Guest Writer: Fuller House is Bad… Or Is It?

Hello all! I’m incredibly pleased to introduce the second ever Guest Writer post! This time it’s my best friend of many (many, many) years, Madison Sveen! I absolutely adore her goofy look at season three of “Fuller House”, a series I’ve never personally watched. Even though I didn’t really know what she was talking about… it’s still a great read.

Enjoy!


Over the last week or so, I watched all of “Fuller House” season three. (Or at least, what’s out so far.) They were just SO HUNGRY for a cliffhanger and maybe some upped viewership come part two they had to split it into two parts. The amazing “Full House Reviewed” blog already tore apart season one, and I don’t remember season two, so I want to talk about season three and bring to light just how terrible it is. Spoiler alert: it’s many times worse than the previous two.

The opening scene of the first season is the perfect way to give a taste of the “Fuller House” viewing experience, here’s a non-exact recap of the very beginning of the show.

Danny Tanner enters; crowd goes wild. Shot of the baby doing something. Other original cast members enter; crowd continues to cheer. Sex joke. Old catchphrase. Aged up kids from the original enter, to more cheers. Kimmy Gibbler comes in and makes a bad joke. New kids enter. Political joke. Joke aimed at the Olsen twins not appearing in the new show. Cast stares at the camera for a long time to let it sink in.

And that’s pretty much the formula. The show is almost entirely structured around referencing the original. “Fuller House” is nothing without the original. And you know what, that’s okay. Its purpose is to be devoid of meaning outside of the context of the original, and that’s not so bad.

Seasons one and two are pretty much more of the same. Somewhat exasperating at times, (just choose Matt already, DJ, don’t drag this ON SO LONG), but pretty harmless, and just not made for me. I didn’t watch the original, but I did watch all of “Fuller House” so I must like something about it? Why else would I have watched the whole thing? Maybe I liked it because it was background noise? And I mean it’s sometimes entertaining, and it most certainly got a reaction out of me (even if that reaction is JUST CHOOSE MATT ALREADY). And that’s really the point of entertainment, isn’t it? So it’s not that bad.

What is bad is season three. And maybe I’m alone on this. Maybe I just lost interest and it’s really not worse. I’m certainly not against liking “Fuller House”. I’m not even sure I could say I dislike it. Even though I think it’s bad. And season three starts out bad. It starts with a musical number, and not just that, a dream sequence musical number about summer. How… topical. In fall. The song isn’t good and the singing isn’t good and it’s just all very painful to watch. I don’t want a long musical number lead by a kid who can’t sing that has no relevance to the plot at all. Or maybe it’s charming and I’m just too critical of this show. Here it is. And I’m not a person to be against a musical number! Musicals are pretty much my thing. I’m usually of the opinion that a musical number can improve anything. Well, I was proven wrong.

Then there’s the main cast. Not only can they not sing (with exceptions, particularly Stephanie, since her job in the show is music) most of them aren’t great at acting either. But I feel mean saying that… they’re not that bad, I don’t think. I can’t really tell good acting anyway.

DJ is our main character. I’m not really sure what her personality is? She seems kind of inconsistent to me. Or just bland. She has three kids. Jackson, he’s just kind of a TV middle school kid. His subplot for the season is that he goes to summer school and also is dumped by his girlfriend. He’s fine, I guess. Then there’s Max. He’s a really divisive character, it seems like. He’s one of those TV kids who acts like an adult most of the time and is really sassy. People either think he’s the worst or they think he’s cute. I don’t really know where I stand on Max. He has a girlfriend too even though he’s 9 or something? This show is really stretching to have as much relationship drama as possible. I thought the middle schoolers dating as seriously as they are in the show was a stretch. Then there’s Tommy. He’s a baby. That’s it.

We also have Stephanie. She’s my favorite and is, in my opinion, the best actress. Her subplots include being a struggling musician and thinking that she’s not able to have kids. This is also kind of a divisive thing from what I’ve seen. A lot of people it seems wanted Stephanie to be okay with not having kids and were rubbed the wrong way by the amount of pressure her family was putting on her to get tests done anyway. I do think it seems like a cop-out to have her suddenly have a chance at having kids, and would have been nice to see her be fulfilled by helping raise DJ’s kids, but I guess it makes sense that she would want kids? Though Becky is really pushy and makes it come off as a little weird. Stephanie also has a boyfriend named Jimmy, who is Kimmy Gibbler’s brother. I kind of like them together. He’s really stupid, that’s his character.

And rounding out the trio raising the kids is Kimmy, DJ’s best friend. She doesn’t do a lot this season. She and her husband Fernando worked out their relationship issues in the first two seasons and now they’re just kind of comic relief. Fernando moves out of the house this season and then moves in next door? I’m not really sure why he moved out at all. They also have a daughter, Ramona. She’s pretty cool. Except she has a jerk boyfriend. She breaks up with him during the season and it’s actually pretty well done, I think? Even though it’s more middle school relationship drama, at least it’s something. She doesn’t do much else that I can remember.

As for the old dad/uncles/Becky, they almost never show up. So those watching the show because they loved the original will probably be disappointed by that. Steve, DJ’s boyfriend from the original, is a pretty central character, but we’ll get to him. DJ’s old high school… enemy, I think, shows up some and has a daughter in summer school with DJ’s son. They’ll probably get together in part two of the season. The daughter is actually pretty entertaining, I like her reactions to how unrealistic the family is.

