[THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS]
The first six episodes of the Full House sequel series, titled Fuller House, premiered Friday on Netflix.
And I watched the first three last night.
I definitely think that Fuller House is worth watching primarily if you were an original Full House fan. Otherwise, there’s not much to ground you and keep you lured in.
There’s plenty of inside jokes and throwbacks to the original series to entertain the average devotee, but for someone unfamiliar with the plot, it might come across as a shallow and poorly plotted try-hard sitcom sequel.
The series, set to release an initial 13 episodes, was produced partly by John Stamos.
My expectations for the show were moderate. I’d been keeping up with the Facebook page updates and the social media shares. I’d also been following John Stamos’ Instagram for as long as I can remember, so that’s where I was when I first found out about the sequel series: when I was stalking his profile.
The first episode didn’t follow very closely with the conventions of a TV show. The characters broke the fourth wall with a passive aggressive excuse about why the Olsen twins weren’t back.
The character introduction was also pretty straightforward, with people appearing one after the other in order of their centrality to the original plot. It started with Danny Tanner (Bob Saget), who was the focus of the original show. From there, you’re reintroduced to Jesse (John Stamos) and Joey (Dave Coulier), Danny’s two best friends who moved in to help him raise his kids after his wife passed away.
While I’ve seen and heard a lot of these actors in other TV roles (Saget in HIMYM, Stamos in Grandfathered), they slip right back into their Full House characters so quickly when they’re back on the show, though you can definitely detect some minor personality changes that have developed over the past 29 years.
Danny has a bit of a sharper humor, Jesse is just cool uncling it all over the place, and Joey’s jokes have taken a whole new level. Becky (Lori Loughlin) has aged gracefully, but still has that subtle sass that we all adored.
Then the kids come in, but they’ve grown up a lot too.
D.J. Tanner (Candace Cameron Bure), a single mom who works as a vet at a local pet shelter, now has three boys and has been living in her original family home for the past few months.
Can you sense the similarity with the original plotline? While Danny’s wife died in a car crash, it turns out that D.J.’s husband was a firefighter who died in the line of duty.
Then, Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin) pops in from Europe. She’s a DJ now, and she’s still sort of stuck in her early 20s phase, though she’s only a few years younger than D.J. In a monologue, she expresses her passion for music and travel, ending it with, “No strings, no responsibilities.”
Further, Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) still retains that fiery personality, but it turns out that she’s separated from her husband and has a young half-Latin half-Gibbler daughter.
The first episode turns out to be the last day with everyone in the house, so the family hosts a going away party. The following day, Danny and Becky are headed to LA to start working on their own national talk show. Jesse and Joey are also packed and ready to head their separate ways. Furthermore, Danny has put the house on the market, and D.J. is going to move out and start her life as a single mother on her own. The whole family has previously been helping her take care of her kids.
Within the first few minutes, the scene is set: the family is in transition.
Then the theme song interrupts with a rush of nostalgia, with Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen covering the original track “Everywhere You Look”. Her modern, pop twist overpowers the family-centric, 90s feel that the theme song used to elicit.
The introduction reveals that the focus will now likely fall on the daughters, all grown up. There’s an obvious inversion of roles, with D.J., Stephanie and Kimmy assuming the original roles played by Danny, Jesse and Joey, respectively.
D.J.’s high school sweetheart Steve (Scott Weinger), who clearly still has a thing for DJ, is pulled into the plot as well. While his personality is very reminiscent of his adolescent self, his aged face structure and salt-and-pepper hair indicate otherwise. But something things never change: Steve is still standing in front of an open fridge when the camera pans to him.
He also first shows up to the going away party. D.J. approaches him and says, thanks for coming! To which he replies, Are you kidding? Free food!
Netflix had characters reenact parts of old episodes in a unique nod to the past, putting two scenes side by side.
In one scene, everyone crowds around D.J.’s baby son Tommy and sings the Flintstones theme song, just as they had years ago for baby Michelle.
If you loved Full House as a kid and grew super invested in the characters like I did, definitely check this sequel series out.
The first episode features Jesse Katsopolis sliding in his signature catchphrase, Have mercy!, the return of Joey and Mr. Woodchuck, a really epic and nostalgic family dance party to New Kids on the Block, a warmhearted resurfacing of “Forever” by Jesse, a live performance of “Wild Thing” by Danny, and a super pivotal and thoughtful move on Stephanie’s part.