The 'Tool Man' Tim Allen Rebuilds TV's Male Image With New Show

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October 14, 2011|10:58 am

Wondering what ever happened to TV’s masculine presence? You’re not alone. So has “Home Improvement” star and comedian Tim Allen.

This season, Tim the “Tool Man” Taylor won’t be making home improvements but will be rebuilding the image of masculine men on prime time with his new show “Last Man Standing.”

This time around, Allen is taking on a new role as a husband who is father to three girls. He struggles to hold onto his masculinity while being outnumbered by women in his household and dealing with life changes.

His character, Mike Baxter, is the quintessential “manly man,” who loves to drive pick-up trucks and works as an executive for an outdoor sporting goods company.

The image of men on sitcoms has drifted quite far from the sophisticated man of the house role to one very subdued and unintelligent. That’s right, the likes of Steve Douglas (“My Three Sons”) and Cliff Huxtable (“The Cosby Show”) have greatly diminished.

There are many speculations as to why the image of men on television has degraded, but Allen believes that it is due to a lack of good writing.

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“When you don't have material, you go to the lowest common denominator,” Allen told TV Guide. “And I think, if you notice, every guy on TV has a flannel shirt and a gray T-shirt underneath, and he likes beer and he's got a much better looking wife than he deserves. It's buffoonery. [But] I'm going to go out on a limb and say we're not going to do that on this show."

Despite Allen’s hopes that the show revives masculinity, some critics believe that “Last Man Standing” won’t be standing very long because of its striking resemblance to Allen’s former show.

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