Home Improvement

Although it was not meant specifically for children alone, Home Improvement was a highly rated television program in the 1990s and later appeared on Nick at Nite. There. My justification for writing about it.

The thing you must understand about Home Improvement is that it has no classic episodes. There’s no episode that ever reached the mainstream. They had a few “very special episodes” where the oldest son, Brad, either crashed a car, got a girl pregnant, or temporarily had cancer. It was a unique show but was it any good?

Home Improvement

(Funny, they’re covering the word Home and now it looks like the show is called Improvement which is what the show needed most of all)

The show stars Tim Allen as Tim Taylor because I guess it’s easier to stay in character. Tim hosts a show called Tool Time with his partner Al. The show is on public access and for some reason people actually watch it and show up to be in the audience. Rachel Ray has to give out magazine subscriptions to get people to sit in her audience. I can’t imagine the terrible illegal things that were given out to this audience to get them to show up.

Tim is basically a wannabe handyman. His biggest rival is Bob Vila which if you want to almost credit them with, they started the whole Curb Your Enthusiasm gimmick where you play a caricature of yourself which Vila did on a few episodes. The cohost Al has a beard and has mother issues. He always wears plaid. I felt bad for Al because Tim seemed to have everything in his life while Al ended up having to marry a chubby blonde. Maybe Al was black. Of course the best member of the show was Heidi, a big breasted woman who only had to introduce the show. And women think they have it rough.

Heidi-home-improvement-tv-show-22806251-1200-927

(I know I should be thinking other thoughts but all I can think about is how I think I used to own those same boots)

Tim’s home life was a main focus of the show. His oldest son Brad always had whatever bad haircut was popular at the time. He was athletic and a bit of a douchebag. The middle child was Randy played by J.T.T. If you don’t know who J.T.T. is then you must have missed 1992-1998. Randy was smart and clever. He probably ended up inventing “That’s what she said” only to later come up with something better and more witty to say to people who constantly used that phrase. Finally there was Mark. Mark had a mole. I think after the first season they gave up on stories for Mark. He was Goth at one point but other than that he could have been played by a houseplant.

The female lead on the show was played by as my dad calls her “the fat chick from Strong Medicine.” The fact he is familiar with the Lifetime original program Strong Medicine says something about his life. Her character’s name was Jill. Being a Tim, I always thought this meant I would one day marry a Jill. As a child I had little logic. Jill was a real bitch and each episode was about Tim being dumb and Jill being smart. Only two episodes was she ever wrong. One was when she was talking with an ex-boyfriend named Ron Dahl. The other time she was wrong was on the famous 3D episode which is one of the most ridiculous things ever.

home improvement family

(Randy’s on the fart left, Brad’s squatting down, and Mark is grabbing the pole in a very natural position…Jill’s the only one with ovaries)

Of course everybody’s favorite character was the neighbor Wilson Wilson. See how funny the show was. He had the same first name and last name. Wilson was best known for never showing his face. He lived next door to the Taylors and would look over the fence without showing his chin. I think there was a 3-part episode where Wilson murdered neighborhood children and nobody could identify him because nobody ever saw his full face. I’m making that up. This show was not nearly daring enough to take such a risk.

wilson

(That’s what his chin looks like??? Maybe he should hide it)

I know at the time this show was popular but it doesn’t really hold up. The jokes are pretty lame, the plotlines are hack, and other than Wilson, Al, and Heidi’s breasts there isn’t much to like. The entire Taylor family has too many problems. Tim talks about his Hot Rod too much, Jill is bossy, Brad has bad haircuts, Randy is smarmy and nobody likes smarmy, and Mark has a mole. My grandpa used to watch this show and call it “Tool Time” because he was nearing death. Maybe this show wasn’t meant for kids after all. Maybe these characters and stories were meant to be enjoyed by WWII veterans in their final days.

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14 thoughts on “Home Improvement

  1. It was on Nick at Night? Wow. Didn’t realize that.
    Your review is really good.

    Haa! Kids’ logic is always a little skewed, isn’t it? Of course you thought you’d end up with a girl named Jill, being a boy named Tim.

    I watched the show often in its first run. It was supposedly “family entertainment;” I stuck with it bec Tim Allen’s actual act was pretty funny sometimes. But Wilson was my favorite character by far. I’m SOOOOO glad you included him here! He balanced out all those annoying kids and flannel shirts. Jill was irrelevant except for her haircut.

    Is “Curb Your Enthusiasm” ever coming back?

    • Home Improvement was good for its time but really, try watching it today and you’ll wonder what the hell. It’s not even well-written and the plots aren’t very interesting. Wilson always great though and his interactions with Tim were always the highlight.

      Who’s Tim Tebow dating now? No one? Does this mean I’m going to end up alone??? 😦

      • Hahah!! The internet wasn’t around in the 70’s but I was. Later it was actual news…when he was beginning to get famous, I guess. I don’t know when I heard it first but I know they covered it all again when “Home Improvement” came on. There were a few rabid “we want to police your entire life” groups out there who were trying to censor TV, etc., and stuff like that was catnip to them. Your’e right: for most people it didn’t matter. And some people thought it made him oh-so-cool. Not the best decision-maker when he was young, maybe, but cool. I know I heard/read somewhere that he had a strong following in prisons. I don’t know how true that is, though.

  2. Home Improvement never held my attention for long. I would always watch half of an episode and then find something much better to do. JTT was one of my favorite 90’s boys. Who thought giving him the name Randy was a good idea? No one names their kids Randy now. Or then. It’s just not realistic. Did you ever see the movie Tom and Huck with JTT and some other guy? Love.

    • Randy is one of those boy’s names I always think of real fast when I need a fake name. I’ve met like one ever and he was a douche.

      I don’t think I ever saw Tom and Huck but I know it. Brad Renfro was the other kid. He was actually pretty big for a while but not really. He’s dead now. JTT is outliving everyone. He’ll never die.

      You need to do a piece on your JTT love. I preferred his movie where Chevy Chase was his dad more, Man of the House.

  3. I meant to comment on this yesterday when I was on my lunch but my phone was being gay. Anyway I’m here now; I don’t know why but I’ve always been a fan of Tim Allen, he’s just a mans man, he’s the sort of person you’d like to be your pal. I remember liking Home Improvement also, didn’t Al hook up with Heidi once? That’d never happen.

    Have you seen Last Man Standing? It’s pretty much exactly the same except they swapped the gay little blonde boys with manly annoying girls.

    • I think he did go on a date with Heidi. Weren’t Tim and Jill high school sweethearts? Tim settled too early. He could have definitely gotten a beej from Heidi at some point.

      I’ve never seen Last Man Standing. Doesn’t the home they live in even kind of look like the Home Improvement home? The first few seasons of Home Improvement were fine but it was on waaaaay too long.

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