Finally, before I get to the plot, I’d like to discuss the comedy. The comedy is actually very strange to me. The jokes are, first of all, not very funny. To me at least. And a lot of the time it feels like the show knows this, and knows it’s not very good on the whole. So they show the baby! People like babies so they put a baby on the screen to maybe distract people from how unfunny that joke just was. They do the same with the dog, they like to take advantage of cuteness. But the show is also full of adult jokes that I feel make it inappropriate for kids. I would think that the show would want to be at least somewhat aimed at kids, much like the original. Maybe they only aimed it at people who grew up with the original.

I think this is kind of a microcosm of why the show doesn’t work for so many. It has lost the spirit of the original, in that it isn’t so much aimed at families anymore as much as an older demographic. It has, not only in the jokes, but in every part, lost the wholesome sweetness that made the original so… well, “Full House”. It’s only really “Full House” by way of reference after reference, not in capturing the soul of it’s predecessor. But anyway, let’s get to the plot.

Now, the main plot is that DJ’s old boyfriend Steve is getting married. In Japan, because apparently this show needed a Japan episode. Kimmy is planning the wedding and DJ is kind of upset that her ex is getting married. For those who aren’t caught up on your “Fuller House” lore, DJ has been struggling with a love triangle for two seasons now. She’s stuck between Matt, a handsome, kind, smart and cool vet she works with, and Steve, her ex from high school. Now, if you watched the original you know Steve. He likes food. That’s the main thing I know about him. But in “Fuller House” he has always rubbed me the wrong way. His obsession with DJ and not-very-subtle hinting at wanting to get back together is relentless, even when she made it clear in season one she didn’t want that. During season one, however, she decided to get back into dating. It makes sense that she’d give Steve a chance after that, but I still wasn’t keen on Steve. He came off as a little creepy to me. DJ spent two seasons deciding and when she was finally ready, she found out Steve and Matt were both already dating other girls. At first it implied they got with each other which would have been INCREDIBLE but they didn’t. Steve, get ready for this, I hate this so much, got with a girl named CJ. She looks like DJ, has a similar job to DJ, and even uses a knockoff of  DJ’s signature catchphrase. And they play this for laughs. Like, clearly he’s going to ruin CJ’s life? Or at least break her heart? How is she okay with this? Does she know she’s just a runner up to DJ? She’s MET DJ. Anyway, Matt also has a new girlfriend but they break up pretty quickly and he comes back to DJ and they get together. Then the big reveal, I believe in the season finale, is that she was going to pick Steve. Yet she still gets with Matt? Although she gives Matt a fair chance and it’s not too serious for a while. And it is possible to have feelings for multiple people. However, in season three this really gets bad. DJ is pretty desperate to connect with Matt and tries really hard to feel the same way for him she feels for Steve. Which is pretty good, I guess? She even seems sincere when she says she loves him. I’m honestly kind of confused on whether she does or not? But the fact that she’s leading him on so much is just awful. I feel like if they handled this in a serious, emotionally mature, self-aware way it could have been interesting. Maybe if DJ was more relatable throughout and communicated. They could have hit on real problems and feelings. I don’t know. I’m trying so hard to give the benefit of the doubt here.

So finally, in the big finale, they’re all on a plane to Japan to go to Steve’s wedding. DJ, who is wearing a face mask, thinking Kimmy is next to her, finally admits that she’s upset that Steve is marrying someone other than her. She says she always imagined it would be her and Steve. But – gasp – Steve was the one next to her and he hears all this. He doesn’t know what to do and quickly runs off. Meanwhile, Matt asks Stephanie if he should propose to DJ in Japan. (Hey, dude, don’t propose at someone else’s wedding, that’s not cool. That’s their thing.) Stephanie says he should. WHAT WILL HAPPEN? It’s over that’s it come back for part two in December. I was pretty mad. I assume they’ll go through with Steve/DJ in the end. I feel really bad for Matt and CJ. I’ve always been Team Matt. What is DJ thinking? Maybe she wants to recapture her high school days and forget everything she’s gone through since. Maybe the trauma of losing her husband is causing her to try to revert back to the familiar-

Wait a second. DJ’s dead husband! He was hardly mentioned at all this season. I think he was mentioned once in passing. And DJ made a lot of comments that made it seem like he never existed! In one scene she tries on a wedding dress saying “I may need one someday” or something, rather than “I might need one again.” And when she says she always thought it would be her and Steve, she makes no mention of the time she actually did marry someone other than Steve. What happened? Did the writers forget she used to be married? Actually, I forgot until I saw someone point out these very points! That’s what kicked off the whole show! And the original! The Tanner family curse!

Maybe this is actually a deep character study of a woman’s regression to high school to cope with the trauma of losing her husband. Maybe it’s a chronicle of a family cursed, for the eldest child to tragically lose their spouse after only having three kids. HOLD ON. I even forgot until this very moment that Danny got remarried, and then divorced his new wife in between seasons of “Fuller House”! He even lost his second wife, albeit in a different way. Will this continue? DJ will soon lose Matt while chasing Steve. Will she lose Steve too? Will Jackson’s future wife die tragically? The only way for the curse to end… is for the show to end…

The only way for the curse to end is for the show to end.

That must be why it’s so bad… this show is begging for death so the characters may keep their lives. This show with all it’s bad jokes and painfully long plotlines is just the characters begging to be freed from the inside, trapped by the relentless necromancy of nostalgic properties. The nostalgia keeping this show alive, or more aptly put, a zombie of its former form, is the very enemy of the characters themselves! Perhaps this whole time “Fuller House” has been a deeper commentary on a world that will simply not stop bringing back old TV shows, movies, books, everything, no matter the cost to the original.

…Nah the show just sucks.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s