I am not ashamed to admit it. In the late '80s I was a fan of Full House. It began its eight season run in 1987 when I was just seven years old. While slow to get rolling in the ratings, this little girl was instantly drawn in by the happy family of three daughters, a widower father, and two uncles all living under one San Franciscan roof.
Let us not kid ourselves. It is treacly, over the top, and often downright sappy. But really, isn’t that what kids, especially young girls, love? Maybe things have changed, but the world of television was still a pretty pure place in the twilight years of ABC’s "TGI Friday" block of viewing. It was fun to watch DJ (Candace Cameron) tackle her kissing problems, or Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin of more recent Pants Off, Dance Off fame) struggle with school. And more importantly, it was downright dreamy to watch one of my earliest crushes, John Stamos, parade around with his perfect Uncle Jesse hair.
About a third of the way through its successful run, Full House made it into the Nielsen Top 30 and stayed there pretty consistently. I stopped watching when I entered middle school, and despite its complete accessibility thanks to syndication, have not watched it since. I could sing you the theme song in a heartbeat, though.
So it was with great nostalgia that I sat down to watch the seventh season of Full House, out this week on Warner Brothers Entertainment. Twenty-four squeaky clean episodes featuring the original cast of characters, plus a few more. It runs a lengthy 572 minutes of comedy that really is, especially in comparison to sitcoms today, completely family friendly.
Season seven is thought by many to be the last good season of the show. Season eight was plagued by budget cuts, talk of the show moving to the upstart WB, and an abrupt cancellation. It finds the Tanners facing new challenges (DJ’s boyfriend has his own apartment!), Uncle Jesse and his wife Becky raising their twin sons (and have to learn to tell them no!), and the dating troubles of family patriarch Danny and Uncle Joey.
The thing I was most struck by in watching this show again, now as a 27-year-old, was how well Bob Saget plays the mega-straight-laced Danny Tanner. He should be laughable, but is actually quite endearing. He is believable both as a concerned and over-protective father, but also as a datable man. Probably not an easy combination to nail when you’re also playing an obsessive compulsive neat freak.