Way back when, I was obsessed (to put it lightly) with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Thanks to my lovely Nan, who I inherited my love of books and movies from, I had all of their films and even the So Little Time dolls. She would also buy me biographies so I could learn all I could about them. This is probably where my love of useless information comes from, as well as my ability to recall said information at random moments. (Fun fact: if you have ever told me what time you were born, I probably remember.)
These biographies taught me that my favourite twins started their acting careers as Michelle Tanner in Full House, the late-eighties sitcom that graced screens until 1995. I had never seen Full House before, which was probably due to a couple of reasons: 1) I was born in 1995 and 2) I never noticed it featured on any British television channels so I’m pretty sure it didn’t come here, or maybe it just came to cable television which I never had.
Anyhoo, one day, about a fortnight ago, I was scrolling through the beautiful, mystical and ever-changing land of the TV Shows list on Netflix UK and, lo and behold, what do I see? The bright and smiley faces of Bob Saget, John Stamos (*faints*), Dave Coulier, Lori Loughlin, Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, Andrea Barber and one of our beloved Olsen twins: the Full House gang.
I have now watched every episode of Full House and have finally made it onto Fuller House, the show’s Netflix revival. Watching the first episode of Fuller House, I realised that nostalgia is such a beautiful thing. It’s not that I didn’t already know that but watching the original credits roll, hearing the original theme song play and seeing so many famous moments recreated twenty-nine years later, I couldn’t help but smile (and maybe shed a little tear). How wonderful that a show that obviously brought so much love to its audience twenty years ago can still produce such feelings of joy and general ‘heartwarmingness’ through its long-awaited spin-off. For any other show, a two-decade break may have been too long. The show may have fallen to its death before it even reached the summit. Not Fuller House. Full House‘s audience is still here and still just as in love with Uncle Jesse as ever before. This superb use of nostalgia, from recreating the most memorable scenes to Stephanie’s classic one-liner, has created a show that will keep the heart of Full House beating for many more years (literally. The show has been renewed for another season!).
More and more of our favourite shows from days past are set to make a comeback. Of course, you all know that I have been (not so) patiently waiting for a Gilmore Girls revival since it left our screens in 2007, and my wait for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is coming to an end shortly. Scream has also returned via the wonderful world of Netflix and, to prove my point once more, The X-Files and Twin Peaks were both brought back from the dead this year.
It can be argued that these revivals are just a way of studios making some more money. Let’s be honest, you’re probably right. But sometimes it’s okay to let said studios rake in a bit more cash because it means we get something that we want too. Come on, am I not the happiest girl in the world because Lorelai and Rory are coming back to me?
Nostalgia is a spectacular thing. In this day and age, where everybody seems to be telling us that the whole world is corrupt, where everything is a scheme to make money rather than art, it is a much-needed tool for happiness. Don’t your grandparents constantly tell you how great life was when they were your age? How easy it was to buy a house or find a job? Looking back is sometimes so much kinder than looking forward. Sometimes, there is a much better view when you turn around. As we grow up and life gets harder, why shouldn’t we take twenty-five minutes out of our day to remember what once was? Why shouldn’t we remember the old jokes we used to double over at? Why shouldn’t we relive a little bit of our childhoods, where things were simple and we didn’t have to pay bills or worry about job satisfaction?
Perhaps reviving an old television programme is lazy. Perhaps studios should be focusing on creating new and unique content that has never been made before but will that give you the same warm feeling you get when you see DJ and Stephanie hug it out? Will you still laugh and smile? There is always a place for ‘easy watching’: shows and movies that you don’t have to think about. Why do you think rom-coms are so popular? Their plot is predictable. The jokes simple. They are easy. You never find yourself on the edge of the seat and, now more than ever, we need to find time to sit back, relax and explore the past once more.
It’s not always bad to look back. After all, how else will you see how far you’ve come?