Fuller House: Season 1
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Fuller House: Season 1

Ever since television became that comforting glowing box sitting in our living rooms, one of the most prominent genres has been the situation comedy. This form of comedy typically took place in one of two settings, at home centered around the family or at work depicting on-the-job antics. In either case, locations and thereby situations derived from them are exceptionally familiar to the audience. Despite the particulars of an individual show’s premise, the foundation is always the same; create an environment that is completely understandable by the audience. Conceptually sitcom has always been intended to be a humorous 30 minutes providing an oasis for the American public affording a brief respite from the trials and tribulations of life. Initially, the family oriented sitcom depicted the idealized nuclear family. A father comes downstairs to the kitchen, grab some breakfast and after kissing his wife and children goes all to work. In many instances the exact nature of the job was never revealed, Dad spent his days it’s a mysterious location earning sufficient money to house his family and a nice two-story home. Maintaining the home front is the mother is clad in a modest dress often accessorized with a string of pearls. The children are designed to appeal to the major age groups; a teenager in high school, younger sibling constantly getting into mischief and the youngest of the brood, who in an age before the rise of preschool as a necessity remained home with mom. The main job was to the laundry, clean the house and make sure a hot meal is ready as soon as her husband walked through the door. By the time ‘Full House’ premiered in 1987 the nuclear family now supplanted by a myriad of alternate options. In this show, a newly widowed father faced with raising his three daughters alone. He receives help from his brother-in-law and his longtime best friend setting up a situation similar to the film ‘Three Men and a Baby’ which premiered the same year. Three decades after that series initially hit the airwaves now revised by the streaming video service, Netflix. The current paradigm extends original programming beyond the three traditional broadcast networks to all tiers of cable and online based video-on-demand such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. The result is the series considered here, ‘Full House.'

In only a few short years after producing original content on them both serialized shows and movies, Netflix moved from a DVD rental site to a name synonymous with online viewing. The original ‘Full House,' was exceptionally popular particularly with baby boomers many of whom were in the process of raising families of their own. The series consisted of good-natured humor with a few episodes touching upon socially relevant subjects. The executives at Netflix went all in on a bet that nostalgia, combined with a sizable group of audience members with fond recollections of the original, could form a core audience sufficient to make the series a success. At the same time, they had hoped that it would be possible to augment that audience with the greater number of people seeking the nostalgic appeal of a kinder, gentler type of sitcom. Instead of trying to re-create the original with a new cast of characters they derive this strategy that proved to be brilliant. The fact those 21 years has passed a series finale found itself embraced by the writers of the new show. Each of the carryover characters is now 21 years older having careers and families of their own, the circumstances surrounding the premise on nearly identical to the original show. Donna Jo "D.J." Tanner (Candace Cameron Bure) is the eldest of the three original doors was added for the hyphenated married name, Fuller as she works as a veterinarian. She is recently widowed and adhering to the format has three children. 13-year-old Jackson (Michael Campio) possesses a large personality that is always up for a risky stunt. By emulating the personality traits of his Uncle Jesse Katsopolis (John Stamos), who helped raise her assistance. DJ’s second child, Max (Elias Harger), is seven years old and is compulsively neat like his grandfather Danny (Bob Saget.) Finally real-life twins, Dashiell & Fox Messitt share the role of infant son Tommy.

Keeping with the family tradition, DJ receives live-in help from her sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin), without hesitation leaves a life in London behind to help her big sister. Also coming to her aid is a childhood best friend, Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber), who owns a party planning business. Kimmy, divorced with custody of her 13 years old daughter Ramona (Soni Nicole Bringas). Making occasional appearances in this first season is Ramona’s father, Fernando Hernandez-Guerrero (Juan Pablo Di Pace). The family remains tightknit generations. Grandpa Danny, Jesse are joined by Jesse’s wife and Becky (Lori Loughlin), and dad’s best friend Joey Gladstone (Dave Coulier). The first appearance of the entire ensemble cast is in the introductory premiere episode of the series, ‘Our Very First Show, Again’ came very close to being a scene by scene reimagining the premiere episode of ‘Full House.' This choice goes beyond merely establishing the strength of the connection between the two series. It fully defined the target audience of the show’s original fan base will also now 21 years older. This gives a unique perspective of the new series allowing it to juxtapose nostalgia with the humorous examination of contemporary problems.

As the name so succinctly implies the source of comedy in the derivation of this genre depends on largely on the situations the characters encounter. The show runners and creators put a lot of effort into connecting the two series. Understandably, many of the individual episodes have nearly identical counterparts two decades ago. A direct duplication would quickly become tedious, ultimately insulting to even the most diehard fan of the series. Alleviating this situation was achieved by embracing the aging of the principal characters and the fact, which happens in real life, many of the problems they force their parents to face are now being visited upon them. This is something that many parents take a secretive delight in watching. These circumstances were also balanced by the realization that in some aspects they are assuming some of the characteristics of the parents that they found annoying when they were young. DJ is a hard-working mother trying to balance her career devotion towards the children. Stephanie assumes the persona of the ‘fun aunt,' the one who attempts to be friends with her nephews and her ‘nice,' the daughter of a girl that you grew up with is not just a big sisters friend but our own. A lot of potentials weren’t yours in the series by the gender division of the children. Contrasting the antics of three sisters are the situations that three brothers regularly inflict upon their parents. The original series heavily relied upon coming-of-age stories particular to a young girl. A trio of brothers provides a nice contrast to the female perspective of the original stories. The preservation of the feminine vantage point ocured through the vantage point of Ramona as she encounted the same universal milestones of growing up as her first kiss. Having a boy the same age as Ramona is set so that she views him as hercousin, essentially freeing both for an other developing romantic inclinations. Of course, there is always the potential moving off on the side, but these circumstances allow for both Ramona and Jackson to engage in their burgeoning romances. Caught between Ramona and Jackson is Ramona’s best friend, Lola (Ashley Liao) was also the object of romantic interest by Jackson. Another page taken from the original show’s playbook has the three primary characters romantically available adults. DJ can have some entanglements with her ex-husband. DJ also has a reunion of sorts with her first serious boyfriend, Steve Hale (Scott Weinger), who is recently divorced to own Comet, Jr., the son of the original family dog Comet. Steve’s efforts to reignite their romance DJ is challenged by her current boyfriend and coworker, Matt Harmon (John Brotherton).

Most of the young cast members of the original shows have had varying degrees of success in the intervening years. Mrs. Cameron Bure has been a relatively common fixture on television series while Ms. Sweetin and daughter rather tumultuous series life but to a great part of the friendship, she’s made on the original series was able to come forward successfully. There is little doubt that the most successful past members of the original series were Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, the twins that played the youngest Tanner daughter, Michelle. They become exceptionally productive building an empire in direct to video movies while young and then, as adults, in the fashion. It was a disappointment to most fans that the decline participation in the new series. The public persona of the twins is as eccentrics apparently want to leave their platform for fame and fortune behind them. In just a few short years Netflix has become a major force in entertainment several of the original programs winning significant industry awards that the premium cable network required far longer to achieve. Unlike the typical release paradigm always embraced by television Netflix released the entire 13 episode season at once. This gave the viewers a choice between spreading out the experience and binge watching. The first season has been released on DVD as season two has been released.

Posted 03/04/2017

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