10:30 am EDT, December 18, 2018

Why ‘Fuller House’ has been a continuously surprising success

By Tai Gooden | Edited by Brandi Delhagen

The ’80s and ’90s reboot, revival, and homage wave is at an all-time high.

Shows like Will & Grace and Murphy Brown have been resurrected with original cast members while newer series like Stranger Things are paying tribute to the past with a throwback setting.

But, one of the most surprising revivals/sequels to pop in the last few years is Fuller House. The original Full House series was itself an unexpected hit in 1987 as it chronicled the hilarious adventures of three men trying to raise three little girls.

Full House ended in 1995 but the cast stayed in the public eye and friends with each other over the years as they moved on with their lives. Many things come to an end and there was no indication that the show would resurface in any capacity for many years.

People were shocked, excited, and possibly confused when Netflix announced that a Fuller House series was on the way in 2016 with majority of the original cast (excluding the Olsen twins). How could the super wholesome and saccharine Tanner family possibly compete in a world where sitcoms are a little more edgy? Would this show really last past one season?

It turns out that there is a pretty solid fanbase for this type of entertainment after all. Fuller House debuted with a slight twist on the original show’s premise by having DJ, Stephanie, and Kimmy raise DJ’s three boys in the infamous San Francisco Tanner townhome along with Kimmy’s daughter Ramona.

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The series has been criticized for sticking so close to the original premise, but it’s actually a genius idea. It worked the first time around and the core audience is old fans (and their kids), so if it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it!

In a little less than three years, Fuller House has rolled out a whopping FOUR seasons with 57 episodes total. And, there’s no signs of the show slowing down any time soon as fans devour each season with gusto. I’m not gonna lie, I am one of these people and completely NOT ashamed to say I mostly like this show.

So, why do people love Fuller House so much? The first and most obvious reason is good old nostalgia.

Kids who grew up watching Full House (including me) are now adults with bills, jobs, responsibilities, kids, and constant anxiety about all the awful things going on in the world. It’s easy – and comforting – to think back to those carefree childhood moments of watching TV faves, riding bikes, and not caring about politics.

It’s very easy to get lost in the mostly unrealistic world of the Tanner/Fuller/Gibbler gang as they hug out all their problems and inexplicably leave their front door open for any stranger to walk through in 2018.

Joey’s still corny jokes, Stephanie’s “how rude” remarks, Kimmy’s outlandish antics, and DJ’s unbelievable shock over anything salacious feel familiar and certain in a very chaotic world.

The ladies have grown up right along with us and, for us parents, are dealing with some of the same issues we face with our own kids like internet bullying, grief, and dating.

Fuller House can also encourage some conversations about infertility, honesty, and unconventional family structures, which was referenced when Kimmy told her daughter Ramona that she basically has three moms raising her.

No, we can’t solve all of those problems in less than 30 minutes, but it’s interesting to see those issues explored through the show’s typically rosy lens. There are a few cringe-worthy moments and some problematic things (like Fernando falling into hot Latin lover stereotypes) but most fans have been able to look past those things to enjoy the show for what it is.

And, there’s also the dash of adult humor and situations mixed in that older fans can recognize and enjoy.

The original cast’s love and enthusiasm for the fans and the show is another major draw. They LOVE these characters and recognize how ridiculous the show can be just like fans but no one cares because it’s all in good, “clean” fun.

Sordid drama and plot twists will forever reign supreme among TV fans, but sometimes it’s nice to watch a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously. And, at the end of the day, DJ, Stephanie, and Kimmy are a solid girl gang who are unapologetically themselves and super supportive of their inner circle.

So, it’s no surprise that Netflix is going to keep cranking out episodes as quickly as the cast’s schedules will allow so the money will keep flowing in. Fuller House isn’t going to win any major awards for epic storylines, but it’s good, giggly, and binge-worthy fun that provides the perfect mindless escape from life.

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