On Tuesday night, the cast, producers and writers of "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" took their tragic loss of a co-star and friend and, in a nod to moving on, created honest, wonderful television. Considering the way television can bungle these things, the sitcom's return without John Ritter, whose sudden death of an aortic dissection in September shocked so many, could have been a lot worse.
After Ritter's death, the cast and the network mourned, quite publicly, to strong ratings that, overnight, turned the network's modest hit into a legitimate contender bleeding viewers from its comedy competition on NBC.
As they bicker about artificial sweeteners and attending church, it’s amazing how much you found yourself missing the laughtrack, conspicuously absent from the episode.
In the midst of last week's storm surrounding CBS and "The Reagans," you may have missed something sweet and lovely that happened over on ABC.
The consistent refrain from the network and cast has been “This happens to families,” which is of course true.
It does not happen often, however, to light-hearted sitcom families, and incorporating the Ritter character’s passing is uncomfortable terrain.
I can go to sleep at night when it's dark, in a warm bed...
But Hunter and I were have cheeseburgers and he was there too. I almost called him one time when I was running the Tilt-A-Whirl but all the parents freaked out because I was dialing instead of "paying attention" to their kids. So on the way to the towels I saw these leather pants that were on sale and I remembered C. saying you're so wannabe without the leathers and my judgement said you don't want to be a wannabe and I thought judgement you are so right! J.: I remember in high school, I needed a duffle bag to carry all the cards I got. I may not be much now as a result of some hard and yes questionable living, but back in high school, I was buff, young, and tan. (Bridget kisses him again) Okay, you're being initiated into some club, aren't you?
In the immediate aftermath of John Ritter’s death, it was hard to take issue with ABC’s decisions, since execs were thrust into an untenable situation.
Having seen that power, the announcement that "8 Simple Rules" would continue was understandably met with a bit of cynicism.
Some wondered if the Ritter-less series would exploit the beloved 54-year-old's death for the sake of ratings, drumming us over the head with ersatz sorrow.
Kerry: He thinks of me as some sort of virgin spinster, like Miss Havisham.(Bridget has a confused look on her face) Great Expectations…? C: Referring to rapper Fiddy Cent as "Fifty Cents"?
So you see, the previous generation isn't always so wise. Your grandmother always cooked the pot roast in a little pan, so one day your mother asked her why. Yesterday, she was like, "I love your vintage jacket. Paul: I just got off the phone with Carter Tibbits, NASCAR legend. (Kyle and Rory ignore him and continue playing video games) Riveted. Cate: (reading Paul's last article) Okay readers, today we're having a little pop quiz, it's multiple choice, so sharpen your number 2 pencils and put your thinking caps on. Here's a quote: "Dad, you're an idiot." Now, contestants, this was said to me because of which of the following transgressions? Now do you know how many times I called my father an idiot? Because I know that whenever they insult me whether it's a "You're an idiot," "You're a geek," or an "I hate you," an "I love you" isn't far behind. He would of definetly sent me up stairs to change and tell me to cover myself up in some hideous sweater and then give me a one hour lecture on how I should respect myself and how guys are only out for one thing and I always hated when he did that! Bridget: I mean, how could I have taken on the role of Anne Frank? I mean, I came up here to see what it was like to be her.