Last Man Standing: articles

lads around pool table

Likely lads, but are they likeable enough?

Men behaving sadly

Well, whoopy-doo! It seems that young, archetypal, Aussie, alpha males on the loose like to drink a little, pump up their testosteron and then, after a few growls and beatings of chests, get a performance rating from their old girlfriends. Surprising really, isn’t it?

Probably not if you’ve already suffered a dinky-di blokes-behaving-badly lifetime experience. And certainly not if you’re among those now blessed with Aussie, male, beta-to-omega bodies as the result of too many years of flexing biceps over beers or one of those beautiful, Australian women who had the sense to stay well clear.

There’s very much a sense of deja vu about Last Man Standing. You get the feeling that what you’re seeing is what was happening up the road a couple of years ago when most were watching The Secret Life of Us. And, while you can’t quite remember it, you know you’ve been through this episode.

Writer Marieke Hardy’s generally affectionate journey into the world of twenty-something male relationships introduces us to three reasonably likeable single blokes. They’re certainly less smarmy than the chaps from Coupling. And far less dorky than the males in Friends or Sex and the City.

There’s our storyteller, Adam (Rodger Corser), who reminds you a little of Secret Life’s Samuel Johnson. Dumped by his girlfriend, he initially appears to be finding it difficult to adjust to being single again. Then there’s marriage casualty Cameron (Matt Passmore), who can’t keep his zip shut, and, finally, hapless Bruno (Travis McMahon), open, honest and at times romantically naive. The woman they look like staying closest to is feisty New Zealander Zoe (Miriama Smith), who seems wise beyond her years.

We get to know them at the wedding of a couple of friends. The bride appears to have known them all well in the biblical sense; the groom appears happily oblivious to her past.

And so, as we look around for a Julia Roberts or Toni Collette to emerge, there are some excruciating readings at the service from Adam and his chilly long-time girlfriend, Pru, before Bruno and the bride’s father deliver far too much information in their wedding speeches.

But Last Man Standing is mainly about the game of relationships. Those three pals survey the room for the talent; Zoe, once married to Cameron, predicts what they’ll all do next. And at the end of the night, she, at least, is a winner.

By Brian Courtis
June 06, 2005
The Age