When I was in the fourth grade, there were two things that assured your status in the “it” crowd. One: You had to own a remarkable collection of Bobby Jack apparel with accompanying flare capri yoga pants. Two: You had to be well versed in all of the current happenings of “Full House.” And let me tell you, fourth grade Megan was very, very in the “it” crowd.
If you’re a millennial, chances are this all sounds vaguely familiar. The original “Full House” came and went before most of us were born, yet it’s a staple of the later millennial generation due to the daily reruns during our more pivotal years. Personally, my childhood revolved around “Full House,” crowding the television with friends at sleepovers and clutching our bowls of macaroni during elementary school days when we went home for lunch. Keep in mind that this exposure to “Full House” occurred during a pre-Netflix era, when our parents had to tape the episodes on the VCR for us to enjoy later, or we had to plan to watch the show live. There was no binge-watching or hitting the “rewind” button if we missed the punch line, so much like “Friends,” every episode was unique in its own right. Between the years 1987 to 1995, the Tanner family was America’s family.
This past week, the first full-length trailer for Netflix’s original series “Fuller House” premiered. And let me tell you, pre-recorded laughter never sounded oh so good.
The sequel follows eldest sister DJ Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron-Bure, “The View”) as she struggles to raise her three sons after her husband passes away. Reminiscent of the original sitcom, younger sister Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin, “Walt Before Mickey”) and childhood best friend Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber, “The Skateboard Kid 2”) move into the San Francisco home to lend a hand and add to the overstuffed craziness that was “Full House.” But that’s exactly the dynamic that made the show work.
The Tanner family was a diverse family that lived under one very small roof. The playboy and rocker brother-in-law Uncle Jesse (John Stamos, “Grandfathered”) and comedian friend Joey (Dave Coulier, “Muppet Babies”) kept the laughs rolling in through domestic circumstances, usually with a ridiculous twist. (Can we also just mention the fact that John Stamos hasn’t aged like, a single day??) Changing baby diapers turned into a fiasco that took two grown men and a roll of paper towels to complete while bath time called for a “Love Me Tender” rendition in the bathtub. Overall, Jesse and Joey kept Danny Tanner (Bob Saget, “How I Met Your Mother”) sane and kept the series light and airy in a role I can only assume Kimmy and Steph will later play into in the sequel. Given what is featured in the trailer, Stamos and Coulier aren’t likely to reprise their roles as the caretakers, but rather as background leads while Kimmy and Steph take the reins and fulfill their roles as the obligatory aunts.
In 2013, Pixar Studios released their first ever prequel, “Monsters University,” as an accompaniment to the childhood favorite “Monsters Inc.” The release dates between the movies were 12 years apart, which unintentionally lined up with the age of the original audience. When Mike Wazowski went to college, so did we.
Now, Netflix producers are taking a page out of Pixar Studios’s playbook with their reboot of “Full House”. In fact, I wouldn’t go as far as to call “Fuller House” a reboot, but rather a continuation of the original series. Whereas reboots are strikingly different and compete for the popular opinion of battling fanbases, this miniseries will continue the story of the Tanner family almost 21 years after we left them. By bringing the original cast back, they’re speaking directly to the original audience and relating to the struggles that life may have handed some of us over the past twenty years. They could have chosen to reboot the entire series for a new audience, but they’re providing a sequel for our generation and the next to equally enjoy. We grew up with the Tanners, so it’s only fair that they’ve grown up with us.
All I can say for now is that I hope “Fuller House” stays true to the original. Without the grainy picture of the 1990s to revive the ambiance of the original, we have to rely on the cast to bring us back to the Lower Pacific Heights of the Tanner residence. As far as the trailer has us covered, I think we’re all in for a major flashback.
“Fuller House” will be available on Netflix starting Feb. 26, 2016.