Forget Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Dare Devil and Jessica Jones. Fuller House is Netflix’s greatest victory.
This may be deemed a rather odd critical proclamation considering the calibre of original programming Netlfix has produced over the course of the past five years. However, where Netflix responded to the emergence of cinematic television in the era of HBO and AMC with adult oriented content, it failed to do one thing television was always meant to do: bring families together
Yes, this conversation around the politics of television is conservative itself and I will avoid to save you from a layered historical recounting of post Word War 2 values, but it is important to note that Netflix was born on the idea of individualized and mobile programming. As such, in regards to the family space, the idea of viewership was fragmented. From multiple televisions in one dwelling to mobile technology including smartphones and tablets, the idea of “coming together” dissipated. Individual family members could watch their “lists” at will. As such, households have been streaming but not necessarily viewing together.
This past Friday, Netflix embarked on a very brave journey. It reached into nostalgia and embraced the values of yesterday with the intention to serve an audience not looking for superheroes, lesbian cellmates or corrupt politicians. Understanding that the millennial generation is burdened by the outer realities of their today, Netflix provided an opportunity for a comforting pause and a reminder that the old fashion needs to be re-trended. The result: a cultural event occurred. From trending on Twitter to perhaps breaking “network television” on Friday (as evident in a drastic decline in regular Friday night programming), Fuller House spoke loudly and proudly.
So, if you have young children like me, grew up on TGIF yourself, and took solace in the time spent over the last couple of days watching “old friends” in a somewhat new story, who do you thank.
Begin with: Jeff Franklin, John Stamos and Netflix.
In an era of television where villains are being decapitated on Gotham at 8:00pm or reality television continues to run with fury, Fuller House can be considered counter culture. Wow!
Here’s hoping and looking to Season 2.