Following last week’s news that Netflix is rebooting “Full House,” Lifetime reportedly jumped on the nostalgia bandwagon and will be producing a made-for-television movie about the ABC sitcom.
This is weird, right? A spin-off series and an unauthorized film? Who exactly cares about “Full House” that much? (Apparently a fandom large enough to sustain a 13-episode order of the show.)
Lifetime seems sure that “The Unauthorized Full House Story” will find an audience, even after its “The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell” TV movie debuted to only 1.6 million viewers and scathing reviews. John Stamos, who played Uncle Jesse on “Full House,” however, was less enthusiastic.
“Full House TV movie on @lifetimetv ?? – hmmmm -yeah right, good luck with that,” Stamos tweeted Tuesday morning, unclear about whether he was annoyed that Lifetime was poaching away some of his sweet “Fuller House” thunder, or just concerned that the network with a reputation for trolling schlock masquerading as tribute (see: “Whitney,” “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B” and “The Brittany Murphy Story”) was taking on his show.
The resurgence of “Full House” mania appears to be chiefly benefiting from two things: nostalgia for all things ’90s — no matter how normcore they may be — and an irony wave that’s actually beginning to obscure the distinction about what’s good, what’s so bad it’s good (high camp), and what’s genuinely, irredeemably terrible.
If it was possible for futures traders to buy irony shares in the ’90s they’d all be billionaires by now. Blame hate-watching. Even if you’re tweeting about how awful something is, like say, a live version of “Peter Pan” or “The Sound of Music,” those eyeballs still count.
Ryan Alexander-Tanner is the author of “Full House Reviewed,” a darkly comic blog that reviewed every episode of “Full House’s” eight seasons in painstaking, masochistic detail. He calls it “the worst sitcom of all time.”
So how did Alexander-Tanner react to the news of Netflix’s “Fuller House”? “It’s like you went and fought in the Vietnam War and then it ended and you went home and they were like, ‘Now there’s more Vietnam War!’,” he told the Daily Beast.
Even Michelle Dean, a former “Full House” fan who wrote a sensitive 2013 essay for Flavorwire explaining what she saw in the show, eventually came to the conclusion that she watched it because she was lonely growing up and she lacked friends but had a television in her bedroom:
As the hype was building this week I was reminded of that old cringe. I’m not sure it’s that I was exactly excited at the prospect of a reboot. Actually, the premise that DJ and Stephanie had set up house together struck me as implausible from the start because, look, those two could barely share a room and anyway at least DJ got married — but there it is, the scarily well-informed opinion I can offer on this subject. And the not inconsiderable amount of shame I have at admitting it to anyone, because I still, like a teenager, sometimes fear judgments for certain pop culture weaknesses I have, up to and including the Cheesy 1990s Family Sitcom.
Despite the original show’s dependence on the cuteness of the Olsen twins — who now dress like Upper East Side grandmas and never smile in photos — their involvement in this machine is iffy at best.
They built a fortune on their direct-to-video empire and accompanying merchandise, all stemming from their popularity playing Michelle Tanner on “Full House,” but Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen told Women’s Wear Daily that they learned of the “Fuller House” reboot like everyone else: when Stamos announced it last week on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Stamos has said that assertion is “bulls—.”
“We just found out about it today,” Mary-Kate said late Tuesday. “I guess we’re going to talk to the creators and see what’s happening.”
“I ran into Bob [Saget] the other day and we didn’t even talk about it,” Ashley said.
It’s time to talk about it.