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NieR Occomata
Jan 18, 2009


Hey TVIV.

So I run the TVIV ratings thread. It's a fairly low-trafficked thread, but pretty interesting and informative, and you can read it here. In addition to being interesting and informative the thread regulars, of which there are few, like to make really stupid :toxx:es about TV shows and their chances of renewal and/or cancellation. Why? I honestly don't loving know. It's a genuine mystery, but at least everyone involved is aware of how dumb it is.

Which leads us to this January. After the ratings for the second episode of Community were genuinely decent, especially relative to what the rest of NBC's sitcoms were pulling, I in a fit of bravado foolishly posted:

Occupation posted:

In related news, Community's second episode garnered a 1.4, which is actually up from last week's 1.3 average. I was gonna :toxx: for it anyways but it now has less of an effect since chances are actually decent it gets renewed, but I will now officially go on record and :toxx: myself that Community will be renewed for a sixth season. If it doesn't get renewed for a sixth season I will change my name to a Community-themed name and av of SHUPS' choice and take whatever mod challenge Deadpool decides to punish me with.

I gotta be honest I was fully expecting that I was gonna lose this toxx a couple of months ago.

In the last hour my hopes have been crushed by the cruel finicky hand of NBC, and I was a broken shell of a man.

Then Deadpool gave me his toxx challenge!

Deadpool posted:

MOD CHALLENGE

Hey, Occupation I guess I'll just throw you in the deep end then. This should be fun for everyone. You wanted bad TV? Well you'll get to do a trip report on Season 2 of Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen. Why not the first season? Because I've heard the second one is something. So we'll need a trip report on that whenever you're ready to start. Preferably updated episode by episode. I'd like to see at least one episode a week. I don't think 20 minutes out of a week is too much to ask.


So, here we are. Occupation Watches Season 2 of Last Man Standing.



What is Last Man Standing?

Glad you asked! I don't know either. In the interests of fairness and maximum pain, I won't look up any sort of season or show summary on Wikipedia. Only by watching the show- and yes, I'm going to start with the second season, there's no way in gently caress I'm gonna sit through ten hours of bullshit I don't need to -will I pick up, contextually, what this show is about. But here's my secondhand mostly-hearsay understanding of the show.

Occupation's Secondhand Mostly-Hearsay Understanding of the Show:

Tim Allen plays a dude who has a bitchy wife. Tim Allen's character is fed up with the "emasculation" of men and decides to do...something about it. It probably involves passive-aggressively complaining about it and beating up strawmen the show writes into existence, alongside the manufactured guffaws of a "live studio audience". Also I think Tim Allen has a liberal stereotype neighbor or something, the blue state Flanders to our red state Homer.

This show asks the tough questions, like "What happened to all the MEN in America??", "Why do all the WOMEN have the power?", and finally "Why do I have to fight all the SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWSUITS?". Picture Home Improvement mixed with r/mensrights, then add a bit of Stormfront for flavor.

The Challenge

I will watch every episode of this show, then provide an Onion AV Club-style recap/review of the episode, along with a letter grade. The grading scale will be A-B-C-D-F, no pluses or minuses (I expect to be breaking out the latter two grades frequently. My update schedule will more than likely be somewhat erratic but I will, at the bare minimum, average one review a week. So come join me on my journey through a show I won't understand half of the time, and the other half of the time I'm going to hate with a passion!

A note on my review methodologies:

I'm a young, liberal, feminist male, so I'm completely and utterly outside of this show's demographic. Therefore for all you Last Man Standing fans (and boy, I know you guys are legion here in TVIV), just keep this in mind. I was gonna say I was going to be objective, or try to be, despite all that but I mean...humor is one of the most subjective mediums ever made; what people find funny is completely and utterly based on their cultural experiences. For instance I find Girls one of the most insightful and overall "true" comedies I've ever seen, but that's solely because that show resonates with me. If you're not me you might find this show funny! I mean, you probably won't, but still.

