destroyed by the critics? Full House. It was never a great show by any stretch of the imagination, but that’s okay. It filled a role, a needed one, for family friendly television. Fuller House seems intent on doing something similar for a new generation, and spending a lot of time reminding you that it’s for a new generation. It’s not a classic piece of American television, but it’s cute, family friendly, and at times honestly funny. I found myself laughing out loud numerous times each episode. Perhaps my sense of humor has changed as I’ve aged, but all in all – I’ve enjoyed it. I plan to finish it up soon with my wife and, if they renew it, I’d watch more Fuller House. Critics will probably still hate it, but you know what – they don’t get the draw to simple, family friendly fare that ends every episode with hugs. They never really did.