Anthony's Film Review
(TV Series, 1991-1999)
Funny and interesting sitcom about men, their tools, and much more...
On the surface, Home Improvement is about men and the hardware they take pride in. However, it is merely a symbol for what the show is really about: how men deal with women and family issues. Tim Allen is Tim Taylor, the host of a cable home improvement show called Tool Time. He has a wife named Jill and three sons named Brad, Randy, and Mark. This in itself already adds to the conflict between the sexes. While Tim has much opportunity to share man stuff and interests with the boys, Jill has very little chance to show a child more feminine activities, like cooking.
Consider an episode where Jill wants Tim to take Mark, the youngest son, to a ballet, but Tim instead decides to take Mark to a basketball game. Jill explains that Brad and Randy have already gotten too interested in man stuff to give her a chance, leaving Mark as the only one left for her to show her interests. Sometimes, an episode is both funny and serious, like an episode where Jill asks Tim to get a vasectomy, and he gets teased by his friends who think he would turn feminine after the operation. The show is based on what Tim Allen did for his stand-up comedy: focusing on men and women.
Aside from this, the stuff related to hardware is funny. I always like the scenes with Tim on the show-within-a-show Tool Time along with his sidekick, Al Borland. For one thing, Tim screws up a lot and is often dangerous to work with. All kinds of accidents with tools and machinery could happen at any moment. He also makes lame puns with hardware terms and sometimes allows himself to go off-topic and talk about his personal life if something bothers him enough. Some of my favorite moments include the man's bathroom and a band playing music with tools only. Such a show could not exist in real life like this, and that's why it's funny.
And he is no safer at home than on Tool Time. He is a man who thinks big. Whether it involves giant Christmas decorations or any kind of additions to the house, the rest of the family is not safe from the accident-prone Tim. When things go wrong with the house or his personal life, Tim goes to the fence in his backyard for guidance from his neighbor, Wilson. He is a man who is wise and whose face is never fully shown. Whatever lessons, words of wisdom, or quotes from philosophers Wilson shares, Tim soon applies them to solve his problems. He may, however, totally screw up the words of wisdom when trying to pass them to someone else.
I like Home Improvement simply because it's a unique kind of show. While other sitcoms may incorporate gender issues in some episodes, this show surrounds it every time. I remember watching several episodes with my family and often discussing with them the differences between men and women. As with any show I took interest in, I was impressed with how original the idea was and liked it enough to watch reruns and catch up to the new episodes in the current season. Tim Allen has done a couple of good movies, but for me, he'll always be knows as Tim "The Toolman" Taylor.
For more information about Home Improvement, visit the Internet Movie Database.