I was not the first to board the “Fuller House” bus. I was not in the least bit hype about seeing Uncle Jesse curling his Elvis lips or Uncle Joey insisting we “cut-it-out” for the kabillionth time. The repackaging of shows and movies is such a dull formula for ratings and box office success. They so often miss the mark in trying to deliver on the present-day relevance, when really all we want is for Brandon and Brenda Walsh to grapple with all the problems of racism in 45 minutes like they did in 1997, rather than be all heavy handed with consciousness like the revival was.
Yet, something compelled me tonight to give “Fuller House”–exclusively on Netflix–a whirl while I suffered through my nightly torture by Tracy Anderson.
I didn’t quite know what that strange compulsion was. Within 5 minutes of test-driving “Fuller House,” though, with its familiar kitchen gags about Danny Tanner cleanliness and Kimmy Gibbler’s feet, I knew what it was. Full House was always 30 minutes of corny, clean humor. It was manageable conflict with well-cued resolution. That’s what sit-coms used to offer us: predictability. It’s even in the theme song, for crying out loud. A very predictable set of characters and situations that could only be viewed at a certain timeevery week unless, of course, you remembered to tape it on a VCR.
There is very little about my own kids’ entertainment that is nostalgic for me. They play Go Fish and color in coloring books but their cartoons are hyperactive, they understand the mechanics of Snapchat, and they don’t have to blow on a Nintendo cartridge to access a video game. “Fuller House” harnesses all of this by setting in contrast the children of DJ Tanner and Kimmy Gibbler who are cellphone-dependent with their parents’ steady repetition of their old shticks including a dry erase Chore Chart posted in the kitchen. Ah! DJ has to do everything! Whatever will she do? Cue piano keys of reckoning!
It doesn’t take a PhD to deconstruct why “Fuller House” is a win. Sometimes you just want to go back to a seemingly simpler time and even if you don’t get MK + Ashley, just about everything else? You got it, dude.