Review Archive:

201, "Voting"
202, "Dodgeball Club"
203, "High Expectations"
204, "Ed's Twice Ex-Wife"
205, "Mother Fracker"
206, "Circle of Life"
207, "Putting a Hit on Christmas"
208, "Bullying"
209, "Attractive Architect"
210, "The Help"
211, "Mike's Pole"
212, "Quarterback Boyfriend"
213, "What's In a Name?"
214, "Buffalo Bill"
215, "Breaking Curfew"
216, "Private Coach"
217, "The Fight"
218, "College Girl"
Season 2 Review
301, "Back to School"
302, "Driving Lessons"
303, "Pledging"
304, "Ryan v. John Baker"
305, "Haunted House" (Guest Reviewer: Oxxidation)
306, "Larabee for School Board"
307, "Shoveling Snow"
308, "Vanessa Fixes Kyle"
309, "Thanksgiving"
310, "Spanking"
311, "Elfie"
312, "All About Eve"
313, "Breaking Boyd"
314, "Renaming Boyd's School"
315, "Tasers"
316, "Stud Muffin"
317, "Eve's Boyfriend"
318, "Project Mandy"
319, "Hard-rear end Teacher"
320, "Parenting Bud"
321, "April, Come She Will"
322, "Mutton Busting"

NieR Occomata fucked around with this message at 02:43 on Jul 12, 2014

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NieR Occomata
Jan 18, 2009


Last Man Standing
"Voting"
Season 2, Episode 1

This show is racist.

I'm getting ahead of myself in the review, here, but for the record- this show is racist.

The first episode of Last Man Standing's second season opens to a wide angle shot of the Baxter family's residence. Romney/Ryan signs festoon the front, the sheer number meant to overwhelm. From the very first shot of this season, we, the viewing audience, are sent a single message- We warned you. Turn back, all ye who enter here (and are Liberal). I should've heeded them.

Instead we cut to their house interior, and as the subtitles helpfully note on the bottom screen, it's November 2, 2012. It's election time in the Baxter house! Kristin (Amanda Fuller) is helping set the table while simultaneously attempting to woo her stereotypically brain-dead sister Mandy (Molly Ephraim) over to the dark side (racist pun not intended, but appropriate for this tissue-deep mess of a show). As Kristin's shirt helpfully notes, she's an Obama supporter! Oh the whackiness. Surely this completely and utterly original premise can be mined (or fracked? EH?! EHHHHHHHHH?! You're welcome, LMS writers) for the oceans of situation comedy such a setup can provide.

Enter Tim Allen qua Mike stage right. He's hefting an Obama lawn sign in his left hand, which he sardonically explains is "some large dog's mess". Kristin, presumably the one who placed the lawn sign there in the first place, takes offense. This leads to a "political argument" that mostly consists of the easiest, obvious barbs the writers could think of as political commentary, until Mandy exclaims "OH MY GOD, this is sooooooooooo boring!!!" Wise words indeed. Take us with you, Mandy!

The cold open provides us with the A plot of the episode; Kristin and Mike attempt to convince Mandy, who has just hit voting age, to vote for "their" party, mostly via the time-honored tradition of completely trashing the other candidate. A more unintentionally perfect recreation of today's political climate there has never been, as Tim Allen and Amanda Fuller chew the scenery and spit out obvious and trite political one-liners from the C-list writing staff. Seriously, parts of their argument feel lifted straight from the comments section of a Youtube White House video. Such examples include accusations of Mitt Romney being a robot, Obama being from Kenya, and Obamacare. Oh god the Obamacare slams. So, so many Obamacare slams.

The problem with this argument, despite being boring and predictable and not funny, is is the dynamic of the argument itself is unbalanced. Mike is at least two, possibly three times older than Kristin, who is an early twenties unwed mother with an unemployed baby daddy (natch) as she lives with her parents and works as a waitress. The unstated slant of the show is is that Kristin is a freeloading whore who repays her father's kindness of free room and board by being a Liberal Negative Nancy. It makes Kristin's entire, tedious, argument feel hollow.

