“Whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paperboy, the evening T.V…”

Full House is back, and this time it is slightly Fuller, but make no mistake. The theme song places an intrinsic value on predictability and the premiere of this sequel series does not forget it. Almost the entire original cast (sans the Olsen twins) return for an appearance, the show makes frequent throwbacks to its roots with the use of scenes from the original pilot placed next to modern recreations of them and they’re still in the same house with the same furniture appreciating the same thing they always have – family.

The show played on the nostalgia factor it had going for it to incredible lengths in its premiere. If there was a chance any fan of the original wouldn’t be sticking around to binge the whole thing, there’s nothing to sink them in better than some good ol’ Uncle Jesse. Everyone was in prime form – it was incredible to watch their seamless shift back into characters they haven’t played for decades. Some could describe it as chilling, but I would choose to use the word heartwarming to describe the way everyone falls back into step with each other, no one missing a beat, dancing a dance that went out of style in the ’90s.

But it’s not the same dance, per say – there are some new roles to fill, and they’re filled by DJ Tanner’s three sons and Kimmy Gibbler’s daughter. DJ’s eldest son and Kimmy’s daughter, both early teenagers, aren’t exactly characters yet. A better description would be cardboard stereotypes with some famous family members attached to them. DJ’s youngest son is an infant. DJ’s middle child, Max, played by Elias Harger, was the breakout star of this first episode. A tiny, small Danny Tanner, complete with a penchant for dramatics and an affinity for cleaning, had lines that really stole the show. While we originally watch to see the original family reunite, it is this new family member, DJ’s ex-flame, Steve, and Gibbler’s separated husband, Fernando, that are the comedic backbones of the program, which is a role they can fill without competition so the other participants can play the show’s heart.

Nostalgia aside, Fuller House shares some issues that its original did. Some of the jokes fall flat, especially from Stephanie and Gibbler, who can deliver great one-liners but can also fail to properly adapt genuinely funny humor into the spoken word, and the show can indulge in preachiness at times. But that’s what we loved about Full House and I probably wouldn’t have been as big of a fan of Fuller House if it didn’t share its predecessor’s flaws.

Watch Fuller House not just because you know you want to – oh, have mercy – but because it’s a fulfilling television series.

Michael O’Malley

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