Is There Anything Worse Than Tim Allen’s Anti-Pot ‘Home Improvement’ Episode?

Greg Stevens

The 1990s plainly experienced no shortage of awkward tries to refashion current Tv programs into condescending parables about the risks of drugs and alcoholic beverages, as evidenced by the conspicuously beer-centric episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the time Jessie from Saved by the Bell couldn’t deal with The Pointer Sisters for the reason that she was too hopped up on caffeine supplements.

But arguably, TV’s worst, most insulting “very special” anti-drug episode arrived from the very same person who both saved Christmas and allegedly randomly flashed woman co-stars: Tim Allen.

House Advancement’s “What a Drag” opens with Tim and Jill Taylor identifying a bag of pot stashed in their gazebo. Somewhat than create an open dialogue with their small children about recreational drug use, they in its place come to a decision to stake out their very own household from a neighbor’s lawn, spying on the three children with a periscope. Sooner or later, they discover that the weed belongs to their eldest, Brad, who they commence to berate as if he’d just been caught kicking John Wick’s pup to dying.

Of course, a ton of anti-drug information from this period is absurdly hysterical currently — lest we neglect the time Kermit the Frog and ALF experimented with to scare a teen straight — but Household Enhancement’s preachy melodramatic take appears specially reprehensible in hindsight. For starters, the elephant produced of cocaine in the home is Allen’s individual heritage with medicine. Famously, Allen was arrested for drug trafficking in 1978 and gained a lighter prison sentence after narcing on all his dealer buddies. Listening to about why you should not do drugs from Allen is a minimal like obtaining a lecture about the value of nourishment from the Hamburglar. 

This did not go uncommented on at the time, possibly. “I’ve had a history with this, but Tim Taylor is distinct,” Allen told reporters in 1998, though he “declined comment on his own encounters with medicine and liquor.” He did acknowledge that the staff of Household Advancement was break up on the problem: “Some of our writers are from the 1960s, and they just do not assume marijuana is that big a offer. But we have other writers who are genuine puritanical about it.”

The Taylors eventually acknowledge their own hypocrisy to some diploma simply because Jill used to be a pothead. That’s ideal, Allen allow the writers give his Tv set spouse a sordid history with medications when his fictional surrogate remained totally clean up. Tim Taylor says on the present that he by no means smoked pot due to the fact he was “a beerhead.” Fairly undermining the whimsy of that line, Allen was arrested for driving under the affect the past spring.

In the end, Jill tells Brad a harrowing story of how she smoked a joint laced with “something” at a Led Zeppelin concert, finished up in the unexpected emergency room, and later on jail — a horror tale that mainly ignores the encounters of all the stoners who had a super-awesome time at that Zeppelin clearly show. The Taylors then comply with up their additional straightforward discussion about the evils of marijuana by threatening to post their son to random urine checks really should he at any time test pot all over again. 

Incredibly, this episode was criticized at the time for generating the Taylors seem as well lenient, presumably simply because it did not involve any scenes in which Brad is individually roughed up by Nancy Reagan and McGruff the Criminal offense Canine.

You (of course, you) should really stick to JM on Twitter (if it however exists by the time you are studying this). 

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