'Full House' Revival Already Has a Michelle Tanner Problem That It Needs to Solve
After Boy Meets World got a spin-off series in the form of Girl Meets World, we really should have expected someone to eventually come up with the idea of bringing Full House back for a revival series. And, just like Boy Meets World, people from the main cast of Full House have already signed up to be involved with the project. However, if there's one thing that the Full House revival series should take from Girl Meets World, it's that childhood nostalgia can only carry it so far. Sure, Girl Meets World has been renewed for season two, but it still spends most of its time ripping off Boy Meets World. While I have no doubt that Full House's spin-off will make every effort to be its own show, they already have one big problem when it comes to bringing itself back on the air.
That problem is Michelle Tanner. As anyone who watched Full House knows, Michelle Tanner was the youngest child in the house before the birth of Jesse's children, Nicky and Alex Katsopolis, and she was played by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Okay, so you don't have to have watched Full House to know that, but while D.J. and Stephanie were handling all the teen and tween issues, Michelle was handling all the being too cute to handle issues. It wasn't until the later seasons that Michelle began to go through some heavy issues of her own, but for most of the series she was the Token Adorable Kid.
The Olsen twins have yet to sign on for the Full House project, which is bad enough, but the question for the Full House revival to answer is how are they going to replace Michelle? The thing is having a "new Michelle" might cause them to fall prey to Cousin Oliver Syndrome. The phenomena is when a sitcom adds younger children in an attempt to improve ratings and it was named after Cousin Oliver, a relative of the Bradys on The Brady Bunch that came to stay with them during their final season.
Michelle is the kind of iconic character that makes any attempt to replace or replicate her completely transparent. If the Full House revival has the Tanner-Katsopolis grandchildren of varying age, the youngest one is inevitably going to be compared to Michelle and likely fall short. However, there's no way that a Full House revival can even happen without a Michelle Tanner being involved. No, I don't mean forcing the Olsen twins to sign on, but the character archetype is kind of important for the entire plot of the show. Full House followed the lives of three friends and three children of varying age in order to teach us morals about dealing with issues at different stages of life.
The New Michelle would definitely be considered a knock-off no matter how different the kid is from the old Michelle, but having a kid in that age group in the main cast is part of what helped make it a family show that everyone in the family got something out of. We grew up with the cast of Full House and they grew with us. It's not a complete family if we don't have a teen, a tween, and a baby, now is it?
Honestly, the only way Full House can really solve their Michelle Problem without being accused of ripping itself off is by making the New Michelle the son or daughter of the old Michelle. Whoever Michelle's children are — if they're included without the Olsen twins' involvement — they are going to be considered the equivalent of Michelle from the original Full House no matter what. With that out of the way, the Full House revival will be free to develop them in any direction without worrying too much about Cousin Oliver backlash.
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