King of the Hill (1997–2010)
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The characters are brilliant and a lot of the jokes are unexpectedly hilarious. This is one of the few shows that can take me by surprise with it's genius humor. Most of the characters are funny, but Peggy cracks me up with almost everything she says. She has an unshakable self-confidence and she'll sacrifice anybody (including her son) to win her silly little battles.
My favorite episode is the one in which the Hills go to Japan. Classic!
I hope "King of the Hill" sticks around for a long time.
Hank's wife, Peggy, is a warm, loving and caring person at heart, but she's also a megalomaniac. Peggy is an over confident and under educated substitute Spanish teacher, quite rare in this day and age of "Women power". Peggy always strives to do her best, which isn't bad in and of itself, but her pride tends to exude control over her decisions which leads to Peggy making a fool of herself.
Hank's son Bobby is a dense, effeminate couch potato who's watched too much TV. Full of under developed desires and longings, Bobby is easily impressionable and easily gets caught up in fads when they shove their message in his face hard enough. As Hank puts it, "That boy ain't right." His initial goal is to be a stand up comic, but he later decides to be a magician. His friends are Connie (later a girlfriend) and Joseph.
Hank also has a live in niece, Luanne. She was raised to be trailer trash by her dysfunctional parents (her dad is Peggy's brother) and initially longs to be a Hollywood hair stylist. Like Bobby, Luanne can be easily caught up in fads.
Hanks friends are Dale, Bill and Boomhauer. Boomhauer is a motor mouth Lothario whom no one can really understand. Bill is a faded high school football star turned army barber who's wife has left him and appears to have a thing for Peggy. Dale is an exterminator and conspiracy theorist who's so wrapped up in his conspiracy theories that he would never suspect that his newscaster wife Nancy is having an affair with her Indian therapist John Redcorn and/or that his son Joseph is actually the son of John Redcorn and Nancy. The only other person who doesn't seem to notice this is Joseph himself. Hank's neighbor is an Asian man named Kahn (Connie's dad), the classic feuding neighbor scenario.
Despite the many frustrations Hank endures and the compromises he has to make, he trudges on, clinging to his ideals and doing the best he can.
Part of why this is still better than the Simpsons is that unlike the Simpsons, this show doesn't rely on anyone character to supply all the laughs and it doesn't rely on larger than life animated sight gags for all the laughs either. Hank is also probably the only TV Dad to have the dignity of being right anymore. And unlike Homer, even when Hank's efforts get ridiculous they're never as outlandish and moronic as the former's.
This show is about a propane salesman named Hank Hill who lives in the fictional town of Arlen Texas. He lives next door to his three best friends as they take on the tasks of live together from raising their kids to drinking beers in the alley.
I know the premise sounds kind of slow and dry and don't get me wrong it is but its still very enjoyable. This show only has two kind of viewers people who really like it or people that absolutely hate it there is no ladder. I say take a gamble on this one though folks watch a couple episodes see what you think because it really is good.
