LAST MAN STANDING “Pilot; Last Baby Proofing Standing” Review

LAST MAN STANDING “Pilot/Last Baby Proofing Standing” Season 1 Episode 1 – “I’m back!” Tim Allen proclaims as he walks into his house and back into our TV lives! I actually saw the pilot for Last Man Standing about a month ago when I was watching the taping of the third episode, and guess what? It hasn’t really improved in the meantime.

The pilot starts out by introducing us to Mike Baxter, a man’s man who loves bacon and sausage, hates Obamacare, and can’t believe that his teenage daughter doesn’t know how to change a tire. He reminds me of the Parks and Recreation character Ron Swanson, except one big difference: This character isn’t supposed to be a joke.

Seriously, Mike Baxter feels like a character from twenty years ago. It’s hard to think of the ABC producers who thought it would be a good idea to put Tim Allen back on the air in this show. I didn’t find his politically incorrect and stereotypical character as offensive as most other TV reviewers and journalists, but it definitely feels very outdated.

Outdated. That’s a great word to describe the feeling that I get from this show after the pilot. Last Man Standing is the perfect example of a classic sitcom. No frills, no gimmicks, and really nothing to set it apart from the rest of the TV landscape. With so many other multiple camera sitcoms out there with exceptional writing and acting, like Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, I’ll be interested to see if there’s room on the TV landscape for a show that feels this antiquated. We’ll see how it does in the ratings. For some reason, Two and a Half Men gets around 20 million viewers a week, so I guess quality doesn’t have as large of a bearing on ratings as I thought.

Anyway, the second half of the episode didn’t get any better. Comedian Paul F. Tompkins comes to the Baxters as a professional baby proofer, and guess what? Mike doesn’t approve. You know why? Because baby proofing is for sissies! You’re supposed to learn from your mistakes! By your bumps and bruises! You aren’t supposed to protect your children and grandchildren!

I have a feeling that this is going to be a pattern on this show. We’re going to be introduced to other characters from the opposite end of the spectrum, like Boyd’s day care teacher and the baby proofer, in order to make Tim Allen’s character look less offensive.

I’m not saying this show is terrible, and I’m not saying it can’t improve, but tonight’s one hour (!) premiere does not necessarily fill me with confidence.

What did you think of this premiere? Sound off in the comments section below.

Random Thoughts:

– Did anybody else catch the “And beyond” line that Tim Allen had? We get it Tim, you were in a successful movie franchise.

– Is it a good thing or a bad thing that the only times I laughed during this show is when Hector Elizondo’s character called people “Jackwang”?

– Why does Nancy Travis’ character drink so much? Is she trying to numb the pain of having such a cantankerous husband?