What time is it? That’s right, Home Improvement fans, it’s once again Tool Time. Unfortunately for the show’s followers, Season 8 would be its last outing. It’s always nice to see shows go out on their own terms and in their own time. Home Improvement is one of those series. It leaves a void. This was one of those rare shows that didn’t rely on sex and innuendo for cheap laughs. Don’t get me wrong, who can forget Debbe Dunning as Tool Time girl Heidi, but there was never any attempt to debase the character. We all knew she was there mainly for her looks, but it fit the theme of the cable tool show. No, most of the laughs came from Tim’s over the top manly man humor. As much as we were laughing at Tim, we were really laughing at ourselves.
Home Improvement was based on a stand-up routine that made a name for Tim Allen. In his act he would talk about his experiences with power tools and other manly misadventures. He came across as a comedic Bob Vila. Somewhere along the line it was decided this had the makings of a good sitcom for television. It was a rather inspired idea, and for many years it was one of the funnier shows on the tube. I often find myself referring to the show as Tool Time, which in reality is the cable handyman show Tim hosts. The reason for this almost constant confusion is simple. It is the Tool Time bits where the show was always at its best. Tim’s rapport with co-host Al Borland (Karn) is always worth a few laughs. Tim lives next door to Wilson (Hindman) who often has long winded words of wisdom when Tim finds himself befuddled by life’s complications. As a running gag, we never see
The final year of Home Improvement did bring some memorable moments, to be sure. The season opens with Tim’s birthday. Jill gets him a white water rafting trip, but Tim’s just fine in his new Lazy Boy. Hey, aren’t we all? That’s Whitewater, and season eight is off and running. Al’s got a new lady in his life in Al’s Fair Lady. She’s got some serious jack and is lavishing expensive presents on the big guy. Is Tim jealous? Home Improvement delivers a sweet Halloween episode, Bewitched. Tim thinks that
Home Improvement is appropriately presented in its original full frame 1.33:1 format. While this is a fairly recent series, it was merely a sitcom. Not to degrade the genre, but the studios don’t put a tremendous amount of production value in that kind of a series. Still, colors are solid. Black levels are average. This is pretty much as good as this kind of programming gets. Better overall than the broadcast versions.
Dialogue is pretty much all you should care about in this Dolby Digital 2.0 track, and it delivers just fine. The show’s trademark sound effects are there just as you remembered with no problems at all.
It almost doesn’t really feel like Home Improvement is really gone. The last episode aired way back in 1999; it seems like another millennium from now. But fans have been enjoying the show in steady reruns on heavy rotation since that time. Here in the