|Written by Jennifer Chang|
Did you spend last weekend binge watching Fuller House?
That’s okay, because I watched all of season 1 for you and have recapped every minute of it.
The Netflix reboot, Fuller House picks up 29 years after the last episode of Full House. The show follows the oldest Tanner daughter, D.J. (Candace Cameron Bure) through the struggles of raising her three boys after the death of her firefighter husband.
Are things starting to sound familiar? Don’t be alarmed, that feeling of déjà vu will happen often. If you find yourself struggling to make it past episode one, I urge you to watch on. Despite the initial cheesy and uninventive punch lines, it gets better.
The pilot episode, “Our Very First Show, Again” is extremely deceptive and not at all indicative of what the rest of the season has to offer. It unnecessarily spends the first 15 minutes trying to recap where everyone’s been the last 29 years, as if they haven’t seen each other since Full House ended.
Once you get to episode 2, “Moving Day”, the writers and actors settle in and begin to concentrate on the themes of the show that made Full House so successful. For example, in “Moving Day”, D.J.’s oldest son, Jackson is struggling to deal with all of the changes in his life, including the death of his father. I was worried that the writers were going to glaze over this and concentrate solely on D.J.’s love life and the antics of BFF, Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber). Fuller House truly shines when it focuses the storyline on the children. Michael Campion (Jackson), Elias Harger (Max) and Soni Bringas (Ramona) are phenomenal and bring a fresh set of acting chops to the table. Speaking of additions, the roles of John Brotherton (Matt Harmon) and Juan Pablo Di Pace (Fernando) bring original storylines to a show that is deeply rooted in the past.
If you didn’t like Full House, there’s probably no chance you like Fuller House. The reboot sticks very close to its roots and I don’t see that changing. If you loved Full House, then there’s a 70% chance you’ll like Fuller House. It’s not better than the original, but it does the job of providing an adequate dose of 90’s nostalgia.
Check out the full season recap below and then decide if you can responsibly waste an entire weekend on it.
The gang is all back together again at the Tanner home to plan a going away party for Danny and Becky, who are moving to Los Angeles to host their new national morning show. The reunion is cut short when we learn that Joey needs to return to Vegas, Jesse is needed in LA for his dream job as the Music Supervisor on General Hospital, and little sister, Stephanie needs to hit the road to D.J. parties under the name, D.J. Tanner. Before everyone can part ways, the family overhears D.J. having a heart-to-heart with her youngest son, Tommy about her fears of raising three boys as a single mother after the untimely death of her firefighter husband. At first, everyone is ready to abandon their commitments to stay and help, but Stephanie and Kimmy insists that everyone else go and they stay to help D.J.
E02: “Moving Day”
The peaceful Fuller home is shaken up when Kimmy, and her daughter, Ramona move in. Jackson becomes upset when he learns that he must give up his room and move in with little brother, Max. Stephanie attempts to remedy the situation by telling Jackson about the time D.J. ran away from home. Instead of solving the situation, Aunt Stephanie gives Jackson the idea to run away from home in protest. Jackson hitches a ride in Jesse’s truck when he stops by the house to gather a few items before heading to LA. Upon his discovery in the backseat, Jesse quickly brings Jackson home where he vents about the difficulty he’s having adjusting to all of the changes, including the death of his father.
E03: “Funner House”
Kimmy and Stephanie drag D.J. out for a night out on the town, leaving Uncle Joey to babysit the children. The girls are mixing it up on the dance floor with Max and Val Chmerkovskiy (from Dancing with the Stars), when Kimmy’s soon-to-be ex-husband, Fernando interrupts them. Meanwhile back at the house, Joey takes away the kids electronics, forcing them to interact and have some old school, messy and mischievous fun. To help Kimmy feel better and get back at Fernando, Stephanie enlists the help of Macy Gray to sing “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” during the club’s dance competition. D.J. and Kimmy land the Dirty Dancing leap, earning them first place in the dance competition.
