A popular TGIF series helped largely by a deluge of daily reruns in syndication that made it a part of more than one generation of kids’ adolescence, Full House is a show remembered more fondly if you can ignore its sappy shortcomings and surrender to the appeal of nostalgia. And so long as you’re willing to surrender to nostalgia, Netflix has a revamped series, Fuller House, that they’d like to sell you on starting February 26. Trouble is, after looking at the trailer, the worry is that they’re maybe too focused on courting nostalgiaphyles when the better idea might be to recognize the original’s failings and make a show for a 2016 audience that could use another broadly accessible family sitcom with ample heart. So, with that in mind, here are five things we really hope Fuller House did with its first season.
Acknowledge How Terrible D.J.’s Situation Is
Full House was never one to tackle the big subjects. Danny losing his wife was touched upon but rarely given much gravitas. In fact, every problem could be fixed with a pep talk, a hug or, more often than not, both. In Fuller House, D.J. loses her husband with three young boys to care for — an absurd only-on-TV turn of events that perfectly mirrors her father’s experience. In any other show, this would be an emotionally significant plot point. While it would be unwise to turn Fuller House into a bleak series about coping with grief, if the show wants to extend itself past catchphrases and cuteness, it might allow the characters some sad moments to deal with the loss.
Figure Out What to Do with Kimmy
It’s hard to name many characters as abrasively irritating with as little redeemable moments as Kimmy Gibbler on Full House. Who wasn’t cringing when Kimmy swallowed the scenery whole in the trailer when she told Stephanie and D.J. to “talk to the hand.” The silver lining of Full House was that she was a supporting character, always on the periphery of D.J.’s storylines. In Fuller House she’s one of the main three cast members, and if audiences are supposed to not only watch but enjoy her scenes, the writers could benefit from toning her down a smidge. Don’t erase the qualities that make her who she is, but tone it down enough that she isn’t so much a broadly drawn flash of color and wacky outfits.
Enough With the Callbacks
The callbacks to the catchphrases and character tics from the trailer alone have grown tiresome already. Who on Earth quotes themselves from when they were children? Who quotes themselves period? Fuller House is obviously counting on its original fan base to tune in, but that doesn’t mean that the people who watched the show when they were kids want to watch the same exact jokes with the same delivery in this updated version. It would be better to drop all of the homages and focus on the new stories and characters who are at much different points in their lives than they were during the original show’s run.
Give Stephanie a Spotlight
Didn’t it always feel as if Stephanie’s character got sidelined a bit once Michelle aka Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen became household names? Now with Michelle absent from the reunion, Jodie Sweetin’s Stephanie will hopefully be allowed some time to shine. Sweetin always had remarkable comic timing as a kid and it should be interesting to see if she has kept it. Poised to become the Uncle Jesse of the series, we’ll have to wait and see if she gets to be the cool aunt.
Showcase the Sisterly Bond
The relationship between sisters is one that isn’t explored enough on television. The show’s biggest asset from the beginning will be the relationship between the characters we already know. Now the spotlight will get the chance to focus on D.J. and Stephanie and being a sister is much different once you’re in your adult life opposed to being forced into close quarters as a kid growing up. Stephanie moving in to help D.J. out should be treated with the amount of weight it deserves.