King of the Hill

Does satire always need to be progressive?

‘Silicon Valley’ is being slammed for not tackling the tech industry’s real-world problems. But must it?


King of the Hill Revisited: “King of the Ant Hill” and “Plastic White Female”

These are the last two episodes of the first season (there was one other episode produced in the first 13 episode order, “The Company Man,” but it was held over for the second season when its ending was completely re-worked). I’ll hopefully get to the second season soon, but I may do another show in between, or I might find a slightly different format for these posts — possibly one episode at a time instead of two.


King of the Hill Revisited: “Peggy the Boggle Champ” and “Keeping Up With Our Joneses”

The retrospective continues now with the ninth and tenth episodes of the first season, starting with the second “road trip” episode (maybe more than you’d expect for the early episodes of a comedy, but why not — an animated show can, theoretically, go anywhere).


King of the Hill Revisited: “Westie Side Story” and “Shins of the Father”

The retrospective look at the first season of King of the Hill continues with two episodes that introduce some very important supporting characters — two of them angry guys voiced by Toby Huss.


King of the Hill Revisited: “Luanne’s Saga” and “Hank’s Unmentionable Problem”

Continuing my retrospective review-caps of the first season of “King of the Hill,” with “Luanne’s Saga” (fourth in production order but fifth to air) and “Hank’s Unmentionable Problem” (the seventh in production order but sixth to air).

King of the Hill Revisited: “The Order of the Straight Arrow” and “Hank’s Got the Willies”

Continuing my first attempt at a series retrospective (the first post, and an explanation of what I’m trying to do, is here), with the third and fourth episodes of King of the Hill (in broadcast order).

King of the Hill Revisited: “Pilot” and “Square Peg”

I’ve been meaning to do a series of episodic retrospective reviews (the way The AV Club and some other TV sites do), where I look at a show that’s no longer on the air and revisit the episodes from the beginning, two at a time. I’m going to try it with King of the Hill, at least the first 12-episode season; if it works I’ll move farther along in the series.


A KotH Kronology


Callbacks To Early Episodes

Last night’s King of the Hill (yes, I watch it instead of Bob & Doug) was one of their better recent episodes, a solid and funny story about Hank that actually told us something new about how he relates to his father, his friends and his family. But even if it hadn’t been a particularly good episode, I’d probably have been favourably disposed toward it because it had so many callbacks to earlier episodes. It was full of references to things that were established in the first few seasons of the show but haven’t been mentioned since: Dale’s gay dad, the generic army-guy nicknames of Cotton’s war buddies, Luanne’s skill as a mechanic, Hank’s stepmother Didi (who hasn’t been seen on the show since approximately 200-ought-2). Sure, it had its share of continuity errors, like forgetting that they did a whole episode about Hank’s dad wanting a burial plot, but it ended with a joke that went all the way back to the first season: in some of the earliest episodes, Hank would end the show by riding up on a lawnmower and giving us a PSA about some issue raised in the story we just saw (an issue that nobody except Hank cares about), and in this episode he rode up in exactly the same way, in animation that might well have been re-traced from the first season’s tags. (Note: this kind of fourth-wall breaking is a little different from other examples mentioned in the earlier post, since this occurs after the episode proper is over, and is the equivalent of an actor stepping forth after the show to deliver a message.) It was like a little nod to people who have been watching the show since the first year.


Put Bleeding Gums Murphy Back In the Opening!

The Simpsons and King of the Hill have both made the switch to HD, and both of them needed to create new main titles for the new format. The new KotH title is not online at the moment (or if it is I couldn’t find it), but it was basically exactly the same as the original, even including the bit where Luanne hops on the back of Buckley’s motorcycle. (Buckley has been dead since the beginning of the third season, but he’s still in the opening credits every week. Personally I’d still rather see him than Lucky.) I guess since this is the last season, it wouldn’t have made much sense to pay for a whole new sequence. But The Simpsons, which is in this for the long haul, created a new sequence with new gags and characters — including, finally, taking Bleeding Gums Murphy out of the opening sequence, though they do include his portrait in Lisa’s classroom as a memorial tribute. (Bleeding Gums has been dead since the sixth season.) Here it is, including another one of those tiresome extra-long couch gags.


TV Thoughts From the Nerve-Wracked

This is the worst time to be obsessed with the U.S. election, when there are no results, not even those inaccurate exit polls, and the only thing anybody has to go on are anecdotes about how someone stood in line somewhere and saw lots of people voting for their guy so he’ll win. So it’s hard to concentrate on TV stuff, especially when, Colbert-style, my gut is telling me something different from my head. (I just can’t bring myself to believe that the polls are right, much as I’d like to believe it.) But here are a few TV-related things:


A Brief History of King of the Hill

King of the Hill has been canceled again, though a) It’s been brought back at least once before after being canceled, and b) It still has enough episodes left for the rest of this season and probably next season as well. But I think this will probably be it. Mike Judge is no longer working for Fox after the disastrous mishandling of his movie Idiocracy (a film that Fox sat on for ages and then barely released); his new ABC show, The Goode Family, will not be a Fox production. Fox is developing new animated shows with its contractees, like Seth MacFarlane and Mitch Hurwitz, and contract players presumably get preference over people like Judge and Greg Daniels who are mostly working for competitors.