E04: “The Not-So Great Escape”
Today is puppy day for Max! D.J. takes Max to the vet clinic before school to pick out a puppy to take home. Ramona is upset about switching schools and moving away from all of her friends. To help Ramona get back to her old friends, Jackson devises a plan to bust Ramona out of school. During science class, Jackson sets off the schools fire sprinklers, allowing Ramona to slip out of the classroom window. Their plan fails, causing both Ramona and Jackson to get suspended from school. D.J. punishes Jackson with a long list of chores. Kimmy take a different approach and punishes Ramona with a trip to see her friends and a spa day. With D.J.’s help, Kimmy re-evaluates her punishment choices and decides to disciple her daughter in the appropriate manner. Max never made it to school, but he did pick out a new puppy, Cosmo!
E05: “Mad Max”
Shannon, a scantily clad, British woman rolls into town to whisk her old pal, Stephanie away to Coachella. Back at the Tanner-Fuller-Gibbler house, Max is nervous about his first recital. After realizing that Stephanie has taken his lucky scarf to Coachella, Max begins to panic and contemplates dropping out of the recital. Desperate to help her nephew, Stephanie lets Max play “Old McDonald” over the phone for the entire Coachella crowd. Now armed with newfound confidence, Max nails his first recital. Upon her return home, Stephanie realizes that her priorities have changed and now sees that spending time with her family has become more important to her. In the mist of her realization, Stephanie confesses to D.J. that she can’t have children.
E06: “The Legend of El Explosivo”
Stephanie gets tickets for everyone to see El Explosivo. However, Jackson is banned from the wrestling match as punishment for sneaking off to a friend’s house without her permission. To Kimmy’s dismay, Stephanie is appointed Cheer Coach to Ramona’s dance troupe. Ramona and her troupe have been invited to perform for the crowd during the show. Before they can take the stage, one of the girls becomes sick, leaving them down a member. In order to clear the tension, Stephanie suggests that Kimmy fill in for their fallen member and perform the routine with the girls. Jackson is determined not to miss his favorite wrestler and decides to sneak into El Explosivo. Jackson mistakes another wrestler in the ring for his brother and quickly jumps into the ring to defend him. Mama bear, D.J. is not far behind when she realizes Jackson is in the ring. Jackson is re-punished for disobeying his mother, yet again.
E07: “Ramona’s Not-So Epic Party”
Not everything goes as planned at Ramona’s 13th birthday party when the electricity goes out. Ramona is upset that her party is a bust and even more upset that her parents can’t manage to get along for one day. Steve still infatuated with D.J.-notices that she is working with Matt Harmon, Dr. Harmon’s attractive son. Steve attempts to set him up with Kimmy by inviting him to Ramona’s party. The lights are finally restored after several failed attempts to distract the teens and Ramona’s party ends up being a huge hit. Despite, Steve’s interference, Kimmy and Fernando share a kiss after the party.
E08: “Secrets, Lies and Firetrucks”
Jackson teaches Max how to lie after Cosmo rips open the couch cushions. While locked in a battle of wits with his friends, Max claims that he can ride in a fire truck anytime he wants and is tricked into bringing a truck to a friend’s birthday party. The first attempt at acquiring a fire truck is soiled after the fire chief unleashes some built up resentment on Danny. Turns out the fire chief/singer was kicked off Danny’s show in 1991 when they ran out of time. To smooth things over, Danny bribes the chief and films another segment of The Singing Fireman. Max is a big hero to all of his friends after they all get to take a ride on the fire truck. At home, Kimmy confesses to Stephanie and D.J. that she and Fernando kissed D.J. then confesses that she kissed Mike.
