8 Simple Rules (2002–2005)
"8 Simple Rules... for Dating My Teenage Daughter" (original title)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy | Drama
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Reviews: 115 user | 8 critic

The Hennessy clan -- mother Cate, daughters Bridget and Kerry, and son Rory -- look to one another for guidance and support after the death of Paul, the family patriarch. Cate's parents lend a hand.

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Title: 8 Simple Rules (2002–2005)

8 Simple Rules (2002–2005) on IMDb 7.1/10

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3   2   1  
2005   2004   2003   2002  
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 8 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
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 Cate Hennessy / ... (76 episodes, 2002-2005)
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 Bridget Hennessy / ... (76 episodes, 2002-2005)
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 Kerry Hennessy (76 episodes, 2002-2005)
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 Rory Hennessy (76 episodes, 2002-2005)
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 Jim Egan / ... (45 episodes, 2003-2005)
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 C.J. Barnes / ... (39 episodes, 2004-2005)
...
 Paul Hennessy (31 episodes, 2002-2003)
...
 Kyle (31 episodes, 2002-2004)
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Storyline

The Hennessy clan -- mother Cate, daughters Bridget and Kerry, and son Rory -- look to one another for guidance and support after the death of Paul, the family patriarch. Cate's parents lend a hand.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

17 September 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

8 Simple Rules  »

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(76 episodes)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 8 Simple Rules are:
  • Rule One: If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure as heck not picking anything up.


  • Rule Two: You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter's body, I will remove them.


  • Rule Three: I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, In order to assure that your clothes do not, in fact, come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric staple gun and fasten your trousers securely in place around your waist.


  • Rule Four: I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a "barrier method" of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate: when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I WILL kill you.


  • Rule Five: In order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is "early."


  • Rule Six: I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make YOU cry.


  • Rule Seven: As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process which can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don't you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car?


  • Rule Eight: The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places lacking parents, policemen, or nuns. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka zipped up to her chin. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual theme are to be avoided; movies which feature chainsaws are okay. Hockey games are okay.


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Goofs

In several episodes, characters drink "Safeway Select" colas. The Safeway Brands are only available in Safeway Company Stores in the Western US and Canada, in and around the Chicagoland area and at some select convenience stores in the Eastern US. The show takes place in Detroit, Michigan. No Safeway Company Stores exist in or around Detroit. See more »

Quotes

Cate: First rule in old men fight club. We don't talk about old men fight club!
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Crazy Credits

The opening sequence of the first season featured Kerry, Kate, Bridget and Paul each looking at Bridget's or Kerry's new date one at a time (the scene is viewed from the latter's perspective), the camera panning down to the doormat with the show's title, and finally Rory taunting the date. Rory's taunt changed in every opening sequence (although they were often repeated between non-consecutive episodes). See more »

Connections

Referenced in 8 Simple Rules for Doing My Son (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

A classy, respectable and even somewhat funny entry to the dry family comedy genre
27 June 2004 | by (www.liquidcelluloid.blog.com) – See all my reviews

Network: ABC; Genre: Family Sitcom; Content Rating: TV-G; Classification: Contemporary (star range: 1 - 4);

Season Reviewed: Season 2+

Unfortunately, '8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter' (based on the book by W. Bruce Cameron) will most likely be remembered as the last series that comedian John Ritter worked on before his tragic, sudden death in 2003. It couldn't have happened to a more pleasant and unlikely series. Before that startling jolt of reality intruded on its world '8 Simple Rules' was as passive and insignificant as family sitcoms get. A show that kept its head down, churned up warm and fuzzy feelings and got a few laughs in the process. From a purely creative standpoint Ritter's death slashed right at the heart of this show. It was him that was the star, he was much of the reason I was drawn to the show, and it was his impeccable comic delivery that was able to elicit a laugh-out-loud response.

In the wake of the tragedy, the show attempted what at the time might have been unthinkable. Not only continued without Ritter but wrote his death dramatically into the series. And they pulled it off - something without a successful precedence in a TV series. Katey Sagal ('Married…With Children', 'Futurama') was pushed into the lead role and after years of trying to shed her Peg Bundy supporting-role image she has stepped up to the task with steadfast assurance. The show follows the Hennessey family lead by Cate (Sagal), her son Rory (Martin Spanjers, little seen and limited to cliché one liners in season 1), and two daughters - the tall, tall, blonde, vein, popular Bridget (star in the making Kaley Cuoco) and (as trite as it may sound) spunky, red-headed, equally pretty Kerry (a great Amy Davidson) who the show couldn't even go for one season pretending she wasn't attractive and engaging enough to get dates. James Garner was brought in as Cate's father for a little insurance but wisely not as a replacement. I have a problem with the addition of David Spade to the cast, but I've never liked Spade anyway. His bratty nephew role here is just Spade doing his same old tired shtick.

I've criticized ABC in the past for recklessly mismanaging its shows for years - sending great shows on the chopping block far too soon - but in this case they and the "Rules" show-runners did exactly the right thing. Faced with impossible decisions no show should have to make they didn't turn tail and run as so many people wanted them to, but stuck it out and proved that even something so often looked at as disposable as a sitcom can still deal head-on with true life-altering issues in a genuine and intelligent way. More than that, it became a graceful love-note to its late star.

Family sitcoms are a dime a dozen, but '8 Simple Rules' is better than we're used to from the genre. It's got moments that are so lame and broadly played they are clearly only for the kids, but most of the time it is cute and kind of funny without being embarrassingly stupid, and genuine without being maudlin sap. It is familiar but in a warm and cozy way. It doesn't try to be artificially edgy or plugged with wacky dysfunctional family humor. It is charming, smoother, richer and more resonant as a character comedy without relying on condescending clichés ("the dotting wife and idiot husband" for one aren't present). Plus, it's ambitiously titled in a current TV climate where people think audiences get confused if a show title is longer than 3 words. This type of show isn't generally my cup of tea, but if you're in the market, '8 Simple Rules' is one of the better ones.

* * * / 4


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