A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Presents positive images of family, teens, and parental guidance. Bridget, Kerry, and Rory aren't perfect kids, but they're basically good ones who respect their parents. Bridget is presented as a ditzy blond; Kerry is a social activist. Coping with the death of a parent becomes a central theme in the second season; extended family becomes central to the healing process. C.J. often provides questionable advice to the kids, but he's never harmful and clearly loves them. Not much cast diversity to speak of.
Violence & Scariness
No violence, but some sadness when a major character dies.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Occasional hugging and kissing. Some sexual innuendo that will go over the head of younger viewers. Discussions about dating (both teen and adult). C.J. makes references to "booty calls." Occasional references to homosexuality.
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Includes words like "damn" and "ass."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that despite a bit of iffy language ("damn," "ass") and some fairly light sexual innuendo, this sitcom offers a positive representation of family, teens, and parental guidance. The first season focuses on a father who becomes more involved with his teenagers' lives after his wife goes back to work; in later episodes, coping with the sudden death of a parent and living/coping with extended family become central themes of the show.
Is It Any Good?
The Hennesseys' lives are full of humorous, heart-warming moments as Paul and Cate help their kids (and each other) survive the journey through puberty. But when Paul suddenly passes away, Cate is faced with the challenge of raising the kids alone. Her father, Jim (James Garner), moves in to help them cope with the loss -- and to get farther from his estranged wife. Also joining them is Cate's nephew C.J. (David Spade), whose unruly but loving personality helps the family keep its sense of humor.
While 8 Simple Rules sometimes relies on clichéd comedy devices -- such as Bridget's ditzy dumb blonde persona -- this award-winning sitcom offers a positive representation of family, teens, and strong parental guidance. It's also a heart-warming and optimistic reminder of how, in times of difficult or even traumatic change, family can provide us with the strength to keep going.
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Our Editors Recommend
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