Last Man Standing received some backlash thanks to its subject matter, but could some of that have stemmed from Mike Baxter’s horrible deeds?
The fans caused an uproar when Last Man Standing was canceled after six seasons despite being the second most-watched show on ABC in 2017. Petition signatures to reconsider the show grew to 438,000 the following year. Disappointed fans took to Twitter and other social media outlets to express their disdain towards ABC.
The show is a light-hearted sitcom centered on a family that has problems that resonate with the rest of the world. 20th Century Fox eventually revived the show with the original cast. Tim Allen plays the man of the show, Mike Baxter, and as much as he is loved, there are also things he has done that were out of line.
Mike Baxter Boasts To His Wife About Doing Something Sneaky
While it’s normal for a parent to miss his/her life as an unmarried childless person, it is another to actually do something about it. On the 17th episode of season one, Mike and his wife Vanessa reminisce over their past lives. They both yearn for freedom, adventure, and excitement.
Coincidentally, the NASCAR driver Tony Stewart was invited to a promotional event in Mike’s store. A store employee got into the car and takes it for a joy ride. Allen has to take it back to the store before Tony starts noticing. Mike had to drive the racecar to get it back to the store, and he even boasted to his wife that he drove a race car, all for a small taste of excitement.
Mike Wants Others To Do His Dirty Work
Boyd, Mike’s grandson, got into a scandal when a simple school assignment got out of hand. His assignment was to research the school’s namesake. With the help of Kristin and Ryan, his parents, they were able to find a dark history regarding the school’s name.
The school was actually named after William Clark, who owned slaves. The Baxters asked the school board to reconsider renaming the school. Mike’s contribution was to ask his wife Vanessa to talk to their neighbor, who is also a board member, instead of talking to her himself since it was his idea.
Mike Baxter Is Selfish
In the 16th episode of the first season, the city council asked Mike to take down a tree near his home on his property. It went pretty poorly since Mike was hardheadedly against it. Mike recapitulated that the city council doesn’t have the right to tell him what to do with his property.
The main reason the city council asked Mike to take it down was that it was damaged and dying. Mike recounts memories attached to the tree that added up to its sentimental value. At the end of the day, he realized that he was too sentimental to think about the tree’s hazard to his family and his neighbors.
Mike Baxter Causes His Wife To Doubt Her Skills
Ed, Mike’s boss, was on a hunt for a new architect. Two applicants were being considered. Mike wanted to hire Bill McKenzie, Outdoor Man’s long-time architect. Ed, on the other hand, wanted to hire a young attractive woman candidate. Mike talked to his wife about the decision, and she accused Mike of being a sexist for not hiring the younger architect just because she is a woman.
Vanessa, upon getting promoted, started to question whether she was promoted for her merit or for her good looks. Her job is dominated by men, so she started doubting her skills, thinking that her only advantage was being a woman.
Mike Won’t Let His Grandson Use His Father’s Surname
Kristen, Mike’s daughter, raised her son, Boyd, on her own. Since he was born, he was surnamed a Baxter since his father wasn’t around anymore. Ryan, Boyd’s absentee dad, shows up in the 13th episode of season two and tries to win Kristen and Boyd back.
Kristen tries her luck and accepts him back into their lives. She eventually trusts Ryan again and agrees to change Boyd’s surname with his father’s. Mike finds out that his grandson is no longer a Baxter in the school register. He confronts Kristen and tells her that it’s a mistake. Kristen and Ryan’s relationship becomes complicated because of Mike’s decision and opinions.
Mike Creates A Dodgeball Team, Against School Policy
Boyd and his friends in kindergarten were rebuked in school for playing dodgeball. Mike took this as a sign that parents these days are actually raising a generation of weaklings. Contrary to the permission and to the value of modern parents, Mike created a secret dodgeball team in their neighborhood that included Boyd and other kids.
Mike oversteps by going behind Kristen and Ryan’s backs, deciding how Boyd should be raised. The kids enjoyed the game up until a point at which Boyd got into an accident where his face was hit. The secret club was uncovered, and Mike received a ton of backlash.
Mike Sticks His Nose In Ed’s Love Life
Wanda, Ed’s ex-wife that he married and divorced twice, came back to town and realized she wanted to get back with Ed. Ed still has feelings for her despite their long bitter history, and he wanted to try again.
Mike, trying his best not to meddle, can’t help but include himself in the situation. Mike thinks it’s a terrible idea that they get back together, so he tried solving the problem. During his investigation, Mike finds out that his wife doesn’t share the same sentiment and strongly sides with Wanda. We understand that he cares for Ed, but solving things on his own without the consent of the people involved is too much.
Mike Is One-Sided
Vanessa gave a presentation about her profession at Eve’s school during career day. The students didn’t take it well, accusing Vanessa of destroying mother Earth. Vanessa is a geologist, and one of her jobs included fracking, or injecting pressurized liquid into rocks to obtain oil or gas.
Eve is overwhelmed by the hatred and asks her mother to quit her job. She demanded her mom be more responsible when it comes to the environment. Vanessa is surprised that everyone thinks she is the antagonist here. Mike talked to Eve, telling her that she needs to apologize to her mother. Mike could have done better by balancing out the issue and finding common ground between Vanessa and Eve.
Mike Talks His Grandson Out Of Being A Vegan
It’s not surprising that Mike and Ryan have a lot of disagreements on the show. To mention one out of the many arguments they had is their eating preference. Mike brings home a dead duck one day fresh from his hunting escapade. Kristen is furious because she thinks it’s too early for Boyd to find out that meat comes from dead animals.
Mike tries to explain the cycle of life to Boyd to prove its normalcy. Ryan is a vegan and wants his son to be the same. Mike says that there’s nothing wrong with hunting and meat-eating. Ryan, on the other hand, talks to Boyd about the opposite.
Mike Discourages His Daughter From Voting Her Way
In season two, Mandy turns 18 and is granted the right to vote. Election season comes, and the Baxter family is divided because of their political opinions. Mandy was the only Baxter who wanted to vote for a certain candidate. Other family members were in favor of the opposing person.
Mike tried to consolidate the family’s vote by persuading Mandy to vote the way he sees fit. Although Kirsten and Ryan supported President Obama, they did not at all support their father influencing Mandy’s decision on choosing who she wanted. Vanessa tries to be neutral to keep the family in harmony. In the end, they realize that it’s not at all bad to have a separate opinion on things.