It was May 23, 1995, the day the final episode of the classic family sitcom, Full House, aired marking an end to a wonderful eight years and a lifetime of laughs to look back on in the years to come.
Full House was always one of my childhood favourites growing up. I still remember eagerly waiting for each Tuesday evening to come so that I could watch it.
Now, almost 21 years after that last episode, here we are: graced with the pleasure of a revival – Fuller House.
Where previously Danny Tanner was a widowed father of three, DJ Tanner (now Fuller) is a widowed mother of three boys facing the challenges of life as a single mom.
I want to note that I really admire and respect the level of camaraderie between the cast members over the years. It’s heart-warming to see how close they have remained. You don’t see that happen very often after a series ends as everyone goes on to pursue other projects and just generally move on with their lives. I think the fact that they’ve remained so tight-knit added to the momentum in reviving this spin-off. It would have been a lot harder if they had all fallen off with each other.
I was really on the fence about how this show would turn out, because of how much time had passed. It’s always touch and go with spin-offs since they air in entirely different times from when the original series was on. Therefore, it can be challenging to find that fine balance between re-capturing the essence of the original series but also staying current with the times.
The show made its much-anticipated debut on Friday, February 26th on Netflix, and after having now seen the first nine episodes, I must say, that I was pleasantly surprised and give the show 4/5 stars.
So here’s my take:
The Fuller House – Literally
You would think that the obvious decision would have been to restore the original set, but surprisingly, in the show’s developmental stages, there had actually been talk about having the story originate in an entirely new place with the Tanner family home only being used for reunion episodes. Thank goodness they did not go that route! The house is iconic and key to Full House’s legacy. I would be skeptical as to how well-received Fuller House would have been, had it been set in any other place. It just would not have had the same feel to it.
With the original sketches long lost after the show ended 20 years prior, the production team built the entire set from scratch and boy did they do a fantastic job! With the exception of a few subtle differences, the new set is as good as the original.
(Feel free to read more on this here)
The Show Itself
I thought opening credits were fun, it was nice to see the childhood pictures and then the current ones – it really illustrated the character’s evolvement over the years.
However, I did feel that the producers went a little overboard with the comparisons with the original show. For example, Dave Coulier is shown here in a split screen recreating the original credits.
The intent behind it was nice, but for me it was a little corny. I think just being consistent in showing regular, current shots of all the stars would have been better. Like, we get it, this is a spin off from Full House, we don’t need it overdone.
The Fuller House pilot was good, however, the acting felt a bit contrived at times with some of the actors visibly trying to assimilate themselves back into their characters, but that impression quickly subsided in subsequent episodes and the performances felt a lot more natural.
The leading ladies of Fuller House look positively radiant and fabulous! They have all aged so well over the years. It’s been so nice to see them blossom from kids into adulthood and motherhood over the last 20 years.
When I first saw the trailor for the show, I felt that Kimmy Gibbler’s dorkiness was much more apparent and believable when the character was younger (and scrawnier). However, I am happy to say that the trailor did not do the character justice. After watching several episodes now, Andrea Barber’s performance has been on point! She recaptured her role beautifully and no one can master those goofy facial mannerisms better than her.
Also, the wardrobe team did a perfect job keeping Kimmy dressing outrageously. I could not stop laughing out loud to this ridiculous ‘bacon and eggs’ scarf!
The New Kids on the Block
A revival would not work without some fresh new faces and I was very pleased with the new kids on the show. They are great actors and super fun to watch. Max and Jackson are are energetic and full of life and Ramona has just the right amount of spunk and snootiness to suit her character.
And let me just say that the Fuller House baby is too cute for words! The Messitt twins are well on their way to baby stardom with those adorable cheeks and smile.
And speaking of twins, after watching more than half of season one now, I have to admit that I did not miss the Olsen twins much on this new show. It would have been nice to have them back, but I felt that DJ, Kimmy, and Stephanie as a trio along with the new characters and story line worked just as effectively. I did not particularly feel as though the show was missing something because of the Olsen twins’ absence. Having said that, it was quite entertaining to see comical references to them throughout the episodes, one of them being in the pilot when Stephanie asked about Michelle and Danny nonchalantly says she is busy in New York with her fashion empire.
But the best line for me was in a later episode when Kimmy comes back from shopping with Ramona and remarked about the expensive dress Ramona bought from the Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen clothing line, saying, “At these prices, no wonder they don’t need to act anymore.”
You can watch the clip of the scene here:
If the show does get renewed for a second season (which I’m hoping it will) then perhaps the Olsen twins might take the playful jabs as a sign to reconsider making a comeback.
And now a quick recap on the recurring cast members:
John Stamos (Uncle Jessie) and Lori Loughlin (Aunty Becky) look better than ever having aged so gracefully over the years. They remain the ‘it’ couple and their on-screen chemistry from the original show never wavered and is even more apparent on Fuller House. It was also great to see the original Nicky and Alex back all grown up!
Dave Coulier (Joey Gladstone) still has the kid in him which was evident in the funny antics with DJ’s kids. He also hasn’t lost his touch as a ventriloquist with “Mr. Woodchuck”.
Bob Saget‘s return (Danny Tanner) was welcoming, but for me, it fell a bit short. At first glance, something seemed off with his demeanor, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but at times, he just seemed out of it. But he did cater to his character’s ‘clean freak’ attitude well.
It was also great to see Scott Weinger (Steve, DJ’s boyfriend) back hungrier than ever – for food and for DJ! It will be interesting to see how his desire to win DJ back plays out.
To sum it up: Fuller House is a hit for me. I’ve got five more shows to go in season one, but I’m sold. I can appreciate the fact that those who grew up with Full House will watch this show with a pre-existing level of loyalty, and those that were not privy to the original series may have a tougher time getting past the ‘cheese’ factor. If you fall into that category, give it a chance, and you will fall in love with it. If not, how rude!
Update: As of March 2nd 2016, Fuller House has been renewed for a second season! That’s quite impressive considering it hasn’t even been a week since season one was released. Well, like it or not, the Fullers and Tanners are here to stay!
Are you a fan of Fuller House? Share your favourite moments from the show!