I'm thirteen now, and I'm still hooked. The characters are memorable and extremely realistic. Being born and bred in the most ultra-prepster, WASP-ish town possible (with, ironically, liberal, agnostic parents) really made me appreciate Peggy and Bobby, because I interact with them daily, as well as Dale, Bill, and Hank (although I have a huge soft spot for Kahn, Minh, and Connie, as well as Kahn's mother. I have a friend how is the very epitome of Connie and with a Dad whose bigoted, holier-then-thou obnoxiousness makes Kahn look like Saint Pete.) The writing is more subtle then "The Simpsons", which was my earlier love and which now takes the back seat. Everything in this show could really happen, and often does. Even the bit-out-there affair of Nancy and John Redcorn isn't that far-fetched (with a husband as wacked an unsexy as Dale, what blonde D-cupped weather girl wouldn't go for a tall-dark-'n'-handsome Native American with sculpted biceps, perfect hair, and a New age healing center who gives massages for a living? Hmmm?) Some people may argue that this show is racist, bigoted, cynical, and Conservative. I was raised in a home where debates about original sin were allowed over vegan dinners and a dart board with Bill O'Reilly's image hangs on our dryer. I come from a mixed-race marriage with a bisexual uncle. And yet I can say that this show in fact tackles such important issues with dry wit and style. Those who act as though they are above Hank's mild "discomforts" with, for instance, gays and lesbians, are at least as hypocritical as Kahn. As for the Conservative argument, I think the show makes fun of Republicans as well, if not more, then left-wingers. Who doesn't laugh at Hank's utter devotion to his party? The argument that this show only has Anglo-Saxons in it is the most asinine I have ever heard. Does the beloved "Family Guy" in it's main cast list a Native American, several Hispanics, and an entire Laotian family? Sure, "The Simpsons" has more black people, but virtually no Asians and not a Hispanic in sight. Besides, Arlen is portrayed as remarkably diverse for a small Northern Texas community. Heck, i'm surprised it isn't pure Caucasian.
10/10. Brilliant writing, subtle but liberal amounts of dry humor, and a dose of humorous reality-blended satire. Curl up on a laid-back armchair, turn up the heat, and immerse yourself in "King of the Hill."
My Grade: A
Season 1 DVD Extras: Introductions by Hank Hill (on Disk1), Bobby on 2, and Dale on the third; Commentar on the Pilot and "Hank's Unmentionable Problem" by Co-creator Greg Daniels, "Order of the Straight Arrow" & "the Company Man" by Director Klay Hall, "Westie Side Story" & "King of the Ant Hill" with ' Dale Gribble' and 'Bill Dauterive' , "Shins of the Father" & "Plastic White Female" with 'Peggy' and 'Bobby'; a 24 minute Making of; 55 Deleted scenes & Animatics; Do's & Don'ts of animation; Meet the Hills (info & sketches); Barenakid Ladies Music Video; & 13 promos
2 Easter Eggs: On the first disk, go to 'Special Features', then to 'Commentaries' and highlight the lawn-tractor for "Mowing Lesson with Charlie" a short on lawnmower safety; On the third disk, in the main menu click on the map for Hank Hill thanking the people who worked on Season 1
I remember when this show first premiered 13 years ago in 1997 and I thinking that this is the next great show FOX had to offer after "The Simpsons." I always looked forward to watching "King of the Hill" after "The Simpsons" every Sunday night before bedtime (I was still in elementary school around the time this show first premiered on television).
Mike Judge cannot fail in providing a show with a lot of great laughs and out-sized and unusual characters. That has always been one of his strengths as a show producer. After hearing that this show would be canceled earlier this year, I was quite disappointed. I'm not sure why this move was made (it could have had something to do with the tragic death of actress Brittany Murphy in December of last year), but I guess it just makes more room for Judge to lend his creative juices to another great animated satire.
King of the Hill was one of the few animated shows out there that was funny without going too far. It had some occasional crude humor but more often than not its humor was based on the scenarios of the show's situations, the facial reactions of the characters and the main characters' personalities. King of the Hill never really makes fun of any race, sexual orientation or disability, and on the brief occasion that a character does this, it is stated aloud that to make fun of these things is wrong.
The characters aren't the generic obese, idiotic couch potatoes with three kids the way most characters in cartoons today are. Instead, the main characters are Hank (a prudish, old-fashioned rednecky propane salesman trying to deal with the changes brought about in the 21st century), Peggy Hill (Hank's annoying, nerdy and narcissistic wife) and Hank's son, Bobby (unlike Hank, who is into sports, country music and his considered manly activities, Bobby is overweight, still sleeps with stuffed animals, dresses up in women's clothing to practice comedy routines and is often very lazy). The secondary characters include Dale (a basement-dwelling exterminator who buys into conspiracy theories), Bill (an obese army barber who is often depressed and lonely), Boomhauer (an eligible bachelor and in the last season implied to be a Texas Ranger), Kahn (a usually crabby guy but can often be nice depending on the episode), Luanne (Hank and Peggy's niece who often falls for controlling or perverted men and came from a trailer trash neighborhood), Mihn (Kahn's wife), Cotton (Hank's loud-mouthed, war-obsessed father), Nancy (Dale's wife and a weathergirl for the town news station), Joseph (Bobby's pervy best friend), John Redcorn (Nancy's secret affair and Joseph's real father)... okay, I could go on and on, but the point is, there is a really crazy cast of characters on this show, all likable in their own way.
