For those who wish longingly for the life of a critic, you should probably know that getting paid to watch television for a living isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. For every unforgettable set visit, party or premiere, there are times like this morning that just saw us spend almost an hour watching and re-watching, Tim Allen’s new ABC sitcom LAST MAN STANDING.
Why twice you ask? Simply put, having grown up on HOME IMPROVEMENT (and Pixar’s Toy Story trilogy) we’ve always had a soft spot for Tim Allen. Unfortunately, as much as we would have liked to have been able to report otherwise, said aforementioned affection doesn’t translate to his newest show that sees the artist formerly know as Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor transform into Mike “The slightly older xenophobic and homophobic” Baxter, a father forced to become a little more involved in the parenting of his three daughters (a teen mom, a princess and a tomboy) when wife Vanessa (Nancy Travis) returns to the work place.
Cue the crux of the problem.
You see, self-proclaimed “Manly-Man” Mike Baxter has an awful lot of opinions as to how his daughters should be raised. What’s worse, they’re opinions that he doesn’t seem to want to keep to himself. From the stupidity of soccer (“It’s Europe’s covert war for the hearts and minds of America’s kids”) and GLEE (Grunts Baxter, “What the heck is GLEE?”) to his grandson’s touchy-feely daycare that welcomes.. brace yourself… gay dads and acceptance of other cultures/religions, Baxter can’t help but bemoan the current state of the world he’s living in. All of which wouldn’t be so offensive if it was the least bit funny.
Unfortunately, since the cultural criticism and grade-school-humor isn’t quite up to the level of say a Louis C.K. or a Ricky Gervais, the only one who is laughing — all the way to the bank mind you — is Allen, who was inexplicably able to convince some poor ABC executives to give him another shot at TV stardom.
LAST MAN STANDING premieres Tuesday October 11 at 8PM on ABC.