Friday, September 24, 2004

TV Review: 8 Simple Rules

The third season of ABC's "8 Simple Rules" premiered tonight, September 24, on its new time and day. James Garner and David Spade, who joined the cast after Ritter's demise, remain in leading roles.

The new time demonstrates the lack of confidence ABC has in this program. During its first season, the show had the potential to survive on Tuesday nights. The second season dealt with the passing of Ritter, giving it some insulation from critics. This season, the show will have to perform better or risk being cancelled by season's end. ABC's Friday Night TGIF, once reserved for perennial hits "Full House", "Family Matters", "Hanging with Mr. Cooper", among others, now is home to lesser programs such as "Complete (Michael) Savages" and "Hope and Faith".

Down to the details of "First Day of School". While in Europe, Kerry (Amy Davidson) met another guy and realized she no longer wanted to be involved with Kyle. She was hesitant to break the news, but her family was all to eager to reveal her intentions. First, it was Bridget (Kaley Cuoco) who broke the news to Kyle. When Kyle arrived at the Hennessys to confront Kerry about the breakup, cousin C.J. (David Spade) revealed that she had met someone else. Kerry, experiencing second thoughts, came down, only to see Kyle exit after Grandpa Jim (James Garner) continued to break the bad news. The story line ended for this week on good terms, with Kyle and Kerry vowing to stay friends, considering they have four classes together.

Cate (Katey Sagal) was propositioned by Principal Gibb to become the school nurse at the local high school. She is mulling over the decision, but it's pretty clear that she'll take the assignment. Assuredly, the kids will be horrified to have Mom working at their school. The romantic flirtations continued between Cate and Ed Gibb. Last season ended with Cate refusing Gibb's romantic overtures, feeling it was too soon to date. I expect to see them become involved throughout the season.

Rory (Martin Spanjers) experiences his first day of high school and is hesitant to take showers with the older boys. By the end of the episode, he is saved by the fact that his sister, Bridget, is adored by all the gentlemen. They see him as an opportunity to connect with hot Bridget. Honestly, this plot line totally sucked. It was so cliche and nothing new was added through this dialogue.

Incidentally, there were no references to Paul's character. At various times last season, they would make reference to their father's departure.

ABC ordered a standard 24-episode order for Season 3. Next week's episode, titled "Changes", airs October 1.


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