8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

Thursday, September 26, 2002

You call this a John Ritter show? Not once in the pilot episode of 8 Simples Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter did he trip over a couch! Not once did he overhear someone discussing a plumbing problem and assume they were talking about sex! Not once did he threaten Felipe with a cleaver!

All right, so I wasn't really expecting the last of these, but it really couldn't have hurt the show. Despite what the title implies, this sitcom doesn't involve a father trying to secretly date his own teenage daughters (which at least would have been bizarrely fascinating for at least one episode), but rather about a father who has apparently never talked to his children and now has to supervise them. The whole premise comes across as completely bizarre. The parents are allegedly married, but the parenting arrangement, as they describe it, sounds like the mother has had custody for the past 15 years. I guess in this world parents can't see their children and work at the same time. Fine.

So the show has a blatantly unrealistic premise, is free of physical comedy, and isn't the incest comedy it bills itself as. Is it good enough to overcome these problems?

Not even close. As mentioned previously, ABC is intent this season on producing the most inoffensive pablum they can generate in the name of "family comedy." I'm not sure why they think this is the way to save their network from its ratings coma, and, frankly, I think we as a viewing public should be insulted. I guess the idea is that we're not capable of working a full day at work and still be able to appreciate and enjoy a program that requires us to think at all. The small part of me that remembers that I own something like 2 shares of Disney stock clearly hopes this to be true, but the larger part - the part that enjoys watching televison - would really like to think that the viewing public can certainly handle quality programming, no matter how brain-numbing their daylight activities may be. Of course, the pilot of 8 Simple Rules got great rating, so I guess ABC was right. Great.

Rating: D (The Very Definition of Mediocrity)

Reviewed by Padgett Arango
Contents
The Hills Have Eyes 2

Hostel Part II

Six Degrees

Shark

Jericho

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Justice

The Hills Have Eyes

Love Monkey

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quirkyalone.net

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House of 1000 Corpses

Bubba Ho-Tep

Darkness Falls

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Amazing Race

Treasure Island

FearDotCom

Adaptation

To Hit Armor Class Zero

Without A Trace

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

Life With Bonnie

Jalapeņo Cheeseburger

The Mothman Prophecies

Happy Campers

The Man Who Wasn't There

Kiss of the Dragon

Josie & the Pussycats

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Dr. Pepper

Know By Heart

Waking Life

L.I.E.

Thirteen Ghosts

Earthlink presents Chang and Eng

New York and Country Bar

Change

Motivation and Water Tower Grammar

Crossing Philly

Makeout Club

Undeclared

The Gap

The Abolition of Work

3000 Miles to Graceland

Kolobos

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The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Diesel Sweeties

The Cold Six Thousand

The Grilled Stuft Burrito (Rebuttal)

60 Second Wipeout

The Patriot

Grilled Stuft Burrito

Cowgirls

Crystalline

Frankenfinger E.P.

One Force Down

Shake

Both Our Secrets

Happy Birthday Captain Columbus!

Fight Club

Whatever It Takes

Committed

That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?

Joe Dirt

The Veggie Whopper

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Palmetto

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To The Center

Infiniti+Infiniti

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What Lies Beneath

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Bring It On

Chill Factor

Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars

Bad Company

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Hyacinths and Thistles

Lake of Dracula

We'll Have a Time

Home Depot

Snow Day

The Virgin Suicides