Reading the reviews, you’d be forgiven for thinking Fuller House violates the Geneva Convention or something. Critics have expressed bafflement it even exists and compared it to Cthulhu. Heck, we’re still trying to figure it all out. But to sum up the consensus, we’ll just quote The Washington Post‘s review, because this really sums up the critical reaction:
This show has uncorked in me some deeper fear and loathing about the fate of our culture, just as it did in the late ’80s, when my crowd used to watch and make fun of “Full House” as stoned and drunk college students.
And needless to say, while fans are excited that season two is on the way, non-fans, both professional and on Twitter, aren’t exactly enthused. But if you’re approaching it from Netflix’s angle, it makes perfect sense.
First of all, Netflix is possibly the most renew-happy provider of television out there right now. Almost every show they’ve produced has gotten at least two seasons, if the possibility of making them exists. Part of this is that Netflix has the cash and another part is that it caters to their business model. The more episodes it has of a show you like, the more you’re going to watch.
Secondly, Netflix, and really every streaming provider, struggles with children’s programming. While there’s no dearth of kid’s stuff on Netflix, most of it isn’t produced in-house. Part of the reason Netflix is splashing out on original content is that, in the long run, it’s cheaper and protects them from studios walking away from the service and thus costing them subscribers. If Fuller House was intended as a test to see if Netflix could start delivering its own Disney Channel-esque sitcoms, the answer is, yes, indeed, it can.
Finally, one has to consider that perhaps this rage is a bit hypocritical. Netflix’s original programming thrives by catering to overly specific audiences, from Marvel fans to true-crime aficionados to stand-up comedy addicts. Why should Netflix prioritize one audience, or a handful of audiences, above others? The entire appeal of Netflix is that you can pick out exactly what you want and enjoy it. Nor is it terribly shocking that there’s a huge audience for cheese. If people like a cheesy show, why not let them?
This isn’t to say Fuller House is any good; it’s agreeably mediocre at best. But from a dollars-and-cents perspective, renewing it’s a smart move by Netflix.