The last 'real' man

The last 'real' man

Meet the real man. He hates hair gel, believes in being tough, does not mollycoddle his children and believes that sensitivity is for fools. Call him a chauvinist, call him a gender stereotype, call him what you will, but he will not make any apologies for who he thinks he is — the last ‘real’ man standing. That’s Tim Allen for you in the third season of Last Man Standing, the serial about a man with a world view that will make you shudder, fume and empathise all at once, but if you are looking for a good laugh, this is the show you must watch this season.

Fans of Tim Allen who loved his TV show, Home Improvement that ran for several years in the US, will love Last Man Standing that is on air now. The sitcom revolves around the life of Mike Baxter (Tim Allen), who works in an outdoor sporting goods store in Colorado, USA. He has three beautiful daughters and a lovely, intelligent wife, Vanessa (Nancy Travis), a boss who supports him and a grandson who he adores. It should have been an ideal life, other than the fact that the family has to live with him — the man who has archaic views about everything in life. He believes that men should be men and tries to mould Boyd, his grandson into being a tough kid, despite objections from his daughter (a single mother) and Boyd’s father. The women of the house tolerate all his masochist ways, but at the end of each episode, there is always a happy fusion of both the old and new ways of looking and life and living.

Some of Tim’s funny quotes in the serial that audiences have loved are gems to enjoy. When Tim arrives at the sports goods store where he works, he says to his male co-workers: “Hey guys, great to be back in the sanctuary. No hair dryers. No tears. No citrus body wash...”

If you can get past Tim’s obnoxious words, you will enjoy the humour that Last Man Standing offers in large doses. Tim also has a blog where he talks about the goods in the store, but he uses this forum to offer his views on several subjects, some that are appreciated by his boss Edward (Hector Elizondo) and some that aren’t. But Tim blusters on regardless, and carries the same spirit to his home, where despite the exasperation of his wife, everyone goes along with whatever he says because he is the man of the house.

But it is clear that Tim is a softy at heart. Whether it is about expressing his disapproval when his grandson is to be given medication for ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or when he expresses his annoyance about Valentine’s Day, the writers of the sitcom have taken pains to make him appear both tough and sensitive at the same time.

The two younger girls, Eve and Mandy Baxter are rather interesting characters too, because while one of them is feminine and has a great love for nail polish and boyfriends, the other is scholarly and militant in her approach to life, influenced perhaps by her father. Each character plays her role perfectly, but unless the camera is trained on Tim and until he comes into the picture, the sitcom is just not funny enough. Last Man Standing is perfect for family viewing and for those who believe that real men are a fading breed. 

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