Full House is forever a beloved series and its spin-off Fuller House — while not as timeless — is still a gem for longtime fans. Seeing so many of the OG stars back together again on-screen? No matter how cheesy it might be sometimes, it's still a delight and as a longtime Full House watcher, I appreciate it all. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a video on YouTube of a show that literally looks like Full House, except it's in another language. AND I HAD NO CLUE THIS EXISTED.
After a quick Google search, I discovered that there was a Russian adaptation of the sitcom in the late '00s and now my life is forever changed. Two years ago, MTV News did some research on the show that ran for two seasons back in 2009. It was called The House Is Upside Down or Topsy-Turvy House and it literally was the same exact premise as Full House: a widowed sportscaster gets the help of his musician brother-in-law and comedian best friend raising his three daughters when they move into the family's house. And the clip I found on YouTube that had me shook was the intro scene of the pilot episode which mirrors exactly what went down in the pilot episode of Full House, "Our Very First Show." OK so here's the first scene ever of Full House:
And here's the first scene of the Russian version:
Even if you don't know Russian, you can just see the similarities between what's going on in each show. The family's grandmother moving out and her granddaughters not wanting to her leave, which then makes way for the uncle everyone loves to move in. Legit direct parallels here! It's kind of blowing my mind over here. So how did this all come to be? Well as MTV uncovered, the CEO of Russian broadcasting company CTC Media Alexander Rodnyansky's daughter loved Full House so he ended up getting a deal with Warner Bros. to license the show and create this other version. Overall, the main plot points were kept the same, but there were some changes made to reflect the cultural differences.
"The big frame, what we call the arcs, were kept. Within those arcs and storylines, certain blocks of dialogue were reworked but the main framework was the conflicts, the evolution of the characters throughout the season. There may be elements in the episode you don't recognize, but by the third or fourth minute, you might recognize them," Denis Leroy, the former vice president of format licensing and production at Warner Bros. International Television Production, said to MTV. He went on to say that the subject matter of the show, where it's three men raising kids together without a traditional "mother" role around was something Russian viewers weren't necessarily used to seeing.
"That was very, very unusual for Russian society. The show was perceived as really, really new. In a country where women and mothers are still pretty much in charge of family and children...people took notice. Russian TV at the time was pretty conservative, I would say. It evolved progressively," Dennis said. "[The show] was really made about the kids. It was really very children-driven, the way Russia had done it. It had good reviews and was seen."
Am I the only one was legitimately shocked by this? I know that TV shows from other countries are adapted all the time. I'm a huge fan of The CW series Jane the Virgin, which is loosely based on the Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgen, so I get it, I do. But perhaps I never actually sat and watched these other versions before, until now that is. So basically, seeing this Russian version of Full House and how it's eerily similar to the show I grew up watching practically every day of my life since you know bless re-runs, really just threw me for a loop. It's actually really cool when you think about how one person's idea for a television show can live on forever and transcend to different parts of the world. And Full House is as iconic as any TV show comes.