Eventually we get a (much-needed) reprieve from the political debate of the century raging at the Baxter house to the second of two interiors the show seems to have, to the "Outdoor Man" hunting shop. Think Cabela's or Bass Pro Shop. Mike seems to be the owner of the store, which gives him ample opportunity to, as a rich entitled white man with legions of people to crush under his heel, complain at length about how every one of the filthy poors under him are all emasculated freeloaders. Mike seems to go about his day looking for things to complain about, especially if those things he complains about allow him the opportunity to fondly reminisce of days gone by.

What days? Well judging by how the show treats black people, probably late 1700s. And now we route back to my statement: This show is racist. You see, all of Mike's employees are currently obsessed with fantasy football, which Mike sneeringly disregards as "fairy-tale football". (Seriously, LMS? Fantasy football isn't masculine enough for you now?) Kyle (Christoph Anderson, giving a show-rarity decent performance) refuses to trade Aaron Rodgers to his boss, Ed (Héctor Elizondo) so Ed can beat Mike's daughter Eve (Kaitlyn Dever) in his fantasy football tournament. Yeah. This eventually leads Ed to punish Kyle by making him do horrible, menial labor around the store. Because what's funnier than employee abuse because they won't trade you fake men in a fake game, right?

It also leads to Last Man Standing's profoundly racist views. Seriously, these were lines of dialog actually spoken by our white male protagonists:

Kyle (in regards to his fantasy football team): "My strategy of not drafting anyone with a criminal record seems to have backfired."
Mike: "The Raiders are the sworn enemies of the Broncos! It's like the Crips and Bloods, both of which are Raiders fans."

The most damning part of all of this is is that these lines were laugh break lines. The writers' room clearly felt like this racist trash was not only appropriate, but hilarious capstones. It's one thing to do racist- or rather, racial- comedy, but if you're gonna play with this particular fire you should expect to get burned if you do it improperly. Even more so your humor shouldn't, necessarily, be insulting of a particular race more than a commentary on it, which in this show's particular case the only commentary they provide is "Blacks sure are criminals, huh?!" It's lazy and it's offensive.

Neither of these two subplots gel particularly well- The A plot is just an opportunity for hacky one-liners to get tossed around, and the B plot doesn't really ever get going at all, racism aside. It feels like two completely disconnected subplots and because of it the show inexplicably feels tonally inconsistent, when trying to swing between the at least ostensible "seriousness" of the election plot and the lighter side of the fantasy football plot, which only seems to impress upon the viewer that Ed is a dick who mistreats his employees over fake internet games.

Anyways after twenty minutes that feels much, much longer we finally, mercifully hit the end of the episode, as Mandy has, somewhat inexplicably, actually done the research and wants to vote for Obama, much to Mike's chagrin and Kristin's gloating. Mike learns a completely undeserved lesson about letting his children become strong, independent women that feels hollow even as the lesson is learned. At least Mike gets some sort of comeuppance. Seriously, this guy is a loving rear end in a top hat.

The lesson lands with an even heavier thud because both Mike and Kristin are so reprehensibly awful to each other that even picking a side feels like a win for negativity. Honestly I would've much appreciated the ending consisting of Mandy, who quite honestly seems bordering-on-mentally-retarded, angrily pointing out how both her dad and sister have done nothing but smugly, poorly insult the other's candidate, then refusing to vote. It would've even had the interesting political subtext of how negative campaigning only depresses voter turnout! Ah well, better luck next time, Last Man Standing. It's not like this only happens once every four years or something.

