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The Telefile
Last Man Standing:  Yeah, This Show Could Use Some Improvement

Are you part of the age group that only knows Tim Allen as the voice of Buzz Lightyear? Has the name Jonathan Taylor Thomas never sent you into a screaming frenzy? Then you are probably too young to remember a little show called Home Improvement. For you and you alone, Allen's new series Last Man Standing might seem like an original and entertaining idea. But for those who witnessed people treating JTT like that generation's Bieber and saw Pam Anderson get her start as a Tool Time girl, this program will seem oddly familiar. Mostly because it is almost exactly that show, with just a few minor changes. Now, there's "the Internet," kids!

Once again, Tim Allen is a family man with three children and a wife who still finds him somewhat humorous, but is also strong enough to be the one who actually wears the pants... no matter how much grunting and posturing Allen may do. But here, Allen (who is playing Mike Baxter) has three daughters, instead of Improvement's three sons, and he's a catalog photographer for an outdoor company who has to do a web show in order to promote their products. Gee, that's not at all like him working for a tool company and having a TV show to demonstrate how to use said tools. And it's also not at all similar to watching him go on angry tirades about people's behavior during said program. On Home Improvement, Allen had Al as the competent one to his explosive self, while here, he's got a young guy named Kyle who is willing to test out any equipment that Mike -- or big boss Ed (Hector Elizondo) -- can throw at him. Even if that means wearing a dog-tracking collar.

Mike's three daughters are all about as different as you can imagine, apparently to add some diversity to the show. His eldest is a single mom with a toddler who lives with her parents but at least is out of high school and has a job and some liberal opinions that don't jibe with her father's outlook on life. The middle daughter is an insufferable spoiled brat who insists upon handouts and cries about Glee. The youngest is your typical tomboy, who has the most in common with her dad, and constantly complains about her siblings' "girly" behavior. Mike just makes lots of really intolerable jokes about the way women behave and his lack of understanding of them... even though the youngest seems to be over 13, so he's had ample time to at least understand the quirks of these four women in particular.

Instead, Mike just takes to his webcam to vent his frustrations about everything under the sun, which seems off topic and like maybe it wouldn't help sell fishing gear and the like, but it seems that the avid hunters who browse this site find his manly shtick quite appealing. We, on the other hand, don't really find him likable at all, and his complaints about "tough real men" being a rare breed fall on our deaf ears. We're hoping that this show goes away as quickly as fall's other obnoxious alpha male show, How to Be a Gentleman. And since the premiere was actually two episodes back-to-back (somehow, the second was even worse than the first), it would be nice if this show was canceled immediately. Then again, we may be underestimating the appeal of Tim Allen.

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