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King of the Hill (1997)
Subtle, Well-Written Satire
I became addicted to KOTH at age eight. I was sitting on my dad's lap, drinking grapefruit juice and club soda and trying to shake off my migraine. Finally, after a lot of moaning on my part, Dad agreed to stop watching "Law & Order". He put in a tape of eight KOTHs and said that we could watch this instead.
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."