Grade: F

Random Thoughts:
  • This episode would've gotten a D, if it weren't for the racism. Weird, LMS. Weird and bad.
  • Oh, this show is set in Colorado? I guess that explains the whitewashing. Also what a bizarre state to set a deeply conservative show in.
  • I thought this show would be harder to grasp having never seen the first season, but guess what the characters are so broad and stupid I got it within like...a minute.
  • Having Tim Allen campaign for Romney as hard as he does this episode is unintentionally hilarious in retrospect. Like seriously every time I saw a Romney/Ryan sticker I chuckled. Also WOW this show is already ULTRA DATED.
  • Kyle had the one joke of the episode I laughed at (it was a weak chuckle, but I laughed): (On trading Rodgers): "I can't give you Aaron Rodgers. He's the heart and soul of my locker room. He works with underprivileged kids...In the fantasy community...(continues sadly) I live alone."
  • This is my first review! Let me know how I did and how I can improve.

NieR Occomata fucked around with this message at 22:51 on May 9, 2014

I Am Fowl
Mar 8, 2008

nononononono


At least it's not "Dads".

emgeejay
Dec 8, 2007

and if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you

This is gonna be great.

emgeejay
Dec 8, 2007

and if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you

Oh, I mean: Arrrrrrughhh?

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



All I can say is that Deadpool made an excellent choice here.

X-O
Apr 28, 2002

Long Live The King!



Dammit, I just looked at Wikipedia and saw that this season only has 18 episodes instead of 22. I feel as if I'm being cheated. I tried to go easy on you by giving you a half hour show instead of an hourlong and it backfired. I'm not gonna go back on it but if you feel so inclined to review the first couple of episodes of season three in order to gauge if there's any improvement or decline (is that even possible?) I would be happy to read them. I'll understand if these 18 break your spirit though.

The first review was greatly amusing.

Aphrodite
Jun 27, 2006



Deadpool posted:

Dammit, I just looked at Wikipedia and saw that this season only has 18 episodes instead of 22. I feel as if I'm being cheated. I tried to go easy on you by giving you a half hour show instead of an hourlong and it backfired. I'm not gonna go back on it but if you feel so inclined to review the first couple of episodes of season three in order to gauge if there's any improvement or decline (is that even possible?) I would be happy to read them. I'll understand if these 18 break your spirit though.

The first review was greatly amusing.

You could always throw a Tim Allen stand-up special in there.

X-O
Apr 28, 2002

Long Live The King!



Aphrodite posted:

You could always throw a Tim Allen stand-up special in there.

I'm not a monster.

NieR Occomata
Jan 18, 2009


Deadpool posted:

Dammit, I just looked at Wikipedia and saw that this season only has 18 episodes instead of 22. I feel as if I'm being cheated. I tried to go easy on you by giving you a half hour show instead of an hourlong and it backfired. I'm not gonna go back on it but if you feel so inclined to review the first couple of episodes of season three in order to gauge if there's any improvement or decline (is that even possible?) I would be happy to read them. I'll understand if these 18 break your spirit though.

The first review was greatly amusing.

I'll try and make it happen

emgeejay
Dec 8, 2007

and if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you

Occupation posted:

The lesson lands with an even heavier thud because both Mike and Kristin are so reprehensibly awful to each other that even picking a side feels like a win for negativity. Honestly I would've much appreciated the ending consisting of Mandy, who quite honestly seems bordering-on-mentally-retarded, angrily pointing out how both her dad and sister have done nothing but smugly, poorly insult the other's candidate, then refusing to vote. It would've even had the interesting political subtext of how negative campaigning only depresses voter turnout! Ah well, better luck next time, Last Man Standing. It's not like this only happens once every four years or something.

Excellent.

Raged
Jul 21, 2003



Excellent review of a horrible show. It could have been worse though. Deadpool could have made you watch a couple of seasons of "The Hills".

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:



Grimey Drawer

Look on the bright side, Occupation. You can use this on your application to be the AV Club's next reviewer for The Following.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

Endorsed by:
Pentecoastal Elites!
fart_man_69!
Terminal autist!
Ruzihm!
Judakel!
Dixon Chisholm!
Nix Panicus!
Neurolimal!

I'm so happy this thread exists, bless you Occupation/Deadpool.

xeria
Jul 26, 2004

Ruh roh...

This is the best solution to TVIV toxxes.

Sober
Nov 19, 2011

First touch: Life.
Second touch: Dead again. Forever.

