BY DONNA FREYDKIN
They remember the final 1995 curtain call like it happened yesterday. Andrea Barber and Jodie Sweetin held each other, emotionally wrecked.
And none of the cast of "Full House," the long-running series about the Tanner clan, ever thought they'd return to their fictional San Francisco home.
But lo and behold, here's "Fuller House," which picks up where the original left off -- 20 years later, on Netflix. This time, it's recently widowed D.J. Tanner (Candace Cameron Bure) who's raising three boys with the good-natured but often misguided assistance of her sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and best friend Kimmy (Andrea Barber).
"I do have three kids in real life and on the show. There's a lot of me in D.J. The biggest difference is that I have an awesome husband at home who helps and supports. I couldn't do what I do as a working mom," says Cameron Bure, who's married to former hockey player Valeri Bure.
As for her sister on the show, "Stephanie has done a lot more traveling than I have. I envy her passport stickers. I'm a mom so I get to have the fun job of being home with my babies, which I wouldn't change for anything in the world," says Sweetin. "She has done some fun traveling."
Bob Saget, John Stamos, Lori Loughlin and Dave Coulier appear in the first episode, and hopscotch throughout the remaining installments. But this time, the show is about single motherhood and focuses squarely on the ladies -- sans Michelle Tanner (the baby played by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen). It's announced that Michelle is pursuing a fashion career in New York -- the same thing the Olsens are doing with their luxe label, The Row.
Of course, fan favorite, the obnoxious Kimmy, is back in force, also playing a single mama. The two couldn't be more disparate in real life -- Barber is quiet, thoughtful and elegant. "My feet don't stink. I knock before I walk into front doors," says Barber.
On the third episode of the series, the ladies hit the town. In reality? Not so much. "My idea of an amazing night out is what we did last night: really good food, really good bottle of wine, and good friends," says Cameron Bure. "We're all moms."
We see D.J. tentatively explore romance on the show. And there's socializing, for sure. But for the three leads, life doesn't mimic art.
"Friends, food and in bed by 10:30," says Sweetin. "Andrea and I have littler ones."
"It's who you spend time with, not the activity you're doing," says Barber.
For creator Jeff Franklin, seeing his show return is a dream come true. This time, Carly Rae Jepsen sings the theme song. "I knew them when they were little girls. To see how they've grown up and blossomed: it's so exciting to come back and do this show together," says Franklin.