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As the "straight man" to Paul, it's usually up to Cate to be a more firm voice of reason and the heart of their family.
The two parents are still very much in love, and their displays of affection are frequently met with disgust and shock by their children.
But "8 Simple Rules" had some staying power, and would remain on ABC's schedule for three seasons.
"8 Simple Rules..." makes it sound like a father-versus-boyfriend sitcom, a sort of Meet the Parents for adolescents.
In truth, most early episodes focus on growing up, be it the added responsibilities that a teenager takes on, or the difficult "letting go" that a parent must do.
Of course, in a sitcom, this means that after 20 minutes in TV time, any grudges or arguments are completely resolved, and all is well in the Hennessy household.
Thankfully, a capable cast and snappy dialogue help make those 20 minutes enjoyable and fun.