So, I have waded my way through a goodly chunk of what the networks have to offer this season, and pronounce myself entirely unimpressed. Again, I have to lay some of the blame on Breaking Bad’s just concluded unforgettably great season (which spoiled me for mainstream network TV), and Parks and Recreation (the Breaking Bad of comedy; it’s miles ahead of anything else). Parks and Rec, and, to a lesser extent, Community, Modern Family and even the formulaic but witty The Big Bang Theory (The Office is, I fear, is done like dinner) still gives me hope for the networks, which still manage to produce better comedies than the big budget, no-words-barred cable networks.
But this year, with just one good new comedy (New Girl, off the air until baseball and The X Factor clear some space on the Fox schedule), and whole load of mediocre and tons of downright bad shows, I despair. This week’s only new comedy, Time Allen’s excruciating Last Man Standing on ABC, may be the low point of a low season.
Remember Tim Allen from Home Improvement? Sure you do. Very popular series, made him a star and a fortune. Allen, apparently bored with counting his money, is back with Last Man Standing.
And it’s the same freakin’ show, only marginally updated, and a lot less funny. And Home Improvement wasn’t that funny.
In Home Improvement, he had three sons. In Last Man Standing, he has three daughters. In Home Improvement, Allen was the host of a cable show about tools. In Last Man Standing, he has an online show where he rants about being a man while working for a company that sells outdoor equipment, or something like that. There is a difference between the two shows, however. While Home Improvement was a gentle, family comedy, Last Man Standing has a nasty edge. The new Tim Allen hates everything, giving him lots of opportunities for rants against unmanly things, like soccer. Boy, that’s original.
It’s awful, just pitiful. I’d rather watch a Whitney marathon then sit through another episode of Last Man Standing.
And speaking of Whitney, I tried to give it another shot the other night, and lasted, oh, about five minutes. Sorry, I just don’t like her as a character, or her hipster boyfriend, or their stilted situations. On the other hand, I gave Up All Night another shot, and found it more entertaining than its debut, with some potential. The second episode of How to be a Gentleman, on the other, other hand, squandered its first episode potential. Any hope of a clever show on being a man in the 2010s vanished, taking its talented cast with it. It was boring and unfunny, and not worthy of a third viewing.