KOTH points out all the problems of the "modern world", a few examples being violence among teens, computers always being upgraded, unhelpful doctors and psychiatrists, chain stores (Megalo-Mart is a parody of Wal-Mart), forced environmentalism, cellular phones and childhood obesity, among many others. The show points these things out in a comical way, without upsetting anyone or using crude humor or offensive slurs. As the show progresses, Hank has moments where he learns to find the good in all people and where he is shown to be a pretty nice guy overall (for example he saves a former prostitute from being taken back to the streets by her Willy Wonka-like pimp). Hank also works at a propane dealership with a number of hilarious characters.
The soundtrack was rednecky but catchy all the same and the voice acting was amazing. Hank's catchphrase is screaming "BWAHHHH!!!" whenever he gets mad, but it isn't in every episode, and it's a little different each time. He often makes various funny facial expressions when he does this.
I don't mean to sound like I'm ranting, but this show was excellent! Sadly it was cancelled and pathetic shows like Family Guy, American Dad and Bob's Burgers quickly filled its space. It's really unfortunate, because KOTH was hilarious but still had good values for the most part. Maybe someday when people aren't so easily amused by sex jokes, racial slurs and fart noises every five seconds, they'll come to their senses and make shows more similar to this one. Reruns of KOTH are apparently frequent on television still, so if you haven't seen it, be sure to check which channels the reruns are on.
King of the Hill finds humor in the mundane, normal, everyday situations that all of us go through, that every person can relate to. What makes it funny, is the characters. Every character is unique and distinct and insanely hilarious.
A lot of people don't "get" the show, and I'm guessing its because they don't "get" the characters. Not necessarily "get"...but to find the show funny, you have to know the characters, inside and out. The ordinary situations that the plots are built around are made funny because of the characters personalities.
It's been compared to the Simpsons, because they have similar premises, but this show is nothing like the Simpsons, when all is said and done. It's much more subtle (not saying the Simpsons isn't great or isn't funny) and, to me, much more relate-able.
This show isn't for everybody, but anybody who is interested in getting to know a lovely cast of characters, and is prepared to laugh at them, I completely recommend.
Unlike on other cartoons the characters stay the same from episode too episode. They have developed over the seasons but have basically remained the same.
This show also has what could possibly be FOX's first cartoon dad who isn't an over weight self centered idiot. Hank Hill is a good hearted old fashioned traditional values man. He has his ideals but when someone messes up he will lend a helping hand. He's the guy who'll tell you to turn down your loud music, but if your stereo explodes and lights your house on fire he'll be in there pulling you away from the flames. Hank is the last of a dying breed of good old fashioned Americans.
Some may find the humor too slow paced, but for those who have patience and an off beat sense of humor this is your show.
Hank Hill, a responsible husband, son, and father lives his life in a rapidly changing world. He's comforted by his small Texas town, "Arlen", and the friends he's made there, although sometimes, they offer more headache than anything else! The satire was biting right to the end. This show successfully balanced many different ideas without crushing them and did so without beating up on one of the other. Hank Hill is a Reagan conservative, or even a LBJ democrat, his aging dog is aptly named Ladybird.
Hank's ideas are often challenged by a growing wave of Liberal viewpoints around Arlen, and simply put, the show never makes fun of any ideology, it makes fun of the behavior intertwined with it, and shows that both ideologies have their problems and their good points. Conservatism is never made fun of and liberalism is never made fun of, except by the main characters.
