For Last Man Standing fans who watched all six seasons of the show's run on ABC, things will look a little different when Season 7 makes its highly celebrated debut on Fox this fall. Beyond the changing cast members, Last Man Standing will bring a new character into the Baxter family's lives -- and their house -- in the form of a foreign exchange student played by former Dr. Ken star Krista Marie Yu.
For Last Man Standing, Krista Marie Yu's Jen will be a recurring character that will get introduced in Episode 4. (Which probably means the production is currently filming Episode 4.) Vanessa is the one who brings Jen into the Baxter home, becoming a quasi-mentor for the young student. She talks Mike into letting Jen stay with them as she completes her formal education in the U.S., and one can imagine that conversation being one of the more interesting scenes in the early part of the season.
Last Man Standing's executive producer Kevin Abbott explained to TVLine that Vanessa and Jen get along in particular because of Jen being invested in the field of geology, which is obviously right up Vanessa's alley. Abbott notes that Vanessa has always wanted to influence young women to take interest in the sciences, so she's getting to do with Jen what she couldn't exactly do with Kristin or Mandy.
Last Man Standing's foreign exchange student character was first announced during ABC's day during the TCA summer press tour, and it was stated at the time that part of the point was to offer up a different political background for a character to bring into the Baxter bubble. The goal is presumably for these conversations and situations to inspire viewers to get into similarly thoughtful talks with others they may disagree with. But whether that will be successful or not is another story, considering what happened when Roseanne introduced the Conners' Muslim neighbors earlier this year.
It's interesting to see Dr. Ken vet Krista Marie Yu joining Last Man Standing, considering both of those shows' casts lost their day jobs at the same time when ABC cancelled them. (Dr. Ken did not get saved at the 11th hour like Last Man did, sadly for those fans.) Yu, who has also appeared on other shows such as Agent Carter, The Middle and Switched at Birth, was in both seasons of Dr. Ken as teenage daughter Molly. Since then, she could be seen in the web series Just Another Nice Guy and Ed Helms' Comedy Central special The Fake News with Ted Nelms.