Sunday, March 13, 2016

Fuller House - Season 1 Thoughts

Had it not been for my wife I doubt I would crawled back into the nostalgic reboot of Fuller House, which follow-ups the popular ABC Television Series Full House (1987-1995).

And while the few reviews I've seen generally seem to claim this as a show just for die hard fans, I would like to suggest that this may not entirely be the case.

Anyone who has fallen in love with a show and gone back and rewatched it from the beginning are sure to realize that shows that last often evolve to a point where they find their sweet spot, and rarely does a show start of in full force in it's pilot episode (think about a non-funny 30 Rock pilot, or a Gilmore Girls where there is no chemistry and characters are bitter not witty).

In this same way the nostalgic element of Fuller House is strong - not only referencing previous episodes from the past but also creating an almost over-kill amount of symmetry between prior story lines and new story lines. And that continues through all 13 episodes, don't get me wrong.

But there was a glimmer of hope in the 13 episodes, particularly towards the end of the season that characters might be given the chance to grow into something beyond their 1989 counterpart. Specifically by episode 9 ("War of Roses") when all three female leads, plus Lori Loughlin (Aunt Becky), are trying to figure out the source of an overkill floral delivery.

It's a little campy in it's presentation, and shares the same tone of the rest of the show, but I don't recall any matching story line here, and instead this episode offered it's own level of interest which really fed into the next three episodes.

So, when I heard this would be renewed for a second season I was encouraged. I didn't need cameo's of prior Full House regulars regularly appearing...sorry, Dave Coulier. But instead I can enjoy the light hearted show for what it is.

In regards to characters, in many ways Candance Cameron Bure reprisal of her role of J.D. Fuller (nee Tanner), works well even in part because it seems she naturally in real life has continued to embody the Full House ethos. So, as a result the tone of this show some how cuts above a air of cheesiness and offer a strange authenticity. Now, I'm not getting carried away - there is something romantacized and cheesy here - but it generally does not seem forced.

Also, I'm not sure what it is, but Jodie Sweetin's character of Stephanie Tanner some how caught my attention in this series. There was some unique combination of her acting, her story line, and her onscreen personae that frankly just seemed different and intriguing.

The kids who play their caricature roles are certainly doing exactly what they're expected - similar to my long term interest, my hope is that these characters are given the freedom to grow and develop as well without being stuck in a pre-defined mold. Don't get me wrong, middle child's highly physical antics (Elias Harger as Max Fuller) are often fun, but they're almost over the top, much in the same way this would have been seen in the original series. It's fun, but it might wear thin. Especially if the baby (Tommy Fuller) jumps in strong in an early toddler stage in season 2.

So hear my message. I'm not suggesting this series be short listed for Emmy's, Golden Globes, or even People's Choice Awards. Still, I find myself pleased to see this reboot capture attention and a second season and expect that when it's released we'll be ready to watch it again.

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it wasn't the best of sitcoms, but it was warm and nice and that is what the world needs today, family values and genuine kindness not some ironic single camera comedies with rude jokes

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