I would actually toxx on TVIV in this case then.

But I don't think I will.

Postal Parcel
Aug 2, 2013


Occupation posted:

Kyle (Christoph Anderson, giving a show-rarity decent performance)

It's Christoph Sanders as Kyle Anderson! Did you not watch the show at all. Ugh, drat lieburals
And where are the Tim Allen grunts I suggested!?

(Great review. One thing I would like to see is more lines from the show that demonstrate its literal horribleness though. Some choice quotes that just make your eyes bleed)
This show has another season coming and probably won't stop at that people!

anticake
Nov 5, 2004



Biscuit Hider

Anyone want to tell me why they swapped eldest daughters for season 2+? At first I thought it was because they randomly jumped the grandson up from a mostly pre-verbal toddler to primary school kid and all of a sudden the original actress, who was probably actually pushing 30 knowing how casting works, looked way too young for that not to start being creepy. Then they opened their mouths and I was suddenly wondering if she just left to have no part in that poo poo.

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

i fucking love scoops


I'm really sad Occ's not reviewing Glee

Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004




Grimey Drawer

I'm really sad Occ's not reviewing 2 Broke Girls

But this is still really fun! Agreed there should be more quotes in each review but yeah great toxx.

STAC Goat
Mar 12, 2008

Watching you sleep.

Butt first, let's
check the feeds.



I got curious so I pulled up the episode on Netflix. I didn't make it through the cold opening. You're a braver man than I.

One thing I'll say is that it seemed like the show at least knew everyone was an rear end in a top hat. Nancy Travis seemed to be the sympathetic figure trying to keep the peace. But it was still uncomfortably unfunny. And a little racist.

Vaya con Dios.

Propaganda Machine
Jan 2, 2005

Truthiness!

This made my day.

I managed to sit through two episodes of this tripe, so THANKS A LOT for whoever pointed out that Netflix carries it. My only beef with your review of episode one is you don't mention the mom, like, at all. I went into it expecting Tim Allen to be a single dad or something. The mom character is fully deserving of snarky reviewing.

Also, if episode one was the racist episode, episode two is the hooray for domestic violence episode.

X-O
Apr 28, 2002

Long Live The King!



I almost think we should have a thread where people are assigned to do random contextless reviews for a random episode of a show they don't watch. That could be fun.

Propaganda Machine
Jan 2, 2005

Truthiness!

Deadpool posted:

I almost think we should have a thread where people are assigned to do random contextless reviews for a random episode of a show they don't watch. That could be fun.

It could be, but it would require some clever curation. You're not going to find an rear end in a top hat like me who's never seen Cheers or M*A*S*H or HIMYM every day of the week.

Arist
Feb 13, 2012

who, me?




Oven Wrangler

I'd totally do Glee or something, that sounds fun/awful. I almost wanna toxx for it.

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

i fucking love scoops


MrAristocrates posted:

I'd totally do Glee or something, that sounds fun/awful. I almost wanna toxx for it.

Only on the condition that I pick the episodes you review :colbert:

CaptainHollywood
Feb 29, 2008


I am an awesome guy and I love to make out during shitty Hollywood horror movies. I am a trendwhore!


Thank you for using punctuation.

NieR Occomata
Jan 18, 2009


Last Man Standing
"Dodgeball Club"
Season 2, Episode 2

"We're on a Downward Wimp Spiral with men."

Thanks for stating the show thesis so succinctly, Mike. And here, I guess, is where Last Man Standing and I fundamentally differ. Even if the show were to fix its myriad problems, including but not limited to casting, writing, and plotting, I still would dislike the show simply due to its overriding ethos: That there is Something Wrong with today's male, that we (as a society) have lost whatever made Great Men great, in favor of a pussified, emasculated culture who likes such faggy stuff as "respecting women" and "caring for your kids".

