The debut of "Fuller House" on Netflix has been anticipated with varying levels of fascination and skepticism. But now that the entire first season is here, critics are suggesting that this revival wasn't the brightest of ideas.
The series rejoins the Tanner family some 20 years later as eldest daughter DJ (Candace Cameron Bure) becomes a single mom and enlists the help of her sister (Jodie Sweetin) and childhood best friend (Andrea Barber) to raise her three kids in a sprawling San Francisco townhouse.
The Netflix series is boasting an unimpressive 34 on Metacritic, with a user score of 4.7 out of 10. So what is it about this latest exercise in nostalgia that is leaving viewers so unfulfilled?
"I'm not sure that 'Fuller House' has more to offer them than the novelty of its reunion-pilot," writes the NY Times' James Poniewozik. "To make a 'Full House' sequel 'good' -- less formulaic, more innovative -- would be like baking an artisanal, organic Hostess CupCake: You could do it, it might be delicious, but it would be a betrayal of the product."
Maureen Ryan at Variety laments, "Given the array of multicam classics potentially worth reviving, it's a little deflating to know that this is the old sitcom Netflix chose to bring back," adding that "it's simply odd for a show this derivative to frequently give the impression that it's taking a victory lap simply for existing."
Over at the Hollywood Reporter, Daniel Feinberg takes a much more defeatist position. "People likely to disagree really ought not to bother reading reviews anyway," he writes. "What? You're reading a review to see if 'Fuller House' recaptures the magic of the original? It absolutely does, if you remember that Voldemort practiced magic, too."
Speaking of defeatism, here's Time's Daniel D'Addario: "A review of 'Fuller House' defeats the purpose of 'Fuller House.' Like a superhero sequel that exists only to set up the next film or like a ghostwritten celebrity memoir, its flaws are precisely what hardcore fans crave. That matters little as far as this one show goes: Anyone who thinks they wouldn't be interested in Fuller House definitely wouldn't be, and can go on about their lives. But the show's existence is somewhat troubling for TV's future."
The cast of the show, at least, came prepared for these kinds of critical drubbings. "The critics never had a good thing to say about 'Full House,' and yet it ran for eight years in primetime and then it's never been off the air in 30 years," Bure told E! News. "If there are any negative reviews, that's how we feel about it with 'Fuller House' -- we did this for the fans and we think they're going to absolutely love it."