Tim Allen Responds to Possibility of Iconic ‘Home Improvement’ Reboot

The 1990s were far from a perfect time, but for many American traditionalists, it was the last time this country was properly “great.”

(Yes, even largely under a White House run by a lecherous Democratic president and his scheming wife.)

The West had won the Cold War abroad, and on the domestic front, while traditional values were under assault, they weren’t yet completely taboo in the popular culture. For millions of Americans, the pride in the country of the Ronald Reagan years had carried over into the decade that followed, helped considerably by a booming economy.

But there is another very important and effective reason that the 1990s are as fondly remembered as they are: The iconic and enduring shows of the era.

There were young adult-leaning shows like “Friends” and “Seinfeld,” the more family-friendly affairs like “Boy Meets World” or “Full House,” and legendary cartoons “The Simpsons” and “South Park,” (both of which are incredibly still airing).

One such beloved show that developed quite the fandom during this boom period was “Home Improvement,” which focused on Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, his sharp-witted wife and his rapscallion sons. Taylor would host a home improvement show-within-the-show with friend Al Boreland (“Tool Time” in that fictional universe) as a recurring part of the series, which ran from 1991 to 1999.

Taylor, portrayed by wildly popular actor Tim Allen, came across as something of a fumbling idiot with a heart of gold, with the life lessons he and his family learn typically being the crux of any given episode.

Despite receiving middling reviews, the show became an instant hit, with Allen’s take on a Detroit everyman hitting a chord that was similar to, yet distinctly different from, the bumbling idiocy of “The Simpsons” Homer Simpson or the relative blandness of “Boy Meets World” dad Alan Matthews.

Now, as entertaining as it was, the show ran its course. And when it finally came to an end in 1999, it’s likely that even the series’ staunchest fans were ready to see it ride off into the sunset.

Now, 24 years later, are fans of the show ready for a comeback? And more importantly, are the stars of the show ready for another rodeo?

Those were questions that Allen recently danced around when speaking to the news website The Messenger as part of a promotional tour for the new season of his Disney+ show, “The Santa Clauses.”

“I see Richard Karn a lot,” Allen told the outlet. Karn portrayed Borland.

Allen also noted that he still speaks to the three actors who portrayed his adolescent sons on the show: Zachery Ty Bryan, who played Brad; Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who played Randy; and Taran Noah Smith, who played Mark.

“And I talk to the boys … and I’m there as one of their friends,” he said. “We keep talking about” a spinoff.

As far as how far these conversations went, Allen did reveal that they at least discussed the framework for what a rebooted “Home Improvement” would look like.

“It’s funny, one of the conversations we’ve had recently is how weird it would be if ‘Home Improvement’ would be about the kids’ kids,” Allen told The Messenger. “Like, if all of them had children, and I’m a grandparent. ‘Home Re-Improvement’ or something like that. It’s come up.”

If this reboot ever does come to fruition, Allen — a rare, outspoken conservative in the entertainment world — can actually find some inspiration from a similar Republican actor, Kelsey Grammer.

Not unlike Allen, Grammer also rose to fame through ’90s television, including the incredibly popular and long-running “Cheers” and “Frasier.” It’s the latter show, which is actually a spinoff of “Cheers,” that was recently revived with a direct continuation of “Frasier” currently dropping new, weekly episodes on Paramount Plus.

And you know what? From this writer’s perspective, the “Frasier” reboot is great. It’s a modern update to a beloved cast of characters without injecting too much modernity into it, ideologically speaking. The most “woke” part of the “Frasier” reboot is a very minor character who happens to be a lesbian. She’s had about three total lines across the show’s first seven episodes.

The life lessons and guffaws afforded by Dr. Frasier Crane and his rogue’s gallery feel as if they could’ve been lifted from the original run of the show, as well.

In other words, it captures the “’90s”-ness of the original show’s era, despite being rebooted decades later.

Allen captured a similar feel in his successful “Last Man Standing” sitcom — albeit with a more political edge — which ran from 2011 to 2021. The fact that his character was a father surrounded by three daughters rather than sons was simply a sign of the times.

Allen can, and should, follow a similar blueprint because there is something to be said about the wholesome life lessons that these ’90s shows typically imparted (well, maybe not “South Park”).

It’s OK to embrace tradition. It’s OK to reject modernity. And it’s not just OK, but strongly suggested that wholesome life lessons are taught to America’s youth — not whatever insipid TikTok trend is rotting brains currently.

If the revival of ’90s shows can help bring that back to society writ large, please, Mr. Tim Allen, bring back “Home Improvement.”

Don’t just talk about it.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.


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