Review: ‘Fuller House’ Series Premiere – Predictable But Effective

Netflix’s Fuller House debuted on Friday night to a worldwide audience. Fuller House (a sequel to the popular ABC sitcom from the 80’s early 90’s) is a trip down memory lane riddled with pot holes and writing reminiscent of an ABC afterschool special.

However, if anyone was hoping for appointment television when the announcement was made that Full House was getting a sequel then shame on you. Fuller House is, in essence, predictable television. After all, the show’s theme song does begin with “Whatever happened to predictability.”

Fuller House is the television equivalent of a Twinkie. It’s familiar, sweet, and doesn’t resemble anything close to quality but, we can’t help ourselves when we want more.

Fuller House starts off as a sitcom-style family reunion. The irony in all this is that when Full House aired from 1987-1995, it was already a nostalgia show. It was the house full of group hugs and catch phrases. The widower Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) raised three daughters with his cool brother-in-law and quirky best friend. In the newer version the roles have been flipped, and now it’s DJ raising kids after her husband died on the job as a firefighter.

The premiere is a 35-minute dash down memory lane. The studio audience went crazy when John Stamos and Lori Loughlin took the stage. Dave Coulier dusted off his old catchphrase “Cut-it-Out!” The highlight of the episode was when someone mentioned Michelle (who was played by Mary-Kate/Ashley Olson and was the only original cast member who opted not to return) and the cast glared through the fourth wall.

Many fans will be pleased to know that Stamos reprises the song “Forever,” which was Jessie’s wedding song. The premiere manages to hit most if not all the familiar beats (don’t want to reveal them all) so that they too will have “yaba daba doo time” while watching the first episode (sorry a little Fuller House humor).

The episode also serves it’s purpose as it sets up the remainder of the 13 episode first season. Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and crazy neighbor Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) move in to help D.J. (Candace Cameron-Bure). Kimmy has a 13-year-old daughter who’s a carbon copy of Gibbler and D.J.’s middle son even debuts a new catch phrase as the show attempts to cutesify him.

The reality in all this is whether or not people give Fuller House it’s kudos or annihilate the premise, depends on your relationship with the show. If this is a show you grew up with, then you know what you are getting yourself into. On the flipside, if you are were expecting better then you are going to be upset with what you see. Fuller House is Netflix bringing us back to a period where you rarely if ever worried what was playing on the television. Family oriented television is what they wanted, and boy or boy does Fuller House deliver that and then some.

One question does eat at me about this show, and it’s if the audience wants to know what’s been going on with this cast or do we just want to envision they way it was. Do we wish to see Danny Tanner giving one of his epic lectures to Michelle about being a good friend or hear how Kimmy Gibbler knows about the Kama Sutra? Are we just hoping to see D.J. and Stephanie fighting over space in their room or D.J. setting up an online dating profile? Regardless of the answer, we can’t escape the fact that 29 years have passed since we last saw Tanner clan and they’ve grown up.

If audiences are looking for award winning T.V., then go binge watch Narcos. If safe, fun, and family-oriented television is what you seek then look no further. Yes, the premiere episode of Fuller House is predictable but these days, that’s not a bad thing.

Fuller House

Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
Dewey Singleton - Film Critic
I'm a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and have been doing reviews for many years. My views on film are often heard in markets such as Atlanta, Houston, and satellite radio. My wife often tolerates my obsession for all things film related and two sons are at an age now where 'Trolls' is way cooler than dad. Follow me on twitter @mrsingleton.