As someone who has seen every episode of Full House approximately three times each and had a San Francisco Victorian home-shaped box set on DVD, I had very high hopes for the reboot.
It did not disappoint.
Fuller House takes place 29 years after Full House and opens just the same as the original show did all those years ago. DJ Fuller, a new widow who isn’t very hip with the times, struggles to keep her family stable as she raises three boys. Her sister Stephanie, who is the new-age embodiment of Uncle Jesse, cuts off her world tour as a DJ to come home and help out. Along with Stephanie comes Kimmy Gibbler, who used to be just the annoying neighbor but has proven to be quite the lovable Uncle Joey of the group now.
They did a great job at pulling the three women into the adult characters we knew and loved, while still adding unique character traits that keep the show fresh. And they did it all without the help of Full House’s original sweethearts, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, who characters take a few jabs at throughout the show.
For anyone who has seen Full House, they know that it was a very lighthearted, family friendly comedy that always had a happy ending. In other words, it was extremely cheesy. The first episode of Fuller House stays true to that. Bringing back all the old characters, and their famous catch phrases, the first episode doesn’t have much of a plot. It’s simply letting you know where everyone is at all these years later.
Admittedly, I found myself rolling my eyes quite a bit, but once you get passed the pilot, it gets a lot better. The older generation of Full House all leave to embark on their real lives post-Tanner house, leaving the new Fuller/Gibbler family to take over, and the real fun starts.
Being on Netflix and not ABC, they had a little bit more freedom to make the show more adult-oriented and they took advantage of it. I would still consider it a show suitable for children, but there’s definitely a few more mentions of tequila and sex than I ever remember being in Full House. Considering that most of the people who were patiently awaiting this show are now adults, it was very fitting and I appreciated it.
One of the biggest differences between the shows is the children. It’s easy to compare the three main adults in the show to those of the original, but the children of Fuller House come with brand new characteristics.
Tommy, like Michelle Tanner was in the original, is played by two infant twins and isn’t much more than a set prop yet. Jackson, the oldest, seems to be more rebellious than any of the Tanner girls were growing up, and a lot of his storyline revolves around his crush on a girl he goes to school with.
Someone I predict becoming a huge star is the middle child. Max Fuller, played by 8-year-old Elias Harger, is DJ’s second child and takes after his grandfather very much. Always seen wearing a collared shirt, cleaning, and can’t lie to save his life, Max was easily my favorite character of the first season. With a catch phrase of his own (Holy Chalupas!), he was charismatic and seemed to always steal the scene. I truly believe he will be the ‘Michelle Tanner’ of Fuller House.
Another big difference between the two shows is the addition of Ramona Gibbler. In Full House, part of the joke was that is was three grown men were trying to raise three young girls. Fuller House had a similar dynamic just flipped with three women and three boys. Now with Kimmy Gibbler’s daughter and occasionally her father tagging along, the show has a completely different dynamic.
The only concern I had about going into the show was whether or not being previously invested in DJ, Stephanie, and Kimmy would take away from the focus put on the children. The show did a wonderful job at evenly distributing the main plot points between the children and adults, jumping from rekindling with high school sweethearts to a Mexican wrestling match all in one episode.
Despite being a cheesy, kid-friendly show, Fuller House still tugs at the heart strings and tackles some important and serious topics such as being a child of divorce, death in the family, and infertility issues.
If the nostalgic feelings and quality of content aren’t enough, Fuller House even throws in a few celebrity guest stars in its first season like Hunter Pence, Macy Gray, and Maskin and Valentin Chmerkovisky to ensure that watching it is worthwhile. It took me less than 24 hours to finish the entire first season, and I might even go back for round two!
Fuller House currently has 13 half-hour episodes available on Netflix, and has been renewed for a second season next year.