Sunday, January 13, 2013

Last Man Standing: Sexism is Alive and Well

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Why did Mike say "time to drop those shoes" as he rushed off to the bathroom? Was it some sort of fourth-wall drop to comment on the simplicity of the opening sequence? Was it a scatological euphemism that I don't know? Urban Dictionary didn't seem to have anything, so feel free to clue me in if I'm missing something. Anyway, I think the big draw to this episode was the reunion of Tim Allen and Richard Karn, who once made comedy gold on Home Improvement. But, for a series that I feel could use more marketing, I (an entertainment journalist and critic) didn't see much promoting this special guest star, and my husband (a generic consumer) didn't see anything at all. The mentions of their previous characters' personalities was cute, but the episode really could have used an "I don't think so, Mike." Worst of all, Karn's character was not chosen as the architect for the new project, so we're not likely to be treated to another reunion anytime soon. Of course, this doesn't mean that we'll see the architect again anyway... if you'll recall, Mike's father and Vanessa's sister have both moved to the Denver area and we never see them, either. Actually, Vanessa's sister even allegedly moved into the Baxter home...

Last Man Standing  "Attractive Architect" (S02E09): One of Vanessa's colleagues passes away and she gets his job, though she worries if it was because of her qualifications or because of her looks. She confronts the person who promoted her, then talks to the other finalist, who likens Vanessa to a "Prom Queen." [Vanessa isn't really my type, but I do think her hairstyle and her fashion sense are nice.] Just when you think Vanessa may have made her peace, however, she learns that every guy on the level above her has a lower education, and that she's being paid less than her predecessor. [I'm not sure how preachy the writers wanted to go with this storyline, but it got a little intense toward the end.]

The store is interviewing architects to design a mall location, and Mike wants to go with Bill (Karn), his regular architect, though Ed wants a new architect, Alyssa. Ed decides to let Mike make the final decision, but when Mike admits that he doesn't trust pretty girls, Vanessa gets uncomfortable and convinces him to blindly look at all of the proposals. Bill loses out and he chooses Alyssa.
And, if you wanted something for the daughters... Mandy and Eve fight over the bathroom space, and Mandy keeps claiming that Eve doesn't need space for her makeup. [though that's so very harsh, it was also awkward that Mandy would backhandedly compliment Eve like that.] When Mandy takes over the drawer that Mike gave Eve, Eve hides all makeup in the house, forcing her sister to attend school au natural for the day, where she is taught that she enjoys the attention she gets from her looks. [haha at the Kenny from South Park joke and Mandy trying to hit people up for lip gloss and eyeliner.]
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