Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Last Man Standing: A Christmas Truce

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

I've been a little critical of this show lately. And, this episode is no exception. I thought it was poorly done, and in this case, even for a rookie sitcom. The Mandy storyline had potential, but nothing big really happened with it. Eve had a few zingers but otherwise had no role, and pretty much the same with Vanessa. There might have been too much Ed for a family holiday, and the Ryan-Kyle dynamic was just strange... but after the initial shock of Ryan's return, nobody seemed to think it was all that awkward. I think that my main gripe was how he just showed up in church, and Kristin wasn't surprised. Maybe there should have been a slight nod to the fact that he'd be coming? Maybe Mandy's recap for the guy in the pew behind her was too much? I really enjoy this show, but I sure hope that the spring episodes pick up... otherwise I may just lose complete interest, Tim Allen or not.

Last Man Standing "Last Christmas Standing" (S01E10): The family is heading out to church and Mandy is holding up everyone. Once they get there and are settled into the pew, Ryan, Boyd's father, shows up, and everyone but Kristin seems surprised. Where's he been, you might ask? Why, Ryan is a jouster at the Renaissance Faire! [hahahahaha.... love it.] Ryan goes to Mike's office to talk to him about being in Boyd's life, and Mike is NOT happy. Back at the house, however, Eve tells Mike that maybe he should forgive Ryan.... she has a forgiving God, regardless of how ruthless Mike's God is. [I couldn't decide if this was a touching moment or if it was rather out-of-place...]

It's a week before Christmas, and Ed is giving away hams to his employees. [LoL on the Santa joke by Tim Allen.] Mandy is working as an elf at the store. [The mistletoe headband was odd.] After not being allowed a break, Mandy starts trying to unionize the elves to get better benefits. Ed tries to reason with Mandy... after all, the job ends in three days. [hahahahaha!] Most of the things she's arguing for are useless, though she does try for 10 minute break every hour. Ed gives her five, and she takes it.

On Christmas, Mandy volunteers to say grace, which leads to thankful remarks about the mall, her good looks, and her popularity. [::eye roll::] Then, Kyle speaks up, and proposes to Kristin. [I was shocked. so was everyone else. but my favorite part was Kyle calling her "Kristin Marie" and Eve pointing out that Kristin's middle name is Beth. hahahahaha!]. Kristin and Kyle go outside to talk, and Ryan shows up, unexpected by everyone this time. Ryan brings by a gift for Boyd, ends up at the dinner table, and starts dishing out statements on how he wants his son to be raised. [I don't think that Mike's knife gag came across as funny. just me?] We then get into a family moment, with the story of the Germans and the British during the winter of 1914 in Belgium. [if you don't know this story, it's simple - in a nutshell, the soldiers stop shooting, exchange gifts, and call a temporary truce for Christmas.] The family all calms down after the tale, but Ed shows up with balloons and champagne... [why would Kyle tell him and nobody else? odd. though Kyle isn't exactly a typical guy...] Everyone goes to church and there's a wacky moment where Ryan sings "Silent Night" against the group. [this was just way too tween for me. and sacrilegious to a certain degree as well.]

Some other observations.... Eve made mention that Mike often "makes" the family attend church... is it just in December or year-round? If the latter, Mandy's purse dilemma and other issues seem a bit out-of-place. And what was with everybody bringing Vanessa poinsettias? I mean, I know it's the go-to hostess gift around the holidays (besides wine, of course), but geez.
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