The Hennessy clan -- mother Cate, daughters Bridget and Kerry, and son Rory -- look to one another for guidance and support after the death of Paul, the family patriarch. Errors in geography: In several episodes, characters drink "Safeway Select" colas.The Safeway Brands are only available in Safeway Company Stores in the Western US and Canada, in and around the Chicagoland area and at some select convenience stores in the Eastern US. No Safeway Company Stores exist in or around Detroit.
Katey Sagal (' Married With Children', ' Futurama') was pushed into the lead role and after years of trying to shed her Peg Bundy supporting-role image she has stepped up to the task with steadfast assurance.The show follows the Hennessey family lead by Cate (Sagal), her son Rory (Martin Spanjers, little seen and limited to cliché one liners in season 1), and two daughters - the tall, tall, blonde, vein, popular Bridget (star in the making Kaley Cuoco) and (as trite as it may sound) spunky, red-headed, equally pretty Kerry (a great Amy Davidson) who the show couldn't even go for one season pretending she wasn't attractive and engaging enough to get dates.James Garner was brought in as Cate's father for a little insurance but wisely not as a replacement.It couldn't have happened to a more pleasant and unlikely series.Before that startling jolt of reality intruded on its world '8 Simple Rules' was as passive and insignificant as family sitcoms get.
A show that kept its head down, churned up warm and fuzzy feelings and got a few laughs in the process.From a purely creative standpoint Ritter's death slashed right at the heart of this show.It was him that was the star, he was much of the reason I was drawn to the show, and it was his impeccable comic delivery that was able to elicit a laugh-out-loud response.In the wake of the tragedy, the show attempted what at the time might have been unthinkable.Not only continued without Ritter but wrote his death dramatically into the series.And they pulled it off - something without a successful precedence in a TV series.