Last Man Standing: Is the New ABC Series Worth Watching?

Last Man Standing TV seriesTonight, Tim Allen returns to series television with a new sitcom, his first since Home Improvement signed off in 1999. Will Last Man Standing last eight seasons as well or quickly head to this season’s cancellation pile?

The new TV series revolves around Mike Baxter (Allen), a director of marketing who works at an outdoor sporting goods store in Colorado. His home life and world is dominated by women — particularly by his wife and three daughters, one of whom is a single mother. The sitcom also stars Nancy Travis, Molly Ephraim, Alexandra Krosney, Kaitlyn Dever, Christoph Sanders, and Hector Elizondo.

Is Last Man Standing worth your time? Here’s what the critics have to say about it:

USA Today: “It’s all standard stuff, but outside of the tiresome, heard-it-all-before rants, it’s not without its appeal. Travis and Allen work well together (she exudes the healthy skepticism Patricia Richardson brought to Home Improvement), and as anyone who saw Justified knows, Dever is a star aborning. And there’s no question that Allen is a pro.”

NY Daily News: “Everything in Mike’s life seems contrived to set up ba-ba-boom punch lines, like when he sees his daughter in a soccer uniform and grumbles that soccer is just a plot by effete Europeans to sissify the youth of America. A quick carbon-dating of that joke reveals it might have felt mildly fresh from the mouth of Archie Bunker in 1973.”

Boston Globe: “Allen is clearly an old pro. And I do confess a soft spot for his Galaxy Quest and Toy Story. (The creators give one sly nod to Buzz Lightyear in the pilot.) He manages to make Baxter mostly relatable and less angry than the character could’ve been in a less-gifted sitcom actor’s hands. It is not hard to imagine men Baxter’s age voicing similar gripes, and his scenes with Travis actually generated a couple of chuckles. Elizondo is dependably offbeat.”

“If all of the characters receive some fleshing out – right now the whole broad enterprise seems better suited to the throwback style of TV Land – as the series progresses, don’t be surprised to find Allen settling into a new TV home.”

LA Times: “The jokes and plots have been efficiently constructed, but most have no traction; they slide right off you, and the characters themselves seem disconnected from one another. Even Mike’s rants feel remote, and remote-controlled. The comedy is much more promising when it slips into something more personal.”

Washington Post: “Let me say that I’d be the first to enjoy a well-made comedy about whatever today’s men are feeling about their roles as husbands and fathers in an economy and culture that they think is marginalizing them. But I no longer have faith that the networks can make such a show… Within its 22 minutes, Last Man Standing reveals Mike to be homophobic, xenophobic and generally just phobic.”

What do you think? Will you try Last Man Standing? If you already have, will you watch again? Does it deserve to stick around or be quickly cancelled?

Canceled and renewed TV show

27 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. tomcat says

    love the show i think it is old and new all wrapped up in a great family show not too over the top but still showing funny family situations love it and i have already watched the first season twice i think it is a keeper

  2. Maria says

    “Last Man Standing” Is An Outstanding T.V Family Comedy… I Like Each & Everyone Of The Actors /Cast…They Really Do Work Very Well Together…One Of My Favorite Sitcoms…Tim Allen Another Successful Hit Under Your Belt…YOU ROCK! : )

  3. Lance Lanier says

    I have yet to delete an episode off my dvr. I can watch the episodes over and over and over like That 70’s Show. Love it! One critic mentioned homophobic….. critic must have had a bad day because I’m gay….

  4. Christine says

    Last Man Standing is great, great, great! Love this new show and the immediate connection between all the actors is refreshing. I have recommended to lots of people.

  5. ellen devries says

    This show was terrible. The jokes were stale, it wasn’t at all funny. And what was up with Tims’ face…..bad facelift or what? He has done much better work then this.

  6. siu18 says

    I really liked it. My whole family loves it. I didn’t get the sense that the mom was an alcoholic. I also think its nice that the daughter who is a single mom lives with them. I think that’s healthy and much better than the many single moms who try to live on their own and end up with boyfriends who are abusive and negligent. So it may not be realistic that she lives with her parents, but I kinda wish it was realistic.
    I also think its funnier than Home Improvement. This is a good 2011 version of Home Improvement since I find reruns of that show almost unwatchable.

  7. WriterRay says

    Missed tim ins his slightly ****-eyed “this is how men see things” world view. You either love him or hate him, and as long as he has good folks around him – as he did on his old show – he’ll be great. Loved the new show, and we’ll be watching.

  8. adam says


    Wow, kill the messenger much? I was around when the original Bob Newhart and Mary Tyler Moore shows were on prime time, so get off your high horse. There are many excellent comedies on television these days, just as there have been in the past. But this isn’t one of them.

  9. oddhumor says

    We both liked it a lot. Laughed out loud the whole show. Tim’s character reminds me of my dad and that generation of men. All the gripes about him being homophobic, sexist and the family boring b/c they’re all stereotypes is funny to me b/c that is exactly the world we live in. Duh people!

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