Last Man Standing

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Last Man Standing TV Poster Image
Sitcom mixes family-friendly themes with stereotypes.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 21 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 22 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Highlights importance of strong father-daughter relationships. Also contains sexist stereotypes about role of men, which include homophobic references. Political strife is sometimes a theme too. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite Mike's sexism and homophobic opinions, he is a good father, grandfather, husband.

Violence

Some mild arguing breaks out between the Baxter girls and their dad. Guns are discussed, and hunting weapons like rifles and crossbows are visible. Mike sometimes jokingly threatens violence against his co-workers using hunting gear, but he never acts on it.

Sex

The girls date and get married. Single motherhood was a theme in earlier episodes. Contains references to getting pregnant and slang like "tramp stamp." Some innuendo that might go over kids' heads.

Language

Includes words like "damn," "crap," "hell."

Consumerism

Occasional references to popular books, films, and TV, including Harry Potter, Toy Story, Avatar, and Glee.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking (wine, beer) visible. On rare occasions references are made to drug use.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this comedy series features themes like the importance of family, father-daughter relationships, teen pregnancy, single parenthood, dating, and marriage. Jokes often contain sexist stereotypes and occasional homophobic references, and the language can get a little salty ("damn," "crap"). Later episodes feature political tensions between family members. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bydoraya October 20, 2011

Disney should be ashamed for their promotional tactics!

I was very disappointed in Disney/ABC. They have been advertising this show like crazy on the Disney channel so I thought it would be like The Middle, appropria... Continue reading
Parent of a 9 year old Written byjlovesnyc November 12, 2013

A funny show dragged down by locker room language.

This show is misleading: it disguises itself as a family friendly show yet language like "crap", "hell", and "I'd give my left nut... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byMaya16 July 20, 2015

2nd best modern day sitcom

This is the funniest modern day sitcom behind the middle. It has similar themes from home improvement.
Teen, 13 years old Written byjustme21 August 12, 2014

Good for mature tweens

The main plot shows good characters and positive role models over all. Characters are shown making mistakes and coping with the consequences in a suitable fashi... Continue reading

What's the story?

The comedy series LAST MAN STANDING features Tim Allen as Mike Baxter, an adventure-loving marketing director for an outdoor sporting goods store. When Mike's boss (played by Hector Elizondo) refuses to send him on any more fun marketing trips until he revamps the company website, he finds himself spending more time at home struggling to relate to his three daughters, including eldest daughter Kristin (Alexandra Krosney), the rather ditsy Mandy (Molly Ephraim), and tomboy Eve (Kaitlyn Dever). Being a more hands-on dad over the years leads to its share of mishaps, but it also gives him more time to spend with his grandson Boyd (played by Flynn Morrison). He also gets to know his sons-in-law and Kyle (Christoph Sanders) and Ryan (Jordan Masterson). As a result of all the craziness, Mike usually uses the company website to talk about issues that go beyond what the store is selling. It gets a little crazy, but luckily his wife, Vanessa (Nancy Travis), helps put everything into perspective. 

Is it any good?

The comedy series offers some positive messages about family, fatherhood, and the importance of learning how to be part of grown kids' lives. It also underscores the parental struggle between trying to teach daughters to be independent, and the desire to see them married with children. Over the years it also highlights the changes that parents are forced to adapt to as their children build their own lives. It moved from ABC to Fox in 2018 for its seventh season; now some of the political tensions resulting from the 2016 elections, exemplified by Mike's conservative views, are occasionally discussed too. 

It's likable and family friendly, but thanks to Tim Allen's reliance on his trademark male-oriented jokes to get a laugh, it sometimes looks and feels like an updated version of his original series, Home Improvement. It also contains a fair amount of stereotyping and some occasional homophobic humor. But if you can see past this, Last Man Standing provides some solid sitcom entertainment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about father-daughter relationships. Are there really differences between the way daughters relate to their fathers vs. the way sons do? What about relating with mothers?

  • Are sexist and/or stereotypical jokes ever appropriate, even if some folks find humor in them? Why or why not?

TV details

For kids who love comedy

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