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Last Man Standing (ABC) - Series Premiere: Synopsis and Review
‘Last Man Standing’ is ABC’s new Tim Allen show (the older one being ‘Home Improvement’, which ran from 1991 to 1999), written by Jack Burditt (‘30 Rock’). The show is about Mike (Allen), a man who lives in a house full of women, being his wife and his three daughters, one of them a single mom. These female roles are played by Nancy Travis, who left the cast of ‘Hart of Dixie’ for this role, as Mike’s wife, and Alexandra Krosney, Molly Ephraim and Kaitlyn Dever as the daughters.
Mike Baxter (Tim Allen) is a very manly man; He is a marketing director for a major outdoor sporting goods store, goes on adventure travels for his work, drives a pick up truck and is, of course, homophobic.
At home, however, his life is dominated by women. His wife Vanessa (Nancy Travis) has been a stay at home mom for years, but now she has returned to the workplace and is quickly moving up the ranks. As a result, she has got less time for household chores, and Mike will have to deal with those and his daughters’ problems every now and then.
‘Last Man Standing’ received mostly negative reviews, it averaged only 32 out of 100 on Metacritic. People Weekly wrote: “Allen and Travis, who are both better than your average comic actor, seem aware that they're trapped in a particular cookie-cutter sitcom hell, forced to laugh their way through stale gags about kids while other new TV comedies explore family life with clever, contemporary touches.” [Oct 7, 2011, p.39]
Indeed, ‘Last Man Standing’ is quite the old-fashioned family sitcom. However, there are some funny bits and the viewers definitely appreciated those, seeing that with 13.2 million viewers, this was the best 8/7c comedy premiere in 7 years. In fact, numbers for the second episode (which was aired back-to-back) were higher than the first, indicating that people liked what they were seeing.