Follow the rules and you'll be safe by Gord Lacey (All reviews)
Legendary sitcom stars John Ritter and Katey Sagal team up in 8 Simple Rules, ABC's hit family comedy that is laugh-out-loud funny.
"If you make my daughters cry, I'll make you cry." That is the rallying cry of Paul Hennessy. A little rusty in the parenting department, Paul is forced to meet fatherhood head-on when his wife Cate returns to work. Two teenage daughters and a wisecracking son make Paul's new situation daunting but never dull.
Cybill Shepherd, Jason Priestley and Terry Bradshaw are just some of the guest stars joining the fun in Season One. Experience all 28 episodes, plus exclusive bonus features, including a hilarious bonus reel, in this sensational 3-disc set.
I hadn't seen a single episode of 8 Simple Rules before watching this set, but I had an idea what to expect. I'll admit to not being a huge John Ritter fan, but I blame that on my first exposure to him coming from Problem Child, which I'm sure many of you agree wasn't one of his finest moments as an actor. I went in with an open mind though, and I quickly made it through the three discs in the set.
Disc 1 (3:14:57)
Wall of Shame (21:39)
Bridget's First Job (21:40)
Trick or Treehouse (21:39)
By the Book (21:40)
Two Boys For Every Girl (21:40)
Disc 2 (3:34:44)
Give It Up (21:39)
Paul Meets His Match (21:21)
All I Want For Christmas (21:27)
Rory's Got a Girlfriend (21:20)
Career Choices (20:41)
Kerry's Big Adventure (21:39)
Come and Knock on Our Door (21:39)
Drummer Boy - Part 1 (21:40)
Drummer Boy - Part 2 (21:38)
Cool Parent (21:40)
Disc 3 (3:11:47)
Every Picture Tells a Story (21:03)
Kerry's Video (21:10)
Good Moms Gone Wild (21:39)
Career Woman (21:39)
Queen Bees and King Bees (21:42)
Bake Sale (20:40)
The Doyle Wedding (21:20)
Sort of an Officer and a Gentleman - Part 1 (21:34)
Sort of an Officer and a Gentleman - Part 2 (21:00)
8 Simple Rules features an Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1) transfer of the episodes, and it looks pretty good. I didn't notice any dust, debris, or noise, but I found the episodes were a bit too dark compared to other material. There were some scenes that looked like a mess because dark objects in the foreground were blending into the dark background. That's the only flaw with the video I noticed; it looks pretty good.
Each disc features a "play all" option, and there's a chapter after the opening of each episode.
I like that Disney releases include a Dolby Digital 5.1 track as a standard feature on pretty much everything, but this release didn't need it. The rear speakers are hardly used, and I can't recall seeing my subwoofer being used at all. Don't get me wrong - the episodes sound good, but they don't make use of the sound format. There's also a French language track (stereo), and subtitles in English, French and Spanish.
A fairly long blooper reel, and it's funny.
Well, 8 SImple Rules has cleared my mind of Problem Child for good. I enjoyed the show, and Ritter was great as a fatherly figure to the three kids. The release could have used a commentary track, a featurette, or something else of substance, but I'm guessing that was difficult because the show isn't in production anymore. Still, I would have thought something could have been arranged. It's a far cry from some of the loaded sets that have been coming out of Disney lately, and planned for the next few weeks. I found their promotional pitch on the back of the box pretty funny as well; "Experience all 28 episodes, plus exclusive bonus features, including a hilarious bonus reel, in this sensational 3-disc set." Umm....when there's only one bonus feature, it's singular, not plural.
8 Simple Rules is a funny show, and I look forward to watching season 2, whenever it's released.