King of the Hill
Becker sort of flew under the radar, but aired from 1998 to 2004. There was the short-lived Help Me Help You in 2006. Danson even voiced a part on King of the Hill (Tom Hammond in "The Accidental Tourist" episode).
But it's his stint as the sinister Arthur Frobisher in Damages that's brought him into the forefront again. It also helped to catapult him into his next gig -- a lead role in HBO's comedy pilot Bored to Death.
It's coming. The table is set, the players are on the field, the sails are raised, and the pretty maids are all in a row. Of course, I speak of the 2008-09 television schedule. In just a few short weeks viewers will be able to dine on a number of favorite and new dishes that are being served by the networks as well as the increasing number of cable channels who are delving into original programming.
While other fall seasons have come and gone with nary a whimper, this season may be different. Due to the prolonged Writers Strike many shows ended their seasons quite early. Programs like Life, Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, and Heroes haven't aired original episodes since the end of 2007. Heck, there hasn't been a new episode of The Shield since June of last year! So, the beginning of the 2008-09 season will be a second chance for some of these shows, particularly the ones that premiered last season, to show their worth to fans and the networks.
As usual, FOX leaves the best press conference (at least as far as I was concerned) for last. I sat through Karl Rove and Chris Wallace getting contentious with the critics near the end of the FOX News panel (more on that later), Jerry O'Connell and the cast of Do Not Disturb strain to answer questions about a show whose clip reel wasn't all that funny, and the millionaires from Secret Millionaire talk about being poor for a week. All of it was made worth it (and, really, seeing Rove start to get annoyed near the end was fun to watch) so we could see the final panel: all the producers of all FOX's Sunday animated shows.
The first person who spoke up, not surprisingly, was Seth MacFarlane. "Is this where Karl Rove sat? Because I don't want to get AIDS." Wow. Unfortunately, no line that was said after that was as shocking or funny. But it was all still pretty good.
Returning: The Moment of Truth, So You Think You Can Dance, The Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, American Idol, America's Most Wanted, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, Bones, Cops, Don't Forget the Lyrics!, Hell's Kitchen, House, King of the Hill, Kitchen Nightmares, MADtv, The Moment of Truth, Prison Break, Talkshow with Spike Feresten, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, 'Til Death
Out: Back To You, Canterbury's Law, K-Ville, Nashville, New Amsterdam, Next Great American Band, Return of Jezebel James, Unhitched
New: Sit Down, Shut Up; The Cleveland Show; Dollhouse (Midseason); Fringe; Do Not Disturb (formerly The Inn); Secret Millionaire (Midseason)
Schedule and detailed descriptions of the new shows after the jump.
Holy frik! We've only just started to embrace the return of our shows after a shortened strike season. Now, they are almost over. In the next few weeks all of our network favorites will say good-bye for the summer to be replaced with reality shows, reality game shows, reality soap operas, and Regis on primetime (again).
Needless to say, I'm a bit depressed. As I am sure you are as well. But, we will do our duty and press on. Thusly, we here at the sprawling lakefront offices of TV Squad (you choose the lakefront) have compiled list of when your favorite, and not so favorite, shows will be saying good-bye for their summer vacation. As usual, taking the fickleness of the networks, these times and days can change at a moment's notices. We will try to update you of those changes as quickly as our little fingers can type it out.
So, with a leaden heart, here are your season and series finales.
Creators Mike Judge (the voice of Hank and Boomhauer) and Greg Daniels (The Office) will continue at the helm, and all the usual characters remain. That means more of Kathy Najimy as Peggy, Brittany Murphy as Luanne, Pamela Adlon as Bobby, Johnny Hardwick as Dale, and Stephen Root as Bill.
(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.
Note that this schedule only lists shows beginning in September.
(S11E12) In my other King of the Hill review I mentioned that the secondary characters can be just as fleshed out as the main characters, and I think the same holds true for Lucky, who is still a rather new addition to the King of the Hill universe.
Lucky started out rather one-note, a kind of street-wise redneck whose only means of support stemmed from a cash settlement he received for slipping on a puddle of urine at a local store. This season, however, we've gotten to know Lucky a little better, and while I love his character, I'm pretty sure I would loathe him if he were an actual person.
(S11E11) As much as I like to poke fun at the "Simpsons already did it" crowd for not realizing that everything has pretty much been done already, I must admit that I sometimes fall into that same mindset a little too easily.
Yes, the Simpsons did do an episode where Homer starts working out and becomes, not unlike Bill does in this episode, about half flabby and half muscular. Coincidentally, that Simpsons episode is actually titled "King of the Hill." However, that particular Simpsons episode was about Homer trying to win Bart's respect, whereas this episode of King of the Hill was about Bill obtaining a body never thought he could have, and becoming so self-centered he pushes all his friends away.
In: 'Til Death, House, Bones, The Simpsons, Family Guy, King of the Hill, American Dad, America's Most Wanted, Cops, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?, American Idol, 24, Prison Break,
New: K-Ville, New Amsterdam, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Back to You, Return of Jezebel James, Rules for Starting Over, Kitchen Nightmares, Canterbury's Law, Nashville
Out: The Winner, Standoff, Drive, The War at Home, The O.C., Justice, Happy Hour, The Rich List, Vanished, The Wedding Bells, The Loop
Moving: 'Til Death, Bones (spring)
(S11E10) Holy crap! Nancy loses some of her hair in this episode, just like Marge did in The Simpsons episode "Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(Annoyed Grunt)cious!" Quick, somebody make a video so we can expose how King of the Hill is ripping off The Simpsons!
Anyway, this wasn't a bad episode, but it wasn't anything that great either. It felt like a snapshot of a typical day in Arlen, which means it's probably not a bad episode to show someone unfamiliar with the series, but for long-time fans, it took us places we've already been to many times before.
As usual, Dale is obsessed with aliens, and his constant yammering about the vernal equinox and his pestering Nancy about cooking the right food for the aliens has stressed her out so much her hair starts falling out. Naturally, going back to the bliss she once felt with her former lover John Redcorn starts to seem like a good idea.
Peggy: I'll bet Minh likes foreign movies, she's a foreigner. To her, it's just a movie.
I've watched enough episodes of King of the Hill over the years to know that Dale Gribble sometimes uses the alias "Rusty Shackleford' to fly under the radar of all those conspiratorial entities that only exist in his head, but this is the first time I've heard the story behind it: "Rusty Shackleford" was the name of a kid from Dale's third grade class who passed away. At least, that's what Dale thought. It turns out that Rusty just moved away.
(S11E07) When I was attending high school in a small Iowa town, two people who worked at my church, each married to different people, had an affair that quickly became public knowledge. It's impossible to keep those things quiet in any small town, because they tend to be populated with people who feel everyone else's business is their own.
The relationship between Bill and his pastor in this episode wasn't as seedy as an extra-marital affair, but I couldn't help but notice some parallels. At my church, the woman who was having the affair was almost fired because of it, and Reverend Stroup's congregation does not respond well when she tells them she and and Bill are dating, either.