SALT LAKE CITY — “Last Man Standing” is back.
“Last Man Standing” was, after all, highly rated, earning positive reviews and had the third-highest ratings on ABC behind "Grey's Anatomy" and "Modern Family."
One theory for its cancellation suggested ABC cut the show because of its conservative views. Executives and Allen himself later denied this idea. Nonetheless, politics often came up as a discussion point in preview interviews about the show’s upcoming season.
But political views run rampant through the show’s seventh season premiere — and that's on purpose. The show’s opening episode doesn’t shy away from talking about politics and the fallout from the 2016 presidential election.
The themes of the seventh season premiere mostly surround how the Baxters, a family living in Colorado, deal with differing political views in our current polarized world. The premiere is built around the idea that there are two political sides — “and one even has ‘right’ in its name,” Allen quipped at one point in the episode — and only two sides.
This stark political line inspires father Mike Baxter (Allen) to try to bring his two daughters, liberal Mandy (Molly McCook, who replaced Molly Ephraim in the role) and conservative Eve (Kaitlyn Dever) together, despite their being on different sides of the political spectrum. Mike is also able to stop Kristin's (Amanda Fuller) fiancé, Ryan Vogelson (Jordan Masterson) from running away to Canada to avoid the current political climate.
Allen’s character has a fair amount of good advice for his children, so, pulling from his wisdom, here are five lessons from the opening episode of “Last Man Standing” that can help us in the age of Trump.
There’s always a different perspective
Mike, while speaking with Ryan, admits that a lot of people weren’t happy with the president from the previous eight years, a reference to President Barack Obama. Ryan responds, “Your bad guy was a still a good guy.” The moment showed that both sides of the political spectrum have varying beliefs on what they like and don’t like in their politicians and leaders.
Politics always change
Allen’s character Mike tells Ryan that politics are always changing. Sure, Democrats may not like Republicans for eight years, but in eight years, it may flip the other way. “Sometimes it’s your guy, sometimes it’s your morons,” Allen quips. This goes to show that politics are always changing and one party never stays in control forever.
Talking is important
Throughout the episode, one clear theme emerges: We can’t get sucked into watching CNN, Fox News and other media outlets for hours without end. But holding conversations with people from different ideological perspectives can make us better informed, help us learn and bring people together. Allen does this in the premiere by speaking with his children and friends about politics, bringing them together.
Social media is not everything
In the premiere episode, the character Mandy says she’s scrolling through multiple social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram and a fictional one called “Peepers.” That’s how she gets her news in the episode, showing that social media continues to expand and is a central hub for young people in the country today. But later in the episode, Mandy puts down her phone to deal with a family crisis.
Love always winsComment on this story
At the end of the episode, the Baxter family comes together as Kristin's son, Boyd Baxter (Jet Jurgensmeyer), goes missing. The family unites to find the boy and it’s Allen’s character who eventually finds him. Mike later preaches to his family the need to come together even in times of political strife. “You have to always remember that we love each other,” Allen says
Correction: This article previously said that the character Mandy was married to Ryan. The character Kristin is actually married to the Ryan and their child's name is Boyd.