“Fuller House,” the new and wildly popular reboot of ’90s tv sitcom icon “Full House,” is doing better than anyone could have imagined. In fact, Netflix announced within days of its debut that it would be adding a second season to this, the “tv throwback Christmas” for millennials. Why is “Fuller House” such a hit right away? The formula is involves nostalgia meeting “coming of an adult age” millennial issues that in turn include genuine moments of childlike, entertaining, flat-out glee.
Indeed, there appears to be real demand for the premise, and series creator Jeff Franklin apparently saw it coming.
“I knew that this kind of excitement was going to be there, but nobody else seemed to get it,” he recently told Variety. “I was pitching to networks that ‘Full House’ reruns were beating every night… For some reason, a whole bunch of networks didn’t understand the hunger that was out there for this show. It was baffling me. Netflix finally stepped up, and that’s why it’s happening now.”
Millennials who grew up on “Full House” recognize it as a lynchpin of ABC’s beloved TGIF block of the late ’90s. If you were a kid in the ’90s, you likely remember catch phrases like “Did I do that?” or “Now we dance the dance of joy!” You might even recognize that some people, like Cousin Cody, live in a van, and we’re all super okay with it.
So the spin off—replete with use of much-missed nostalgic phrases like Stephanie’s refrain of “How rude!” or Uncle Jessie’s “Have mercy!”—immediately brings back happy childhood memories like when lying on carpeting was a total cool-kid move and pizza was the most sought-after commodity of the discerning fifth grader.
Is it any shock, then, that the heroine of “Fuller House,” D.J., has grown up much like the kids who used to watch her show? She is facing issues that the now maturing millennials are facing: raising kids, dating in the modern age and balancing a career. It’s this gentle “spoonful of sugar” of real issues nestled aside throwback pillows that is hitting all the right cords of people who—if we are to be honest with ourselves—kind of wish we were back on those carpets with our moms comfortably reassuring us that “[We] got it, dude.”
Every episode of the nostalgia-driven family sitcom has ’80s and ’90s throwbacks—a definite hit among millennials (see hot pink trends in fashion and holy tight jeans that are oh so retro). But there are also plenty of current trends and pop-culture references to keep things fresh.
Cameos from special guest stars abound in “Fuller House.” While the complete original cast of “Full House” hasn’t been entirely reunited—the Olsen twins are notably missing—the majority does come together at the launch of the show and again throughout.
The final piece of the puzzle is adding a dose of family-friendly fun. The cast and crew certainly seem to be enjoying themselves throughout the production process.
“Somehow Netflix makes it more exciting. I love that it’s on Netflix now because I don’t think there would be the same kind of excitement if it were just going on some cable channel every week,” Franklin added. “Initially, I had sort of mixed feelings about it. I come from a different time where we’re used to putting on one show per week and seeing ratings and hyping what’s going on in the show this week. This is completely different, but it’s exactly what the audience is used to today. The only thing I’m going to miss is knowing exactly how many people are watching this thing—cause Netflix isn’t going to tell me.”
Will the Olsens be joining up for Season 2? This is anyone’s guess, but if producer John Stamos—whose eternal good looks suggest he has access to a private time machine—continues to make this show a success, anything seems possible.