What ever happened to predictability?
So went the opening to the iconic ABC sitcom Full House. Audiences around the nation adored the tale of a single father raising three young daughters with the help of his two goofy best friends. The show quickly rose to the Top 20 in the Nielsen ratings.
Yet the show’s success was not enough to save it from the chopping block, and in 1995 ABC axed it, citing rising costs as the main reason. Thus, like many other staples of the ‘90s, like N’Sync and Moon Shoes, Full House slipped into the nostalgia vault, another relic from the past to be remembered fondly and occasionally binged on a Wednesday night.
Fast forward to 2016. Netflix reached its franchise saving hands into Full House and has brought us Fuller House, the sequel/spin-off nobody really needed or wanted but by George, it’s here anyway.
The premise of Fuller House follows the tale of a single mother raising her three young daughters with the help of her two goofy best friends. Sound familiar?
Fuller House is completely aware of the nostalgia that fuels its very existence and the 30-minute-pilot rides the nostalgia train so far it’s a miracle the whole thing doesn’t crash. The ending even has a side-by-side recreation of the Tanner family singing the baby to sleep, with the original footage from Full House on the left and the new footage from Fuller House on the right.
The showmakers took their time to modernize the family as well, with several jabs at smartphone culture and people’s tendency to drift apart from one another in the Internet age. Yet, despite a valiant attempt on the part of the actors and a new remixed opening by Carly Rae Jepsen, the whole thing still felt flat.
No one watched Full House expecting a riveting plot or groundbreaking dialogue. People loved Full House before for 30 minutes each night it was a feel good romp that emphasized the importance of family in a world that seemed more and more chaotic each day. Plus, it had young John Stamos in it.
Fuller House reiterated the family centric message of its predecessors, but the words fell hollow and flat this time around. The “I love yous” and family hugs did not hold the same meaning as the characters had not earned those words in any significant manner. We are supposed to believe in a family bond that has not yet been created.
Now to be fair, we should analyze how much of my own natural cynicism slipped into this. I was much younger when I watched Full House regularly whereas I am an adult going into Fuller House, so that has surely affected my view of the show somewhat.
The only scene in the show that was funny in its own right is when Kimmy’s daughter, Ramona (played by Soni Nicole Bringas), catches D.J. Tanner’s oldest son, Jackson (played byMichael Campion), tricking his younger brother Max (played by Elias Harger) into thinking he implanted a bomb in his head so he’d do his chores. This scene captures the true hilarity of child to child interactions and for a moment, Fuller House almost feels like it knows what its purpose is.
If Fuller House can bring that magic to the rest of the 13 episodes in the first season, then perhaps it is worth watching. But if not, well, at least we all finally know what happened to predictability—it never left.
Final Verdict: I give it a C.
Watch if you’re a mega-fan of the series or all things 90s, but skip if otherwise.
Featured Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chuck Nalbone’s Youtube account.
Rosie Brown is a junior journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.