Hollywood has relied heavily on nostalgia for a long time now. A lot of 70s, 80s, and 90s TV shows and movies receieve the 21st Century treatment and more often than not, they fail our childhoods. However, it doesn’t stop us from wondering what a remake of Terminator would look like with current technology. The thing is that we often look back at the shows and movies that we grew up watching through rose-colored glasses. We remember things for being awesome, and as we grow older, we want to re-live those formative years.
This presents a problem with how we look at nostalgia now with 2016 eyes. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a pretty fun movie when you’re 4 years old in 1990. It ages terribly when you’re damn near 30, but you don’t care because at the time, it was awesome! So, you set your mind on the idea that maybe they could improve it if they made it with 21st Century technology. They eventually announce somewhere that they’re going to do it, and you get hype af. They drop the sneak preview, and your body is ready. Then, they drop the movie and….
It happens all the time. Netflix or Hulu gets their hands on a movie or TV series that was POPPIN in the 80s, and you binge your way through it, wondering “it would be lit if they redid this today.” Then they do…
An example of a reboot that is just no good is Fuller House. To be fair, I did not enjoy Full House growing up, so I didn’t expect much. Full House was just another cheesy family sitcom with an adorable catchphrase machine, the world’s first vampire caught on film in John Stamos, Bob Saget’s evil twin, and Alanis Morissette’s muse. DJ was worthless, Kimmy was annoying (and not in a TV way), and Stephanie Tanner… well, I can’t hate on her because she gave us this:
Needless to say, I was nonplussed when Fuller House was announced. However, the Internet lost its shit. Buzzfeed littered their mediocre front page with mediocre lists paying homage to a mediocre show starring mediocre characters acting into mediocrity. But because Nostalgia is the New Black, everyone jumped on the Hype Train to Childhood Central. Out of morbid curiosity, I watched the first episode. Maybe it would offer a modern twist on the family sitcom archetype? Maybe it would offer fresh humor that’s been missing in a world where Big Bang Theory and Two Broke Girls does the bare minimum to achieve a laugh?
It was worse than I thought.
Fuller House is basically a porn parody of Full House without the porn. They replace the male leads with women, they make lazy references to the source material, the setups are forced and obvious, and the acting is completely secondary to the focus on bewbs.
What’s worse is that I’m not even sure who their target demographic is. Jesse makes a vasectomy joke that just wouldn’t end, and Kimmy is unnecessarily revealed to be a Kama Sutra expert. DJ’s former high school sweetheart, Steve, is clearly preying on/stalking DJ, who’s a widow and is still having a hard time dealing with it. In the same episode, we have little kid humor with the kids on the show doing kid things to appeal to kids (that middle child screaming his lines is unbearable). I don’t know who this is intended for. Is it for adults or kids? For adults to watch with their kids? For kids to watch with their parents? I just don’t know, and that’s where the lines get blurred. Girl Meets World is another 90s sitcom reboot, but it knows that it’s generally for the kids of parents who liked the original show. Fuller House never establishes that pattern, and things are just awkward because of it. It probably gets better in later episodes, where I’m sure there’s more Olsen Twin Shade and more servings of high calorie nostalgia, but I was not sticking around for it. After reading about the random rasslin’ episode, and the Indian Culture Appropriation episode, I’m good.
Fans of the original show have soldiered through the entire season because their nostalgia demanded that they do it (also, because Netflix Binging is more addictive than cooked crack), and most of the feedback that I’ve seen has ranged from a forced appreciation of its existence, to slowly questioning why they ever liked the original show. The issue is that this is 2016. Sitcom Cheese died in the mid 90s, when shows like Seinfeld, Frazier, and Fresh Prince of Bel Air served up sarcasm and wit. You can’t do a reboot in the 21st Century using the same methods that got over thirty years ago.
Reboots and remakes miss more often than they hit because they’re not given the proper treatment. They’re usually just studios trying to cash in on a quick payday from an audience that’s overeager to throw money at something that vaguely reminds them of their childhood. Fuller House, the Michael Bay Turtles, and any Ahnold remake that doesn’t feature him (and even the one reboot that did) all fall into this line. The ones that are good are usually passion projects of the directors and actors who want to MAKE DAMN SURE that they do the fans and the source material justice. Mad Max: Fury Road cleaned up at the Oscars. JJ Abrams and Christopher Nolan have been reviving franchises left and right.
Ultimately, you guys gotta chill with being so ready for an updated version of something old. Then again, that’s iPhone Culture in a nutshell, amirite?
Who am I kidding, if they brought back WMAC Masters, I’d be all up in that shit…
- 2 Fingaz