This isn’t a full review, as I only made it through the pilot episode, but was enough. It was way more than enough.
After a decent beginning, the original Full House quickly became the schmaltzy show that it has become famous for, with its characters becoming silly caricatures of themselves, but still… it was never really a BAD show. It wasn’t really my cup of tea, but it was certainly competent.
This new restart, though, is possibly the worst thing I’ve ever seen on television.
Fuller House picks up decades after the old show’s time period, where everyone has moved on and done different things with their lives, but it’s not necessarily the story that’s bad — it’s everything else. I was absolutely astounded at just HOW bad it was. It felt like either an SNL skit or a bad play… but even that’s giving it too much credit. Everything about it feels cheap, slapped-together, and as odd as it is to say about an old TV show I have no warm regards for, it does an absolute disservice to its predecessor.
Good ol’ Candace Cameron-Bure offers the worst performance, by far, but the others don’t do much better. At a couple of points I got the sense that the three guys were having fun together again, but they were such a background feature that those little moments couldn’t save anything. The writing is just about as clunky and grating as writing can be, they managed to cram an embarrassing amount of nostalgic bits and catchphrases from the old show into a single episode, and it’s all really insane. I can’t do it justice… you’d have to see it to get it. I knew it would be bad from seeing the trailers, but I wasn’t prepared for this level of complete incompetence. At one point someone sings a song (you can safely assume who), but it’s instead a hilariously awful dub that goes from bad to worse. There’s some adult humor in there, which is pretty darn direct, but in one instance it’s also just downright creepy. The new little kid actors are weird and awkward in the most annoying and horrible way, and everything is so beyond on-the-nose that the entire show chokes on its own stupidity. The worst part comes near the end, though, where we’re presented with a side-by-side comparison of the old show and the new show, in which they reenact a scene from one of the earliest episodes. Fuller House is incompetent enough, but seeing it right next to the older show in its prime is like comparing apples to 7-month-old oranges that have been sitting in a NY alley underneath a leaky dumpster behind a Chinese restaurant.
Then, however, it became amazing.
After the show ended, I looked at my viewing partner (KB, who had already seen it) and described my astonishment. As the credits rolled, she noticed that there was a seemingly extra amount of other-language credits, and I decided to find out what this show sounded like in French. Then, after sampling a couple of the other languages, I returned to French and added German subtitles. It was hilarious. The absolute best, though, was turning on the ever-brilliant English With Descriptions audio option, in which a narrator describes what is happening on the screen in-between the dialogue.
So, if you’re brave enough to watch this horrible, horrible show, take my advice and make use of one of these audio/subtitle options… because that absurdity just might be the only enjoyment you can squeeze out of it.
Well, that and the fact that Aunt Becky is still pretty smokin’.