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8 Simple Rules: Season 1

Score: 95%
Rating: PG
Publisher: Buena Vista
Region: 1
Media: DVD/3
Running Time: 601 Mins.
Genre: Comedy/TV Series
Audio: English (Dolby Digital)
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French


  • Bonus Feature: Blooper Reel

The Complete First Season of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter starring John Ritter ("Three's Company") as Paul Hennessy heads the typical modern family in this ABC sitcom debuting on September 17, 2002, and bringing hilarity into family homes and hearts. Katey Sagal ("Married with Children") co-stars as wife Cate Hennessy who returns to a nursing career abandoning parenting duties to work-at-home husband, Paul. Life becomes interesting as he fumbles through the trials and tribulations of his three unique teenagers: self-absorbed Bridget (Kaley Cuoco of "Charmed"), analytical Kerry (Amy Davidson of "Malcolm in the Middle"), and overshadowed Rory (Martin Spanjers).

The series was created by Tracy Gamble ("According to Jim") from W. Bruce Cameron's book 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. Legendary John Ritter stands firm against the dating world with the following "8 Simple Rules:" 1. Use your hands on my daughter and you'll lose them after. 2. You make her cry, I make you cry. 3. Safe sex is a myth. Anything you try will be hazardous to your health. 4. Bring her home late, there's no next date. 5. Only delivery men honk. Dates ring the doorbell. Once. 6. No complaining while you're waiting for her. If you're bored, change my oil. 7. If your pants hang off your hips, I'll gladly secure them with my staple gun. 8. Dates must be in crowded public place. You want romance? Read a book.

Twenty-eight episodes of fun spotlight the personalities and conflicts of this family. Cate and Paul undauntingly support each other as they arm-in-arm challenge and overcome problems invading their somewhat orderly lives. Bridget is a self-absorbed, flawless beauty who fashionably leads the crowd through her idyllic world. Her beauty and half-dressed body numb the audience to typical dumb blonde intelligence and logic; while "middle child" Kerry is sharp-witted and cunning as she methodically trips up Bridget and Kyle (Bridget's boyfriend), so selfishly absorbed in their own little worlds. Playful Rory, on the other hand, spices up the series with interjected bouts of teasing his sisters and pursuing his own interests such as hiding a pet monkey from his family. Kyle (Billy Aaron Brown) plays Bridget's boyfriend and keeps Paul on his toes with his 8 simple rules for dating his daughter.

I particularly enjoyed episodes where old familiars returned to the TV screen. In "Every Picture Tells a Story," Episode 20, race car driver Carter Tibbets (Jason Priestly of "Beverly Hills 90210") asks Paul to write his biography and invites his family to his mansion for a visit. They are greeted by his former crew chief Cody (Robert Guillaume of "Benson") who ushers them into the legend's home with his familiar dry-witted sarcasm and humor.

Episode 26, "The Doyle Wedding" introduces Fred and Mary Ellen Doyle (respectively "Cheers" John Ratzenberger and Shelley Long) to the screen and challenges the Hennessy hospitality. Episode 27, "Sort of an Officer and a Gentleman (Part 1)," focuses on the relationship of Bridget and Donny Doyle (Thad Luckinbil of "The Young and the Restless") as it blossoms into an exclusive dating scenario. Cate's sister, Maggie (Cybill Shepherd of "Moonlighting") pays a visit to the Hennessy family after her husband, Ted, dumps her for another woman. The conflicting positive/negative personalities of the siblings are mirrored before daughters Bridget and Kerry as their mother and aunt reunite and work out unresolved past issues. In Part 2, the conflict continues when Maggie buys water-bras that let you "hear the ocean" for her nieces against Cate's wishes.

The Bonus Feature: Blooper Reel included lengthy segments of bloopers primarily featuring John Ritter in scenes with various cast members.

It was a pleasure watching the comedic interplay between John Ritter and Katey Sagal in the delightful comedy of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. I give this series a high rating and recommend it for many nights of hilarious entertainment.

-Kambur O. Blythe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jan Daniel

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