If you fawned over Jonathan Taylor Thomas on Home Improvement back in the 90s, then I've got some good news for you. No, JTT is not making his return, but his onscreen dad, Tim Allen, is taking on a new comedy in ABC's Last Man Standing. The show offers the same brand of Allen's dad humor, only this time he's got three daughters instead of three sons, and he works for a men's sporting goods catalog instead of on a show about tools. The jokes were copious when Allen was joined by his costars and showrunners at the TCA, as he talked about his new gig and why he wanted to do the same kind of show as Home Improvement.
- Allen made it pretty clear that he's fully aware of the similarities between Last Man Standing and Home Improvement. He compared his craft to the way Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer make the same kinds of movies over and over again, and said that though he looked at some dramedies, none of them were of interest to him (well, except for Castle). He also noted that of what he was offered, "it was never the same show [as Home Improvement], and I didn't know why we wouldn't do a version of the same show."
- Allen went on to say that what he really wanted to do was "flip-flop" Home Improvement, in replacing his three sons with three daughters. He said he "wanted to investigate what it would be like to be around four women who are intelligent, strong, fun and loving." And he later added, "It isn't rocket science what I'm doing. Instead of tools, it's sporting goods and guns and boats."
- Executive producer Jack Burditt made it clear that the audience won't be hit over the head with the "what makes a man a man?" premise, even though it's largely featured in the pilot. Burditt said that at the heart of it, this is "just a family comedy" and that there will be lots of other themes introduced and explored.
- One element that won't be woven in, though, is politics. Allen said, "My preference would be to limit that because we learned very quickly on the past show that it lasts longer if you're not talking about political current events. Sometimes it's enticing but if you get too timely then it doesn't last very long."
- As for what Allen himself believes makes a man? He brought up a debate he had with Joy Behar when he stopped by her show, saying, "I really think men need stuff to do. You have to have hobbies and you should be able to fix stuff. My grandmother said there's nothing more attractive than a man busy doing something. Maybe it's traditional but I like women who know how to cook . . . the process of letting women taking care of you. It's either old school or it's misogynistic."
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