“My moves are all that and a bag of chips, so talk to the hand loser! Oh snap, you go girl! I think I just did!”– Kimmy Gibbler
You Got It, Dude
It’s been really entertaining to see how many of my friends on Twitter and Facebook are sharing their binges of Netflix’s Fuller House.
Cashing in the on 90’s nostalgia, Netflix has revived a show every family watched on Friday nights for many years. Full House still airs to this day on Nick @ Nite, so there is obviously still an audience out there that cares about the Tanner clan and might be open to revisiting these characters 20-some years later.
Personally, I don’t think the original series translates well to a modern audience. The rising violins (as Uncle Jesse points out in Fuller House) to highlight a neat bow being tied on a life lesson simplify life in a way that people aren’t ignorant to in today’s culture.
I wondered how this sequel series would deal with that. Obviously, it wants to pay homage to it’s heritage, but it will also want to try and reach a new audience of families growing up in 2016.
Cut It Out
Ultimately, Fuller House is strongest when it keeps the nostaliga to a minimum and weakest when it won’t let go of its past.
Most episodes have a guest star from the original cast, which only serves to distract from the new cast. Further, the visiting actor usually doesn’t play any key role in the half-hour story.
When the show focuses on its new core cast of stars – DJ, Stephanie, Kimmy and the kids – it’s actually an enjoyable sitcom.
Do It Gibbler Style
While on the subject, props to the creaters for allowing this to still be a sitcom. Too many of our comedies these days are centered around one-liners. The situation comedy is a dying art, but it’s also something that allows a show to be timeless.
Having seen all 13 episodes now in just over 24 hours, I can’t say I didn’t enjoy them. It was fun to revisit characters I cared about as a kid. It was also interesting to see the show center on the adults in a different way from the original (when it allowed itself time to do so)
J-Money in the House
Another point where Fuller House shines a bit is in its youngest stars. All four kids (three for DJ, one for Kimmy) have moments to capture us through these initial episodes. If anything, they’re not given enough time to do so.
Elias Harger as Max specifically captures the screen as Max. After a short-live, straight man stint in the pilot, the writers let him act our his goofball nature through his character, which inevitably left me smiling.
One key differentiation between Full House and Fuller House is how the kid and adult storylines don’t intermingle. Instead, they’re usually left entirely separate. At times, this benefits Fuller House as we get to see DJ, Stephanie and Kimmy acting as adults, but in that process, you lose the tranditional moral lesson that is to be learnt from whatever situation the characters are currently facing.
Finally, Netflix’s binge-watch format again works well to inspire Fuller House to have some nice – if yet simplistic – season-long arcs.
Full House aired in a day when episodic television remained very encapsulated, but today’s audience, and specifically the generation of watchers that grew up on Full House, expect to see characters change and mature. Fuller House delivers this with a nice arc for most of the adults and the teenaged children.
DJ and Kimmy’s arc maintain most of the focus, as DJ wrestles with starting to date again and Kimmy works through a complicated relationship with her soon-to-be ex-husband.
Stephanie isn’t as lucky, though she does get some shorter story points. We just don’t see as much from her as a whole.
So what did you think? Have you been watching Fuller House this weekend? Is it everything you wanted it to be? Were you hoping for more?
Do you want more Fuller House? Or was this one season enough to satisfy your nostalgia?
Let me know in the comments.
3.5 / 5