Home Improvement (1991–1999)
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Besides just being entertaining the show deals with some important issues specifically about the differences of both male and female and their weaknesses as well as strengths.
This show is one of my two favourite shows of all time. American sitcoms can't get much better than this.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas is especially brilliant in the role of smart-mouthed Randy Taylor, a role that obviously launched his career.
Tim Allen proves his slap stick humour is as brilliant as his Buzz Lightyear character, and support from Patricia Richardson (as Jill Taylor), Earl Hindman (as the hidden Wilson Wilson) and Richard Karn (as "my assistant Al Borland") makes Home Improvement great fun!
Be sure to tune in for the "Salute to...." humour!
Great TV entertainment!
Now, as a young adult and watching this show on DVD, I must really say that it still holds up well. Very few things are outdated, thanks to the good writing and acting. For a modern sitcom, it's very clean (of course many 90s shows were) and very enjoyable. Good, wholesome family fun, which can't be said of many sitcoms today (unfortunately).
I give the show a 8 out of 10, simply because nothing is perfect, and Home Improvement has never claimed to be perfect, but it sure is a lot of fun.
It was a great eight seasons. I miss "Home Improvement" and the people on it. But we'll always have our memories. (and reruns!)
Tim's family life is very insane and yet fun to watch. His wife Jill (Patricia Richardson) is the type of wife that gets jealous of what Tim does or yet, cannot stay out of people's affairs; his three sons Brad (Zachary Bryan) is a trouble maker, Randy (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) is a smart-ass and Mark (Taran Smith) is the innocent that gets picked on by the older sons. He also has a neighbor named Wilson (Earl Hindman) who only shows half of his face in every episode for which he is always there for Tim and his family when they are in trouble.
Like "Boy Meets World," I admire this family show until during later seasons, most of the characters got annoying; Jill decides to go back to school, Randy became a pompous know-it-all, Mark had issues and Brad was just himself throughout the show. The real reason I watched this show was because of Tim Allen's comic genius and just seeing how much disaster he would cause.
Love it till today!
Starring: Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Richard Karn, and Earl Hindman.
Tim Allen stars as Tim 'The Tool Man' Taylor. He gets his nickname because he and his "chunky" friend Al host "Tool Time". You, the viewer, witness the many misadventures he and his family undergo. You also see the show "Tool Time". Most of the time it involves Tim making a joke about Al's "size". Hell he's just big-boneded.
The show has many funny and great jokes. The storylines always seem to succeed. No matter what. The only complaint I have against the show is that at times, they try way too hard to get a joke off well. And, when it doesn't work, it messes up big.
Rank: Somewhere in the Top 5.
Allen's TV kids are obnoxious little twerps. The middle son, Randy (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), is only one who really comes close to having a personality but the writers thought it was funny to make him an antisocial smart aleck. The oldest son Brad, has a mullet through part of the first season and is later shown with a ponytail and the sides of his head shaven, easily the two worst ways an adolescent male could have worn his hair in the 90's. Brad is a dim bulb who takes more after his dad but for some reason is shown to have more success with girlfriends. The youngest Mark is a sensitive mama's boy most of the show until the last few years where he goes through an emo-goth phase, wearing black baggy jeans and spiking up his hair. The mom, Jill, starts off as a homemaker but is soon shown working outside the home in a number of jobs before going back to college to pursue a psychology degree.
Jill and Tim fight in the most of the show's episodes about some small problem that's blown out of proportion so it becomes a marriage issue. Tim is supposed to be a chauvinist but somehow is sensitive enough to seek an emotional rapport with his wife, seeing the problem from her perspective. He often consults with his wise neighbor Wilson Wilson, PhD, who is happy to dispense marriage counseling for free that's always effective no matter what. Jill is almost always the wounded party and the show seems to gleefully blame Tim's behavior for their spats. This is what really bothers me about this show. A good marriage family therapist is going to tell any couple that solving relationship problems isn't about assigning blame. Building and maintaining relationships is a meeting of equals, finding understanding, looking outside your perspective to understand a partner's needs and being able to express your feelings in a positive way. This show is too focused on making the husband into a buffoon to do this.
The result is Home Improvement, a show that was successful enough to run for 8 seasons, lead to a movie career for Allen and remain a beloved show even to this day.
Sad thing is I don't find it funny. The stories aren't always that funny and the attempts at sentiment are often cloying.
Although I find Tim Allen funny in his films (well, most of them) I found his character here annoying. It's almost as if he's trying to be so 'alpha male with a power tool' that it becomes forced.
But people love this show and fair enough. I'm just not one of them it seems.
I didn't love it and I didn't hate it; I'm kinda blasé about it. It's all right as something running in the background while you do other things, such as browsing the Internet or playing Minesweeper but hardly something to dedicate a half hour to at a time.
The show IS funny but is decidedly low-brow, which I suppose it was aiming for anyway. I did laugh a fair amount, but instead of the guffaws produced by the canned "audience," mine tended to be chuckles. The plots were average, nothing captivating or inspiring but, then, this IS a sitcom, not the Discovery Channel.
Many segments showing tool-work were interesting and that is what carried the show. The scenes involving the characters in family settings were distinctly unremarkable, notwithstanding the occasional witticism, particularly on the part of the boys.
A few specific annoyances:-- Tim: Has his moments but his overall character as a wannabe alpha-male grates. He represents the view that for a man to be a Real Man(TM), he has to dress, act, walk, talk, think and smell like a gorilla. How tiresome. Those WERE the 1990s though; I like to think the world has moved on since then...
Jill: Another cliché. She is incredibly smart, put-down-upon, unappreciated wife to a next-to-useless husband. I suppose she is part of the faux-feminist propaganda machine whereby the woman, though intellectually and often otherwise superior to a man, is downtrodden by him and through various contrived situations she gets her own back, showing him up for the loser he is. Seen it a million times before, such as with Everybody Loves Raymond's Deborah. I guess in Hollywood a woman is either a vacuous tottie playing arm-candy to some superhuman superhero, or an intellectual giant in her own right dealing with exasperating, hapless men... - in other words, a Hollywood woman is everything EXCEPT a man's equal.
Wilson: An interesting and novel concept to begin with, his idiosyncrasies and prowess eventually became his undoing. Finding ways to conceal his face was mostly amusing, but casting him as a person of incredibly many talents, interests, aptitudes, skills, knowledge and experiences became REALLY old halfway through the show. It came to a point where, on seeing the opening shot of him doing some--forgive me--batshit ridiculous thing in his yard, I just groaned and rolled my eyes.
Al: By far the most amiable character. But what's the deal with him and his mother?! That angle was overdone and made him look pathetic and weird, to the point of perversity (Oedipus complex, anyone?).
The Taylor family: I quite liked the boys and it was fun seeing them grow up through the eight seasons of the show. Watching the entire run across a few weeks, I basically witnessed three kids getting eight years older. They had quite a few droll moments. It would have been nice to have had a girl instead of one of the three of them, but then the whole dynamic would have been different, and not necessarily for the better.
Overall: O.K. and just that.