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THE NEW FALL SEASON: 'Last Man Standing'

"Last Man Standing"
8 p.m., ABC

I have got great news for everyone who has missed Tim Allen and corny laughtrack comedies.

ABC's "Last Man Standing" is a lot like the 90s sitcom "Home Improvement," except now Allen can say "balls" and "frickin'" on television. And instead of hosting a home improvement TV show, this time Allen is a male chauvinist executive at an outdoorsman supply company. Also, instead of sons he has daughters (and a baby grandson), and he's married to Nancy Travis. Hector Elizondo is his boss.

And the writing is horrid.

That's kind of it. The pilot has big laughs like this: When Allen doesn't like the "hippy" daycare his daughter takes her son Boyd to, the daughter counters that the school teaches him sensitivity and tolerance.

Allen: "You know how that ends up. Boyd dancing on a float." (Picture flamboyant arm-waving).
Daughter: "And what would be so wrong with that?"
Allen: "The only time men should be dancing is when other men are shooting at their feet."

Nice.

There's a demographic that might enjoy this. I am not in it.

UPDATE: This is interesting. The two advance episodes I watched had these weird silent moments after "jokes" that were obviously supposed to be filled with laughter from a studio audience, but there was no laughter. So I assumed it was NOT filmed before a studio audience, but on a closed set, and that they planned to electronically add canned laughter in later (I know that's cheating, but shows do it). This Washington Post review indicates the show was filmed before a studio audience -- an audience who obviously agree with everyone else that this stuff isn't funny. I'm guessing they'll be adding that canned laughter to the episodes that air tonight.

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