Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Last Man Standing: Standing Up for Yourself

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

As many others have already done, my husband dubbed this show Home Improvement II. This was the first episode he saw, and he thought it was great. I thought he might enjoy it, but it was merely by accident that he even viewed it. When I filled him in a little on some of the other things that happened on this show so far, he thinks that the addition of Boyd might ruin the dynamic that he saw in this episode - which has no appearance of the child. I don't know that I agree with him, especially when you consider how central Boyd was in both the Halloween episode and the Grandparents Day episode. So, I'm now infinitely interested in what he'll think of future episodes that contain the toddler.

Anyway, more on the actual episode. I thought it was strange that we saw Kristin being encouraged to stand up for herself after we just witnessed that with Eve. At the same time, Vanessa was trying to get Mike to stand up against Mandy's desires, since he normally just plays "good cop." Mike thinks that just letting "the universe take its course" will solve the problem... kinda a cop-out of having to take a stand. So, we see Tim Allen playing a father who is hypocritical... sound familiar, anyone? Regardless, I found that strangely amusing and wonder a) if we'll see more stories that push the point, and b) what other features from the Tim Taylor character might show up in the future? 

Last Man Standing "Good Cop, Bad Cop" (S01E06): [First, the short storylines...] Mike is cleaning an old gun and Vanessa is concerned that Boyd could get injured... but it's a Revolutionary War gun, which takes a LOT to load and shoot... not to mention it's very large. [It's made clear that Mike has several guns, seemingly all in his den. So is Boyd just not allowed in that room? Otherwise, he's bound to see these weapons...] Just after this takes place, Eve asks if she can camp out for Katy Perry tickets and Mike says yes because he hears "camping." Vanessa says no because it's a school night and Mike calls her a spoil sport. [I loved how Mike automatically said "yes" without listening to the entire thing. So much like the Tim Taylor character, haha!]

Throughout the few days that this episode takes place, Kristin is having problems at work. She tells her parents that her boss puts her at the counter where nobody tips, and they tell her to stand up for herself. [which doesn't sound like a bad idea, but still not something I'd do after a short period of time...] Kristin tried to talk to her boss about her station, and ended up performing the Heimlich on him, as he was choking on a chicken bone. The boss thanks Kristin for saving his life, but that's it, no raise or anything. [kinda crappy wrap-up to the problem, even with the picture of his son.]

Also going on, Mike and Ed disagree about some of the store layout. [both had some good points, and the calendar reference was pretty funny!] Ed has live models at the outdoor store, with girls perched on snowmobiles wearing only fur bikinis and earmuffs. [and they sold HOW MANY snowmobiles this way??!? I hope we see the family snowmobiling in the future...] Mike talks to a one of the models, who went to school with Kristin. He sees people taking cell phone pictures of her, and decides to send all of the girls home. [this is where we don't see the Tim Taylor side... Mike Baxter genuinely cares for women and the way they're treated on this show.] This upsets Ed, too, who feels that Mike is angling for his position. They make up in the end, though, with Mike having a birthday cake for him and presenting him with a re-upholstered office chair. [and a funny few lines about receiving your own stuff as gifts!]

[Now, onto the main story of the episode...] Mandy wants to try out for a teen model television show, and Mike says yes, though Vanessa wants to talk about it first. Mike tells her that, at 5'1" and hating for people to tell her what to wear, Mandy won't make it anyway. [a pretty valid point.] Mandy plans to have Kristin take the photos and Eve act as a wardrobe manager, but then won't let her pick out any of the clothes. [haha, figures. I was surprised that Eve was helping anyway, though.] After she treats them badly, they leave and she takes the photos herself. [which we don't see, though that's probably a good thing.] Meanwhile, Vanessa is trying to get out of playing bad cop all the time, but Mike just doesn't want to talk to Mandy about the modeling thing. This changes when Kristin tells the parents that some of the photos Mandy took are topless. [what??!?] After seeing them, they take away the memory card. [as they should!] But, Mandy texted the pictures to Travis already, whom she trusts not to share the images. Mike and Vanessa are quite worried that 4,000 people will end up with the shots of their daughter, so Mike goes to Travis' house. [people are so friendly on this show. Everyone knows everyone and they go over to people's houses to talk to them... like on The Brady Bunch or 7th Heaven. weird for 2011, if you ask me!]
Since Travis is in his trombone lesson, he talks to the boy's mother, who gets Travis' phone and hands it to Mike. But, when he goes to delete the texts, the mother makes a comment about how all of the Baxter girls have loose morals, which Mike takes offensively. [I thought it was pretty harsh as well.] So, he drops the kid's phone into a vase of water and gives her some money to get the kid a new one. [interesting that he offered up some cash. Why ruin the phone but give the woman replacement money? Why not either just delete the stuff or just ruin the cell?] He also tells her to try raising three daughters. [I worry about raising teenagers. Boys and girls alike!]
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