‘Last Man Standing’: Why Some Fans Still Hate the New Mandy

Over the years, Last Man Standing has been one of the most popular comedies on television. The conservative-leaning show, starring comedian Tim Allen has connected with viewers and has consistently drawn in high ratings.

But high ratings don’t always save a show. After six years on the air, ABC decided to cancel the show. Fans protested and the show was given another life. In 2018, Last Man Standing returned for a seventh season, this time on Fox.

Last Man Standing has undergone several changes in its seven-year run, but there’s one change that fans just can’t get over.

What is ‘Last Man Standing’ about?

Last Man Standing
Last Man Standing | FOX via Getty Images

At work, Mike Baxter is an outdoorsman who runs a sporting goods store in Denver, Colorado. At home, he is trying to find his place among his wife and three daughters.

Mike’s family is very strong-willed and he often finds himself having a hard time asserting himself among their opinions. While Mike generally has a conservative view, the women in his family have primarily liberal leanings, causing the group to frequently butt heads. But although they have their disagreements, the family is always there for each other. 

At its core, Last Man Standing is a family show. Though Mike doesn’t always agree with the girls, he is a loving father and grandfather. The show is just as heavy on the laughs as it is on politics.

The show recently replaced a main cast member

After ABC canceled the show in 2017, most cast members assumed that that was the end of the show. This included actress Molly Ephraim who played middle child Mandy Baxter.

Ephraim landed several other roles after leaving the hit comedy. When Fox decided that they would pick up the show for a seventh season, Ephraim had already committed to other projects, making her unavailable to reprise her role as Mandy.

Rather than write out the character, the show decided to recast Mandy, bringing on actress Molly McCook to play the role. Fans were not pleased and let their opinions be heard.

The backlash became so severe that Ephraim had to shut down her Instagram account after fans complained. Many fans are complaining that the replacement feels forced and had a difficult time adjusting to the new actress.

In Season 6, Mandy was a short, spunky brunette and in Season 7 she was all of a sudden a blonde who had grown a few inches taller.

This isn’t the first time there has been a major change

There may be a lot of uproars now about the new Mandy, but longtime fans will remember that another Baxter sister was replaced early on in the series. During Season 1, Alexandra Krosney played the oldest Baxter daughter, Kristin. Kristin was a teenage mom struggling to balance parenthood, working, and going to school.

Krosney was replaced by Grey’s Anatomy alum Amanda Fuller at the beginning of the shows second season. ABC did not give a reason for recasting Krosney’s role.

But the recasting doesn’t end there. Kristin’s son Boyd and her boyfriend/husband Ryan Vogelson have also been played by more than one actor.

In Season 1, Ryan was played by singer Nick Jonas. Jonas appeared for one episode in the show’s first season. In Season 2, the role was recast and played by Jordan Masterson.

Boyd Baxter has been played by four different actors (albeit it two of them twins). In Season 1, brothers Evan and Luke Kruntchev shared the role of the youngest Baxter. Flyn Morrison replaced the twins in the show’s second season and continued to play the character until he was replaced by Jet Jurgensmeyer in Season 7.

Last Man Standing returns for Season 8 this fall.