The Taylor family vacation in northern Michigan, and Tim announces he wants the family to move there. Jill and the boys are not as enthused as Tim expected. Tim realizes he needs to change and grow.



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Episode cast overview:
Mark Taylor (as Taran Smith)


The Taylor family vacation in northern Michigan, and Tim announces he wants the family to move there. Jill and the boys are not as enthused as Tim expected. Tim realizes he needs to change and grow.

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Comedy | Family




Release Date:

23 September 1997 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


When Tim drives past the kids, while in the speed boat, knocking them in to the water, you can see the camera on the front of their boat, they used in the previous shot. See more »


When the boys are asked where the girls are: Randy responds "They're picking kelp out of their ears". Kelp is a saltwater plant. Plants in the Great Lakes are typically referred to as sea weeds (even though they're not in the ocean) or just plants, but never kelp. See more »


Jill: No, I'm not happy. My oldest son is heartbroken, and my youngest son is dressing like Johnny Cash!
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User Reviews

Change is Bad.
2 December 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's a new season of Home Improvement, including a new intro sequence. While the sequence itself is a nice touch, the remixed theme song is pretty lame. Should've kept the original. It's also a new season of Tool Time, and what better way to kick it off than Barbecue Week. They show off all kinds, such as small units for the conscientious shopper, and the big-ass ones for people with too much money. For $35,000, this barbecue comes with a dishwasher, CD player, a hibachi cook, everything but the kitchen sink. No, wait, it's got that too. Next, to beat out some guy's record of lighting coals in three seconds, Tim heads outside, followed by Al and Heidi, to demonstrate how to light up the coals using rocket fuel. So, he lights it up in 2.6 seconds, but apparently adding rocket fuel to a barbecue will make it achieve flight. It takes off right into the sky. Well, I guess now the man in the moon can have a cook out. At home, Jill and the boys feel that Tim has been acting strange lately. More than usual. He seems to be having an existential crisis. The boys are experiencing some life changing events as well. Not Randy, because all he still thinks about is Lauren, but Mark has started wearing all black clothing, and Brad has broken up with Angela who's going with a guy with a muscle car. He just wants to stay home, but Tim tells him he and the other boys are going on this vacation and they're going to have fun whether they like it or not. It seems Tim's got a big surprise he wants to spring on them when they get there.

For the entire 4-hour drive up to the mountains, Tim kept wanting the family to guess what that blasted surprise was, and none of them came close. They finally arrive at the cabin in the woods and get settled in. Tim is very excited, but the rest of the family, not so much. That is until Lauren stops by looking for Randy. She and her girlfriends are all down by the lake, so of course Brad and Mark jump at the chance to join them. Tim and Jill do the same, joyriding in a motor boat, while the teens sit in a rowboat and talk. Brad's moping does little to liven the mood, and then Jill lets Tim take the wheel and he ends up capsizing the kids. However, he assures them THAT wasn't the surprise. So, after a lovely barbecue supper, Tim leads Jill and the boys to a secluded lodge that had been vacant for 10 years. Here's the surprise: he wants to buy the lodge, sell the house in Detroit, fix it up and live up here. Tim's got it all worked out, he'll even turn over his toolbelt to Al (after adding a few notches). They don't too much gravitate towards the whole idea. Never mind the fact that Tim just sprang it on them out of nowhere, but they don't want to leave their humdrum lives back in the city. Jill basically tells Tim that he's nuts for coming up with a plan like this, and then she goes and has a talk with Wilson on the beach. This guy must be stalking them, as he always seems to be wherever they go. Simply put, he feels Tim is going through mid-life crisis. Meanwhile, Tim goes joyriding in a motor boat again, while Randy and Lauren finally have some alone time on the water...but not for long, because Mark and Diane spy on them. Eventually, Tim joins Jill on the beach, and she tries to be supportive, he denies going through any mid- life crisis, and, well I guess they reach a compromise. After that, Tim's barbecue literally makes a splashdown in the lake.

I remember watching this episode the first night it aired. I myself was open to a change of scenery for Home Improvement, and perhaps if they'd done an arc spread out over a few episodes, taking place up at the lodge, that would have been a nice fit. Wilson could be a frequent guest, and then we could see how Al and Heidi fair on Tool Time without Tim. Then eventually, the Taylors come back home and things slowly return to normal. It reminds me of the opening to The Simpsons' eighth season where the family moves to a new place, only to move back home at the episode's end. That should've been an arc too. Anyway, as I said above, the new opening theme song is lame, but the sequence is okay, and they've added Debbe Dunning to it, because now Heidi is given more to do. Beautiful locations and scenery aside, this episode just doesn't do anything for me, and it's really nothing special. I guess see it if you like outdoor location shoots or you can relate to Tim, coming up with wild ideas on how to move your life forward. Now that I've critiqued every episode of Season 7, I can conclude that the series really starts to go downhill at this point. It becomes more of a caricature of its former self. Because at this point they start sacrificing story and sentiment for the sake of jokes. BAD jokes.

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