I’m not sure why my last few posts aren’t showing up publicly, and why my replies to comments are being eaten in the tubed. I’ve got a help-desk exchange going to try to figure it out. Hopefully THIS post will go through. I’m reviewing the pilot of Fuller House just so that, if it doesn’t go through, nothing much will be lost. If it goes through, I’d happy-dance, except that would hurt. I just had surgery on all four limbs as well as two spots on my torso, and I’m pretty tired.
I just watched the Fuller House pilot, and it was bad. Incredibly bad. As in it’s not even bad in the way that it’s funny for it. I’m embarrassed I watched it, it’s THAT bad.
It was nothing but throwbacks to the original series, with nothing original about it. Newly widowed parent with three same-sex children whose sibling-figure and “funny” best friend move in to help. That describes both shows.
Thing is, it worked in the 80’s when it was a newly widowed dad, back in a time when it was unusual for fathers to be the sole caretakers and instead were expected to bring in the paycheck. Any man tossed in Danny’s position would likely have been that proverbial fish out of water, and so it worked.
It doesn’t work so well when the single mom is a mom, especially considering that women have pretty much always been the primary caregivers anyway. In this instance, the single mom, DJ Fuller (ha…ha…Fuller House…) is moving, for free, into the house from the original show, and will have her deceased husband’s pension (he died fighting a fire), and she has a career as a vet to boot. I’m not sure how we, as an audience, are supposed to connect with a character who we can’t really relate to. She’s not going to struggle financially, and she has a wide support circle. So it seems almost like–no, like an insult that, despite her privileges, she still needs help raising her three sons, despite her ability to easily afford childcare, if she were to choose to work at all. We are left to presume she already has childcare since she’s been living alone with the kids in a San Francisco rental (single-room units come close to $10k/mo) since her husband died. So where, exactly, is there room to connect with the main character of the show? She’d just saved herself five figures a month, and so definitely does not need two adults moving in with her full-time to take care of her kids.
Kimmy’s in this one. She’s the “funny friend” moving in, and she’s treated just as crazily by the adults of the original show. As much as I loved the show in its first run, I didn’t like how they bullied a kid. Thankfully, Kimmy was confident enough to rarely pick up on how she wasn’t wanted because she didn’t fit their idea of normal. It’s sad that she still seeks the approval of the people who gave her more attention than her own family gave her, and yet they’re still standoffish. She did have a touching moment in this pilot, when she told DJ her reason for wanting to move in, and that was how, even though no one wanted her around when they were kids (that made me want to slap the adults who had just treated her like shit), DJ was already there for her and had her back. Also, Kimmy is a single mom with her own small business. She’s been doing it on her own, but DJ can’t, despite being given one of San Francisco’s Painted Lady houses. (Jesse made a quip about the current value of the house).
Stephanie is the sibling-figure, and she decided, on a dime to blow off her career as a DJ. As in, music. Parties. She’s booked for events around the world, and just up and decided to blow them all off to help her privileged sister who is in a position most single mothers would give a limb to be in.
Michelle’s not in this. The real Olson twins are off in New York working on fashion design and whatnot, and the cast broke the fourth wall when DJ asked where Michelle was, and someone said he’s in New York working on her fashion empire. They all stared at the camera for a good ten seconds. No matter the reason, they didn’t want to be in the show, and that felt an awful lot like they were blaming her for the cast not being complete.
The only funny moments of this show were when DJ’s middle son said, “Mom, I already know the three bad words: damn, booger, and Donald Trump,” and said that Kimmy’s feet “smell like Trump.” DJ’s old boyfriend is a podiatrist now. Steve should take a look at her peds.
The tried really hard to shoehorn in 80’s and 90’s references, such as a 15-second clip of “The Right Stuff” by New Kids, and I swear someone wanted to see how many tropes they could smash into the mix.
All in all, this pilot didn’t impress me. I thought it would either be really good, or very bad. It sank lower than my lowest expectations. I thought it might be bad in a funny way, and all it did was piss me off. Seriously, I can’t get over how we’re supposed to feel so terrible for someone whose biggest issue so far was ho on earth was she going to warm up a bottle for her youngest son (about a year old) while holding him. No, really, how was she going to do that?! Sure, losing a spouse can be hard, but she doesn’t seem to be so affected by OMG dead spouse as she is on OMG all the chores are now her responsibility. How are we supposed to feel bad for someone’s spousal loss of that person seems indifferent to everything but how the chores are all on her now? It really seems like a slap in the face to single parents, and even to parents whose partners are still in the picture. All I could see is a woman making enough to pay for a 2 or 3 bedroom house in San Francisco and who receives a pension, who now has no housing payment, and she can’t figure out what she’s going to do until her sister and best friend offer to give up their own lives, with one giving up her career and the other uprooting her daughter, to move in and take care of her kids for her. A pretty important rule on shows like this is to make sure your target audience can connect with the characters, not sit there scoffing at how, oh, you rhinkg THAT is impossible to deal with?
I’m not sure I can watch any more. I’m not about to sit here trying to make myself feel bad for a character who is living a posh life that we should pity. If this show continues the way of the original, then we’re going to see three women who had no clue about how to raise kids, even though one has been a single parent for years. It won’t be funny The fish out of water angle won’t work.
At most, this should have been a one-off movie, and leaving it at that.