Fuller House, the spin-off of the classic ABC sitcom Full House, finally hit Netflix this past Friday and the reviews are in. With all apologies to John Stamos, there are a lot of critics out there that simply have no mercy for this nostalgic reboot (okay, that was a really bad pun).
Fuller House picks up 21 years after Full House, which left television screens in 1995 after eight seasons on ABC. This time around, DJ (Candace Cameron Bure) takes the Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) role as she’s lost her husband, who died in the line of duty as a firefighter, and is now trying to raise her three children on her own. To help out, younger sister Stephanie (played by an often scantily clad Jodie Sweetin) and best friend Kimmy Gibler (Andrea Barber) return to essentially play the respective roles of Uncle Jesse (John Stamos) and Uncle Joey (Dave Coulier).
Fuller House, much like its predecessor, is filled with cheesy lines and with nearly all of the original cast returning, all of the classic catchphrases make an appearance at some point throughout Season 1’s 13 episodes. Fuller House relies very heavy on nostalgia, something that certainly isn’t sitting well with some critics, including Josh Bell of Las Vegas Weekly.
“In one sense, the team behind Fuller House, which is led by original Full House creator and executive producer Jeff Franklin, has done a fantastic job: They’ve successfully recaptured all of the terribleness of Full House, while updating it with new terribleness marketed at a self-aware, pseudo-ironic audience of millennials. The first episode reunites nearly every major actor from the original Full House run, with the exception of twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who have moved on from acting to oversee a billion-dollar fashion empire. As such, the extra-long pilot is like a live-action BuzzFeed listicle, cramming in every catch phrase, nostalgic callback and self-referential wink (the mention of the Olsens’ character Michelle is accompanied by all the actors literally looking right at the audience) it possibly can.”
“There’s no reason for Fuller House to exist, except to feed into the constant nostalgia loop in which we seem to be stuck. One of the downsides of constant television outlets is that a show doesn’t really need a reason to exist to be seen. But the weird thing about Fuller House is that it’s not a disappointment – like, say, Netflix’s Arrested Development reboot. It accomplishes what it sets out to do – be a bland family sitcom playing to a nostalgic audience that really wanted to give Coulier a paycheck again. But that doesn’t mean it’s any good.”
Hank Stuever of the Washington Post continues the onslaught on Fuller House.
“There’s a point where nostalgia becomes more like necrophilia, and Fuller House immediately crosses that line. Exhumed on the pretense of millennial desire (you loved the show as kids; you’ll love it even more as stunted, binge-watching adults), Netflix’s 13-episode revival of the old ABC sitcom Full House is less an update than an irony-free pantomime of the past. It represents a new low in the current culture’s inability to leave behind the blankies, binkies and wubbies of one’s youth.”
Speaking of “how rude”, Margaret Lyons of Vulture chimes in on why she thinks that catchphrase, among other things, makes the first few minutes of Fuller House some of the worst in television history.
“The first four minutes of Fuller House are four of the most excruciating TV minutes ever broadcast; shrill, garish, unfunny, and further poisoned by the live audience’s baffling apparent appetite to hear the catchphrases of the show repeated now, in modernity. ‘How rude’ elicits applause. Future societies will have no choice but to judge us harshly for our sins.”
Noticeably absent from Fuller House are Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who famously played Michelle Tanner in the original Full House, but there are plenty of references (and jabs) throughout the first season of Fuller House. The Olsen twins have not acted for more than a decade, something that Entertainment Weekly‘s Jeff Jensen recommends they stick to, at least in regards to Fuller House.
“Skipping this embarrassment are Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who became lifestyle brands while playing Michelle and have had a turbulent relationship with fame ever since. In the debut, Saget says Michelle is pursuing a fashion career–and the cast gives side eye to the camera, drawing approving hollers. Why the shaming? Because the twins don’t do nostalgia? Because they have too much self-respect for a cash grab and a cheap ovation? Regardless, I resent getting co-opted into this ugliness. Olsens, you made a quality call. Readers, follow their lead. Fuller House doesn’t deserve your devotion. It deserves a foreclosure notice.”
Where do you come out on this? Have you watched Fuller House? Did you like Fuller House? Or do you agree with these particular critics?
[Image via Netflix]