Fuller House Is on but in Nobody’s Home
Oh what a surprise, another remake nobody asked for…
By Mykaela Alvey, Anderson University
I’ll be the first to raise my hand and admit that when I heard that they were making a spinoff of Full House based on DJ’s adult life, I was thrilled.
I’ll also admit that when I first saw the Fuller House trailer, I couldn’t wait for it to air on Netflix. But, after giving it some thought, I realized that my excitement may be a bit premature. I mean, do we really need another Full House?
I know that by even asking the question, I have probably enraged Full House fans everywhere, but I don’t say it to make people mad, so hear me out. Here are five reasons “Fuller House” might not work.
1. Fixing Something That’s Not Broken
Not only is Full House not broken, it is thriving. Even today! The show was made in the late 80s and early 90s, but people are still watching reruns on late night TV and collecting the DVDs.
I, like many others, grew up to with the Tanner family. I laughed with them; I cried with them, and I even learned valuable life lessons alongside of DJ. The show definitely has a special place in my heart, but don’t you think that maybe that’s where it should stay?
It has always been the American way to “improve” the older versions of the things we love: Footloose, Ocean’s Eleven, 21 Jumpstreet—pretty much any superhero movie ever made. You name it, we’ve probably re-made it.
I’m not saying that these Frankensteinian tendencies are necessarily bad, though. Believe me, I understand that some movies and shows need to be re-made, but is Full House really one of them? We tend to look at re-makes as a way of improving something that has lost its impact on the people watching it, but I think I speak for many when I say that Full House is still impactful and far, far from outdated.
So, why change something that is already fantastic?
2. The Tanners in 2016
I understand that anyone who grew up with the original show will more than likely be watching this updated version, or at least be tempted to, but I can’t help but wonder if today’s youth will be interested in Fuller House. It’s easy to believe that our beloved, old school TV shows are timeless, but are they really?
Don’t get me wrong, I love feel good family shows, but they’re not really a part of our culture anymore. The vibes of 2016 are wildly different than those of the 1990s, and people don’t really watch shows where feel good, parent/child interactions lead to “learning a lesson moments” while soft music plays in the background.
Case in point: Full House aired on ABC in 1987. Currently airing on ABC: Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and The Bachelor.
Obviously not saying that any of these shows are bad, but you can’t really compare them to Full House. The desires and expectations of the average TV viewer are radically different than they were twenty years ago.
3. Is Anything Different?
The extended trailer they are now showing confirms that the writers are changing very little about the show. Audiences will be essentially looking at the same plot format with different details, such as three female heads of household rather than three males.
There is certainly something positive to be said for the gender positivity, but at the same time, where is the originality? It’s a spinoff yes, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a clone.
DJ, like her father, has three kids. They are all roughly the same age as she and her sisters were on the show. And they’re all boys, another component of the show’s not-so-creative gender swap. Imaginatively, Fuller House is just an emaciated shadow of the original, which validates fears that the show won’t be up-to-date enough to appeal to the teen audiences of 2016.
4. Weak Cast
I don’t say this to cause offense, but it’s true. We all know it.
In a way though, Fuller House’s lackluster casting is a faithful homage to the poor acting of the original.
Even now, when I watch episodes of Full House again, I have to accept the fact that the acting was not top notch.Sure, they had heart and the storylines were funny and family-oriented, but all of that can make it easy to forget that none of the actors were incredibly talented.
So, if the poor acting wasn’t an issue in 1990, why would it be an issue now?
In a nutshell—viewers have changed. They’ve evolved as television connoisseurs, and shoddy acting won’t slip by unnoticed. Modern audiences won’t tolerate a show with bad acting, and pilots get canceled for a lot less nowadays.
5. Major Characters Are Now Minor
Seeing as how they kept everything largely the same, I was shocked to discover that most of the original adult characters make only brief appearances on the show, which is disheartening because what is Full House without the amazing, hilarious and heartwarming Jesse, Joey and Danny?
I realize that Fuller House can’t be the same, but why would the writers dangle this amazing trio in front of us for one episode, then promptly snatch them away? It’s especially twisted considering everything else in the show but that is pretty much an exact copy.
And if we’re being honest, Uncle Jesse was practically the sole reason my 16-year old self watched this show, and you’re going to tell me that he’s been pushed aside?
As Full House fans, we’re expected to just accept the swapping of Joey and Jesse for Kimmy and Stephanie, but something about that doesn’t quite sit right. In their day, Joey and Jesse contributed to much of the comedy on the show and all Kimmy ever did was annoy us.
I’ll probably still end up watching Fuller House when it’s released to Netflix, because if nothing else it’ll be a nice dose of nostalgia.
But the truth of the matter is, some things just need to be left alone.