Whatever happened to predictability: the milkman, the paperboy, the evening TV?
Everywhere you look, everywhere you go there's a heart — a hand to hold onto.
Bob Saget's disassociated side smile, the mystery of never quite knowing which Olsen twin is tugging at your heartstrings, D.J.'s bangs and fashion choices — Full House was the show that gave the '90s hope. The swelling synth of California optimism underscored the scene of an acceptably white, middle-class American family picnicking in Alamo Square Park against the backdrop of the Painted Ladies. But there was something slightly different about this family. There seemed to be too many dads in the picture, and it was hard to tell which child belonged to whom. That something special about the Tanners was why we watched so faithfully every Friday night from 1987-1995.
Many of us were children of divorce back then, and though Danny Tanner (played by stealth bad-boy comedian Bob Saget) was a widower on paper, the family dynamic of ragtag camaraderie and non-traditional family models brought me comfort in a time when life was in flux.
My family didn't look traditional, either. My mom and I lived with her childhood best friend and her friend's boyfriend, plus his two kids. Full House made me feel that even though my family looked different than most people's, it might not be so weird after all.
Two decades after the Tanners' final night on television, a Lifetime Television movie about the filming of the show is set to premiere on August 22. Lifetime's exposé promises to reveal what many of us already know: Some serious shit went down during the making of the most-beloved sitcom of the 1990s.
The Unauthorized Full House Story comes on the heels of Lifetime's success with The Unauthorized Saved By the Bell Story, based on the memoir of actor Dustin Diamond (who played Screech). Critics and fans weren't sure whether to hate the movie or give in to it, and the solid media attention prompted Lifetime to green-light three more '90s nostalgia projects, including “unauthorized” versions of primetime soap favorites Beverly Hills: 90210, and Melrose Place. One can only hope that the The Unauthorized Full House Story takes its cues from Saget's controversial memoir, Dirty Daddy, which dropped last year and included tales of whip-its and a drunk night sharing a bed with John Stamos.
Lifetime movies aren't known for their A-list actors or production values, and Stamos has made disparaging remarks about the project, so it's reasonable to expect that this reboot won't resurrect the magic of the original Tanner clan. I mean, it's not like the casting directors could come close to finding twin toddlers who could hold even the tiniest tea candle to Mary Kate and Ashley circa 1991. And Saget is Beyoncé-level irreplaceable — though I would not put it past him to sign onto a wacky project like this, just to see what happens.
Lifetime has been cagey about revealing too much about the movie, but we know a few things. First, the John Stamos/Paula Abdul romance is important enough to the plot to make it into the two-minute preview. Second, there are mullets for days. Third, no one will ever be D.J. Tanner except Candace Cameron Bure. And fourth, unknown actors pretending to be C-list celebrities feels like a nightmare where everything is so familiar but also terribly wrong.
For diehard Tanner-ites, the premiere of a probably terrible Lifetime television movie about the actors of Full House isn't going to quench the decade-long thirst for new episodes. But last month, filming for the Netflix spin-off Fuller House began. Set to premiere in 2016, Cameron Bure has already been confirmed to star in the show — cue angel choir — and both Saget and Stamos, as well as a handful of others from the original cast, will appear in what has the potential to be a true resurrection of the Tanner magic.
So don't get too worked up come August 22, no matter how bad or good this Lifetime thing turns out to be. Pack a picnic lunch, and head to Alamo Square Park to blow off some steam, and remember:
When you're lost out there and you're all alone, a light is waiting to carry you home — everywhere you look.