Pernicious nostalgia (with John Stamos)

In the NYT on the 12th, an opinion piece, “What Type of Nostalgic ’90s TV Fan Are You? (The Wrong Kind)” by Maris Kreizman, which begins by reounting childhood gatherings of the writer with other young girls.

We had gathered to discuss “Full House,” a sitcom in which a recently widowed man named Danny Tanner teaches his three adorable daughters very important life lessons, with the help of his brother-in-law and best friend. The show was the perfect answer for little girls who had enjoyed the wacky nontraditional family structure they saw in the 1987 film “3 Men and a Baby” and thought, “I’ll raise you two more kids.”

… This was my childhood in the late 1980s and early ’90s, a time that, hairstyle-wise, and even teen-idol-wise, is perhaps better forgotten. But it will not be. Especially not now. Our nostalgia is greedy. It’s not enough to look back fondly on the past; now we are rebooting it. Our nostalgia compels us to go beyond rewatching dusty old VCR tapes, to actually wanting fleeting childhood obsessions to be revived and re-enacted to fit our own times. This is why Netflix’s announcement this spring that it would air a 13-episode continuation of “Full House” in 2016 made my inner 9-year-old swoon, even though adult me remains wary.

More from Kreizman in a moment. But first, on Full House, from Wikipedia:

Full House is an American sitcom created by Jeff Franklin for ABC. The show chronicles a widowed father [played by Bob Saget], who enlists his best friend [played by Dave Coulier] and his brother-in-law [played by John Stamos] to help raise his three daughters. It aired from September 22, 1987 to May 23, 1995, broadcasting eight seasons and 192 episodes.

In August 2014, it was revealed that plans were underway to reboot Full House which would reunite most of the original cast. On April 20, 2015, Netflix announced that the show would return on its service as Fuller House.

Kreizman amplifies on her wariness:

Pernicious nostalgia is why the YouTube video for the February 2015 “Saved by the Bell” reunion on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” has more than 30 million views. It’s why reboots of “21 Jump Street” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” have turned TV shows I enjoyed as a kid into successful movie franchises. And it helps explain why Lifetime is bringing us “The Unauthorized Full House Story” next month, and why it just announced the same unauthorized movie treatment for “Beverly Hills, 90210.”

She confesses to some pernicious nostalgia on her own part, but concludes:

Better … to let the children of today discover and obsess about their own TV shows. Don’t remake the sweet smarm of our youth. I’ll be fine without it. I can always read up on some Uncle Jesse and Uncle Joey fan-fic if ever I’m feeling sentimental.

Full House was a cotton-candy sitcom, hard to watch (in my opinion) except for its energetic, amiable, and playful teenage hearthrob John Stamos, then in his 20s and early 30s, but looking young enough to incite squeals of adoration from young girls:


On Stamos, from Wikipedia:

John Phillip Stamos (… born August 19, 1963) is an American actor and musician. He is known for his work in television, especially in his starring role as Jesse Katsopolis on the ABC sitcom Full House. Since the show’s finale in 1995, Stamos has appeared in numerous TV films and series.

He’s a minor-league actor in mostly undistinguished roles, but he’s managed to find lots of work, mostly on tv. His first theatrical film was the outrageous parody Never Too Young to Die (1986), featuring secret agents and an evil hermaphrodite played by Gene Simmons (more about it on this blog, here).

Physically, Stamos has aged well. Some maintain that he hasn’t aged at all, but that’s just wrong. He no longer looks like a boy; now he’s a good-looking mature man:


He does look good for someone in his early 50s. Better suited, in fact, for the Uncle Jesse role than he was back around 1990.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: