Maybe you missed it, but the Internet was going pretty bonkers the other day about the news that Full House would be returning for a new, 13-episode season on Netflix. USA Today reports:
[‘Fuller House’] will premiere in 2016. The spinoff will star Full House veterans Candace Cameron-Bure, Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber, with Stamos set to produce and guest star.
Netflix says it is talking to other Full House stars, including Bob Saget, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Dave Coulier and Lori Loughlin, about participating as guest stars. Warner Horizon Television will produce the new series, with Full House creator Jeff Franklin serving as creator and an executive producer.
In our inaugural segment of ‘Watch or Avoid,’ ShowVote’s head editor Shawn Eastridge (SE) and co-founder Shea Weekley (SW) react to the news. Both grew up watching the show, but do they recommend checking it out?
SE: Alright, so by this point we’ve both seen the news regarding this spontaneous reboot/renewal/reprise/*insert other ‘re’ words here* of Full House. Can I just mention that I’m getting a little tired of studios milking our nostalgia for all it’s worth? I mean, I thought the Boy Meets World spinoff Girl Meets World was at least somewhat justified, but ‘Fuller House’ (yes, that’s actually what it’s called) feels a little too desperate. Maybe I’m just a cynical jerk these days, but my immediate reaction is one of pure annoyance.
SW: At first glance it does evoke a major eye roll, doesn’t it? Look, I grew up with this show as a kid and it certainly holds a lot of nostalgia for me; that doesn’t mean it was ever a “good” TV show. And even though I KNOW that my personal childhood feelings about the show are being abused here, the more I think about it the more I hear a little voice in the back of my head admit that I would like to see how this pans out.
SE: I’m with you as far as growing up with the show. It used to be a regular past-time in the Eastridge household. And sure, there’s always an initial level of excitement that simply can’t be ignored when this kind of news is announced. But, still, after eight seasons, is there really anything new to add to the plate? Are we really so desperate for content that we have to plunge the depths of TV sitcoms in order to come up with something ‘new’?
SW: When taking a look at the format it’s obvious that they aren’t attempting to fool with the formula a whole lot, BUT they still set themselves up to deal with themes that aren’t readily accessible in such a soft context. If you think about the original show you quickly realize that these characters dealt with a lot of depressing issues – namely Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) who was dealing with being a recently widowed father of 3. I don’t think the original writers created that situation to necessarily plumb emotional depths but more to create a “3 Men And A Baby” vibe.
Now you’ve got this spinoff. DJ Tanner (Candice Cameron Bure), the oldest of the original children is recently widowed herself… while that is not very original, it is still extremely heavy material right off the bat which allows for the show to deal with themes like loss, death, abandonment and loneliness. Kimi Gibbler is a single mother herself (who knows how that came to be) and Stephanie Tanner is a failed musician (like her uncle Jesse). It’s definitely not a new show, obviously, it’s more that we as a society are living in radically different times. The core tenets of the show are still relevant, like parenting, respect, ambition, responsibility, love, acceptance and hugs after somber talks.
You know, the more I think about it the more I’m okay with this awful TV show being made. Chances are it will be drivel…just like Girl Meets World…but it has an opportunity to reclaim its old stomping grounds for millions of young families with children.
SE: As much as I’d hate to admit it, you do have a point. Although, I’m a bit wary of the fact that the basic premise seems to follow the exact synopsis of the original Full House series. Both Danny Tanner and his daughter end up becoming a widower and a widow respectively? It’s almost as if the writers and producers are rubbing the lack of original material in our faces, saying, “Shut up and eat it, kids!”
But, yes, I think considering the current state of the world we live in, people are finding comfort in the arms of these unchallenging, sugar-coated shows from the past. While nostalgia may play a major factor in our fond memories of the show, it’s important to remember that Full House was never a particularly good show. I don’t expect Fuller House to be much better.
It’ll be interesting to see how people react to Fuller House. When Girl Meets World started, plenty of fans whined and moaned, totally ignoring the fact that Boy Meets World was originally focused on a younger age group in the first place. It will be very interesting to see if it’s able to connect to a new audience or if it’ll be limited to the already existing fan base. (Is there an already existing fan base for something like Full House? Remind me to avoid those folks at all costs.)
Could Fuller House take a step by embracing the sugar sweetness while combining some more mature thematic material? Possibly. Will it? Highly unlikely. The success of this show will be solely due to the nostalgia factor and not much more and I’m sure the producers know this and are dedicated to putting in the minimal amount of effort required to get this show on the air. Then, if all goes according to plan, the cash starts rolling in.
SW: It’ll certainly be new ground for Netflix since they haven’t tampered with a 3 camera sitcom before. It’s a very safe and clever bet for a company that already has a slew of intelligent programming choices in it’s lineup.
I’m terrified of the throwback references that will inevitably fill the first 4 episodes such as Jesse dressing up as Elvis and Stephanie delivering her “How RUDE!” zinger and uncle Joey doing his Rocky and Bullwinkle impersonations but on the whole I completely understand why this is happening and while I would prefer fresh and original material I can only harbor that sentiment so long before realizing a majority of my favorite shows are adapted from pre-existing material like comics or book series…..so what’s the real harm in a spinoff series from a wildly popular show over 20 years ago? Maybe it’ll give a new generation a chance to form the same bond that we did – whatever weird bond it was.
Shawn’s Final Word: “Avoid” – I’ll probably check out the first episode to see how much of a disaster this thing is, but not even the nostalgia factor can get me pumped.
Shea’s Final Word: “Watch”– at your own risk…or if you liked or feel nostalgic about the original show.