More than a year after being cancelled by ABC, Tim Allen and the cast of “Last Man Standing” has agreed to a deal to resurrect the series on Fox.
Tim Allen broke the mold several years ago when “Last Man Standing” hit the airwaves.
The show was by no means some revolutionary program, but it was one of the first in recent memory to have its protagonist not only be an unapologetic conservative, but also a right-winger who was not made to constantly look like an ignorant, racist jerk.
Tim Allen’s character Mike Baxter was a devoted husband, devoted father of three girls, and a successful businessman. Yes, he was conservative and loud about that fact, but he was not treated as a joke.
And yes, there was an “All in the Family” vibe to the show in the sense that Mike’s son-in-law was an equally loud and passionate liberal (like Rob Reiner’s character Michael “Meathead” Stivic), and one of Mike’s neighbors was a black man who would often verbally spar with him (like Sherman Helmsley’s character George Jefferson).
But above all, the show was about a man who loved his family, enjoyed his work, and never seemed ashamed of that.
The cancellation of “Last Man Standing” caused controversy as many felt it was disposed of by ABC because Allen himself is a real life conservative and an admitted Trump supporter, a supposed no-no in Hollywood.
Whether that is true or not is anybody’s guess.
But I am excited for the show’s return and eager to see how Mike Baxter character is treated.
The only “Pro Trump” characters on television had been major villains and certainly no sympathetic lead in a movie or series fit that description despite half the country voting for the president.
Roseanne Barr decided to make her character Roseanne Conner into a Trump supporter because t felt real to her. The character is a working class white woman from the Midwest — many of whom helped get the president elected.
Barr saw an opportunity to stay true to herself and offer a different perspective, so she took it and ran with it. She was a trailblazer then and continues to be one now.
And as it always had throughout its original run, the show delivered in a big way.
The politics angle was approached in what felt like a very authentic way.
Roseanne and her sister Jackie, once close as can be, had drifted apart because of their arguments over Trump and Clinton. This is a very common family dynamic these days, but only Roseanne has hit on it yet.
I have to assume that Tim Allen and “Last Man Standing” will follow suit.
If the incredible ratings success of Roseanne has showed us anything, it is that there is a hunger for characters like the Conners and Baxters, so it will be interesting to see what Mike Baxter looks and sounds like now that Donald Trump is nearly two years into his presidency.
As for the show’s resurrection as a whole, they say you can’t go home again. And maybe you can’t. But can you take a year-long hiatus and still come back as strong as ever?
We are about to find out.