A ‘House’ without a rave


Question: Why are critics so hard on Fuller House? I know it can be predictable and doesn’t necessarily bring anything new to the genre, but that’s not what it’s for. Rather, it completely captures the spirit of the original, and gives fans all of the nostalgic feelings they could ask for. What’s wrong with that? – Melissa

Matt Roush:  Fuller (and the original Full) House, never was and will never be a critical darling. There are family comedies that receive justifiable acclaim—most of them currently air on ABC, where many of the families appear to be living in a relatively real world, populated by characters with distinct personality and sometimes even wit. Fuller House is intended as comfort food for those who grew up in that era of ’80s artificiality. (I had aged out by then, but understand the appeal, having been the target audience for the Brady Bunch-Partridge Family-Nanny and the Professor period of early ’70s banality.) If you look up my original review of Full House (at a different publication) from way back when, it was not kind. With the reboot, I’ve decided benign neglect would be a preferable alternative to a second helping of contempt.