Watching "Fuller House" has been one of the stranger things that's happened to me recently. It's affected me enough for me to write this review.
I can't necessarily say that this this was a "good" show in the standard sense. I don't know that I would recommend it generally. There's plenty of other reviews of this show out there. Much of the negative things they say about it is true.
And yet, the show's positive qualities are rare gems in today's media landscape. For instance, how many family-centric shows are out there now? The 80's and 90's were full of them - from the original "Full House", to "Growing Pains", "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air", and even "Married with Children". I'm sure such shows are still around, but I don't know any of them. None have achieved the success of shows like "Game of Thrones" or "Rick and Morty". Back then, as a recent immigrant, shows like "Full House" had an instrumental role in my integration into the United States.
And such personal notes, of how "Fuller House" relates back to my own life, has been where it's been most impactful. DJ and Kimmy are my age - I kind of keep track of things like that. And seeing how these characters and their actors have changed tells a story of its own. Twenty years of life has happened to them, with its tragedies and triumphs. These mirror my own in some ways, and I expect that to be true for any viewer like me.
Of course, the culture at large has also changed - and this, too, comes though the show. It's especially salient in comparison to the original. It was natural and inevitable that this show was going to be much more female and adult-centric, given who the main characters are. The portray of family and childrearing is quite different too. But the show's heart lies in its invariants: The show is still about these women - both the characters and their actresses - and how they go though entire decades of personal and societal change, from their childhood into their middle age. In the end, they somehow manage to find family, fulfillment, and love. It is perhaps an expression of what can best be described as Grace.
Ultimately, the aim of art is to reflect truth, and "Fuller House" does so in an utterly unique way. Its truth echoes back to us through time and history. It's encoded into the changing cultures and issues discussed in and around the show. And it's etched into reality itself, through the lives of its incredibly human and relatable actors.
But for all I might say, perhaps there's no better expression of this truth than Kimmy's actress Andrea Barber's own comment, on her "Fuller House Final Bow" video:
"Thank you for growing up with us, for letting your kids grow up with us, and for being part of our Fuller family. Forever grateful for your love and support."
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The Gospel according to Frozen II (or, why Elsa is Jesus)
Make the most of your time and your life. Number your days.
Another post, from the table of contents