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October 7, 2015

King of the Hill: Suite Smell of Success (season premiere)

by Richard Keller, posted Sep 23rd 2007 9:31PM

Hank and Bobby Hill on the 12th season premiere of King of the Hill

(S12E01) Out of all the shows in the FOX animated universe King of the Hill has been the most consistent when it comes to the quality of their shows. I don't believe that there has been any season during the show's existence that fans and critics have declared weak. Sure, there are individual episodes that stand out more than others, but that's to be expected in a series that is beginning its twelfth season. I'm saying that, as a whole, King of the Hill has remained pretty steady during its time on the air.

The same thing can be said for the season premiere. There's nothing flashy about the episode, nothing earth-shaking. It's just another day in the life of the Hill family and their friends. But, that's the way it has been for the entire series run, and that's just fine. Family Guy can have its parodies, The Simpsons can have its huge summer at the box office. King of the Hill is the show that keeps our feet firmly on the ground.

It's also the show that probably has the most growth to it when it comes to continuity. Yes, no one has really aged that much in the show's run (unless you count Joseph Gribble), but their lives have certainly moved on. Take for example Luann's marriage to Lucky, or Nancy's decision to stop seeing John Redcorn in order to stay faithful to Dale. These have remained parts of the King universe and are normally revisited.

Now, another character opens up a new chapter in their life, and Hank couldn't be happier. It seems that Bobby is now into football, and not just because the colorful uniforms the players wear. No, he's interested in watching games. To Hank and Peggy this is a miracle from above, and neither of them want to jinx it. Bobby gets so interested that he agrees to go to a Texas Longhorns college football game with Hank and the gang.

This is where another quality of King of the Hill comes in: its basis in reality. Granted, its a reality where Texas is the center of the universe, but its still reflects some of the everyday problems we encounter. Let's take Hank's trip to the Alamo Bowl, for instance. How many of you have paid $25 for 'VIP Parking' because it was the only parking there was? And, how many of you have had crappy stadium seats and wondered if you would be able to sneak into one of those empty luxury boxes?

Of course, being a television series, Hank just doesn't wonder about the suite, but actually ends up occupying it after Bobby ends up there. This is where the problems begin, since the suite is owned by a former quarterback for Nebraska, the team the Longhorns are playing. I don't think many of you have had the opportunity of calling a play for the opposing team at the request of their assistant coach, have you? Well, Hank did, and it costs the Longhorns the game.

This is Hank's luck: No matter if he's trying to do something that seems to be the right thing to do at that time it always turns bad on him. It's mostly a bump in the road for Hank, though, as he always tends to find a way out of his predicament. A lot of people chalk Hank up as being some hick Texan. But, if you have watched the show on a regular basis, you know that he's a fairly intelligent man with a bit of cunning. He uses both his cunningness and intelligence to get out of this pickle and manages to keep Bobby interested in football at the same time.

If there's one thing that I didn't like about this episode it was the second storyline. I've noticed over the past few seasons that Peggy gets a very tiny second storyline whenever her husband takes center stage. This week was no exception as she was shown why she cannot go to any more Longhorns' games. Her little segments were actually funny, but I wanted to see more of them. My opinion is this: if Peggy isn't going to be involved in the episode then just don't include her if the sub-story is going to be so tiny.

So, am I wrong about the show's consistency? Let me know in the comments and poll below.

Has the quality of King of the Hill remained consistent from season to season?
Yes. The show has remained funny since it began222 (86.7%)
No. There have been plenty of seasons that haven't been nearly as funny13 (5.1%)
Not sure. The show's been on a long time. It's hard to tell if the quality has remained the same throughout21 (8.2%)

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You can send the money to me. :)

September 24 2007 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I love this show because it tells good stories. It's subtle in it's humor and has great characters. I love that it's not too over the top, like the other cartoon shows.

And I just have to say this: as a HUGE USC (and Pac-10) fan, a Texas-Nebraska game would almost never be for the Rose Bowl. That would only happen when the Rose Bowl hosts the Championship Game. Big 12 teams never have the Rose Bowl in play.

September 24 2007 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Where, oh where, are the season pack DVDs, Fox? I've got money to spend and you guys stopped cold at season 6.

September 24 2007 at 10:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This show is highly underrated. It never gets mentioned with the animated greats, but it has withstood the test of time, and while it may never be as funny as South Park, it is consistently good.

September 24 2007 at 9:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hollywood Ron

To use a sports analogy:

The Simpsons: George Halas, legendary, innovative, amazing, and has been around forever.
King of the Hill: Jerome Bettis, solid and consistent, but never amazingly good.
Futurama: Terrell Davis, brief run, huge highlights, felled before its time.

September 24 2007 at 8:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What I love about KotH, given that I live in Texas, is how they get all of the little details about life in Texasjust right. I accidentally drove by the UT football stadium about an hour before game time on Saturday, and it looked exactly like the parking lot in the show, with that sea of burnt orange (arguably the worst school color ever).

I have to admit, though-- I thought Luann's pregnancy might be showing a little by now, bless her sweet heart. I loved her trying to let the kitten in on the HDTV.

September 24 2007 at 6:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'll agree. I'm not a regular viewer, admittedly, but it has been very consistent during the show's run. Yeah, it may be work-horse-like, but it gets the job done. Instead of the overtly cartoonish set up of other animated shows, it mostly uses the medium as a means of telling very broad but also very real stories and I appreciate that. I actually wish they hadn't adopted the animation cliche of ageless characters. I think they could have managed the characters growing older quite well and it might have yielded some interesting stories.

September 24 2007 at 1:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Out of all the shows in the FOX animated universe King of the Hill has been the most consistent when it comes to the quality of their shows."

To me it's been a consistent question of "How is this show still on the air and Futurama isn't? How can people watch this? Why do people like this show?" Those to me are the only consitents I have.

September 24 2007 at 1:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought Peggy had some of the funniest lines in the show, despite her brief appearance. "Thank goodness for all the warning labels, because this antifreeze looks delicious!"

September 23 2007 at 10:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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