There’s a fine line between charming and cheesy — but Fuller House manages to be both. Nearly 20 years after the original Full House‘s 1987 premiere on ABC, its reboot bowed on Netflix on Friday, February 26. Fans from the first time around might be charmed by its unapologetic nods to the ’90s, but if you didn’t like it the first time around, it seems safe to say you’re not going to be impressed by the update.
Everyone Is Back (Well, Almost)
Not surprisingly, the series opened by reintroducing the core characters and the show’s signature saccharine humor. Opening jokes included Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) threatening to feed Uncle Joey (Dave Coulier) a piece of bread that had been dropped on the floor, Uncle Jesse (John Stamos) forcing his infant nephew, Tommy, to model his new Elvis-inspired onesie and Uncle Joey doing his Rocky and Bullwinkle impression. Oh, then baby Elvis and Joey Bullwinkle engaged in a playful karate fight. Cue the laugh track.
Some not-so-subtle dialogue provided updates on everyone’s lives. Danny and Becky (a miraculously unchanged Lori Loughlin) were moving to Los Angeles to host their own nationally syndicated morning show. Jesse was going too, having nabbed a plum gig composing music for General Hospital. Jesse and Becky’s sons were all grown-up and in college.
As for the girls, Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin) was back briefly from traveling the world as a DJ on the party circuit, and a running gag was that her performing name was DJ Tanner. (No comment.) Michelle (formerly played by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen) wasn’t coming home because she was “busy in New York running her fashion empire,” Danny noted as the entire cast broke the fourth wall to give the Olsen twins some side-eye through the camera.
It quickly became clear, however, that this series’ focus is D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron Bure), a recently widowed pediatrician with three sons — Max (Elias Harger), Jackson (Michael Campion) and the aforementioned Tommy (Dashiell and Fox Messitt). As Danny prepared to sell the house, D.J. was clearly struggling to meet all of her responsibilities as a working single mom.
Stephanie and D.J. Bond in Their Old Bedroom
During a quiet moment, Stephanie asked her big sister how she was holding up. “I have three boys who count on me for everything, so I can’t worry about the things I can’t change,” D.J. said with a sigh. “My husband died doing what he loved, fighting fires and helping people. He’d want me to be strong. I wish you would spend more time with your nephews. They adore you!”
Stephanie quickly clarified that she had zero interest in settling down. “It’s boring to me — it’s perfect to you!” she said as D.J. rolled her eyes.
Steve Is Back
But D.J. might not be alone for long. During a goodbye party for everyone who was getting ready to head out, D.J.’s high-school boyfriend, Steve (Scott Weinger), dropped by. He said he came for the “free food,” but it soon became clear that he wanted more than a meal.
“I know you’re not ready to start something new or restart something old, but I want you to know that when you’re ready, I’ll be right here,” he said, in case there was any confusion about his intentions. (There wasn’t.)
Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) was there too, along with her daughter and her ex-husband, who announced that she had amazing skills in the sack. (Apparently, he didn’t think that was weird to say in front of their teenage daughter.)
Of course, the party couldn’t end without a group sing-along and Steve reiterating his intentions. “I should have just asked you to marry me at the prom,” he said to D.J. Oh, also, apparently he has become a podiatrist.
Comet Jr. Jr. Goes Into Labor
Steve returned the next day with his dog Comet Jr. Jr. in his arms. The dog was in labor, and it wasn’t going well — so Steve needed D.J.’s professional help. Her son Tommy was sick with an ear infection, but because she’s Supermom, she was able to handle both and successfully delivered the pups.
The only problem then was that her son Max wanted to keep one of the pooches, and she wasn’t having it.
The Magic of the Baby Monitor
After delivering the litter of puppies, D.J. headed upstairs to tend to her sick child, and while she was talking to him, the rest of the family was downstairs listening over the baby monitor.
“I’m sorry, but I’m having a tough day too, because everyone’s leaving, and for the first time, we’re going to be all on our own,” she said, crying. “I just don’t know if I can deal with all of this. I just hope I can give you the beautiful life you deserve.”
Of course, by the time she got downstairs, everyone had decided to stay — but Stephanie intervened.
“You guys did your share for us. Now it’s time for me to step up. I am clearing my schedule, and I’m moving in with my sister. You are too stubborn to ask anyone for help,” she said. “You need me right now.” Inspired, Kimmy announced she was moving in too. And then Danny announced he would take the house off the market so they could live there.
The episode ended with everyone gathering around Tommy’s playpen to sing the Flintstones theme song, while a split screen showed the same scene from decades before. Cheesy, yes? Charming … maybe.
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Fuller House‘s 13 episodes are all available for streaming on Netflix.
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