The second episode of the second season opens to Ryan (Jordan Masterson), Kristin's baby daddy, returning Boyd (Flynn Morrison), their son, from school. Having now watched two episodes with Ryan, it seems like within the show, Ryan and Kristin are no longer together and share joint custody of Boyd. As an aside, who names a kid Boyd in this day and age? That's a serial killer name. Although, considering the family life Boyd grows up in, maybe that's just foreshadowing.

Anyway, as Ryan returns Boyd, Vanessa (Nancy Travis), Mike's wife, picks up a slip of paper from Boyd's backpack. It turns out that "some busybody mom" (Mike's words) has written a letter to the school who has now banned dodgeball. What, banned dodgeball?! The horror! As Mike notes, how will our children defend the country from Red China (yes this is a literal argument Mike uses) now? Boyd, ever the liberal stereotype, defends the anonymous mom's decision as dodgeball "teaches war and hurts people's feelings".

Which leads me into my first major problem with the show. Obviously the flow of the show should be clear; Mike encounters something he finds is "emasculating" and is "ruining America/Men", then complains about it. Either his liberal daughter, or his liberal daughter's liberal ex, or some other strawman, defends it, but does it in the worst and most disingenuous way possible. Then Mike proceeds to completely fumble the obvious setup the strawman gives him by angrily repeating the same tired two talking points. Repeat ad infinitum.

There's so many failures in this methodology of storytelling it's kind of mind boggling. The show is a vehicle for arguments. That's literally all it is. It isn't like almost any other multicam sitcom ever, especially the family-set ones LMS is clearly aping, where it ostensibly is about togetherness and reaching across ideological divides to come to some sort of common ground. All it is about is confrontation, a vehicle for Tim Allen's ridiculous exaggerated non-character to argue with another one of these morons for eternity about something that doesn't loving matter at all. Even the name itself is confrontational: Last Man Standing. This is the last man standing. gently caress all you pussy rear end bitches who don't like dodgeball, Tim Allen has a lovely one-liner for you you CUNTS!

In case you couldn't tell, it turns out Ryan was the quote-on-quote "busybody Mom" who got dodgeball banned. Because again, it teaches war. As opposed to an actually good reason one could ban dodgeball, such as "Kids get really loving hurt by it, especially if they're 6 (which seems to be Boyd's age)."

This is my second issue with the show. There's arguments- on both sides -for even such a facile, stupid problem like "parent gets dodgeball banned" to have an interesting debate. If Ryan had approached the situation from the perspective "I'm worried my kid will get hurt" and Mike had approached the situation from the perspective of "But it's fun, and you can't protect your kid forever, and kids will get hurt regardless of if you ban everything with a pointed end" they could've had a dialog. It could've been an interesting commentary on how being an overprotective parent can, unintentionally, do more harm than good. Instead we get the argument that dodgeball = war, which most insanely both sides agree with! What?! Speaking as someone who was actually in a loving war, gently caress you Last Man Standing. Nobody should be encouraging war and it's genuinely loving offensive that the main character on this stupid rear end loving show actually thinks war is anything like a game of loving dodgeball. gently caress. Ugh.

We've lost the thread here. Sorry. The dodgeball argument dominates most of the screentime of the episode. Ryan eventually lays an ultimatum- under no circumstances will Boyd ever play dodgeball, under Ryan's parental fiat. Cue the obvious setup.

Eve, who is babysitting Boyd and all of his friends (for a show that makes a big deal about Kristin and Ryan being overprotective parents, we almost never see them...uh...actually be parents), gets coerced by Mike into helping run a game of dodgeball between the kids she's babysitting.

As an aside, Kaitlyn Dever as Eve is one of the few bright spots of this show's cast. She plays a sardonic mid-to-late high school teen really well, and she's genuinely interesting to watch onscreen. Admittedly her entire role in the show seems to be to troll everyone around her for being awful, which might put her more in my good graces but yeah, I like Eve, and hopefully I get to see more of her as this season progresses. (I didn't bring her up last episode because she was barely in it, only in one scene which was dominated more by Mike's racism).

