Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: More laughs with characters we love
Cons: Continuity issues; slow first few episodes
The Bottom Line:
Season four of laughs
Overcomes slow beginning
And turns into fun
“Typical. In the Fuller House Even the Chilis Have to Hug.”
Because I don’t have any streaming services, I am always a year behind in watching Fuller House. Fortunately, Netflix is faithfully releasing each season on DVD a year after it comes out, so I was recently able to catch up with a favorite wacky family in season 4 of the show.
If you aren’t familiar with the show, it is a sequel series to the TV Show Full House from the late 80’s and early 90’s. This show finds a widowed DJ Tanner Fuller (Candace Cameron Bure) living in the house she grew up in and raising her three sons, Jackson, Max, and Tommy (Michael Campion, Elias Harger, and Dashiell and Fox Messitt) with the help of her sister Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin) and her best friend Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber). Rounding out the regular cast are Kimmy’s ex-husband/current fiancé Fernando (Juan Pable Di Pace), and their daughter Ramona (Soni Bringas).
This season picks up at some point after season 3. We don’t find out exactly how much, but Kimmy is very obviously pregnant with the baby she is carrying for Stephanie and Stephanie’s boyfriend Jimmy (recurring guest star Adam Hagenbuch), aka Kimmy’s brother. Naturally, this means we get storylines about the two facing parenthood and Kimmy dealing with being pregnant again. DJ is now back with high school boyfriend Steve (Scott Weinger, who is in most of the episodes), and the two are working on their relationship while facing the pressure of their well-meaning family and friends who seem to think that every milestone in their relationship is vitally important. Meanwhile, she also has to deal with the fallout of dumping her business partner, Matt (guest star John Brotherton), and on the kid front, Ramona faces a group of mean girls, Jackson finds something very surprising he is good at, and Max deals with a huge failure – his first B on a test – and runs for class president against his girlfriend Rose (guest star Mckenna Grace).
I fully admit that this show always takes a few episodes to get into. I love the characters, but there is a strong cheese factor to the proceedings, and it just takes me a few episodes to get into it. This season seemed to take longer for some reason. I think part of that was because I felt like the first few episodes were out of order. Maybe I should have watched the end of season 3 again, but this season started with a Christmas episode and Kimmy more than a few months pregnant. Later in the season, we have episodes about football and the class president episode, and Kimmy doesn’t seem to get more pregnant. Yes, I know how realistic this show is, but still, is it too much to ask for a little continuity?
Once I was able to turn off that part of my brain, I did begin to enjoy the episodes again. The show realizes how ridiculous it can be and mocks itself at times, which I always enjoy. I think I enjoy those because it is a delightful wink, letting us know that the show is in on the joke without being mean. There are some fun episodes, like the ones I mentioned above. I also enjoyed the episode where the ladies head to a 70’s party on board a ship. As someone who liked Steve when he was on the original series, it’s nice to see him and DJ back together again.
Speaking of the original series, the original adults, Danny Tanner (Bob Saget), Joey Gladstone (Dave Coulier), and Uncle Jessie (John Stamos) and Aunt Becky (Lori Loughlin), pop in occasionally for visits. What’s nice is to see that their relationships with the ladies have matured so that they are as likely to get advice as they are to give it. And, while hugs might not be as prevalent as they were on the original show, there are still plenty of hugs offered here. The show makes me laugh, but it can make me tear up in a good way upon occasion, too, just like the original did. (Watch out for that first episode in particular.)
The cast is having fun, and it is obvious they love each other and working together. That comes through in their performances and makes the show so great to watch.
Season 4 consisted of 13 episodes, and they are all preserved here on two DVD’s. There are no extras, just the shows and the laughs and love they contain.
So yes, despite the slow start, I did still enjoy season 4 of Fuller House. I’m already dreading reaching the end of this revival when season 5 comes out on DVD. I’m going to miss having new adventures for the Tanner and Fuller clan in my life again.