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King of the Hill (1997)
One of the best shows of all time.
Unless you live in Manhattan or LA you can relate to someone on this show. Hank is a good man trying to raise his son in an ever changing world. Yes he is closed-minded, but he is no more close-minded than ANYONE ELSE in the world. People fear change no matter who they are, what religion they are or what color their skin is. Hank Hill is everyman. Hank's wife Peggy is a know-it-all, their son Bobby who, unlike his father, is not going to be an athlete, and their niece Luanne who grew up in a trailer park. Then you have Hank's high school buddies Dale, Boomhauer, and Bill.
People complaining that it doesn't show a realistic portrayal of life in Texas, please, grow up. This show is about Anyplace USA. Not ultra-trendy NYC or LA. Complaints about there not being any sort of minority characters on the show are simply not true. You have an American Indian in John Redcorn. How many live action shows, let alone animated ones have a Native American Indian on them? Dale's buddy Octavio is probably Mexican but is obviously a Hispanic male. Chris Rock and Bernie Mac have both done Afro-Americans on the show. Rock played a new employee at Hank's job and Bernie Mac a local handy man. And then there is Kahn the Laotian next door neighbor. Are they major characters? No. Kahn and Redcorn have been the subjects of their own episodes or at least major characters at some point. But the show is about Hank who is probably about 40ish and has lived in the same place his whole life. His only real friends are his old buddies from high school. People tend to stick together with their tribe. It's human nature. Don't believe me? Go take Anthropology 101 and Sociology 101.
People are going to try to pass the show off as racist, bigoted, not funny or even worse, Conservative. Those trying to put it off as racist or bigoted are just looking for something to complain about. A fair examination of the show will reveal that the writers have addressed those issues numerous times and Hank always comes out smelling like a rose. The ironic thing is that when he first moved to the town, Kahn the Laotian was and continues to be the most racist person on the show. He is always using the terms hillbilly and redneck. He was also the last person to accept that his daughter Connie wanted to date Hank's son Bobby. Hank didn't want Bobby dating Connie because he had/has a problem with Kahn. Hank's problem with Kahn isn't that he is Laotian; it's that he is annoying and is always trying to do something to get a rise out of Hank. On the other side Kahn doesn't want his daughter dating a redneck. That was said on the show numerous times on many different episodes and clear as day. Those saying it is Conservative are only half right. The creator of the show is a pretty Conservative guy, so I would expect this. After all, you write about you know don't you? And second the list of actors and actresses that have been guest voices on the show do not read like a list of Hollywood Conservatives, but more on that later.
Unfunny? Its not toilet humor so all the people who say Family Guy, Simpsons or South Park are funny and this isn't just need dick and fart jokes to be entertained. This is character driven comedy, not gross out jokes. You need to know, understand and relate to the characters in some way to get it and even then, it requires a little more thinking to understand the humor instead of the noise made when someone farts. Very rarely do I laugh out loud at this show, but it always puts a smile on my face and makes me look at life a little differently sometimes.
The list of guest voices on this show reads like a Hollywood A-List: Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Dennis Hopper, Willie Nelson, Wallace Shawn, Carl Reiner, Burt Reynolds, Stockard Channing, John Amos, Orlando Jones, Billy Bob Thornton, Will Ferrell, Mary Tyler Moore, Diedrich Bader, Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Heather Locklear, Ed Asner, Snoop Dogg, Rene Zellweger, Owen Wilson, Paul Giamatti, Robert Stack, Gary Busey, Kathy Bates, Pam Anderson, Kid Rock, Debra Messing, Eliza Dushku, Michael Clarke Duncan, Michael Keaton, Topher Grace, Danny Masterson, Carmen Electra, George Forman, Jamie Kennedy, Bernie Mac, John Ritter, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Lindsay Lohan, Henry Winkler, Laura Prepon are just some of the more recognizable names that have guest stared on this show. I high recommend catching the Snoop Dogg and Johnny Depp episodes. Both are two of the funniest episodes ever written for any television show.
I think that this is a great show for kids and their parents to watch together, something that is sorely missing from TV these days. The dynamic between Bobby and Hank can be related to by anyone who had a father while growing up. It is relatively clean humor so parents don't have to screen it before kids watch it and it always has some sort of message to it. The word "ass" seems to pop up all the time in new Simpsons episodes, KOTH only uses when it is really needed to emphasize a point. This is usually when Hank is really frustrated about someone or something. TV is not just about entertainment and what is wrong with being entertained while having some good clean fun? Nothing in my opinion.
10 out 10
Top Gear (2002)
One of the best shows around period!!!!
This is one of the best shows available on TV(if you can find it). I have to get the TV shows from the internet because the show doesn't air in the states to the best of my knowledge. Clarkson is by far one of the best TV hosts ever. He really knows his cars as well as how to drive them. He is a bit biased sometimes, but he always gives a fair and straight review about the car or cars he is driving. This show is far better than any of the garbage car review TV shows on in the states. Car and Driver cant hold a candle to these guys. They are fun, funny and most enjoyable to watch. I always get a good laugh when I download the latest episode.