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Parents' Guide to

8 Simple Rules

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Some sadness amid family sitcom's many smiles.

8 Simple Rules Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 18+

Sex heavy

Very sex heavy. Don’t recommend it. Super immodest dress, lots of talk of sex….
age 10+

Hilarious, witty, just amazing!

This show is pure gold. I hate today's sitcoms, but this earlier sitcom was so funny and clever. I also hate laugh tracks, and this show has one, but I don't mind it since it blends in effortlessly. The acting was also really good and the storylines were always great and even relatable to some extent. Many heartwarming episodes, too. Great messages for tweens and teens about dating, family, bullying, and decision-making, but in a non-preachy manner. I remember watching this show as a kid and the content is perfectly fine for the younger ones. There are a few sex jokes but most would go over the youngsters' heads anyways. Kerry losing her virginity is a popular topic in later episodes, and I know that one episode focuses on Rory's discovery of masturbation but is played for comedic effect, obviously. Kerry and Bridgette also wear somewhat revealing clothes at times. Dating, flirting, kissing are present in the show, but this is to be expected since the show revolves around high-school life. No swearing in the show, just basic insults such as "idiot," "stupid," "moron," etc. Siblings argue and fight, but that's about it. There is a bit of comic violence and mischief as well, like characters punching each other. Some episodes feature smoking, references to drugs, underage drinking, parties, and fake IDs. If you can find a way to watch this show, please do. It's not one of those cheesy, dumb sitcoms. I think you and your kids will enjoy it! All three seasons are excellent, although my personal favourite is the third one (C.J. played by David Spade is hilarious).

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (6 ):

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.

TV Details

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