The network strikes back


As if we needed any more reasons to stop watching network TV, ABC just gave us yet another one to think that the network bosses are all completely out-of-touch liberals:

ABC has cancelled its Tim Allen-starring sitcom Last Man Standing after six seasons, the network confirmed Wednesday.

ABC and production partner 20th Century Fox TV had reportedly usually negotiated over licensing fees for the comedy series before each season; this time, according to Deadline, there was no negotiation, and the network simply pulled the plug on the show.

The sitcom starred Allen as Mike Baxter, a marketing director for a sporting goods store who happened to be politically conservative, and his relationship with his wife Vanessa and his three teenage daughters. The show was one of the few (if not the only) broadcast network sitcom to appeal to conservative, blue-collar America, a true oddity since Allen has noted in interviews that the program was written by liberal writers.

A sixth-season episode found Baxter blasting politically correct “microaggressions” and drawing up a speech for his daughter’s graduation: “To quote future Nobel Prize winner Lee Greenwood, ‘I’m proud to be an American.’ Not just because I have the right to speak my mind or carry an awesome gun, but because it’s the land of opportunity. Some whiny babies might not think so, but in America, if you work hard, anyone can be successful.”

Allen himself is also conservative, and has in the past expressed support for President Donald Trump. In March, the actor told Jimmy Kimmel he had attended Trump’s inauguration and that conservatives in Hollywood need to be “real careful” when discussing their political beliefs.

The show’s cancellation appeared to come as a surprise to fans, as its ratings had reportedly been solid, as Daily Wire’s John Nolte noted. Last Man Standing averaged 6.4 million viewers in its final season and a 1.2 rating amongst adults 18-49, strong numbers for a Friday night comedy. But Deadline also notes that Last Man Standing was down just 5 percent this season, a stellar result when compared with other shows were generally down by as much as 20-30 percent. The show was also reportedly performing extraordinarily well in syndication.

Even more surprising, the cancellation comes after ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said at a London media summit in December that broadcast networks were not paying enough attention to the television viewers in the country who helped elect Donald Trump president.

I was quite honestly stunned when I saw this news. Last Man Standing has been my favourite comedy show for the last several years; I watch the episodes religiously on Netflix and have been quoting the assorted heresies of Mike Baxter for years.

In my opinion it was a terrific show with a great cast that provided the audience with something extremely rare in today's hyper-politicised, hyper-sensitive environment.

It gave us a glimpse into a world that has nearly disappeared- a world in which a husband and father is the lord and patriarch of his household and is portrayed as a stern but loving, firm but fair, principled and decent man.

It showed us a family in which the wife loves and supports her man. It showed a nuclear family full of laughter, love, and warmth. It showed a world that is not afraid to talk about faith, race, or politics. It showed a world in which the Holy Name of the Almighty is not taken in vain in every other sentence, but is instead used with reverence and respect.

More than anything else, unlike so many other horrible "family-oriented" sitcoms out there- think Modern Family, for instance, in which sodomite perversions are celebrated as "normal"- this particular TV show gave us a look at just how wonderful a truly normal and loving family could be.

Every single episode had genuine heart and you could see the chemistry on the screen between the three daughters- especially between Eve, the youngest (played expertly by the vivacious Kaitlyn Dever), and her on-screen father.

The liberal characters on the show- Mike's eldest daughter Kristin, and her fiancee and then husband Ryan- were used as foils for Mike Baxter's conservative wisdom. The screenwriters- almost all of them liberal weenies- tried very hard to make Mike Baxter an almost cartoonish character- but they failed every time, because that is typically what happens when liberal weenies try to explain their ridiculous granola-and-vegetables ideology against the facts of the meat-and-potatoes world around them.

(My sister, who is a liberal and a feminist and a bit of an airhead- Lord, forgive us our redundancies- thinks that it's a very silly and pointless show. Liberals and conservatives really do think very differently- possibly right down to the cellular level, even.)

I have no idea why ABC decided to cancel a great TV show like this. In all likelihood they may have realised that they made the exact same mistake that Normal Lear made with All in the Family.

Last Man Standing is, in fact, very much a modernised version of All in the Family- but with a significant role reversal. As Tim Allen has said in the past, Mike Baxter is basically an educated Archie Bunker, and his pragmatic, God-country-family brand of conservatism works because it just makes sense, but it is translated to a modern audience through the words of a thoroughly decent and upstanding man who works hard, loves his wife and family, honours God, and supports his community.

It is very, very difficult even for liberals to mock such a man. But boy, did they ever try during the show's run.

In numerous episodes the creators of Last Man Standing tried to do to Mike Baxter what Norman Lear tried to do to Archie Bunker. They tried to portray him as a loudmouthed, antediluvian reactionary. But what they actually did was create a character that the normal, hardworking, blue-collar man could identify with readily and easily, even if he didn't necessarily agree with him 100% of the time.

The result is that everyone remembers the Archie Bunkers and the Mike Baxters- because these men were shown to be decent, caring, honourable, hard-working, and noble.

The liberal doofuses surrounding them, though- the parasites who leeched off of their hard work and goodwill- always ended up looking stupid.

And that is because, no matter how much liberal brainwashing the media tries to put people through, we reject parasites and ne'er-do-wells at an almost instinctive level.

I really hope that we haven't seen the last of this show. Perhaps Netflix or another network will pick it up. But that is likely a forlorn hope; judging by some of the bullshit Netflix originals that I'm seeing of late, such as Dear White People and Bill Nye Saves the World and that stupid Amy Schumer comedy special, it is much more likely that Last Man Standing is gone forever.

In which case, all I can say is... Amen, Mike Baxter.

Comments

  1. Eduardo the Magnificent12 May 2017 at 21:43

    I always thought LMS was Allen's atonement for his portrayal of the American male in Home Improvement: animalistic, unable to grasp whatever Wilson was saying, scratch & fart and grab me a beer. He got it right, and he only lasted six years. Home Improvement lasted ten (I think). I hope Netflix or Amazon is smart enough to pick this up. I'm not holding my breath.

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    1. I really hope so too. Tim Allen appears to have matured a lot as both a person and a comedian in the years since Home Improvement.

      Last Man Standing had its flaws and it did let the side down a bit in a couple of episodes- I remember that one from the first season where there was a lesbian couple featured on the show as though that sort of thing is "normal". But it was easily the best thing out there on network television for men and women to enjoy.

      I seriously doubt that it will be picked up by Netflix, but then, hope springs eternal...

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