Taking advantage of the nostalgia that we all seem to have for favorite TV shows from decades ago, the cast of “Full House” has reunited for a current-day reboot entitled “Fuller House.” The original show ran from 1987-1995, a year after my oldest daughter was born, but I am pretty sure that both of my children have seen each and every episode. Heck, I’m pretty sure that I have seen each and every episode. That may or may not be a good thing, but Netflix is happy to cash in on our memories. And who can blame them? After all, there is some serious cash to be made from viewers’ wistfulness for a “simpler” time.
Whenever I hear about an old show that has been rebooted, or when a sequel is in the works, I always think, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” This is obviously not the case for every show out there, but it is true for plenty of them. I personally loved the Brady “specials” that aired every few years. You got to check in with your favorite characters, see what they had been up to, go on an adventure with them, and it was all over before you realized just how awkward and ill-advised the whole thing was. And each time that a movie or special was successful, it resulted in an attempt to create a new series around the Bradys. None of those worked out. The Brady magic was not sustainable past the two hour mark.
I think the problem we are facing now is that we live in a society where we expect to have our needs met. If we want to see the next chapter of D.J. Tanner’s life, we will. The problem is that sometimes, we are sorry when we get what we ask for. I loved “Full House” on its original run, and rewatching it with my kids. The crazy goofiness of a dad and two uncles raising three young girls was rife with opportunities for humor, awkward situations, and life lessons. I wonder, though, if they are going to be able to recapture the magic of the original series. It is 20 years after the end of the original show, and the world has changed in ways we never would have imagined in the mid-nineties. What made the show special – the camaraderie between the three adult men, the experiences of the girls growing up in such a non-traditional household – are gone. The new storyline mirrors the old one – newly widowed D.J. is raising two sons, with another baby on the way. Sister Stephanie and best friend Kimmy move in to help out with the childrearing. Will three women raising children together be as funny as three men in the same situation? And in a world where single-motherhood is no longer atypical, will the laughs still be there?
Don’t get me wrong, I wish the best for “Fuller House.” If they can recall half of the humor and compassion of the original show, they should be a hit. But it also makes me sorry that it is relatively easy to bring our old favorites back. They are happy memories, and will remain happy as long as they are memories. Sometimes bringing the past into the present can make us lose our love for whatever it is we are longing for – it becomes tarnished to our grown up mind. And then the nostalgia is gone. Whatever the case, I am going to give “Fuller House” a shot. I want to see how everyone has grown up, and what they are up to now. But I swear, if D.J.’s married last name is Fuller, I am going to shut off my TV.