E09: “War of Roses”
Becky arrives back at the Tanner-Fuller-Gibbler household following the premiere of her morning show in LA. She arrives just in time to help them figure out who sent 1,000 roses! Comso being the cute little puppy hoarder that he is, steals the card, leaving the girls to speculate whom the roses came from. Eager to follow the mystery, Becky narrows down the suspects. First is Fernando, Kimmy’s soon-to-be ex-husband. Then there’s Mike, the attractive doctor from the office, or one the multiple suitors courting Stephanie. After many false confessions, Jesse shows up and reveals that the roses where from him to Becky. Good for him as Becky was complaining how their marriage lacked mystery and spontaneity. Good save, Jesse!
E10: “A Giant Leap”
Stephanie’s boyfriend, San Francisco Giants right-fielder, Hunter Pence scores everyone tickets to a Giants game. Jackson tries to impress Lola buy buying her an expensive autographed Jersey. Problem is, he uses Matt’s credit card to do so. Both Kimmy and Stephanie get kicked out the game. Kimmy for advertising her party planning business, while Stephanie is blamed for Hunter’s slump after breaking up with him in front of the entire crowd. Meanwhile, D.J. makes out with Matt in the stands during the kiss cam feature, catching the attention of Steve who sees the kiss cam footage. D.J. has yet to make sense of her feelings for both men and cannot chose who she wants to be with. Matt and Steve are still very much in love and agree to wait.
E11: “Partnerships in the Night”
Jackson and Ramona use D.J.’s laptop to watch scary movies, but their mischievousness manages to give the computer a virus. Of all people, the duo decides to borrow money from Max to get it fixed. But of course, his cooperation comes at a price. Max blackmails Jackson and Ramona into doing whatever he asks in exchange for his silence (and money). Back at the clinic, D.J.’s boss, the elder Dr. Harmon retires from the business and leaves the clinic to his son, Matt. Still coping from the changes at the clinic, D.J. contemplates leaving and starting her own clinic. In an attempt to keep her close, Matt offers to split ownership of the clinic 50/50. To celebrate his retirement, Dr. Harmon hires Kimmy to plan his retirement party, but when Dr. Harmon changes his mind on the theme at the last minute, Kimmy enlists Stephanie for help. Stephanie and Kimmy pull off a great party and in return for her hard work, Kimmy offers Stephanie a job as junior partner at Gibbler Style.
E12: “Save the Dates”
Steve finally gets the chance to take D.J. out on a date. Eager to upstage Matt in all stages of romance, Steve decides to go for what’s comfortable and plans things all centered on their past relationship. Realizing that the past is not what they need to concentrate on, Steve and D.J agree to make new memories and enjoy a fun evening with the kids. Not to be outshined by Matt or Steve, Fernando plans a romantic scavenger hunt for Kimmy around the house. At the end of the hunt, he reveals that he’s signed the divorce papers, only in an attempt to get that out of the way so that he can propose to her once more. Kimmy accepts Fernando’s second proposal.
E13: “ Love is in the Air”
Jesse and Becky return to renew their vows to celebrate a wonderful 25 years of marriage. In true Gibbler fashion, Kimmy suggest that the ceremony should double as the second wedding for her and Fernando. Stephanie who seems to be on Team Matt, leaves Matt a voicemail inviting him to the ceremony, and of course, Kimmy does the same for Steve. At the alter, Kimmy has second thoughts about marrying Fernando. Failing to say, “I do” multiple times. Kimmy realizes that she cannot marry Fernando so soon after the proposal, opting to remain engaged for the time being. D.J. still can’t chose between Steve and Matt. Instead, she decides to choose herself, realizing that she is not ready to start anything serious.
Netflix has already announced that there will be as season 2 of Fuller House.
On the second time around, I hope the writers ditch the cheesy punch lines and veer slowly away from its predecessor when storylines are concerned. We all know that the series is a reboot, there’s no need to make several references to it in each episode. Hopefully D.J. can finally choose between Matt and Steve, and maybe this time around we’ll get to see the youngest Tanner daughter.