8 simple rules dating my teenage daughter
The series' storylines deal with the struggles of parenthood and the pressures of being a teen.
Since "8 Simple Rules" begins with the children already in full-adolescent mode, the shift from childhood to adulthood is abrupt for viewers, as it is for Paul, who is finally taking a more committed turn at fatherhood.
Stuck as the second banana to his sisters, youngest son Rory (Martin Spanjers) sees the least amount of airtime and is relegated to silly little escapades like buying a surfboard (they live in Michigan) or secretly keeping a monkey/snake/rat as a pet.
That and hiding in his sisters' closet, then reporting what he hears to Paul.
Many parents can sympathize with Paul and Cate's moments of nostalgia, during which one or the other will flashback to the children's younger days.
Thankfully, a capable cast and snappy dialogue help make those 20 minutes enjoyable and fun.
"8 Simple Rules..." makes it sound like a father-versus-boyfriend sitcom, a sort of Meet the Parents for adolescents.
In truth, most early episodes focus on growing up, be it the added responsibilities that a teenager takes on, or the difficult "letting go" that a parent must do.
Early in the series, "8 Simple Rules" took this route as well, as the first several episodes were mainly about father Paul Hennessy's (Ritter) efforts to understand his teenaged children's behavior.
Usually, he'll falter due to his own shortcomings and ends up learning a lesson about himself or his children.