View Full Version : 8 Simple Rules - They did it all right

David in Manassas
11-04-2003, 09:13 PM
2 teenage girls and their middle aged parents sat glued to the set for the hour tonight...mom and one girl were doing a lot of sniffling and dad wiped away more then one tear.

If anything, I'm so glad we all saw it together.....you just never know...what your last words might be....and we sure as heck don't tell each other how we feel about each other as much as we should.....

I know its just a sitcom..but right now....I just want to say...thank you ABC...

David in Manassas VA

Peter Pirate
11-04-2003, 10:08 PM
I echo that sentiment David. Sometimes even ABC can get things right...


11-05-2003, 12:25 AM
That was an amazing episode. It seemed so real (and in some ways I'm sure a lot of the emotions were real). Unlike any sit-com epsisode I have ever seen. It will be very interetsing where the show goes from here.

11-05-2003, 08:51 AM
...because I doubt they will ever show that episode again.

Mimi Q
11-05-2003, 09:10 AM
I thought it was just perfect. I cried more than once.

11-05-2003, 09:15 AM
I'm glad to hear that I wasn't the only one crying while watching the show. It was a good episode and they handled the situation well. I hope the show can last without John.

11-05-2003, 11:57 AM
Anyone want to give a synopsis to those who missed it (like me).

David in Manassas
11-05-2003, 01:39 PM
The show started out in typical fashion with the kids trading zingers. Laugh trak is present Mom calls them downstairs for homemade pancakes. Rory rushes downstairs only to find out its only cereal...after all would you have come downstairs if I said it was cereal? Mom gets a phone call..is very upset ..grabs her keys and rushes out...commercial

The remainder of the show is without laugh trak and has some nice acoustical guitar in the background.

Children and mom have plenty of hugs and cries. Suzanne Pleshette and Jim Gardner appear as Mom's parents (they are separated but arrive on the same plane). They continue to bicker while trying to comfort Kate. More hugs and tears. The oldest daugher is upset because the last thing she told her father was "I hate you" before he left for the supermarket to pick up some milk and batteries (he apparently collapsed at the market). Middle daughter wonders if things would have been different if he didn't make that trip.

A reception after the funeral at the house. Recurring characters (Jim's coworker, neighbor, boss, etc) pay their respects. Boss asks Kate to try and find Jack's last newspaper column for a tribute. She's not ready to go through his things.

Kate can't sleep in the bedroom. It is now so large where it used to be so small. She is mad at God for taking her husband away from her.

Rory is also angry at his Dad for dying. He keeps much inside except he puts his fist through the wall of his bedroom and smashes a lamp. Very nice moments with Jim Gardner and Rory...

They finally go through the desk and find lots of things Jack kept that they thought he threw away (drawings of the kids, old report cards "look my first B"..pictures of Kate).....

Granddad Gardner finds the last column in the recycling bin on the computer and gives it to Kate who reads it on the closing scene to the kids as they are all trying to sleep together in the parent's bed. The story centers on how his kids say things that might sound mean...that in his own childhood never did anything like that because he was afraid of his father...and he didn't want to be that kind of dad...he knew that for every mean thing that was said..and I love you was not far behind....


11-05-2003, 02:31 PM
They did some very interesting things to emphasize the difference after the death. Not only did the laugh track disappear after the first commercial, but the set was tilted slightly--DW and I took a minute to convince ourselves they were in the same house. And I have to say the missing laugh track really left us feeling something (someone) was missing. They kept jokes in the script, but every one of them just hung out there in the silence. A rare night for television and a fitting tribute.

11-05-2003, 04:37 PM
It was a ratings grab, pure and simple.

Peter Pirate
11-05-2003, 05:02 PM
Too bad you see it that way freek. It looked to me like a lot of lattitude was given to everyone involved in order to give John a proper send off. I'm sure the writers who wrote the script felt a great deal of pressure to get it right for themselves and I'm sure the actors would have preferred a little more acting and a lot less reality in what they did. But they took a very tough subject and handled it well. I know our family discussed the realities of the world in a different light, after watching the show, than we have in the past...This opportunity was afforded us and probably millions of other families by the greedy foks at Disney...


11-05-2003, 05:39 PM
That is my Grandson you fool. Emmanuel Joseph Gentsch born 5/31/02.

I uploaded one of my pix of him as my avatar. Where on earth did you get the idea it was a public image file?


