Friday night I sat down to get a hefty dose of nostalgia by watching Fuller House. I loved coming back to these characters again.
Season Two opens with DJ finally having made her decision as to which guy she wanted to be with. Matt or Steve. All the kids are back and Kimmy’s husband/fiancée is getting a lot more screen time. The visits from the additional family members didn’t seem as contrived as they did the first season. At least, it certainly felt more organic to me.
One of the things I’ve marveled at this season is the sheer size of the main and extended cast. They’ve given a lot more screen time to Fernando, Steve, and Matt as well as all the kids. Then, not only are there a ton of extras in certain scenes, but you’ve got the friends of the kids as well. Plus the addition of Jimmy Gibbler.
Spoilers ahead after the break, don’t look unless you really want to know!
When we return to the Tanner/Fuller household we find out that despite the fact that DJ has made her decision as to whom she wants to be with; the guys have already moved on to other women. Steve in a truly creepy move has found someone eerily similar to DJ whereas Matt has found someone younger and with more energy. As contrived as it seemed, it was nice to have a break from any actual drama and have all of them behave like adults about it. Despite DJs obvious (to the audience) disappointment, she is gracious and invites the new girlfriends into her home (and life to an extent).
I love holiday episodes and this season is full of them. There’s a Halloween in which the family tries to out-spook the neighborhood. There’s a Thanksgiving episode in which unexpected guests cause shenanigans. Christmas and New Year's Eve are also covered. With the New Year's Eve episode being the season finale, it's probably one of the better episodes of the season.
When it comes to the “cons” of the show? The product placement was absurd. Sure, there are the usual things like not covering the Apple on the Macbooks…but taking time out to discuss the McRib being back? It was crazy awkward. Some of the character development gets lost along the way in order to make room for others. While each person appears to be getting screen time in an effort to move along the plot, it’s becoming increasingly clear that they are pinning the hopes of the show on the middle child character of Max. His character does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to the kid portion of the story-lines.
The show is still very aware of its nostalgic roots and there were some highlights for this 90s survivor. That being said, the meta approach to calling out to the Olsen Twins again felt just as ridiculous as the last time they did it. We get it, they aren’t there, you’ve got to let it go. One of the highlights, however, was the episode in which they celebrated DJ’s birthday with New Kids on the Block. Admittedly I bought tickets to the upcoming tour. I did NOT react with the screaming fangirl jumping out of your skin reaction that DJ did though. That was one of my favorite episodes of the season, not so much for the NKOTB cameo (Danny got CREEPY), but because it seemed more natural.
I’ve seen a lot of people complain that the show is boring or that the plot is terrible and blah blah blah. I would argue that it’s just that you’re no longer used to this kind of sitcom. The laugh tracks, the “ooos” and “aaahhhs” are what we all grew up on and are a huge part of the show. It reminds you that the audience is a character in the show with you. Aside from the occasional rushed comedic timing of Candace Cameron Bure, the episodes play out as though they were filmed 20 years ago. This is exactly the point.
Netflix is making bank on nostalgia right now. Between Fuller House and Gilmore Girls, they have latched on to something deep within us…the child who doesn’t want to let go of the things that made us happy when we were growing up.