10 simple rules dating my teenage daughter
At Paul's side is his wife Cate (Katey Sagal), who is returning to work after years as a housewife and mother.
She doesn't always agree with some of his more outlandish ideas in getting to better know their children, but she shares his lamentations at the generation gap between parent and child.
In fact, the rules themselves are only mentioned in dialogue in the pilot's opening scene, and after which, are only used sparingly throughout the series.
The title is somewhat misleading, as it doesn't truly reflect the coming of age theme aspect of the episodes.
What separates Rory from his sisters aside from gender is that he isn't so easily embarrassed by his father's presence, and there is a natural "hero worship" that the son holds for his dad.
Being the only boy has its benefits as Rory is easily Paul's favorite, and he uses this fact to his advantage several times.
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.
Plotlines soon became typical family conundrums, not always focusing on how growing up affects both the teenager and the parents.
"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.
As the "straight man" to Paul, it's usually up to Cate to be a more firm voice of reason and the heart of their family.
The two parents are still very much in love, and their displays of affection are frequently met with disgust and shock by their children.