Out of all of my friends who have watched it, I am virtually the only one who did not care for Fuller House.
As in, I gave up on it after the eighth episode.
(Sure, some of you may scoff at the fact that I abandoned a 13-episode series after its eighth installment, but for a Master Binge Watcher like myself, that’s a big deal. I usually finish any series I start from scratch, even if it’s lukewarm.)
Yeah, yeah, I get it. I am awful for disliking something so pure and innocent and nostalgic.
Nostalgia. That is the reason why audiences are being inundated with reboots and reunion specials. My dear generation, especially, has an insatiable appetite for the pop culture of our youth, the 80s and 90s.
Thus, Fuller House.
My primary gripe with the show is that it didn’t seem to grasp which audience it wanted to vibe with: the Millennials who religiously watched the original series back in its heyday, or their spawn, who possess a different pop culture palate than 80s and 90s kids. (By the way, if it was trying to appeal to both of the aforementioned audiences, it failed to successfully blend it all together. Like when I try to contour.)
The show’s biggest crime, however, is that it’s tainted my perception of Full House for all eternity.
Let’s be honest: Full House was cheesy and hokey. I mean, every episode ended with a lesson and a hug. As a kid, though, I loved it. I wouldn’t consider myself a super-fan by any means, but if I flipped through the TV and it was on, I would immediately stop to watch.
I’ll admit to being a tiny bit giddy when I saw the first teaser for Fuller House. I was looking forward to catching up with DJ, Stephanie,
Michelle, and the rest of the Tanner Crew (plus Kimmy).
Once I delved into it, I had two thoughts: This is bad. and Has Full House always been this bad?
To answer my second question, yes.
For as charming and non-threatening as Full House was, it was also just plain bad. The acting. The writing. The storylines. All of it.
Before Fuller House arrived, I never thought of Full House as a bad show. It was just a corny sitcom that I watched in my youth. But as Fuller House tried to shoehorn references from yesteryear, retread plot formulas from its predecessor, and revitalize the careers of its principal cast, it brought to light how bad Full House was, and not in the ironic/enjoyable way.
It reminds me of when I watched Small Wonder for the first time as an adult. As a 3-year-old, I would march around the house and act like a robot, much like Vicki, the child robot/servant on the show. The perfect day for my young self would have been to watch countless episodes of Small Wonder while eating a large bowl of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. (Not an endorsement. But I’m open to offers!)
Fast forward to about 20 years later and a DVD release of the entire series. After a brief re-watch, I was deeply horrified by this show. The creepy undertones and the flat-out bad writing/acting were things my jaded adult brain could no longer ignore. Granted, as a child, I never even realized those elements were there. I thought nothing else other than I wanted to be a robot.
But I can never watch Small Wonder again, and it’s because I couldn’t leave it where it belonged: in the Land of the 1980s.
That’s how I feel about Full House now, thanks to Fuller House. I wish Full House had remained locked up in the annals of my fond childhood memories. I wish it had been contained within this awesome Jimmy Fallon Show sketch. I am aware that reruns of Full House play on Nick at Nite, but I’ve largely avoided them. Maybe subconsciously I wanted to avoid another Small Wonder incident. Welp.
Hey, I loved the 90s. I was too young to remember much of the 80s, but the few fragmented toddler memories I have from that time are pretty sweet.
I’ll wax nostalgic every so often. I’ll even participate in #ThrowbackThursday. But I make sure not to keep myself entrenched in the good times of the past for too long, if I can help it.
Because I’m a big ol’ curmudgeon. Because, as Florence King said: True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to terms with leaving things in the past, whether good or bad. Life is ever-changing. People change. Situations change.
There have been moments when I’ve tried in vain to capture that old familiar feeling after a long hiatus, a falling out, or a drastic life change. When I didn’t achieve that, I fell into a funk. Why couldn’t things go back to how they were? Why can’t they be normal again?
Again, because life is ever-changing, and thus, so is normalcy. Even though things may not have felt normal in the sense that I was used to, they weren’t always necessarily bad. Just different. In hindsight, I realize that what I had been experiencing at those times was a new normal. It was up to me to either accept or reject it.
Fuller House, we could say, represents a new normal. It’s one I’ve rejected. Maybe that makes me inflexible or unreasonable, but I also know what I like (and don’t like). Can’t say I didn’t try.
Despite how much I want it to go away, the reboot phenomenon shows no signs of retreating. It’s not only an easy well to go to for ideas, the majority of audiences seem to lap this stuff up. Supply and demand, all.
Maybe curiosity will get the best of me in some instances and I’ll find myself discovering other revamps. (I’ve already done that with The Powerpuff Girls. God, I’m torn on that one. It’s the voices.)
Overall? I want to do my best to honor the past by not dragging it to light too much, for too long. Jimmy Fallon Show sketch-length segments will do for me.
(Heh. In true Full House fashion, I’ve learned a lesson. Do we hug now? Or do we wait for the violins?)
The Monday Question
How do you feel about all of these reboots/revamps/revitalization projects? Do you want to see every show and movie franchise from your youth recreated, or are you suffering from nostalgia fatigue like I am? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Til next Monday!