Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Last Man Standing: A Review

I don't know what to say about Last Man Standing, the new Tim Allen show. I feel like I've seen this show before.

Allen plays the same exact character he played on Home Improvement. Nancy Travis, who plays his wife, played the exact same wife on The Bill Engvall Show.

You’ve heard the jokes before and the sets look pretty familiar too.

But there is some good.

In this one, Mike Baxter is the marketing director for an outdoor sporting goods store (LL Bean). He’s a guy’s guy who travels the world shooting pictures for the company catalog.  He drives a pick-up and, at work at least, he’s king.

At home, however, he’s surrounded by women, a wife and three daughters, one of whom has a baby.  Now that his wife is working full-time, and as his company focuses on the Web, he’s off the road and forced into domesticity.

The crux of the situation is that Mike has come to a time in his life when he is forced to validate his masculinity, but he also knows he has to teach his daughters and grandson about equality.  The humor comes through in the irony.  The real world has contradictions and sometimes they’re good for laughs.

In a send-up to Home Improvement, the main character speaks into a camera (this time for Web TV) and does his manly/macho schtick.

There’s also some anti-political correctness humor thrown in for good measure.  We can’t get enough of that, believe me.

The supporting players are top notch – Hector Elizondo, especially, as the owner of the sporting goods company.  One of the workers, a young guy named Kyle (Christoph Sanders), is a good actor young women will love.

The show had a few good jokes, good acting and cute plots.

It will probably be a winner, for the short term at least.  It’s a decent show with established players and producers.  And ABC needs a hit sitcom.

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