If you haven’t checked out ‘Fuller House’ on Netflix, I’ll give you two very big and bouncy reasons to….
Now that that’s out of the way, on to the Fuller House Revival Review:
Of course, with or without Jodie Sweetin’s grown-up can-cans I was always going to watch this revival in its entirety. I, like most everyone else from my generation, was partly raised by Danny, Jesse and Joey inside that San Francisco home. While many sitcoms of the day wrestled with important issues and life lessons, ‘Full House’s unique combination of kids at three different ages, along with three father figures (plus Becky) was able to portray multiple points of view on hot button topics like smoking and first loves without getting overly stale.
The new show is little more than a nostalgia plug, with nothing groundbreaking or paradigm shifting within its makeup. ‘Fuller House’ reunites the old cast of Full House in a 13 episode traditional sitcom with minimal serialization that seems to be driving current shows like ‘New Girl’ and ‘Last Man on Earth’. DJ gets a pretty standard love triangle arc and Kimmie Gibler starts on again with her on again off again ex-husband and father of her teenage daughter, Ramona (I think she’s a teenager, I can never tell these days).
As much as Stamos, Saget and Coulier are being trotted out to hype the series, in the first 13 episodes the old man trio are used sparingly and oftentimes just one at a time in a B storyline or as a quick bit role for a pop entrance and a couple of laughs (or attempts at laughs). The opening scene reintroducing the entire cast was fun, complete with shots fired at absentees Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. From there, though, the series gets a bit dicey.
One of the more tone-deaf turns of the series comes in the form of Kimmie Gibler’s ex-husband (or soon to be ex-husband until they start “canoodling” again). Juan Pablo Di Pace is completely over the top in his portrayal of Fernando, Spanish Race Car Driver, Womanizer and father of Ramona. His accent, frantic gestures, love of the dramatic and equal love of the American Girls Store fit within a stereotypical framework. However, let’s not forget that Kimmie Gibler was and is one weird chick (is that an eggs and bacon scarf?). It stands to reason that her husband would also be a weirdo, and weirdo’s come in all manner of shapes, races and stereotypes. So cool it with assuming that Fernando epitomizes every white middle class family’s idea of a crazy Spaniard. He’s funny (looking).
Conversely, by far the best and funniest moments come from middle child Max (played by Elias Harger), which shouldn’t surprise anybody who knows that Stephanie quickly became the heart and soul of the original series. The other newcomers to the Full House family, Kimmie’s daughter Ramona and DJ’s oldest, Jackson, have a complicated relationship of grumpy annoyance/budding buddies, and should begin an even more intricate friendship as the show grows.
Would this series last on ABC between ‘The Goldbergs’ and ‘Modern Family’? Not a chance. But Netflix is a perfect home for it. The revival is dropping 13 episodes at a time, with an audience that enjoys watching television (why else would you already be paying for Netflix?), and an audience that is high on nostalgia these days (see the upcoming ‘Gilmore Girls’ revival and ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ movie complete with BeeBop and Rocksteady).
Add the nostalgia factor with a guest appearance from San Francisco’s own Hunter Pence, and pop culture references to ‘The Bachelorette’, Donald Trump and pot brownies, and you get something that’s worth a bingewatch if you’re up for an evening of nostalgia, and only worth writing about if you’re a certified tv-aholic.