By Sarah Smith
With the original cast, some new characters and a revised theme song, the pilot episode of “Fuller House” on Netflix has picked up where “Full House” left off in 1995. But will it be able to break away enough from the parallel plot and cheesy catchphrases to make a name for itself?
To start off the episode, creator Jeff Franklin made sure to update viewers on where the original cast was now. Danny Tanner (Bob Saget) is remarried and hosting a national TV show in Los Angeles with Becky Katsopolis (Lori Loughlin), while Jesse Katsopolis (John Stamos) is composing music for General Hospital. The Katsolpolis children, Nicky and Alex (Blake and Dylan Wilhoit), are in their sixth year of college and Joey Gladstone (Dave Coulier) is preforming comedy shows in Las Vegas.
The main cast of “Fuller House” includes DJ Tanner (Candace Cameron-Bure), Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin) and Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) and DJ’s three sons and Gibbler’s daughter. Stephanie, a DJ, and Gibbler, an event planner, move in to help DJ take care of her sons after her firefighter husband passes away. The premise of the show is a reverse parallel to the original where Danny had three daughters and Gladstone and Jesse moved in to help him after his wife passed away.
The most notable absence is Michelle Tanner who the cast says is in New York running her fashion empire. The cast broke the fourth wall in this scene and looked at the audience skeptically, alluding to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s real life success in the fashion industry. The Olsen twins have publically stated that their years away from acting and booming business are the reasons they chose not to return.
The show managed to diverge from its cornier predecessor by including pop culture references, such as Donald Trump being a bad word. Gone are episodes filled with landline phones as a cell phone beeps and all the characters scurry to see if it was theirs. Stephanie even hands DJ’s sons flash drives filled with music instead of the now outdated CD’s.
Though the show makes itself more relevant with today’s audience, there are plenty of hidden gems for “Full House” fans to see. Catchphrases are just the tip of the iceberg with Gibbler making her signature entrance through the back door and announcing “Hola Tanneritos!” Jesse admirers will be pleased to know he does say, “have mercy!” along with singing “Forever.”
Nostalgia hit a high point during references to the original show when the cast sang the Flinestone’s theme song, Comet Jr. had puppies and Gladstone brought out Mr. Woodchuck.
With so many references to the past, it’s hard to determine how far the new show will go with a new audience. For now, 90s kids can rejoice in the show’s revival and hope a younger generation will love the cast as much as they do.