“You gotta give me a minute,” Candace Cameron Bure mumbled as she choked back tears. It was her first day seeing the unfinished sets of Fuller House, the Full House reboot debuting today on Netflix.
The show’s creator, Jeff Franklin was walking her through a soundstage where the new show would be shot. It wasn’t the original sets for the 80s and 90s family-focussed sitcom, those were long gone, but carpenters were working painstakingly to recreate them – all except the couch. The couch is the original.
“Yeah it was really overwhelming the first day, walking on the set, to see the living room and the kitchen I was so overwhelmed by emotion, I started crying,” she explained during an interview at a Television Critics Association event in January.
Fuller House is going to be very very familiar to you and not just because of the sets. The writing is punctuated with familiar punch lines (how rude!). The entire cast returns (save the Olsen twins who have said if either of them does it, it will be Mary-Kate – when the timing works) and while the show’s plot centers on DJ, Stephanie, and Kimmie’s families, Uncle Jesse et al drop in for a few scenes during the series.
The debut episode will get you hooked. It’s a loving tribute looking backwards, and forwards, on the series that features a shot-for-shot recreation of the cast singing a crying baby to sleep while dancing around a crib.
“I had that image in my head from the first moment I thought about doing this show,” Franklin explained about the scene. “Especially the first episode and connecting the old show to the new show, I wanted to give the fans something they would really enjoy. Because they get the jokes, they know everything about these characters and what they’ve been through for 8 years way back when.”
“In a way, this was really a culmination of the last episode of Full House, which was never really done, the show never had a farewell episode, so combining that sort of last episode we never got to see with a launching pad for a whole new series for our next generation.”
The show bridges generations on screen and it will do the same for many families. Watching the previews with my boys, they were immediately hooked.
Old school sitcom-style tv. So much of what my boys are hooked on is animated. They’re watching their show, I’m watching my show, neither of us really connecting.
But this one is different. It’s a chance to watch a show together. Something that’s new to them, familiar to me, and one of those shows that can be a launching point for important conversations about growing up, bullying, and having to share a room with your little brother.
“That was one of my main reasons for trying to bring this show back,” says Franklin. “This kind of show had disappeared, we felt like there was a need for this kind of programming and wanted to see if this group could be reassembled, and bring back that kind of show.”
It’s actually part of an entire Netflix push, to move into family viewing. After debuting with House of Cards, and cutting its teeth on racier dramas and movies, the service is now focussing on the family. An entire TV Time For The Fam list has been created with shows families can watch together (it includes the original Full House series).
So you can binge the new one with your kids, and then flash back and binge the old one with them and see how times have changed, but at the same time, they haven’t.
“My kids have watched Full House over the years, my kids are teenagers, they’re 17, 15 and 14,” Candace Cameron Bure told us. “I asked them because they came to mostly every taping of Fuller House, “So which one do you like better?” and they’re like “Oh Fuller House hands down.” But they’re also older sothey can relate a little bit more because it’s their current themes.
“When they have seen Full House it’s just perfect breeding ground to make fun of their mom, they love it, it’s the best thing. It’s like “Your clothes, your hair, you’re ridiculous.” And I’m like “Yeah I know, but you’re stillwalking into Forever 21 trying to dress like DJ Tanner right now. That’s the style!”
Fuller House begins streaming exclusively on Netflix starting February 26, 2016.
Disclosure: I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team.