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The Evolution of Tim Allen as a Dad

In the 1990s, Tim Allen starred in Home Improvement as Tim Taylor, wherein he raised his three sons Mark, Brad, and Randy with wife Jill. Around 2010, Tim returned to the dad role, this time as Mike Baxter on Last Man Standing. As Mike, he raises and supports three daughters, Kristin, Mandy, and Eve, with wife Vanessa.

The two shows are both great and bring to mind several questions. For instance, how is Tim Taylor, who raises sons, different in personality and approach from Mike Baxter, who raises daughters? Are they alike at all? Do the ages of the children make a difference–Baxter’s daughters are pretty much grown up, and one is a mother (Eve, the youngest, is in high school. Taylor’s sons were middle and elementary schoolers when Home Improvement began and age more slowly). Which character, if either, is the more realistic TV dad, or the better one? The better/more realistic husband? What does each show have to say about raising single-gender families?

  • I am so psyched to read this future post. – Emily Esten 4 years ago
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  • Thanks, Emily. I considered writing it myself, but I haven't watched enough Home Improvement to make any definitive calls. I am, however, a Last Man Standing fan. – Stephanie M. 4 years ago
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  • It's interesting because Tim Allen always seems to play the dad role - even in the Santa Claus movies. Something to consider with this too is the time of when these shows were on the air. When Allen was raising sons that show was broadcasted in the 90s, and now, being broadcasted since 2011, he's raising daughters. Society in the 90s was so different to how it is now. I haven't watched Home Improvement for years but from what I remember I don't know if there is a more realistic TV dad because both seem quite realistic to the era (putting the TV personality Tim Taylor aside). – CarliStas 3 years ago
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