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8 Simple Rules - The Complete First Season



DVD Release Date: August 7, 2007 (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
MSRP: $24.99
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 28
Running Time: approx. 601 minutes
Running Time of Special Features: approx. 10 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English & French; English, French, & Spanish subtitles; Closed-Captioned.
Special Features: Blooper Reel


The legendary John Ritter returns to series television in a family sitcom that aired on ABC and was laugh-out-loud funny! Yes, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter is finally on DVD with The Complete First Season from Buena Vista Home Entertainment! John Ritter plays Paul, a writer who now works from home. He is a little rusty in the parenting department and is forced to meet fatherhood head-on when his wife Cate (Katey Sagal) returns to work. His two teenage daughters Bridget and Kerry (Kaley Cuoco and Amy Davidson) and wisecracking son Rory (Martin Spanjers) make Paul’s situation daunting but never dull!

All 28 first season episodes are on this 3-disc set which also features a blooper reel. Unfortunately, John Ritter passed away as you all know in September 2003 (just prior to the second season airing, he produced three episodes, which we will see on a Season 2 DVD), so you will want to get this DVD to pay homage to him.

Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

This series is by far the best traditional sitcom on television in a long time. The series premiered in September 2002 and there is yet a sitcom since that produced laughs and great storylines like this show. The first season had quite a few memorable episodes. Personally, I liked every single episode. This series is so fun that I even watch the repeats daily on ABC Family Channel.

Each episode has a stand out scene that you will always remember it by. I’ll point out the stand out episodes. It all started with the “Pilot,” where Cate goes back to work and Paul has to contend with Bridget dating his co-worker Tommy's (Larry Miller) son, Kyle (Billy Aaron Brown). In “Son-in-Law,” a sports-struck Paul lets Bridget do whatever she wants when she breaks up with Kyle and begins dating high school basketball wonder Travis "The Rainman" Smith -- whose father just happens to be Michigan baseball legend Steve "Canned Heat" Smith (Terry Bradshaw). In “By the Book,” Paul turns to a parenting book for some quick advice. However, when Bridget and Kerry discover Paul's teaching tool, they try to use it to their advantage to get their father to let them go to a rock festival. Another good one is “Give It Up,” where no one can agree on where the family vacation should take place, Paul challenges the Hennessey clan to give up their bad habits for a week -- and the winner gets to choose the vacation spot. Nevertheless, the family's vices soon get the better of them, and secret collaborations and clandestine alliances threaten to foil the contest. Rory has a girlfriend in “Rory’s Got a Girlfriend.” When Paul lets 13-year-old Rory go out on his first date, Bridget and Kerry accuse him of unfairly changing the rules because they were never allowed to date at that age. Meanwhile Kerry is shocked when Bridget receives a higher score then she did on a state aptitude test. The series pays homage to John Ritter’s Three’s Company in “Come and Knock on Our Door.” After discovering that boyfriend, Kyle kissed Kerry at a party (the previous episode, "Kerry's Big Adventure”) Bridget gives her sister the silent treatment – which is anything but quiet for Paul. However, real life merges with fantasy when Paul has a dream that lands him in familiar territory, showing Kyle as a swinging bachelor living with Paul's two beautiful daughters in an apartment straight out of the ‘70s. The set of the classic comedy "Three's Company" was recreated down to the last detail for this episode. The series’ first two-part episode is “Drummer Boy,” where Bridget defies the rules of the house after Paul forbids her from going out on a date with Ben (Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter) -- her college-age drum instructor. The neighbors, The Doyles make an appearance at “The Doyle Wedding” the two-part season finale, “Sort of an Officer and Gentleman.”

Recurring guests are Larry Miller as Tommy, Billy Aaron Brown as Kyle, Cole Williams as Anthony, Brian Sites as Jason, Nikki Danielle Moore as Jenna Sharpe, Nicole Mansour as Rachel Sharpe, Patrick Warburton as Nick Sharpe, and Howard Akers as Andre.

Guest starring this season in an episode or two is Terry Bradshaw, Nick Carter, Lily Nicksay, Mo Gaffney, Wendie Jo Sperber, Don Knotts, Jason Priestley, Robert Guillaume, Mike & Bob Bryan, Tom Poston, Ed Marinaro, Thad Luckinbill, Shelley Long, Cybil Shepherd, and John Ratzenberger.


The cheapened DVD case that has hit most TV DVDs for Buena Vista Home Entertainment is used here. It is plastic Amaray. The good thing is it is very light. The color scehem is blue and white. A cast photo is on the front, Rory, Bridget, Paul, Cate and Kerry from left to right. The 8 Simple Rules logo is in the middle, making it seem like the cast is holding it. The Complete First Season line is on the bottom of the cover. The back of the case has about five great photos (promotion photos of Bridget/Kerry, Rory, and Cate/Paul, along with two screenshots of Kyle/Bridget and Bridget, Paul and Kerry). There is a nice synopsis of the show and set, with a bonus feature and technical specifications box. There are also three nice number 8’s. When we open the case, we get to the discs. Unfortunately, they have overlapping discs, which means you have to remove Disc 2 to get Disc 3 out--but Disc 1 has its own panel. The episode listing for each disc can be found on the left panel. There are also nice photos that you will see when removing the discs and on the right panel, you’ll see the list of the 8 Rules Paul has made! There is also an insert for Buena Vista Home Entertainment DVDs, promoting the upcoming sets for Grey’s Anatomy, Home Improvement, Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, 8 Simple Rules and Lost, along with some movies like Wild Hogs & The Santa Clause 3.

