Review: “Fuller House” Pilot Episode

The Tanner family is back. The 13-episode first season of “Fuller House,” the Netflix original series and spin-off of “Full House,” premiered Feb. 26 on Netflix. 

The pilot episode begins with the original theme song montage of all of the characters from when the show first began and then picks up the “Full House” story line 29 years later. Danny Tanner (Bob Saget), Jesse Katsopolis (John Stamos), Joey Gladstone (David Alan Coulier), Becky Katsopolis (Lori Loughlin), Stephanie Tanner (Jodi Sweetin), Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber), DJ Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron-Bure), twins Alex and Nicky Katsopolis (Blake and Dylan Toumy-Wilhoit), and even Steve Hale (Scott Weigner) are back for this pilot. Danny plans to sell the house and move to LA where he and Becky will host “Wake Up, USA.”

Since the last episode of “Full House,” DJ and Kimmy both have had children, and Stephanie and Michelle have been traveling for their respective careers. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (who played Michelle Tanner in “Full House”) did not appear in this pilot, but Danny states that Michelle is too busy running her fashion line in New York to come back. The whole family comes back together to throw a goodbye party for Danny, Jesse and Becky who are moving to LA.

Family relationships is at the core of this spin-off series, just as in “Full House.” But this spin-off is geared towards a more adult audience than is the original series. Being familiar with “Full House” is helpful, because many of the same characters are featured in “Fuller House” with no explanation of prior story lines.

However, “Fuller House” has also incorporated situations and references to which the younger generation may more easily relate. The younger generation is used to divorce and separated families — and Kimmy separated from her husband, Fernando (Juan Pablo Di Pace). The younger generation has grown up with loud electronic dance music (EDM), and Stephanie’s job is to produce EDM. The context of the show is for the current generation, but “Fuller House” still has the overlying idea of family coming together in a time of need, which is the story line of the show’s predecessor.

Fans are treated to many nostalgic moments in “Fuller House” with many references to the original series in the pilot episode. The Rippers, Jesse’s old band, came for the good-bye party and Jesse even sings his famous song, “Forever.” The family dog “Comet” also is referenced, as Steve has Comet Jr. Jr., and she is pregnant with puppies.

Everything seems to be normal at the Tanner household, almost like no time has passed. The pilot episode includes flashbacks of “Full House” playing alongside a scene in “Fuller House,” which uniquely shows how characters have both stayed the same and grown up.

The values of family and sacrifice remain at the core of “Fuller House.” Single parents, widows and widowers, traditional families, and families dealing with divorce can each relate to aspects of “Fuller House.” The series upholds the values of “Full House,” and though new family dynamics are involved, the love is still there. 

Watch the first season on Netflix.

Allison Sapp is a senior English major and an arts and entertainment reporter for Cedars. She is obsessed with dark chocolate, movies, books and Tim Horton’s coffee.

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