Nostalgia is such a powerful and profitable force that old media are constantly being revisited, even if the original wasn’t really that good. Such seems to be the case with an update to Full House, a show from the nineties about a bunch of privileged white people living together. The Netflix original series Fuller House, of which Beth and I recently finished watching the first (and so far only) season, revisits the same family, with the premise that DJ Tanner followed in her father’s footsteps by having three children and a dead spouse. If the Tanners didn’t get pretty much everything else they wanted, I’d say there was some kind of curse on them. When Danny moves to Los Angeles, he leaves DJ and her sons the house, and Stephanie and Kimmy Gibbler move in to help her out. Kimmy has her own daughter, which means the house is fuller than when the original series started (seven people instead of six), but less full than once Nicky and Alex were born. Kimmy is currently separated from her cheating husband, who’s an over-the-top Latin stereotype. Yeah, apparently the only ethnic character on the show is kind of a dirtbag. Okay, technically Jesse’s family is Greek, but they didn’t do much with that other than having his Greek grandfather show up a few times and eventually die on the Tanners’ couch. And DJ is apparently one of the most desirable women in San Francisco, because not only has Steve returned to try to win her back in a sometimes rather creepy way, but her co-worker at the animal hospital is also interested in her. She dates both, and while they sometimes complain, they don’t seem to be concerned that she’s stringing them along. And Stephanie is working as a DJ but never appears to have any money; I don’t know if she’s having trouble getting gigs or just financially irresponsible. DJ’s middle kid, Max, yells all his lines. Her oldest son, Jackson, is better performed, but an obnoxiously smug character.
Compared to the original show, Fuller House seems to be more aware of its own ridiculous sappiness, which doesn’t totally counteract the fact that it’s still ridiculously sappy, but helps a bit. There are meta-references galore, many at the expense of the Olsen Twins, who refused to appear. What’s weird is that, within the context of the show, Michelle AND the actual Olsens are both fashion moguls in New York. Does anyone point out how similar they are? It also has ever so slightly more edge, with heavier innuendo and more references to drinking. Full House Reviewed was constantly pointing out how lazy and irresponsible Jesse and Joey were, and mentioned how the new show seemed to be more aware of this. Nicky and Alex have grown up to be slackers; and Joey shows up to babysit in one episode and makes a mess of the house, then leaving without even helping to clean. Come on, even the Cat in the Hat cleaned up his mess afterwards! He also says that he flew in from Las Vegas to watch the kids, yet he has his Mr. Woodchuck puppet with him. Did he buy it a seat on the plane? I wouldn’t be at all surprised. The reviews also drove home how often one of the kids learns a lesson, but it’s immediately negated by their either getting what they wanted in the first place or something just as good. And yes, Fuller House still does that. There’s an episode where Max comes up with a ridiculous lie about being able to ride on a fire engine whenever he wants to, and not only does he not get punished, but the family actually pulls strings so that he and his friends can get rides. I guess the fact that he felt uncomfortable for a little while was punishment enough for this show. FHR has reviews of the first season, but the guy who runs it says he won’t be reviewing any more of it because it’s no longer fun for him.
By the way, I think what happened to the paperboy and evening TV was the Internet. I’m not sure about the milkman, but I guess milk delivery just isn’t as viable or necessary these days.