Family is Everything

I find myself continuously looking for a good show or movie to watch when I need a break; a break from homework or a break from the drama surrounding this school … basically a quick break from reality. And when I do, I always finding myself watching old episodes of Full House. Aside from all of the actors and actresses that I love, the show’s family dynamic always drew my attention. Growing up my sister and I would watch Full House because we admired how the characters all lived together. It was like a big family reunion at all times, whereas my family lives around the country so we rarely get to see each other besides for holidays. My two sisters and I, in a way, lived through the fictional show because we always imagined ourselves as the three Tanner sisters.

Although I still adore the show, taking many media and television courses has molded my thinking. I now analyze shows from a different lens. For example, I do not admire the Tanner family for their corky jokes and family atmosphere like I so often used to. Instead, I realize Full House challenged social norms. Full House does not embody the traditional family dynamic where you have a mom and dad raising a family together. Instead, Danny (the girl’s father), Jessie (the girl’s uncle), and Joey (a family friend) help raise the three girls after a car accident took their mother’s life. This unconventional unit redefines family values, outweighing all previous reasons for liking the show so much.full-house

Still from Full House. Image from [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3111429/Lifetime-announces-Unauthorized-House-Story-cast-releases-lookalike-photo.html].

Coincidentally, the reading for this week relates to Full House. In the chapter “Who Rules the Roost?” Judy Kutulas mentions a new genre that emerged: postmodern family sitcoms. Rather than the typical housewife, working man dynamic, postmodern family sitcoms allowed more independence. For example, the show Modern Family represents a fallible family. The sitcom does not intend to teach families how to or how not to act, instead it teaches families that it is okay to have difficulties and to be diverse. Although Modern Family is a fairly recent show, I think Full House was one of the first shows to stray from the happy-g0-lucky 195os family ideal. Instead,  much like Modern FamilyFull House blurs the lines of the customary family dynamic. Three men take on parental roles without a female figure. And since single-family homes are becoming more popular, Full House helps exemplify that family is possible, regardless what the parental imprint looks like. Family is everything.

-Jenna Romano (Blog #2)

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6 Responses to Family is Everything

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I too loved Full House when I was younger, but as I got older I think I began disliking the show for some of the reasons you discussed in your post. Mainly the corky jokes and how relatable the characters where for my personally. However, I realized after reading your post that I don’t give enough credit to the actual substance of the show. You’re right in the fact that Full House did break a variety of norms for families at the time that were portrayed on television. It’s often challenging to force yourself to alter your way of looking at something when you gain more knowledge about the topic. -Courtney Green

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I think that Full House is often dismissed as a silly sitcom, but it truly is important to note the diverse family unit that was portrayed in this show. Full House was comforting to a lot of viewers in our generation. Though the morals at the end of each episode are blatantly obvious, this sitcom offered a younger viewpoint that was appealing to us and our peers. -Valerie Medoff

  3. mediaphiles says:

    Full House is one of those ‘I don’t have to think about it’ shows, It is full of corny jokes and actions that force you to laugh because you are trained to think it is funny. You do make a point of the abnormal family structure. There does not exist another show that has this same structure, other than Fuller House, but that is just a spin off. I would argue that the Tanner girls eventually did get a female role model with the introduction of Becky, and she is there for most of the series.
    -Laya Mohan

  4. mediaphiles says:

    I absolutely loved Full House growing up. I owned every single episode. Since the time that I got to high school though, I abandoned the show for Friends. Recently, I was at home watching TV and Full House came on. I almost switched if off to plug into Netflix and watch Friends, but something made me watch it. The episode happened to be the one where Michelle tries to get her dad and her teacher to fall in love because she wants a new mommy. At the end of the episode, as the dramatic music plays, Danny tells Michelle that there are all different kinds of families with just mommies or just daddies or sometimes grandparents. I think that this episode in articular explicitly exhibits what you are talking about in your post about challenging the typical 1950’s perfect American family.
    Nicolette McCann

  5. mediaphiles says:

    Growing up, I was never truly dedicated to a t.v. show. I must admit, I use to always enjoy watching a show of Full House whenever it was on. This show has a nice way of teaching us different life lessons. It is not overly dramatic. It depicts a happy family life as the parents teach the kids different moral lessons. The show is so easy to watch because it is full of light hearted corny jokes that make you chuckle throughout the episode. I think Full House is one of those shows I have always put on the back burner and never took the time to truly appreciate.

    Alexandra Peralta

  6. marymdalton says:

    Good analysis!

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