11-05-2003, 06:22 PM
Ok, cool down kids. ;)

I didn't get to see it (homework) but I hope to see a repeate soon.

11-05-2003, 06:47 PM
I saw it and thought it was about as well done as could be reasonably expected. My only real criticism is very minor, and probably a bit nitpicky, but here it is anyway... The show opened as normal, as David said, and then the opening segment ended with Mom getting the phone call and rushing out the door, very upset. This segment last approximately 90 seconds, maybe 2 minutes. We all knew the gravity of the moment.

Next thing I know, a commercial for that Will Farrell "Elf" movie is blaring... A bit too jarring and ill-timed for me.

As for it being well done or a ratings grab... can't it be both?

I'm sure it wasn't a coincidence that it was aired during the first week of Sweeps. Not a criticism, just a fact.

I really find it hard to imagine the show continuing past this season.

11-06-2003, 01:27 AM
I just recently lost my grandfather in the past couple of weeks, so I made it a point to watch the show and see how the issue was treated. It brought back some great memories, quite a few tears, and it was interesting to see the similarities between how the family on the show and my family dealt with the loss. It was done with dignity and respect.

11-06-2003, 04:39 PM
Funny, but not true.

11-06-2003, 07:56 PM
Yeah... that's the ticket...

11-06-2003, 09:46 PM
What's going to be interesting is to see how future episodes tranform the show back into a sit-com. How long will the "somber" mood last ? Will the next episode have a laugh track ? When does the show return to pure commedy ? I never really watched the show prior to JR's death, now I'm kinda hooked to see where it goes. It really is ground-breaking tv in a lot of ways.

David in Manassas
11-06-2003, 09:55 PM
You asked about future episodes....I'm quoting from USA Today 11/3/03 issue on their website at:


Upcoming episodes mix the experiences of daily life and TV sitcoms with the undercurrents of a family coping with death.

In the third new episode, which will be taped this week before an audience, Cate is doing fine a month after Paul's death, when friendly inquiries about how she's feeling send her into a temporary tailspin.

In the following episode, which centers on Thanksgiving, the girls try to sneak out to go to a party. Their real motivation for escape, however, is to avoid sitting at the table and seeing their dad's empty chair.


11-07-2003, 10:46 AM
Who cares if it's a ratings grab? Lots of sit-coms push one envelope or another. It seems as though John Ritter's untimely and sudden death could give these writers an odd opportunity to deal with subjects not normally done in a sit-com with perfect justification. I hope they continue to do a good job with it.

11-07-2003, 03:27 PM
For those of you unable to see the episode of "8 simple rules..." I just saw that ABC is rerunning on Saturday night. It will show in the time slot of LA Dragnet. Check your local listings.

It was a tear jerker...a must see!

11-07-2003, 06:35 PM
Great episode. I was in tears, but I wonder how the rest of the shows will be without John Ritter. He really made that show.:(

11-07-2003, 09:49 PM
I agree - it was well done. The only time I was bothered was during a commercial break - it might have been shown only locally - but it was a commercial for the first season of Threes Company on DVD. It was a 60 second commercial obviously trading on John's death. I thought it was very distasteful.

But I thought the show was well done.


11-08-2003, 07:21 AM
I agree, adamb - I was just going to mention that...

You and I were watching it on the same ABC affiliate (howdy neighbor!) - so I guess it could have been a local feed - but it left a bad taste in my mouth, nonetheless..

11-08-2003, 02:32 PM
Did anyone see the interview with John Ritter's wife and Cynthia McFadden? Now that was heart wrenching,especially when she said their 5 year old stood on their bed, arms extended in from of her, eyes looking above, pleading "drop him". Amy Yasbeck (?) asked what she was doing and she said that she was asking God to give him back. The mom replied "its not going to work" to which the 5- year-old replies "how do we know if we don't try". Needless to say, I was hysterical.

No one is promised tomorrow. I didn't watch "Simple Rules" prior to John Ritter's death. Kind of macabre that I tuned in after his death. I thought the episode was nicely done, emotional and not intended to be a ratings grabber.

11-09-2003, 02:02 PM
I finally saw it yesterday, and that was a good show. They did it well and was a good reflection on death in the family. My grandparents are sick now, so this was really emotional for me.

I'm a guy, but I'd have to admit.....

I cried. :eek: