By Miranda Dellamaria
After twenty-one years, the Tanners are back in San Francisco. At the end of last month Netflix released 13 episodes of Fuller House, a reboot of Full House that follows Danny Tanner’s two oldest daughters (and everyone’s favorite annoying neighbor Kimmy Gibbler) after they’ve moved back into their childhood home to raise D.J.’s children.
While Fuller House is worth watching just for the nostalgia factor of seeing all of the Tanners (sans Michelle, as Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen declined to appear) reunited in San Fran again, its overly sentimental tone and hokey writing were a much better fit in the original run of the show.
Fuller House kicks off with the exact same premise that Full House did; D.J.’s husband has passed away, and Stephanie and Kimmy decide to follow in the footsteps of Danny, Joey and Uncle Jesse to help her raise her children. While the initial run of the show often paid tribute to Danny’s late wife and discussed how her death had an effect on the girls, Fuller House oddly glosses over D.J.’s late husband almost entirely. Given that Netflix initially only ordered 13 episodes of the show, it’s understandable that they chose not to focus on one of the more depressing aspects of a show that’s intended to be comedic. That being said, not addressing the issue at all comes across as lazy writing.
The show’s sense of humor also sticks closely to what was established in its initial run, but once again does not quite translate across the decades. You can only hear the familiar stock phrases of “how rude” and “have mercy” so many times before it seems like the show is just pandering to fans of the original show, rather than actually trying to create anything new.
Still, Fuller House does indeed have moments that might make it worth the watch for some viewers. Though the callbacks to Full House do go a bit overboard, it’s pretty fun to see almost the entire original cast reunited in the first episode and then brought back individually in various episodes. Additionally, the scenarios the three girls find themselves in from episode to episode are almost always outlandish, but usually pretty entertaining.
There is one episode in particular where Stephanie, who is now a famous DJ who goes by the name —you guessed it— DJ Tanner, plays Coachella. The show is also worth watching for Kimmy Gibbler, who is still just as annoying as she was in her initial appearances in the show, but now has a distinctly endearing and entertaining edge to her character.
Fuller House is ultimately a show with one goal: to revive a beloved sitcom of the 1990s. If that is the only criteria used to grade the show, then it definitely succeeded in its goal. However, in sticking so close to the original show both thematically and tonally, Fuller House dates itself and relies too heavily on recycled jokes. Fans of the original show should check it out just for the sheer sentimental value of seeing the Tanner’s old townhouse, but otherwise viewers won’t be missing much if they decide to skip out.
Final Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars