Last Man Standing: articles

Reviews: Last Man Standing

Well, we’ve tried eloquent reviews, we’ve tried Jedi-mindtricking our friends and we’ve even tried slipping “Watch Last Man Standing” drugs into the Green Guide ink but as the ratings and 10.30pm timeslot would indicate, none of it has worked.

So let me make one, final, mildly pathetic plea: give Last Man Standing a shot, because it really is that good. Seriously.

For one, writer Marieke Hardy demonstrates an ear that is disarmingly well-tuned to the colloquialisms of the young Australian male (Says Adam, played by Rodger Corser, upon entering one drinking hole tonight: “Bit of a wank, isn’t it? I mean, who goes to wine bars?”)

The reply from Travis McMahon’s rather hapless Bruno - “Derryn Hinch” - will make anyone who’s frequented bars on St Kilda Road piss themselves.

And, when her characters mouth off at the price of oysters at the David Jones Food Hall or the ubiquity of Birkenstocks, you can’t help but laugh for the same reason you laughed at the “013” reference in Two Hands: as a local, you recognise the truth of the moment.

These are beautifully drawn characters, and tonight, they continue to move in arcs that make sense: Bruno runs hot and cold with a flirty waitress; the maturing Cameron (Matt Passmore) announces his divorce from Zoe (Miriama Smith); and Zoe, in turn, encounters strain in her under-wraps relationship with Cameron’s mate Adam.

It’s gritty, messy stuff, lacking the aspirational appeal of, say, Sex and the City or The OC.

Indeed, if I could improve one thing about Last Man Standing, it would be the styling: even allowing for the fact these men aren’t meant to be fashion plates, the leather jackets and moleskin blazers are a bit much.

But it’s also wonderfully entertaining, by turns hilarious and heartbreaking.

For one last time, then: give Last Man Standing a shot, because it really is that good.

By Kenneth Nguyen
September 1, 2005
The Age