A Show That Has To Go: ‘Last Man Standing’

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by Vinnie Penn

in Television

Last Man Standing/Fridays at 8:00 EST on ABC

It’s nice to see ABC stand by their man. Much like NBC is with Michael J. Fox, and even CBS with Robin Williams, despite the fact that Williams’ Mork & Mindy was an ABC…well, not so much staple, but it was an initially raucous blip on the network’s radar.

Still, I cannot help watching Allen’s Last Man Standing and waiting for him to do his caveman routine. Maybe he does do it and I’ve simply missed it, as I watch the show sparingly, for fear of falling asleep upright and falling face-first into my bowl of sour cream ‘n onion potato chips. If he does do the grunting thing, well, it ain’t nearly enough. They should pop some into the flat-as-hell previews for the sitcom.

On paper Last Man Standing probably looked great: Tim Allen is back, but this time he’s a father to all girls, as opposed to boys. Simple, right? Not really. Casting has to be taken into consideration and, simply put, Nancy Travis is no Patricia Richardson. The latter proved the perfect straight (wo)man to Allen’s  tool-obsessed local TV star while the former doesn’t know what to make of her character- and neither do the writers. Beyond that, Jonathan Taylor Thomas was a standout middle child on Home Improvement whereas none of the children here have any spark. Furthermore, without an Al or Wilson, Standing is simply adrift in scripted sludge, Allen’s everyman charm nowhere to be found.

Now, you’d think I would take what I could get, like I’m doing with Michael Richards over on TVLand’s new series Kirstie. It’s a mess of a show but I’m still getting a dose of Kramer, albeit cumbersome and mailed-in. Hey, I’ll take what I can get, especially when it comes to a character from Seinfeld and typically from Tim Allen. But there’s no dose of Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor here, not without the grunting, Al-bashing, or revved-up appliances and, what’s worse- the demands of a weekly series screeched his patchy film career to a halt. Watching Last Man Standing makes me wonder why no one coughed up a Wild Hogs 2: Born to be Wild or, at the very least, gave the greenlight to a Galaxy Quest series. Watch it buzzed. Lightyear.

READ ALSO: A Show That Has To Go: 2 Broke Girls | A Show That Has To Go: Dads |A Show That Has To Go: The X Factor | A Show That Has To Go: Mom | A Show That Has To Go: Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Vinnie Penn (@VinniePenn) first hit the airwaves as co-host to Glenn Beck. By 2001 he was a regular on Howard Stern, and his work has appeared in national magazines such as Maxim, Hit Parader, and Cracked. He currently writes for MSN. Visit his website VinniePenn.net.

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