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Fuller House - Season 3A - Review

Your healthy dose of nostalgia has returned in the form of “Fuller House” season 3A, which premiered on Netflix on September 22. That’s right, the Fuller-Gibbler clan are back on the streaming giant's reboot of the classic sitcom “Full House” with nine episodes (the other nine will release sometime in December this year).

The reason this show has worked is that you’re a big fan of the original and tune in to keep up with these characters that you’ve loved. The show has also stirred up plenty of freshly-minted fans of this family. Either way, “Fuller House” is the ideal guilty pleasure. It's the cheesy and sweet family comedy that's easy to devour. However, it’s definitely cringe-worthy (hello, opening musical number!) and tone-deaf when it comes to humor at times (stereotyping Fernando!).

I think the best way to describe the show is the pair of comfy jeans you don’t want to give up on just yet. In fact, 3A ends on quite the cliffhanger. Whatever happened to predictability?

Before we get down to revisit what went down in season 3A, here is my quick overall spoiler-free review.

"Fuller House" was actually pretty fun to watch this season because it found it's groove. The shows knows its strengths and really banks on it for the most part. There were still some played-out plots but hey, we don't watch this because we know it'll win an Emmy. We watch it because we need something heartfelt and funny and familiar.

In terms of acting, we know we don’t have any ace players here but the cast clearly has wonderful chemistry and make it fun to watch them.

Jodie Sweetin and Elias Harger shine with their sassy dialogue delivery. I see so much similarity between young Steph and Max, it’s no wonder they got some great bonding scenes this season. Soni Nicole is the real star here. She brings a good range to Ramona. I’m excited to see more of what she does after “Fuller House.”

Kimmy Gibbler’s wacky persona is a tough nut to crack but Andrea Barber pulls it off. It’s mostly hilarious and only sometimes annoying. This applies to Juan Pablo di Pace’s Fernando as well. Candace Cameron Bure does a solid job of playing DJ. Michael Campion, unfortunately, falters as the eldest Fuller kid. Adam Hagenbuch was sorely underused this season but is quite funny in the ones he does show up in. All of the "original elders" were good, too, especially John Stamos and Lori Loughlin.

Now, let's unpack everything that went on in this season for every character:

DJ: Her love triangle is still the focus of her story. She may have wanted to pick Steve (as we found out in the season 2 finale) but is happy in her relationship with Matt, while the former will marry CJ in Japan. She’s trying to build a stronger connection with Matt and they seem to get serious over the course of the season, exchanging their first "I love you's." That doesn’t stop her and Steve from sharing some flirtatious moments, like singing their high school ballad during family karaoke. DJ rushes to help Steve with wedding outfit decisions and ends up trying CJ's dress, which she catches her in. It's awkward! In the final episode, the gang is flying to Japan but DJ is pretty nervous about watching Steve get married. Kimmy, who is still #TeamSteve, points out how he's always cared for her. Steph, who is still #TeamMatt, doesn't think DJ should give up on her boyfriend. Based on a BuzzFeed quiz, the she-wolf pack tries to see which of the two men deserve Deej and in the end, they both succeed. Still, DJ doesn't know what to do so in the flight, without realizing that Steve is sitting beside her instead of Kimmy because she has headphones and a sleep mask on, DJ admits how she thinks she made the wrong choice by letting go of her "the one" aka Steve...while he looks on in shock! At the exact same time, Matt is showing Stephanie the ring he bought for DJ. He's planning to propose in Japan! Yikes. But also, yay! As much as I enjoy Matt and the side of DJ he brings out, my "Full House" heart will always want Steve and DJ together. I can see how the back nine episodes may make that happen.

Stephanie: The middle Tanner sibling spent the season mostly stuck at home because Jodie Sweetin suffered a leg injury. They incorporated that into the story. Steph and Jimmy continue to be adorable. When she misses the premiere of a film that used her "Boy Next Door" song albeit for a minute, he arranges a red carpet at home for her! The biggest turn in her story comes when Becky visits the family. She convinces Steph to go for a pelvic ultrasound and they find out she still has a chance to have a baby through in vitro using a surrogate. At first, she's nervous to go through with this because she's broke. Luckily for her, she has literally the nicest family in the world. Everyone, including the Fuller, the Gibblers, the Tanners, the Katsopoli, the Gladstones, agree to help her out because they believe Stephanie will be a great mom. I think that was one of the more emotional, memorable moments this season. She doesn't tell Jimmy about this, either, because she doesn't want to make him commit to something this big. When he finds out, he's disappointed, so to win her approval, Jimmy buys a one-way ticket to Japan and on the flight, the two decide to have a baby together!

