I loved the show. It definitely showed the contrast between the two families.
Dan was definitely abrasive in his communication, although I don't agree with everything he said, much of what he had to say was intelligent. He does need to mellow out and learn to take the time to listen. Although I would gladly be locked in a stuck elevator with Dan than any of the other characters, at least I would be guarenteed of a lively and intelligent conversation.
I've noticed several posters criticizing the parents of Dan. However, it's my belief the real family that needs some immediate help are the conservative family.
The conservative mother didn't allow for much discussion, she was very similar to Dan in the way she communicated, basically yelling not taking the time to listen. It was her way or the highway. I thought I had accidentally switched the channel to TV Land, when she came out with that backwards totally idiotic comment about being under the heel of the man of the house. Even though in reality, everybody in that particular household was under her heel. Perhaps she has problems with relationships, she had one child from a previous relationship that apparently didn't work out. The military mode seems to be the only way she knows how to operate and cope, even in her own house. However, this style seems to show some serious problems, the husband was pulling away from her and the kids didn't receive the attention they needed. They certainly had nicely lined up shoes and immaculate made beds, but obviously that home was lacking in real interaction between the parents and the children. Even she was scared that he might leave her if she didn't maintain the house and cook and clean at all times. How very sad and insecure.
The person who actually made the most impact was the very liberal mom. I was amazed that in a short time she could take a structured family and get them to lighten up and have fun. The relationship between the father and his children seemed to have come alive.