Things proceed as could be expected, with the young boys hilariously- er, "hilariously" -not understanding the rules of dodgeball (they roll the ball to each other at first, and the kids don't want to pick teams because that would "hurt people's feelings", accompanied by the hyena laughs of the brain-dead studio audience), then eventually getting super into it, until Ryan comes to the house suddenly to see Boyd whacked in the head. This leads to the obvious argument-argument-argument-poor and forced last minute "family lesson" resolution that, even in only two episodes, I've already come to pessimistically expect, much like the cold embrace of death.

But that's not all! The game has not one but two subplots. The first one involves Ed, who as we learn is a search and rescue team member. Kyle wants to help Ed on his latest mission, which leads Mike to smugly discount Kyle's abilities with, you guessed it, "We're on a Downward Wimp Spiral with men."

The way the show treats Kyle's character is weird. Kyle is always positive, energetic, hardworking, likable, quiet, helpful, polite and sincere. He's even flawed realistically- Kyle can be kind of oblivious at times and he's a bit dumb, but not brain-dead like Mandy. Basically Kyle is the Ideal Man (whatever the gently caress that even means). And yet the show continues to treat him as the butt of every joke. It's just such a bizarre dynamic- why is the only genuinely good guy on the show treated like human refuse by everyone else? I like you Kyle. You along with Eve are the only reasons I can kind of enjoy this show (which should put as fine a point on how much I don't like it when two characters WAY down the call roster are why I'm sort of liking it, when I sort of like it).

The first subplot doesn't really go anywhere, beyond Ed's protestations about bringing Kyle along turning out to be, of course, unfounded as Kyle reveals himself to be very skilled and adept at search and rescue.

The second subplot is about Mandy trying to woo some young quarterback at her college, which consists of all of two scenes and literally only seems to exist to show off Molly Ephraim's breasts. That's it. This is the entirely of the plot: Scene 1: "I want the cute quarterback to notice me!" Scene 2: "HERE ARE MY BREASTS". I mean...they're nice breasts, I'm not gonna lie, but...why is this subplot even here? This show is bizarre.

All in all, though, I gotta say this episode wasn't anywhere near as bad as the premiere. Maybe it's from my lowered expectations but I found myself kind of chuckling, weakly, from time to time as the episode progressed, weird politics aside. From a technical standpoint the show was an inconsistent mess of plots, as per usual, but we didn't have the huge tonal swings of the previous episode, nor the racism. So I'll drat this episode with the faintest of praise by capping my review with two words: "Good enough".

Grade: D

Random Thoughts:
  • Maybe this was revealed in season one but we learn this episode that Ryan and Kristin are no longer together, and Ryan was a deadbeat dad for two years before finally manning up (ugh, I'm actually using that phrase sincerely) and deciding not to be a horrible piece of poo poo and care for his kid. This brings a host of additional problems to the show- it makes every argument Ryan has defending his parenting style inherently hypocritical, and it creates a very weird, uncomfortable dynamic between Kristin and Ryan (and Mike). Kristin wants Mike to stop pestering Ryan not because it's a lovely way to act to another human being, but because "Ryan might leave again and Boyd needs a father". This makes the by-far most liberal pairing on the show, and one in which the pairing aren't even romantically involved anymore one in which the woman is subservient to the man, and that's...that's really, really uncomfortable. Like that entire dynamic, that Ryan is such a piece of poo poo that he'd not be a parent solely because Mike is a douchebag, and Kristin is afraid of that happening, genuinely troubling.
  • My third major complaint with the show is that for a show that professes to emphasize and overemphasize the lost masculinity of men, the protagonist spends almost all of his time...complaining. Which is like, the least "masculine" thing ever. I mean, seriously, all Mike does this episode is complain about dodgeball, then teach six-year-olds to throw balls at each other. REAL MASCULINE, MIKE. WHAT A MAN YOU ARE!
  • Oh wait that's a lie. There's this weird aside that Mike takes to update the Outdoor Man video...blog (yeah) which is basically a sincere take on a wild-eyed Stormfront vlogger's rantings. Seriously if you get a chance check that scene out, it's incredible.
  • Eve teaching the kids dodgeball: "The first rule of Dodgeball Club is: Don't talk about Dodgeball Club." Timely!
  • Eve: "Hit somebody above the shoulders, you're out. But I'm not gonna lie to you, it's totally worth it."
  • Kyle (to Ed about Search and Rescue): "No offense, but aren't you a little...old to be jumping out of helicopters?" Mike: "Come on, look at him. How many years is he really riskin'?"
  • I still haven't really brought up Nancy Travis' character because she's not really a character. The entire purpose she seems to serve the show is as Mike's Moral Lesson (with Boobs). I'll write more about here if and when she gets her own plot/characterization, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Arist
Feb 13, 2012

