Having just watched this over the last few days and basically getting into the "One more episode, then bed, then ending up watching the lot" mode, I have to admit that I thought 'Two And A Half Men', would be a hard act to follow (and it is!) but Rules Of Engagement is a close runner and with a bit of time and a few more seasons under it's belt it could very well gain the kind of enthusiastic following afforded Mr Sheen and co.
Three main sets of players here basically giving you the all around viewpoints of the "couples game", firstly the 12 year married couple, Jeff and Audrey Bingham, perfectly played by Patrick Warburton and Megyn Price, their neighbours Oliver Hudson and Bianca Kajlich as newly engaged couple Adam and Jennifer and their predatory single friend Russell played by an outrageous David Spade,
With the characters in place all in needs are the obligatory situations to feed the parts and that's where this series really starts to shine, it's excellently written and succeeds in capturing the ups and downs of everyday relationships from all the angles mentioned, you have to feel for each one of the characters as they deal with all the life challanges you expect while still being able to sarcastically berate the others even after getting burned themselves,
Patrick Warburton, in a cross between Clint Eastwood and John Wayne, has you giggling as he struggles to hold on to his masculine pride while being chopped at every turn by his far sharper Mrs' he plays the "loveable big lug" to a tee, and regardless of the fact that his best intentions frequently back fire, you realise that this is a couple you want to see come out winners, trying to keep things spontaneous while battling boredom leads to some classic scenes,
Not having to worry about boredom are Adam and Jennifer, two young, good looking late 20/early 30 somethings, who have just moved in together and are experiencing the "teething troubles" common to all couples in this situation and their friend Russell, continually hunting for the next notch on his bedpost, continually throwing spanners into the 'monogamy' machine, trying to justify his lifestyle spending time deriding while secretly envying the two couples relationship,
All in all I enjoyed each of the episodes, it's a case of there really is something for everybody here, currently this is being shown on the Paramount channel and at present can only be bought on region 1 but I'd like to think that this series will find its feet over here and a region two boxset won't be far off but if you can't wait then you'd better hit that order button right away.