ABC decides to target men with a dreadful new Tim Allen sitcom
ABC, a network with no actual interest in male viewers, is launching what might generously be called "The Lamentation of the 21st Century Male, A Symphony in Three Quickly Cancelled Movements."
The first movement, premiering on Tuesday (October 11) night is the Tim Allen sitcom "Last Man Standing." It isn't funny. The second movement, premiering next week, is the ensemble "Man Up," which is less unfunny than "Last Man Standing," but still not likely to win any passionate fans. The symphony, which deserves to remain unfinished, may or may not wrap up with the cross-dressing disaster "Work It," which could stay permanently on the shelf without disappointing or surprising a single TV critic.
It's a fundamentally weird thematic block.
Outside of Saturday football and the legitimate crossover appeal of something like "Modern Family," men aren't even afterthoughts at ABC. They're total non-factors. If the Contemporary American Male is feeling alienated and disenfranchised, it has nothing to do with the alleged "mancession," an economic blip that has been statistically irrelevant for over a year. It has to do with networks like ABC.
If there's any network on TV that I wouldn't trust to develop a comedy about the plight of the American Male, it would be The CW, but ABC would be a close second.
[Note: The Modern American Male hasn't actually been emasculated or disenfranchised. Trends are fun to jump upon and embellish, but perish the thought anybody should take any of the silliness spewed in "Last Man Standing," "Man Up" and "Work It" seriously.]
So a network that doesn't know (or care) what men like or want to watch on TV is attempting to make a TV show (or three) about how men feel neutered by contemporary American society?
And it's somehow surprising that all three upcoming ABC "Manliness Comedies" don't have a clue what they want to be or who they want to be for?
"Last Man Standing" is either a show aimed squarely at men who would never watch a show like "Last Man Standing," or else it's a show aimed at people who like to laugh contemptuously at the kind of man featured in "Last Man Standing." That is to say that "Last Man Standing" actually hasn't the faintest idea whether or not it's making an earnest statement about the state of modern masculinity or if it's mocking people who might make such statements earnestly. As a result, I don't know if the joke is on society or on the main character, but the joke is probably on the audience looking for any sort of targeted mirth at all.
More on "Last Man Standing"...