‘OUR VERY FIRST SHOW, AGAIN’ PLOT SUMMARY:
Twenty years after the original series ended, the cast of Full House returns, as recently widowed D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron Bure) struggles with being the lone parent to three boys, as Danny (Bob Saget) readies to sell the famous house. An unexpected turn though may result in her staying, with two new surprise housemates in this reunion-filled first episode.
Yeah, I like Full House, alright! I don’t want to hear it! I understand it wasn’t the most brilliant piece of comedy writing in the world, and was cheesy beyond belief, but it had a charm that legitimately makes me laugh, SO GET OFF MY BACK! The cringeworthy catchphrases and violin music were staples of the ’90s, so the idea of seeing Uncle Jesse (John Stamos), Joey (Dave Coulier) and the whole damn gang reunited twenty years later is a hilarious concept. We don’t get shows like this anymore. The family sitcom is pretty much extinct, and was replaced by the obnoxious, talking to the camera crap that is Modern Family. I understand Modern Family is a much better written show than the Full Houses, Family Matters and Growing Pains of the world, but dammit, those shows were simply funnier. I feel like we’ve been reading about Fuller House for ten years. You could even say “Everywhere you look,” you see some sort of advertisement for it. Yeah, I went there. But let’s “cut it out,” and get on with the very first episode, perfectly entitled “Our Very First Show, Again.”
The first sixty seconds weren’t pretty. We see Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier and Lori Loughlin all reprise their roles, but it’s extremely awkward. It was nothing but horrible bits that felt like a Jimmy Kimmel sketch making fun of Full House. They were practically winking at the studio audience! I’m not kidding. After all the waiting and promotion, this had the early makings of an unmitigated disaster. It didn’t take long though for everybody to fall back into form. After a couple initial bumps, it was Full House again. I laughed. I groaned (in a good way). It was ’90s nostalgia that actually worked. It made fun of itself, but also worked as a real show. Special props to Dave Coulier. He’s the guy who really turned the first scene around for me.
Speaking of Joey, you get an adequate recap of what everyone’s been up too. More importantly though, there aren’t any bad performances. You could tell everyone was on cloud nine to be doing this. I’m sure they are all getting paid well, but this wasn’t a case of people being dragged back kicking and screaming. John Stamos in particular was having a blast. At one point, Jesse makes a joke about how everyone still looks good. In the case of Stamos and Loughlin, they weren’t kidding. Geez, Louise, who’s blood did they suck to stay looking so young? Seriously, they haven’t aged a day. My word. It was also funny to see Jesse and Rebecca’s kids all grown up, played by the original toddler actors, Blake and Dylan Tuomy-Wilhoit. Jesse’s kids turned out to be dunces. That’s kind of funny. We also see the long awaited return of Joey’s puppet, Mr. Woodchuck, who looks like he took steroids, as his head is now enormous. He’s definitely eaten more than “wood” in the past twenty years, holy Mother of God.
The old guard were merely guest stars though, as the series will focus on D.J., sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), and, of course, everybody’s favorite neighbor, Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber). Kimmy Gibbler was always a favorite of mine, and Barber picks up right where she left off. The three main actresses aren’t amazingly funny, but they’ll carry the series just fine. We’re also introduced to the new kids, who took a back seat in the first episode, so we can’t really evaluate them yet. There’s a baby, but it’s middle child Max (Elias Harger) who they are desperately trying to push as the cute break out star, and he was a little much in the first episode. That’s a concern.
We’ll have plenty of time to delve into the main and new characters, but this first episode was all about the reunion. They even got Steve (Scott Weinger) back, who was pathetically hilarious. He’s a grown man still pining after D.J. like a little puppy dog. Geez, grow up, Steverino! It’s been widely publicized that the Olsen twins turned down the show, but they do make a very meta Michelle joke. Look, this show is what it is. If you liked Full House for the cheese factor it was, this is exactly what you want. While still a family show, the Tanners do get a little more risque in the Netflix realm. D.J. even says “sex” at one point. O…M…G. I could see the nostalgia factor running out on this pretty quickly, but right now, I’m thrilled to be back with the Tanners, or Fullers rather. Yeah, D.J.’s family name is Fuller. They went there.
RATING: 8 “HOW RUDES!” OUT OF 10
SEASON 1 OF FULLER HOUSE IS STREAMING NOW ON NETFLIX
Daniel Cohen is the Film Editor for Pop-Break. Aside from reviews, Daniel does a weekly box office predictions column, and also contributes monthly Top Tens and Op-Ed’s on all things film. Daniel is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in English, and also studied Screenwriting at UCLA. He can also be read on www.movieshenanigans.com. His movie crush is Jessica Rabbit. Follow him on Twitter @dcohenwriter.