I made it through the wilderness. Somehow I made it through.
I first heard rumblings of a follow-up to Full House around the time I finished reviewing the original series. Such a thing seamed unfeasible to me, or too terrible to even think about. Some time went by and there wasn’t much news beyond rumors so I started to think that it was all just a horrible fever dream, but then they went ahead and announced Fuller House. I oscillated between being repelled and morbidly curious about it and then a few websites started asking if they could interview me because I accidentally became one of the go-to people on the internet to talk about this shitty show. One of the bigger sites invited me to review the new series for them and it kind of felt like I might actually end up doing something somewhat professional with my bizarre hobby of shitting on crappy tv. Naturally, the deal fell through but I was already resigned to write about the new show, so here we are. I’ll have more to say about that towards the end of this but for now let’s look back at Fuller House as a whole.
I think that, overall, it wasn’t really all that bad. Granted, it was total garbage, but considering that it’s the follow-up to the worst popular sitcom of all time, it was much better than I thought it would be. It kept with the traditions of the original series but it was a little sharper, a little edgier, it provided a little more of a sense that the people working on it gave a shit. Ultimately, I think that it really delivered for Full House fans who wanted a follow-up and it underperformed for assholes like me who couldn’t help but hate-watch it. It was bad, but it wasn’t bad enough. It didn’t have that special level of intelligence insulting, tear-your-hair-out bullshit that made the original series such a compelling trainwreck. It was just a halfway-decent sitcom that heavily relied on your relationship to the source material to get you to watch it.
I think that the main thing that really set Fuller House apart from the original series was the quality of performances among the leads. I was totally caught off guard by how well Candace Cameron carried this show. I haven’t seen her in anything since the previous series’ finale so I didn’t know what to expect, but I thought that her energy and delivery were actually really great. I wish that they’d maintained Kimmie Gibbler’s eccentricity a little more in her adult incarnation, because they could have made her a lot more interesting (especially considering that they didn’t do much more with her than make us wonder if she’d reconcile her marriage), but Andrea Barber returned to the role so naturally that it really did feel like we were seeing how Kimmie Gibbler turned out as an adult. Stephanie was definitely the weakest of the leads and her role as the “wild one” was a little groan-inducing, but she did a respectable job. Ultimately, the story of these three women living together and becoming a family was a lot more palatable than the story of three incompetent dads who are pissing and shitting their way through parenthood. I think that the moms’ being portrayed as actually capable of parenting was part of it, but it also felt like the actresses really wanted to be there, whereas the original series had a bit of an I’m-just-sticking-around-until-I-find-something-better vibe from the leads (spoiler alert: none of them ever did).
DJ’s kids really sucked shit, making them the most comparable element to the original series. The older kid was just really boring but the middle kid sort of encompassed what was so offensive about to original show. He’s loud and selfish and he’s very obviously reading a script, but we’re supposed to be so enamored by his stupid little face that it doesn’t bother us.
The actress who played Ramona did a really good job but the series didn’t do much to define her character. Probably the thing about this whole series that caught me the most off guard was how cute the baby was. I always felt really aggravated when they’d showcase Michelle on the original series and I assumed it was because I felt like I was being manipulated by a cheap grab for “awws,” but this new show made me realize that I actually like being manipulated by a cute baby and the real problem all along was that the Olsen twins were really ugly babies. I never hesitated to point that out but seeing an actually cute baby in the same role made me realize for the first time how susceptible I’d be to such a thing. Overall, I think that the lack of Michelle in this new series was probably the best thing it had going for it. Grown-up Michelle can’t be much better than baby or little kid Michelle. The best case scenario is no Michelle.
All the cameos from the original cast members were kind of sad. I mean, Jesse and Becky still looked great and they seemed happy to appear on the show, it was just kind of a bummer to find out that she never divorced him. Bob Saget could not have done more to convey how much he did not want to be there, which made it seem really odd that he showed up at all. Dave Coulier was portrayed as a bumbling idiot, and rightly so, and he didn’t really seem like he wanted to be there that much, either, but he also seemed like he didn’t have anywhere better to be. I’m glad that we didn’t see very much of him, but what little we did see of him was way too much. No Joey would have been even better than no Michelle. The best case scenario would have been dead Joey, but I’m starting to think that it’s never gonna happen.
I thought that the series did a pretty decent job of maintaining story threads throughout the Season. Again, this is in comparison to the original show, which couldn’t even keep track of what the main characters jobs were, so it’s faint praise. The whole DJ/Matt/Steve love triangle was sort of halfway interesting. I really wasn’t sure who she’d end up with and I really appreciated that she chose to be on her own at the end and focus on her new life with her weirdo best friend and her STD-riddled sister. I’m sure that they’ll keep it going for as long as they can and I look forward to finding out how it all gets resolved by looking it up on Wikipedia some day.
Ultimately, Fuller House had some really stupid shit in it, but it had a few actually funny moments, too. Most of the new characters were one-dimensional and deeply unengaging but they managed to do a little bit to ad depth to a few of the returning characters, which was quite an achievement for a show like this. I’d say that, overall, it was not worth watching because it wasn’t by any standards a good show and it wasn’t really terrible enough to hate-watch, either. It was a pretty decent update for Full House fans and that’s about all it’s good for.
And that brings me to the honest-to-goodness conclusion of this blog. I’m not going to review any more of Fuller House, for a lot of reasons. Full House was this bizarre piece of nostalgia that was successful for some inexplicable reason despite it being truly awful, which, to me, made it good material for a cranky blog that people could read at work. Fuller House definitely has components worth making fun of, but since it’s a current show it doesn’t have the same disturbing-trip-down-memory-lane factor that the old series did. I always liked the idea that we could all collectively look back at Full House together and really examine how fucked up it was. Now that the show has a lame sequel that’s in it’s current run, this blog kind of feels like a lame sequel, too. It also never occurred to me that the show would run for more than one Season. If I agree to keep writing this, I have no idea what I’m even getting into. This shit could go on for 10 more years. I’m also not really very excited about being the Full House guy on the internet. I really loved having an audience for this project and it was kind of neat to get to go on the radio and be interviewed and stuff when the new show was coming out, but it kind of started to weird me out, too. I think the most eye-opening moment for me was when I did an interview for some newspaper that ran a a pretty straightforward piece that I checked up on a few days later only to learn that it had been reworked into an article about “Full House obsessives.” I am totally aware of how weird it is to have taken the time to review every episode of Full House but I always just looked at it as a hobby. I just wanted to write a funny blog and Full House seemed like an easy thing to write about. I do a lot of other stuff and I think I’d like to focus my energy on that. This new set of reviews has been a real slog and I honestly have no idea how I managed to set time aside to do this every week for so long. I think I’m just at a different point in my life now and I’ve got other stuff that I’d rather be doing. So, really, the reason I wont be reviewing more of Fuller House is because I don’t want to.
I wrote a really earnest conclusion to this blog a few years ago and I kind of regret not leaving it at that. It has been fun to revisit this project and read comments from some of the old gang. I’ve missed this community and I’m glad we got to hang out on the internet together one more time. Thanks very much to everyone who read this dumb crap that I wrote and I hope that some of you will check out some other stuff that I’ll be making in the future. It just wont be reviews of Fuller House. I’m over it.