Often, you don’t make a big change to a show like Last Man Standing without anticipating what the audience is going to think as a result. Such is the case with the character of Mandy, originally played by Molly Ephraim and now played by Molly McCook.
In our review for the premiere episode, we were mostly kind of the new Mandy’s timing and presence on the show; yet, it’s also understandable why some viewers would be upset. They came to know and love Mandy in her previous form, and she was a part of their viewing community largely because of that. They don’t want to really imagine a world in which she is played by someone else since that changes the dynamic of the show. This is a series based in part on familiarity; you see this family grow and change must as many families do, but you don’t want it to be that dramatic.
Related Last Man Standing video! – Take a look at our initial thoughts on McCook’s casting below! If you do enjoy this video, be sure to subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube to ensure that you don’t miss some other updates.
Speaking via Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Kevin Abbott did confirm that he anticipated some of the backlash:
“We fully expected [the backlash] … You don’t take a character played by an actress that’s beloved and suddenly switch them out. I’m glad they missed Molly Ephraim; that’s a good thing. And they’re going to go through the same process we did in casting.”
The biggest thing that McCook needs is time in order to win over some of the diehard fans who could come to love her, and she’ll at least have that the next several weeks. You know that the writers will give her funny material; because Mandy is such a different character in contrast to other people within the cast, there’s a goldmine of fun stuff for her to do. Also, the ratings are enormous and that’s going to help to keep Last Man Standing around — provided the cast and crew want to keep going.
Do you already like Molly McCook as Mandy, or do you want to see more before you make up your mind? One way or another, we want to hear from you below! (Photo: Fox.)