During the late eighties and early nineties, American sitcom Full House was a force to be reckoned with. Despite never really finding fame in the UK, in the rest of the world, the twee exploits of the Tanner family became a weekly sustenance for audiences across the globe.
So, amidst the current wave of nostalgia and reboots, it comes as no surprise that the cast of erstwhile “resting” actors would attempt to bring back the series that once made them famous. Albeit this time without the two stars of the show that have actually made a career for themselves.
Fuller House has not exactly been met with the greatest reception. John Stamos recently appeared on TV reading out some of the harsher criticisms; “softcore porn without the porn” being a personal favourite. But what people seem to have forgotten in their rose-tinted wonder, is that Full House was, in itself, utterly naff. The light-hearted “isn’t it nice to have a flawed yet functional family” has been a staple of American comedy for decades, and Full House took this to the extreme, ending every episode with a hug and a dreadful punchline. But it was fun.
And for fans of the original, so is its successor.
Centering around original children DJ (Candace Cameron) and Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), along with kooky neighbour girl Kimmy (Andrea Barber), Fuller House sees history repeating itself as DJ finds herself widowed and bringing up her three children alone. Cue the other stars moving in to help. Japes a’plenty ensue as the three unlikely parents struggle to juggle their “full house” of mischievous kids.
After the initial nostalgia-fest of the pilot episode, which sees the return of every original cast member (save for the Olsen twins, made up for with a hilarious little fourth-wall breaker), Fuller House does exactly what its parents did before it; kids get up to nonsense, parents get angry, misfits aunts get up to misfit shenanigans. It’s a tried and tested formula, but, you know what? It works.
Perhaps a little too much screentime is dedicated to the adults this time round (hence the “softcore porn” comment regarding our all-grown-up collection of yummy mummies), but the kids, as ever, do their best to upstage. Michael Campion as oldest son Jackson is a cheeky ladies man who one can’t help but like, and Dashiell and Fox Messitt as baby Tommy are actually 100 times more adorable than the Olsen twins ever were. The real star, however, is Elias Harger as middle child Max. Smart and sweet, Max echoes the peppiness that Sweetin claimed in the original show. The boy has a bright future ahead of him, and hopefully will not follow too much in his aunt Stephanie’s real life footsteps.
More saccharine than a case of Canderel, Fuller House is by no means original or smart, but it’s still wholesome fun. For fans of the original, there’s plenty of joy to be had. If you’ve never watched Full House, however, it’s going to leave a cloying taste in the mouth.
Dir: Rich Correll
Scr: Jeff Franklin
Starring: Candace Cameron, Jodie Sweetin, Andrea Barber, Michael Campion, Elias Harger, Soni Bringas, John Stamos
Music: Jesse Frederick
DOP: Gregg Heschong
Number of Episodes: 13
Episode Runtime: 30mins
Fuller House is available to stream now only on Netflix.