The show follows the daily life of the Hill family and their neighborhood. Peggy is his loving wife with an inflated ego, Bobby is Hank's son, Hank worries that "that boy ain't right" because he's a little different and dreams of being a professional comedian, Hank would prefer he be High School football quarterback and then work at Strickland Propane with Hank. The ensemble cast is great and all of them are funny.
This show has everything going for it, well thought out plots, great voice acting, and pleasing animation.
This is a 10/10 excellent show. Give it a try if you haven't already.
Hank Hill is not your typical family sit-com Dad... Where Dad has been portrayed since the '80's as a likable but clueless, powerless, and disconnected dope. Hank is actually thoughtful, loving, relatively articulate, and USUALLY right in his good-ol'-fashioned common sense. He's not a clowning buffoon like Cliff Huxtable, and he is not blinded by Jason Seaver's weird theoretical constructs, and he shares none of Dan Conner's frustrated bitterness.
His wife, Peggy is not the super-career-woman-Mom, either. She does not have a glamorous career as a Lawyer nor a Journalist, and she doesn't always have the quick, venal, cutting comebacks... Actually? Peggy is a little slow on the uptake, though her inflated opinion of herself drives her to strive ever higher. She actually reminds me very much of some of my social-climbing Aunts.
Their son, Bobby, is The Weird Kid at his Jr High School and a constant disappointment. Fat, slow, and not good at anything involving physical prowess? Bobby takes more after his Mom with his dedication to pop-culture, fads, and so-called artistic endevours like being in school plays. Bobby's ambition is to be a stand-up comic, but unfortunately? His Idea of "funny" is the likes of Carrot Top, Yakov Smirnoff, and Gallagher.
It's very much a character driven show... And you come to actually like and care for and about most of these cartoon characters moreso than a lot of live-action sit-coms... "Sienfeld" comes to mind. I couldn't stand a single character on that over-lived pile of junk.
In all my dumbness, I must admit it took me almost two (2) years before I got the "LuAnn Platter" reference. AND I even eat at Luly's, er, I mean LUBY's! (Still don't get it? the LuAnn Platter is the senior citizen's discounted plate-- although it is not necessarily called that anymore)
Mike Judge is a native Texan and a genius at transcribing the everyday Texas life. It is to true-to-life, it is frightening. I know each and every one of these characters and could point them out in one of the small Texas towns that I have lived in. The weirdest addition to KOTH is LuAnn's new husband, Lucky. He still seems a bit out of place. And what has happened to little Hank, Jr. since Cotton died?
This sitcom is about the Hill family which is initially Hank The patriotic conservative father figure, Peggy the overconfident substitute Spanish teacher, Bobby the under achiever overweight son of Hank and Peggy and to a lesser extent Luanne Platter the doting cute yet ignorant niece of Peggy Hill.
Unlike Family Guy or the Simpsons ''both of which I'm a fan of'' King of the Hill follows a different tune than those two. King of the hill or KOTH as I'll call it from now on, puts the hill family in real world situations with real world issues and it doesn't always go for the laugh factor, which has led to some criticism on the shows behalf as many people think if they are watching a cartoon and not laughing then they are watching a bad cartoon, which is not true. For example, I remember one episode which the whole premise of it was Hank fighting against a new law that only allowed people to have ''low flow'' toilets in their house. The whole episode is about Hank fighting this new law and eventually winning in the end. But as boring as that might sound Mike Judge somehow makes it interesting.
After season 6 Mike Judge's involvement in the series started to wean out some...This led to less interesting stories, ''Though I personally still enjoyed the show. After seasons 6 though many episodes sort of became the same thing, which was...Hank and/or Hanks friends/family get into some trouble and Hank has to set things right. Overall the episodes seemed less creative though still entertaining for the most part.
I was sad when this show was canceled for crap like The Cleveland Show.
8/10 overall score.