Kimmy: The wackiest member of the she-wolf pack, Kimmy's storyline this season revolved around her relationship with her ex-husband Fernando, who is equal parts funny and annoying. He surprises her by buying her old Gibbler house for their family. She refuses to move in with him because she promised to be there for DJ. Instead, he gets Jimmy as a roommate. Unfortunately, we don't get to see the dynamics between the two men. Fortunately, he restores the Gibbler house to its old glory. We finally get to see the circus that is this house in episode five. It was...something else, alright. Kimmy spends a lot of her time trying to make sure her bond with her daughter Ramona remains tight because she doesn't want to miss out on her teenage years. She also gets hired to plan Steve's wedding. In a small feud between her and Fernando to win Ramona's affection, she buys her a pony while he designs a dance studio with frozen yogurt for her in her bedroom.

Jackson: The eldest Fuller brother is forced to attend summer school because of his bad grades. He befriends Gia's rebellious daughter Rocki, who's a softie on the inside and has some great scenes with the Fuller family. He's still crushing on Lola excessively and even sings to her with Danny's help. It doesn't go well. She ends it with him but he takes it surprisingly well.

Max: Max continues to be the smartest child of the lot. Elias Hagner is just such a treat to watch and really stands out amongst this cast. In one episode, his younger brother Tommy destroys his favorite toy under Stephanie's watch. To make up for it, she gives him the greatest gift: Mr. Bear aka her iconic childhood buddy. In Max's words, "he's a legend."

Ramona: The young, smart Gibbler goes through quite a bit. First, she gets a hickey from her boyfriend Popko (ugh). In order to hide it from Kimmy, she takes Stephanie's help to cover it up with makeup but ends up bonding with her mom about it anyway. Before she leaves for Japan, Popko asks her if he can see other girls while she's away. She slams the door in his face, thank God!

One great thing about these first batch of season 3 episodes was how it focused on the core characters instead of bringing back our original adults for the wow factor. Let’s face it, there’s no point bringing them back if it doesn’t add anything to the story. Season 1 did it to indulge the fans, understandably. Season 2 felt like a little bit of an overdose. So far, 3A carries this out well.

Danny: Bob Saget returned as the Tanner family patriarch returns in episode three for his famous 4th of July barbeque. Not only does he put out fires to serve some great food but he also puts out fires metaphorically as he helps all the couples of the house solve their issues. We find out he's divorced. That's right, his marriage to Teri was pretty short-lived. It's hard to feel sorry for him because she only showed up in one season 2 episode, or as DJ points out "the one time she visited." But hey, it's good ol' Danny! Here's hoping he bounces back.

Jesse: John Stamos has really just nailed down the Uncle Jesse persona, even now. He shows up in episode 5 with his adopted daughter Pamela and is stuck babysitting all the children of the house while the adults attend a dinner party at the Gibbler house. It's safe to say that there are some misadventures. He struggles to make it all work but doesn't succeed at first. Stephanie and DJ sit him down when they return and see the house is a mess. They remind him of how well he's raised them because Jesse always had a good solution. Heartfelt speeches are really this show's specialty, huh? This episode truly did make me nostalgic and gave me flashbacks to Jesse and Joey's misadventures while babysitting a young Michelle.

Joey: I don't know why they've given Joey (Dave Coulier) such a terrifying story by giving him four terrifying kids who are totally out of control. All of them (including Mr. Woodchuck) visit in episode 8 and kind of take over the house. He seems to think all the pranks his children pull are hilarious but when really pushed for an answer, we learn he's always annoyed at them, too. He just needed a break. What better break than to come to the Fullers?

Becky: Lori Loughlin doesn't age. She is still as graceful and funny as ever as Rebecca. Her appearance is the most pivotal, not only because Loughlin aces her comedic timing, but because Becky brings about the biggest change in Steph's story by taking her for the doctor's visit.

What did you think of season 3A? Did you binge it all in one sitting or are you still struggling to finish? What are your hopes for season 3B?