who, me?




Oven Wrangler

Rarity posted:

Only on the condition that I pick the episodes you review :colbert:

I'd be fine with that.

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009



I can't wait for the Stockholm syndrome to kick in.

I Am Fowl
Mar 8, 2008

nononononono


Deadpool posted:

I almost think we should have a thread where people are assigned to do random contextless reviews for a random episode of a show they don't watch. That could be fun.

I would totally be up for doing a contextless review. As someone who has experiencing the majority of Last Man Standing osmotically, I imagine that I have a high tolerance for poo poo.

Also, I heard that the actress got changed between seasons because Tim Allen is exactly as much of an rear end in a top hat as you think he is. She didn't get along with him so guess who ended up getting the boot?

Irish Joe
Jul 23, 2007

by Lowtax


Considering how much Occ is foaming at the mouth over an innocuous TGIF sitcom, I'd love to see his take on All in the Family.


Mr. Fowl posted:

Also, I heard that the actress got changed between seasons because Tim Allen is exactly as much of an rear end in a top hat as you think he is. She didn't get along with him so guess who ended up getting the boot?

Was it the show's star and only draw?

Daedo
May 5, 2002


Josh Lyman posted:

I can't wait for the Stockholm syndrome to kick in.

It's started already! We'll be getting A grades by episode 10.

Better get used to those Outdoor Man video blogs by the way, they're a staple of almost every episode...

I Am Fowl
Mar 8, 2008

nononononono


Daedo posted:

It's started already! We'll be getting A grades by episode 10.

Better get used to those Outdoor Man video blogs by the way, they're a staple of almost every episode...

Soon, Occupation will be making his own. Once...the fever takes him.

X-O
Apr 28, 2002

Long Live The King!



Great second review. This sounds like a pretty bad show so far!

Deadpool posted:

I almost think we should have a thread where people are assigned to do random contextless reviews for a random episode of a show they don't watch. That could be fun.

Also, we're doing this over here: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3633165

Now back to Occupation's pain.

NieR Occomata
Jan 18, 2009


Daedo posted:

It's started already! We'll be getting A grades by episode 10.

Better get used to those Outdoor Man video blogs by the way, they're a staple of almost every episode...

What, do you watch this show for fun or something

Tortolia
Dec 29, 2005

Hindustan Electronics Employee of the Month, July 2008


Grimey Drawer

We can only hope the kid grows up to be as successful in life as Boyd Crowder. I mean it seems that Mike would consider him a Real Man then.

Escobarbarian
Jun 18, 2004




Grimey Drawer

Before I went to work earlier I watched the first half of the dodgeball episode. It was even worse than I expected! I'm so glad this is happening.

IRQ
Sep 9, 2001

SUCK A DICK, DUMBSHITS!



This show sure seems to hate women. Even when the father wants his kid not to play dodgeball they had to couch it as a mom writing to the school. I mean drat, not a single opportunity missed to hate on women and shame a man for :airquote: thinking like a woman :airquote:.

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Annakie
Apr 20, 2005

"It's pretty bad, isn't it? I know it's pretty bad. Ever since I can remember..."


Occupation, this thread is amazing and I'm loving your reviews. That said, I'm still so sorry you're having to go through this at all.

  • Locked thread