There was no shortage of jokes on Last Man Standing Season 7 Episode 1 proving the show is better than ever.
The very first scene was a jab at ABC canceling the hit show, which is not a surprise because the joke was in all of Fox's promos for the show. It was still funny though.
One thing the show did very well, although a bit cheesy, was acknowledging there is a new Mandy. Molly McCormick is tall and skinny with blonde hair, as opposed to Molly Ephraim who was shorter and skinnier with dark black hair.
Kyle admitting to Mike he couldn't tell what was different about his wife was one of those true dumb Kyle moments that make fans love him.
The pure excitement on his face when he screamed "you're tall and blonde" was so cute. Christoph Sanders and Molly appear to have great chemistry so far, which is a big plus for her being a believable Mandy.
Kyle: I am trying to DVR my favorite TV show but it is not on.
Vanessa: Oh, well maybe it got canceled. The TV business can be heartless.
Kyle: It didn't get canceled. Why would they cancel a popular TV show that everybody loves?
Mike: Maybe they're a bunch of idiots. Just try another channel.
Vanessa: Oh Mike, they don't just take a show off of one network and put it on another.
Kyle: Hey there it is! You were right Mr. B.
Mike: Is it me or is it way better on this network?
The episode took on a hot-button topic in today's world, politics in America. However, it was done in the most relatable way.
Eve and Mandy's disagreement that turned into a no speaking war is happening in family's all over the country. In this case, though the fight was done with humor, instead of angry yelling.
When Vanessa declared politics off limits in the Baxter home, Mike had his work pals Chuck and Ed to help him hash out what was going on with his divided family. Chuck admitted he has been avoiding his own brother since the election, again very relatable to so many.
What was great about the Chuck, Ed and Mike scene was they were having a serious conversation, but the one-liners were hilarious. These three men managed to joke about the Vietnam War, the MacArthur hearings and the Civil Rights movement with such dry humor and wit. It was one of the best scenes in the episode.
Ryan's frustration with America was a powerful storyline as well. His desire to take action by moving back to his home country of Canada is a thought that has occurred to a lot of people since the election.
Mike: How are you doing?
Ryan: I am good. You actually made me realize it is time to get serious and stop being a victim and take some control over my life.
Mike: See, you just needed a little push.
Ryan: So I am moving the family to Canada.
Vanessa: You're moving to Canada?
Ryan: Look I know it is kind of sudden, so please try not to overreact.
Vanessa: You're ripping my grandbaby from my arms!
The decision for Ryan was about feeling helpless, out of control and frustrated. Even when Mike presents him with a US Citizen application and he says he has to think about it because he is unsure of the climate in America right now.
Political differences are not just affecting adults either, and Last Man Standing deserves props for showing how all the fighting was affecting Boyd. He runs away because he doesn't want to move. But he also left because he feels everything is broken due to the fighting all around him, at home, at school, and on the news.
It became clear in the scene with Mike and Boyd why the show chose to age the character, and it was an excellent choice. The conversation with his grandson, seeing the hurt, sadness, and desperation in Boyd prompted Mike to be the voice of reason to his family.
Eve: Typical Ryan, loses the election and whines his way all the way back to his poutine loving safe space.
Mandy: Actually, a lot of people are not happy about this administration's social policies.
Eve: Woah since when did you get all woke? Up until last year, you thought the presidential seal was an actual seal.
Mandy: Hey I didn't ask to be socially aware. The news has seeped into my all my social media platforms: Twitter, Instagram, Peepers, Flum Flum.
One of the messages Mike gives to us think about in the episode, is through his conversation with Boyd.
The message is this if people feel there is something worth saving and are willing to work together to fix it, then anything can be put back together. Even though he was talking about the bike he and Boyd were working on, it spoke volumes if people were listening.
Fans of the show know there is always an Outdoor Man video blog from Mike in each episode and tonight's show was no exception. It was an important one too, ending the episode with food for thought.
The topic was how people have stopped talking about certain topics because of differences. Instead, of communicating people have decided to unfollow and unfriend instead of trying to understand.
If people don't understand, they can't learn, and that is not a good thing, even as Mike jokingly said if you are not on the right side.
Even though tonight's show was political heavy, it was necessary to address it considering the controversy around Last Man Standing and Tim Allen. However, let's all hope it goes back to the occasional one-line political jokes and lighter episodes moving forward.
After all the show is a comedy, fans want to laugh and be entertained, especially on a Friday night. They do not want to have to watch heavy topics being dealt with humorously.
Final thoughts are the cast is amazing as usual. Everyone slipped back into the roles flawlessly.
The one complaint is when Tim Allen looked directly at the camera a few times to get his funny joke across, it did not work. It felt like he broke character and interrupted the flow of the show.
Mike: Well look at this, so nice to see my two beautiful daughters spending time together.
Eve: I didn't know she was here. I will leave.
Mandy: Great I can change the welcome banner to good-bye.
Eve: I look forward to seeing how you spell it.
Mike: You know they say kids grow up way too fast. I am still waiting for that.
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Rachelle Lewis was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in 2019..