Tim Allen’s latest sitcom ‘Last Man Standing’ is beyond repair
BY LORI RACKL TV Criticfirstname.lastname@example.org October 6, 2011 5:16PM
Mike (Tim Allen) gets a kiss from daughter Mandy (Molly Ephraim) as his wife, Vanessa (Nancy Travis), looks on.
‘Last man standing’ ★
7 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays on WLS-Channel 7
Updated: January 23, 2012 4:09AM
On his hit show “Home Improvement,” Tim Allen played cable TV show host Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor.
On his new sitcom, “Last Man Standing,” Allen just plays a tool.
His character, Mike Baxter, is supposed to be an old-school man’s man (Tim Allen? Really?), and this pickup-truck-drivin,’ cross-bow-shootin’ chauvinist isn’t too happy about having to live in what he thinks has become a woman’s world.
Baxter is the marketing director at a masculine retailer called Outdoor Man, where, much to his delight, “it smells like balls.”
Changes to his job duties force Baxter to spend more time at home, where he’s drowning in estrogen thanks to his three (mostly annoying) daughters and his (unrealistically accepting) wife. And home smells like citrus body wash, not balls.
Much of the show is devoted to Baxter venting about the wimpiness of modern males and longing for the good ol’ days when “men used to build cities just so we could burn them down.”
Baxter comes off as a less likable — and less funny — Archie Bunker. He’s proud that he doesn’t know what “Glee” is, or a blog. He’s worried that his grandson’s touchy-feely day care will make the kid grow up into someone who dances on a float, and “the only time men should be dancing is when other men are shooting at their feet.”
We’re supposed to believe that there’s a nice guy lurking underneath that misogynistic, bigoted shell. But just like everything that’s for sale at Outdoor Man, I’m not buying it.