Last Man Standing Season 7 Premiere Review

The world said farewell to Last Man Standing a year and a half ago, following its relatively-surprising cancellation by ABC. Most of its fans, myself included, thought that was the end. Until Fox came around to rescue it. I wasn't the biggest fan of Last Man Standing, but I did really miss it on Friday nights last year, and I'm very glad to have it back now. There have been a few cast changes since the cancellation, and while I'm not thrilled about them, I'm open to seeing how the new additions will work alongside the cast. Luckily, the season premiere has been made available a week early via Twitter, so some of the show's most devoted fans got to see it before the rest of the world. Without further ado, my review of the return of Last Man Standing...
(Beware! This review is filled with spoilers! If you plan on checking out the seventh season premiere of Last Man Standing, but you haven't yet, proceed at your own risk.)


Mike stops by Kristin and Ryan's and gets into a political argument with Ryan (shocking, I know). Mike tries to convince Ryan not to obsess about politics on TV, and Ryan maybe sorta listens. Who knows. The next day, Ryan stops by the Baxter house and thanks Mike for the advice. He then tells them that he's moving his family to Canada, and that Kristin is considering it. Obviously, this is some devastating news for Mike and especially Vanessa.

Mandy and Eve then get into a huge argument about politics, which is particularly surprising because Mandy was completely oblivious about anything intellectual the last time we saw her. They drag Kyle into the argument, and then they drag  Mike and Vanessa into it. Vanessa decides to ban all political discussion, since it's causing nothing but problems. Later that day, Eve and Mandy are still mad at each other and Mike tries to get the family to have a non-political discussion. Unfortunately, everyone suddenly seems to have lost their voice. After some coaxing, they start talking, but it's not the conversation they want. Ryan and Kristin then rush in, because Boyd is missing. The entire family splits up to call him, and Mike calls Chuck for some help. Mike knew exactly where he was: at Outdoor Man, working on his dirt bike.

Mike reprimands Boyd for running away, but then has a heart-to-heart with him. Boyd tells him he doesn't want to move to Canada, and that he's upset because everything is "broken". Mike uses the broken dirt bike as an analogy, saying that anything can be fixed with some dedication. He takes Boyd back home, and tries to fix the issues within the family. He gives an inspirational speech, and Eve and Mandy make up. Ryan is still upset and wanting to move to Canada. Mike tells Ryan to apply for US citizenship instead of running away from the issues he has with politics. And at long last, the Baxters are a family again!


As excited as I was to see the Baxters back on TV, the result was pretty underwhelming. It wasn't necessarily bad, it was just wasn't great. I can't honestly say that I found any part of the episode to be that funny, which isn't something I can usually say. Usually, I'll laugh out loud at the show quite a few times. This wasn't because the writing was anything revolutionary (it wasn't), but because the cast made it work. This was just too messy to be made into something fun. And then there was the opening. I expected some reference to the show's cancellation by ABC and later revival by Fox, but the way they went about this was just awkward. I just cringed during the entire thing, and was glad that it wrapped up as quickly as it did.

This show has always been political, but it's never really been about politics. They decided to change that for this premiere, and that was definitely a bad idea. No matter what side the characters were on, the attempts at political humor were unnecessary at best and annoying at worst. When it was contained, like in previous seasons, this was tolerable. It wasn't the best part of the show, but I didn't mind it. It bugged me this time around, though, because the entire plot of the episode was set around unfunny political digs and arguments. The return episode would have been much better without this.

The recasting of Mandy, as I mentioned earlier, was slightly troubling for me. I loved Molly Ephraim in this role, and it's really hard to see anyone as Mandy except for her. We didn't really get to see much of Molly McCook as Mandy in this episode, but I wasn't that impressed by what I saw. She didn't have the same chemistry with the rest of the cast that Ephraim is and the character really didn't feel like Mandy. Mandy was always my favorite character, so a change this dramatic will take some getting used to. I'll give McCook a fair chance before giving the definitive thumbs up or down.

All in all, the return of Last Man Standing was a pretty big disappointment. However, I'll give it some time to get better and hopefully it will grow back into what it was in its original run: a fun, easy way to spend a half hour on a Friday night.

Score: 5/10
Grade: D

Share this

Related Posts

Next Post »