The first two episodes of the series are concrete proof that Ritter's still got it, that intangible and inexplicable ability to elicit gut-busting laughter with a twitch of an eye.But his character is too familiar, his context too trite.It is ironic that John Ritter -- who first found fame as Three's Company's Jack Tripper, the closeted, hormonally charged male third of TV's most unwholesome threesome -- is thrust again into the spotlight as a dad who would never dream of letting his two daughters go out with a man like Jack.
Bruce Cameron's book 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.The rules are: The third season took a creative turn, revolving more around cousin C. and Jim, the grandfather, than the immediate Hennessy family, more specifically not revolving around the raising of the Hennessy girls.Kerry is a milder version of Roseanne's acerbic Darlene (Davidson even shares actress Sara Gilbert's trademark curly coif). And Sagal's Cate is simply the latest in a long line of accommodating TV wives who shake their heads at their husbands' antics when the script says they should.With no storyline of his own, Rory pops up every other scene with a cute punch line about his dad's inept parenting or his sisters' latest predicaments, just as Roseanne's D. What makes the show slightly twisted, however, is the knowledge that only a few years ago, Ritter would have been playing one of Bridget's or Kerry's sex-obsessed suitors, rather than protective father.There's Bridget (Ladies Man's Kaley Cuoco), the dimwitted blonde bombshell à la Suzanne Somers' Chrissy, and Kerry (Amy Davidson of the Olsen twins-driven So Little Time), a petulant brunette who makes Joyce De Witt's Janet seem almost congenial.
There's also a boy, 13-year-old Rory (Martin Spanjers), whose immature machinations are reminiscent of Jack's smarmy best friend, Larry, played with unctuous glee by Richard Kline.
Paul is still interested in sex, but regular romps with his wife make it weigh less on his mind.
So the show isn't quite the mold-breaking comedy phenomenon audiences and ABC had been hoping for (ABC is particularly desperate, after Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
He is soon overwhelmed by the responsibility of being the father of teenage daughters and misses being a sports writer.
Paul begins writing a column from home about his struggles with his children and offers advice to people who are in his same position.
After the novelty of newly added ensemble characters wore off, the show shortly returned to its roots.