The Coincidental Critic

Exploring the art of storytelling.

Fuller House: Nostalgia At Its Finest (SPOILERS)

full-house

When the Past Meets the Present

The very first scene of Fuller House had nostalgia written all over it.  The first thing we saw was the camera sweeping through the kitchen, which was basically an exact replica of the set from Full House.  Then, the whole cast entered the scene one by one.  Just like we were being reunited with the show and the characters, they were reuniting with one another.  They talked about where they had been and where they were going.

Fuller House constantly poked fun at Michelle Tanner’s absence.  Right in the first episode, Stephanie asked where her younger sister was.  Danny responded, “Well, Michelle sends her love, but she’s busy in New York running her fashion empire,” and then the cast turned to the camera with unamused expressions on their faces.  Mentions of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson continued throughout the season.  For example, they were brought up on Ramona’s birthday.  “I got my first designer dress for the party.  It’s an Elizabeth and James by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson,” Ramona said.  Then Kimmy commented, “At these prices, no wonder they don’t need to act anymore.”

Fuller House was a reboot that knew it was a reboot.  It went full meta, often poking fun at itself and its predecessor, Full House.  In one scene, Kimmy said, “Isn’t it kinda sad when they drag out the old cast for some lame reunion show?,” and Danny replied, “Not when the show is adored by millions and the stars were beloved cultural icons.”  Take that, critics!  They even recreated some scenes from the original show, such as when Danny, Jesse, Joey, D.J., and Stephanie sang The Flintstone‘s theme song to the baby.

People constantly tell stories about their past or childhood.  D.J. and Stephanie did a lot of that in Fuller House.  They would recall moments from episodes of Full House, such as when Stephanie “married” Harry Takayama.  Immediately, I felt more connected to the show and the characters.  I was there!  I remember that story too!

As expected, Fuller House was filled with tons of 80s and 90s pop culture references.  The characters were definitely stuck in the past.

The Cast

Candace Cameron Bure (D.J.), Jodie Sweetin (Stephanie), and especially Andrea Barber (Kimmy) got right back into character.  It was like they never left.

Cameron Bure (D.J.) and John Brotherton (Matt) had some great chemistry.  That first kiss was so passionate!  I can’t wait to see their relationship develop more in season two.

Holy chalupas!  A new star is born.  Middle child, Max has stolen my heart.  He’s the most interesting kid on Fuller House, and the only one with a catch phrase.  Max steals every scene he’s in.  Elias Harger (Max) is one talented actor.  He brings so much energy to his performance.

The tween’s (Jackson and Ramona) stories reminded me of current Disney channel shows.  The tweens were very stereotypical.  Jackson thought he was a cool ladies’ man, but he was quite the opposite of that, especially since he kept referring to himself as “J-Money.”  Ramona was the actual “cool” one who liked shopping and dancing.  Their stories were mostly superficial.  Both characters just weren’t that interesting to me, and the actors didn’t help.  They either overacted or underacted, and they seemed disconnected from the characters they were playing.  I want to see these characters take more shape.  We should be watching them grow up, and growing up isn’t easy.  There is so much to explore.  The writers and actors just need to step up their game.

The Writing

My favorite part of Fuller House was the writing.  It was very clever and filled with some memorable one-liners.

A lot of the humor in Fuller House was sexual innuendos.  For example, in one scene, Jackson came down the stairs, carrying his volcano for his science class.  “I’m exhausted.  I was up all night erupting my volcano,” he said and Stephanie’s reaction was “Whoa, dude, TMI.”  Was the original Full House like that, and it just went over my head because of my age?  Either way, the jokes in Fuller House were hilarious.  I definitely laughed out loud several times.

The whole reason Stephanie and Kimmy moved in with D.J. was because D.J. was recently widowed and left with three sons to take care of.  That’s a big deal; however, D.J. and her kid’s didn’t seem at all phased by her husband’s and their father’s death.  It was like the writers just brushed it off.  I want to see them get more emotional.  D.J. was married to this man and had three children with him, so obviously, he was very important to her.  There was one moment when D.J. mentioned that she hadn’t dated since her husband’s death.  You could see her eyes starting to water, but then, it went away and things went on as normal.  The only time the kids mentioned their father was when they wanted to ride a firetruck, and they didn’t even show any emotion during that episode.  There is so much more exploration to be done.  The writers ignored the elephant in the room.  But if they addressed the elephant, it would add so much more depth to the show.  It is completely unrealistic that D.J. and her sons are apathetic towards the death in their family, and it is a disservice to the characters and the show overall to not address this life changing tragedy.

The Crew

The set for Fuller House was perfect.  It was exactly like the original, but with a bit of an updated look (primarily in the kitchen).  The Tanners/Fullers sure don’t like change, do they?

Kimmy had some crazy outfits that fit true to her personality.  She wore many big headbands and in one episode, she even wore a bacon and eggs scarf.  Great job costume crew!

Moving Forward

Season one of Fuller House focused a lot on D.J.’s and Kimmy’s love lives.  I want to see more of a focus on Stephanie next season.  What is going to happen with her singing career?  Is she going to develop more connections with the kids, especially since she can’t have any of her own?

Fuller House was definitely geared towards nostalgic fans who wanted the same cheesy show they loved when they were young.  I am one of those fans, so I loved it!  Fuller House is not like shows on TV nowadays.  It’s light and fluffy.  But it brings a smile to my face.

I was really sad when all thirteen episodes of Fuller House were over.  I want more!  I don’t want to have to wait a full year for season two!


 

Specific Comments

S1E1: Our Very First Show, Again

I didn’t understand Stephanie’s British accent at the start of the show.  How long was she in England?  It’s hard to pick up an accent quickly.  And it went away within a few minutes, so what was the point other than to confuse us all?

I appreciated that during the theme song, the characters recreated their old poses.  Jesse sat on a bench, playing his guitar.  Danny caught a football.  Rebecca smelled a bush full of roses.  Steve hoarded food from the fridge.  It definitely added to the nostalgia.

S1E5: Mad Max

The heaviest part of this whole season was the scene when Stephanie revealed to D.J. that she is unable to have children.  The sisters cried actual tears as they hugged one another.  It was emotional and powerful.  Fuller House needs more scenes like this.

S1E7: Ramona’s Not-So-Epic Party

Steve has become the series clown.  Matt went to Ramona’s birthday party in order to be set up with Kimmy.  That didn’t go so well and ended with Matt being slapped by Fernando with a rubber glove.  As soon as Matt opened the front door to leave, Steve was right there asking how things went.  “Did you meet Kimmy?  Did you love Kimmy?  She’s great, right?” he said.  It was so hilarious, especially since I wasn’t expecting him to pop up.

S1E12: Save the Dates

I don’t understand why Stephanie sang Fernando’s song to Kimmy in place of Fernando.  Fernando claimed that he was too emotional, though as soon as he stopped singing, he lost all emotion.  Stephanie sang for him, which was just weird.  To make things weirder, she was forced to kiss Kimmy.  It didn’t make sense at all.  Was it all just an excuse for Stephanie to kiss Kimmy?

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