The first thing that you need to know about the upcoming Season 3 of “Fuller House” on Netflix is that it has almost been 30 years since the premiere of the original “Full House” on ABC. Netflix, of course, is turning this 30-year anniversary into a cause for celebration, even going so far as to time the release of Season 3 for exactly the right anniversary date (September 22). But here’s why we don’t need another “Fuller House” season…
“Fuller House” is trying too hard to press the nostalgia button
Of course, everyone loves a small dose of nostalgia. It makes us remember the past fondly, and it helps us create a sense of context and structure around our lives. But Season 2 of “Fuller House” was just crammed too full of early 1990s nostalgia, including a cameo appearance by New Kids On the Bock.
And the word on the entertainment blogs online is that Season 3 is also going to dig deep into Netflix’s bag of nostalgia tricks. There will be more cameo appearances, more meta-references and more people talking about those Olsen Twins. But, really, wasn’t two full seasons of the show enough?
“Fuller House” is no longer as relevant as it once was
When “Full House” premiered in 1987, the concept for the show was unique: out of all the shows on television, this was the only one that focused on men and parenting. And so it was very unique to build a show around Bob Saget, Dave Coulier and John Stamos: “Full House” brought out the comedy of a household of men trying to raise kids. You could argue that “Full House” led to a whole new genre of comedies involving men trying their hands at parenting.
“Fuller House” just doesn’t seem as fresh or new – it swings the focus back to women and parenting. Yes, it touches on the difficulties of raising kids as single moms, but that automatically turns “Fuller House” into just a standard melodrama you could find elsewhere on primetime TV. In fact, it’s hard to imagine how Netflix even gave the green light to Season 3 unless…
Netflix wants us to over-binge on TV with “Fuller House”
There’s something rewarding about binge-watching a TV show in a single weekend, but “Fuller House” is taking this to extremes. Is Netflix trying to turn us into a couch potato with this show? Consider that Season 1 had 13 episodes. Season 2 had 13 episodes. OK, so far, so good. But now comes Season 3 and Netflix has commissioned 18 episodes for the season. Eighteen! “Fuller House” is getting even fuller!
And, making matters even worse, according to actress Candace Cameron Bure (who plays D.J. Tanner-Fuller), the entire season will be dedicated to one entire theme: “summer fun.” This strains credulity. Other episodes have tackled the holidays and vacations, but is it really possible to build 18 seasons around summer fun?
There’s something strange going on here – especially if you consider that the show will debut in the fall and extend into the winter. Unless – and this is just speculation here – Netflix is taking the long view on this and planning to build up a vast archive of Netflix Originals that people can binge on during the summer when there’s nothing really new on TV. From this perspective, Season 3 of “Fuller House” is not really about developing programming for Fall 2017 – it’s all about developing programming for Summer 2018!
“Fuller House” makes us depressed
If you think about the original “Full House,” it was a fresh take on comedy and it made you laugh. But there’s something about “Fuller House” that makes us sad. After 30 years, people are still living in the same childhood home they grew up in? A generation of single dads gave rise to a generation of single moms? And so the cycle repeats itself. (Wipes away tear)
Let’s face it, we all appreciated the big stars of “Full House” when they were young and spry. We still remember John Stamos when he was a sex symbol on the cover of magazines like “People” and “Us.” Now, nobody reads magazines, and it makes us depressed to think how old Stamos must be these days. (He’s 54, if you’re keeping track.) Lori Loughlin is 53. Bob Saget is 61. Heck, even Mary-Kate Olsen is 31! Unfortunately – and it really pains us to even think of this – but John Stamos is old enough to start appearing in Viagra commercials these days.
“Fuller House” makes us realize how Netflix Originals are just like regular TV
Just 24 months ago, it seems like every time Netflix created a Netflix Original, it was time for celebration. The vaunted Netflix content studio always figured out a way to create a show that was far superior to anything you’d find on network TV! Shows like “Orange Is the New Black” and “House of Cards” were truly game-changers, and unlike anything you’d find on ABC.
But now we’ve reached a point where Netflix is spending so much on “originals” that it is starting to resemble the broadcast TV networks. Instead of leading us forward into the “golden age” of TV, Netflix is creating the type of television that people in their “golden years” (age 55+) will enjoy watching on the couch.
“Fuller House” was only intended to be one season, not three!
The exasperating thing about Netflix is that they don’t release ratings for their shows, so nobody really knows how various shows are doing at any point in time. You have to keep your ear close to the ground of social media to get a sense of the ratings. After Season 1, Netflix was so pleased with the performance of the show that it commissioned a Season 2.
But here’s where things get interesting, because the rumors are out there that Season 2 completely bombed. According to data from Symphony Advanced Media, total viewers from Season 1 to Season 2 were down a spectacular 60%! Of course, Netflix won’t admit it, but it now looks Season 3 is hobbling to the finish line. We’re going to get 9 episodes to binge on in September and then another 9 seasons later (date TBD). So it all boils down to the following: Netflix could really have a mess on its hands if Season 3 doesn’t turn it around quickly in September. That second set of 9 episodes could be dead-on-arrival.
For all of the reasons listed above, we don’t need another “Fuller House” season. Thank you, Netflix, it was great to relive the nostalgia in Season 1. And it was nice to binge-watch Season 2. But we were already getting “full” – and now Season 3 is shaping up to be the “fullest” yet. That might not be a good thing after all.