Here comes the next hilarious season of marital bliss and fantasies of the perfect mate! Whether it's Jeff's (Patrick Warburton) snoring that pushes him into the guest bedroom, the "unsexy" sex tape that Adam (Oliver Hudson) and Jennifer (Bianca Kajlich) try to record, Audrey (Megyn Price) protecting her sister from "the perv" Russell (David Spade), or the time-share vacation they all take together, the second season of RULES OF ENGAGEMENT looks at love from all sides of the bed with humor and honesty that'll keep you laughing no matter what shape you or your relationship is in!
The misadventures of two couples and one destined-to-be-single loser in the sitcom Rules of Engagement
carry into a second season featuring hit-and-miss urbane comedy. Patrick Warburton and Megyn Price remain the best thing about this show, playing the long-married Jeff and Audrey, an exemplary Mars & Venus pair who clearly love and care for one another beneath radically different perceptions of marital obligation and gender politics. Warburton, in a more refined version of his role as Elaine's obtuse boyfriend on Seinfeld
, is very good as a character whose first impulse is to take the easy way out on every complex relationship issue, but usually comes around out of respect and love for his wife. Slightly less interesting are Adam (Oliver Hudson) and Jennifer (Bianca Kajlich), a younger couple navigating tricky waters of transition from the single life to wedded bliss. Meanwhile, Russell (David Spade) rounds things out as a would-be serial lover who rarely gets even mercy attention from the opposite sex. The notion that these five people form a tight social network doesn’t quite work (neither does the more fundamental relationship between the guys), but the show moves along so fast such details hardly matter. The balance between the characters, each of whom is at a unique stage of relationship evolution, is more compelling, though played entirely for laughs.
Highlights on Rules of Engagement: The Complete Second Season include "Flirting With Disaster," featuring parallel storylines about the impact of Jeff's snoring on Audrey's nighttime rest (the two sleep separately for a while, which brings out the frat boy in Jeff) while Adam copes with the temptations offered by a flirtatious waitress. The funny "Audrey's Sister" stars Heather Locklear as the titular sibling, whose relationship troubles encourage a desperate Russell to try get her in bed. "Guy Code" is an especially good show, in which Jeff feels honor-bound not to reveal the dark secrets he learns about an acquaintance whom Audrey assumes is a real gentleman. "Mr. Fix-It" is a novel storyline in which Adam and Jennifer decide to record themselves having sex, only to find it isn't as exciting in practice as in theory. "Optimal Male" concerns Jeff's obsession to lose a few pounds so he can qualify for cheaper life insurance, and the season-ending "Pimp My Bride" juggles stories about Adam and Jennifer's wedding date and Russell's decision to use his surprisingly sophisticated apartment as a love nest. --Tom Keogh