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Series / Man with a Plan

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Man with a Plan is a CBS Dom Com starring Matt Le Blanc, Liza Snyder, Kevin Nealon, and Stacy Keach.

Adam Burns is a Pittsburgh-area contractor who agrees to take on more responsibilities at home after Andi, his wife, decides to return to work full time. He quickly learns that his children aren't the perfect little angels he thought they were and that being a primary caregiver is much more cutthroat than he originally anticipated.

Providing Adam with dubious amounts of help are Don, his dim-witted older brother, Lowell, a stay-at-home dad whose children attend the same school as Adam's, and Joe, Adam and Don's old-school father.

Ended after 4 seasons in 2020.

This series provides examples of:

  • Babies Make Everything Better: Adam and Andi briefly flirt with the idea of having a fourth child when confronted with the fact that the three that they already have are growing up quickly. They change their minds (and go through a nail-biting pregnancy test) after being reminded that babies are a lot of hard work.
  • Big Brother Bully: Don is obnoxious at best and a Jerkass at worst in terms of his relationship with Adam, fully willing to leave him behind to deal with bad situations on his own and harass him.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Adam learns in "Andi's Boyfriend" that they aren't legally married because Pastor Carl didn't have his license at the time. Adam's at fault because he hired this guy instead of the one Andi wanted because he wanted to have a rainy day fund. Andi is naturally ticked when she learns the truth and that he tried to keep her from finding out, but Adam points out the money they saved because the money he saved helped prevent them from losing the house during a period he wasn't getting any work.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Marie was originally supposed to be a masculine counterpoint to Lowell's Camp Straight characterization but she was quietly dropped by the first season's halfway point.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The series initially gave a lot of focus to Adam struggling to help out at his kids' school before almost completely dropping the plot element towards the end of the first season.
  • Face Doodling: When Adam gets dragged to the opera and sees that Andi fell asleep, he gets even by drawing a mustache on her face.
  • First Period Panic: Adam has to deal with Katie getting her first period by himself after Andi takes the younger kids to the zoo, gets stuck in a traffic jam, and forgot her phone.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Obnoxious dimwit Don is the foolish while voice of reason (most of the time) Adam is the responsible.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Joe Burns, except when his grandchildren are involved.
  • House Husband:
    • Played with by Adam. Although Adam still has a full-time job, he decides to take over Andi's role of taking the kids to and from school and taking care of them in the afternoon. Much to his surprise, he discovers that Andi was more involved in the kids' school than he anticipated, and is expected to fulfill all those duties as well.
    • Played straight by Lowell. Lowell is a stay-at-home dad who gave up his own career so that his wife could run her own business.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Adam gets high accidentally after eating a couple of pot gummi bears from his father's candy bowl.
  • Mama Bear: Andi tries to give people the benefit of the doubt but she will tear apart anyone who dares hurt her children.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Adam and Don's parents are this to Marcy, especially their mother who still hasn't forgiven Marcy for not letting them stay overnight once...over twenty years ago.
  • Papa Wolf: The mere thought of one of his children being upset is enough to get Adam on the warpath.
  • Parental Favoritism: Not only do Adam's parents favor Don over him but they also favor Andi over him too. Adam also has a tendency to favor Emme over Katie and Teddy.
  • Pittsburgh: The show is set here, although, as with just about any media involving this city, an attempt at the infamous accent is not even bothered with by any of the actors, and you'd be forgiven for thinking the show was set in New York or anywhere else, except for all the Steelers paraphernalia everywhere.
  • Put on a Bus: Mrs. Rodriguez is no longer seen as Emme moved up from her kindergarten class and into the first grade.
  • Rescue Romance: Jen fell in love with Lowell after she got hurt in the middle of a jungle and he carried her to a nearby town and took care of her.
  • Rhyming Title: Man With a Plan.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Don doesn't appear in the pilot.
  • Silver Fox: Adam's hair is almost completely gray and this trope becomes the focus of the second season premiere's a-plot as Adam becomes convinced that a very young babysitter is coming onto him because of his distinguished appearance.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Adam has one in Joy, a city inspector who's an extreme stickler for rules and regulations. Complicating matters is that they live on the same street and Joy is friends with Andi while Adam is friends with Rudy, Joy's husband.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Downplayed as Lowell is not ugly but he's married to Jen, a former model who now runs her own modeling agency.