The discs themselves have simple artwork, it is really not creative. All the discs are blue with no art and the 8 Simple Rules logo is in yellow. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-9, Disc 2 contains episodes 10-19, and Disc 3 contains episodes 20-28, as well as the bloopers.

Menu Design and Navigation:

For disc one, there are auto trailers before the main menu starts. You get trailers for The Jungle Book 40th Anniversary, Ratatouille, Meet the Robinsons, Ugly Betty and a piracy disclaimer. Then we get to the actual main menu. The main menu has an image of the top of the living room fireplace, where different family portraits are shown, and some trophies, too. The opening and closing theme music plays in the background and it loops. You have options of Play All, Episode Selection, Set Up, Bloopers (only on Disc 3), and Sneak Peeks (only on Disc 1). Set Up gives you the options of: Audio Options, Subtitles, Return to Program and Register your DVD. Audio Options are English or French, while the options for Subtitles is English, French or Spanish. The Episode Selection menu has a screengrab from each episode in a portrait form, with the episode number and title. Sneak Peeks has the auto trailers plus Home Improvement S6 and The Invisibles.

Video and Audio Quality:

The video is in widescreen! Yes, the enhanced for 16X9 televisions widescreen. I’ve never seen the show look better. It is perfect. The audio is also excellent. It is a nice stereo sound. There are 4 chapter stops per episode, which is always convenient if you’re looking for a particular scene. Some tidbits: in the episode “By the Book,”when it aired on ABC originally the scene where Paul is at the rock concert looking for the girls was edited out due to the Election 2002 coverage. The scene has been on in syndication and is on this DVD, too! In the episode “Come and Knock on Our Door,” a repeat broadcast in October 2003 had a few extra lines, among them were Cate saying Paul’s dream sounded like a stupid TV show and Paul says, “it’s not that stupid.” They added bonus footage for that repeat to commemorate the late great John Ritter who had passed away a month earlier. The bonus footage is not on the DVD. I wish we had some deleted scenes or something on this DVD. I’m sure there were a lot of them. Anyway, here are the episode runtimes, with most clocking in around 21:38...unedited of course.

Disc 1:
1. Pilot (21:38)
2. Wall of Shame (21:38)
3. Bridget’s First Job (21:39)
4. Wings (21:39)
5. Son-in-Law (21:38)
6. Cheerleader (21:40)
7. Trick or Treehouse (21:38)
8. By the Book (21:39)
9. Two Boys for Every Girl (21:39)

Disc 2:
10. Give It Up (21:38)
11. Paul Meets His Match (21:20)
12. All I Want for Christmas (21:26)
13. Rory’s Got a Girlfriend (21:19)
14. Career Choices (20:40)
15. Kerry’s big Adventure (21:38)
16. Come and Knock on Our Door (21:38)
17. Drummer Boy, Part 1 (21:39)
18. Drummer Boy, Part 2 (21:37)
19. Cool Parent (21:39)

Disc 3:
20. Every Picture Tells A Story (21:02)
21. Kerry’s Video (21:09)
22. Good Moms Gone Wild (21:38)
23. Career Woman (21:38)
24. Queen Bees and King Bees (21:41)
25. Bake Sale (20:39)
26. The Doyle Wedding (21:19)
27. Sort of an Officer and a Gentleman, Part 1 (21:33)
28. Sort of an Officer and a Gentleman, Part 2 (20:59)

Special Features:

On disc three we have a Blooper Reel that runs 9:57. It is of course hilarious. John Ritter was certainly the focus of the bloopers. He was hilarious! I wish Buena Vista gave us more than just bloopers. Interviews, commentaries, deleted scenes are among the other special features I would have liked. The cast and crew would love to do interviews and commentaries I bet. I hope they have big plans for Season 2, which had the final three episodes of John Ritter.

Final Comments:

I am so glad this series is finally coming out on DVD! The first season was the best season because it featured John Ritter throughout. The second and third seasons are good, too, but it was a different show without John, but still funny. The set is perfect, but I would have liked if the packaging style was a bit better and wish they had more special features. I loved the bloopers, but I also would have liked interviews, commentaries or deleted scenes, like I said. That bonus footage scene in “Come and Knock on Our Door,” would be good to have as an extra.

I hope this set sells well. We need to have all three seasons on DVD. I hope Buena Vista is planning great extras and tributes to John Ritter for season two’s DVD. Bloopers are great, but not enough. As Paul says in one of his eight rules, “you make her cry, I make you cry.” I’m crying of laughter from this set and you will be too when you buy it!

Video Clips:

Clip #1 - Party
Paul finds an unwelcome surprise in his living room.
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Clip #2 - Chemistry Set
The Hennessey family goes Christmas shopping.
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Clip #3 - Yo, Yo
Paul gets an unwanted lesson in street slang.
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Clip #4 - The Mall
Paul tries to decipher Bridget's indecipherable rapid-fire communication style.
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Clip #5 - Bonus Clip
Blooper - John Ritter can't keep a straight face with Jason Priestley's colorful metaphors.
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Clip #6 - Bonus Clip
Blooper - John Ritter engages in some on-set hijinks.
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Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 1.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 07/26/07

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