Fuller House is a spin off of the show Full House. DJ is now a widow with three sons to take care of so her sister Stephanie and best friend Kimmy decide to move in with her and help her take care of her family. (Yeah it’s basically the plot of Full House with reversed genders lol).
So I was pretty excited about this because I loved Full House when I was younger. Of course, the humor is super cheesy but I think that they did a really good job of keeping some of the same themes as the original show with the importance of family and life lessons and such.
I was enjoying the show, I thought it was funny and enjoyed that members of the original cast were making constant appearances throughout the season. I was enjoying the story line and starting to like the new characters. Then, it took a bit of a bad turn.
One of the episodes toward the end of the season included a good bit of cultural appropriation and it was pretty disappointing. So the background for the episode is that someone wanted to throw an Indian themed retirement party. Why is this an issue? Well, because there is a difference between appropriation and appreciation and it’s easy to cross from one the other.
Throwing a themed party about a culture that you’re not familiar with is only appropriate if you 1. take the time to actually learn about the culture and 2. it’s probably a good idea to have someone from that culture do the teaching aspect. They included some important elements about sacred animals and traditional outfits but there was no explanation of why certain animals are considered sacred or what outfits are word for which occasions and what they mean.
Then there was the dance sequence. I’m sure (or at least I hope) that they brought in someone familiar with the culture to choreograph, but there were no people of Indian descent in the scene. This could have easily been remedied by having an actual Indian dancer in the scene to start the dance.
The reason that these things are appropriation is because by not including the importance of why the culture is the way it is, you’re just using something that’s important to someone and using it as props for a party and not giving a damn about what they mean.
To be honest, I was very disappointed in this episode. A friend of mine from India said the same thing and has decided to stop watching the show for it. If you need clarifying information on the difference between appreciation and appropriation, feel free to ask.