New Tim Allen Sitcom Asks: Whatever Happened to Men?

Tim Allen in "Last Man Standing" (Photo: ABC)

Hey, men – are you ready to take masculinity counseling from Tim Allen? If you are, then his new comedy series, “Last Man Standing,” is for you.

“Last Man Standing,” premiering Tuesday night (Oct. 11) at 8/7c on ABC, has Allen starring as the manly dad of a household of all women – a wife (Nancy Travis) and two daughters. He works for a catalogue company specializing in outdoor sporting goods – hunting, fishing and the like. Hector Elizondo plays his boss.

in the show, Allen is fed up with the state of man – er, make that “men” – today. He thinks their priorities are misplaced, that they’ve lost sight of who they are and what they’re supposed to do. In short, he thinks men are wimps – except for himself and a handful of his cohorts.

“The only time men should be dancing is when other men are shootin’ at their feet!” he thunders on the show, in one of many statements in which he voices his frustration with modern man. “What happened to men?” he asks in a spontaneous podcast he posts on the the Internet. “Men used to build cities just so we could burn ‘em down!”

“What the heck is fantasy football?” he asks, complaining about how grown men today are more likely to sit on the sidelines than get into the action. “I got a fantasy,” he says, “why don’t you get off the frickin’ couch, you morons!”

Watch a trailer for Tim Allen’s new show “Last Man Standing”:

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Allen, now 58, has long mined the subject of men in his comedy. His previous sitcom, “Home Improvement,” was based on his comedy routines about men and their proclivity for fixing things – working on cars, woodworking, repairing household plumbing and other “manly” arts. “Home Improvement” left ABC in 1999, and in the intervening years, men have apparently abandoned these pursuits – at least to hear Allen tell it in “Last Man Standing.”

In fact, the role of men in society is a particular obsession this season with ABC, which has no less than three sitcoms covering the topic (the topic was also an obsession with CBS, right up until the moment it canceled its sole sitcom on the subject, “How to Be a Gentleman”).

On ABC, besides “Last Man Standing,” there’s “Man Up!,” which literally opens with its trio of hapless suburban men sitting on their frickin’ couches playing an interactive videogame with each other. “Man Up!” premieres next Tuesday (Oct. 18) right after “Last Man Standing,” at 8:30/7:30c.

The third sitcom, called “Work It,” takes the emasculation theme even farther, with its two manly main characters deciding they have to dress up as women in order to find decent jobs. “Work It” comes to ABC this winter.

For his part, Allen says “Last Man Standing” represents his belief in how men ought to be. “I really believe that men need stuff to do,” he told reporters last summer at the annual TV Press Tour in L.A. “You have to have hobbies, and you should be able to fix stuff!”

“Last Man Standing” premieres Tuesday (Oct. 11) at 8 p.m./7c on ABC.

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