The one-hour, two-episode King of the Hill finale should stand not just as the end of a great show that never got the attention it deserved, but as a finale that tried not to seek that attention.
The show came to a rather quiet end last Sunday during Fox's "Animation Domination" block that has done just that, thanks in part to brilliant shows like King of the Hill. It featured two episodes that treated their audience to some of the characters' humorous and heartfelt changes before sending it off into the depths of the TV land vaults.
Then it slapped them back into cold, harsh reality by following it up with an all new episode of nature's cruel mistake Family Guy, but that's hardly Mike Judge's fault.
One of TV's most underrated animated shows reached a milestone that has been more ignored than the girl with face herpes at the high school prom.
Mike Judge's brilliant King of the Hill surpassed 250 episodes this past week with barely a mention from the network that kept on the air for 13 seasons.
And it seems a little mean, even for Fox, a network so mean that they run their cars on the tears of crying babies.
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.
(S11E05) In this episode, we learn that Hank's cousin is none other than Dusty Hill, bass player for ZZ Top. If any other show had attempted to do this kind of celebrity crossover, it would have seemed trite, but this episode wasn't so much about Dusty's celebrity status as it was about Hank wanting to keep his family as far away from the glitz and shallowness of the rock and roll lifestyle (Bobby especially).
Since the reality TV genre began, the term "reality" has been given an extra meaning. The truth is, if "reality" shows were actually "real" they'd be some of the most uninteresting shows on television: entire episodes would consist of nothing but people sitting around doing absolutely nothing, people would wonder in and out of frame, and sometimes conversations would be completely inaudible, because in reality, nobody feels the need to project for an invisible audience. I also imagine there would be a lot more nose picking and butt scratching.
Great news, King of the Hill fans: after a long wait FOX has finally announced that the eleventh season of the animated series will kick off on January 21 at 7:30 pm. The tenth season finale ended with Lucky and Luanne getting engaged and Luanne becoming pregnant, but according to the press release the eleventh season opener will focus mainly on Animal Control trying to rescue Bobby's pet snake from the toilet and causing a city-wide panic in the process. King of the Hill, despite always being stuck in a timeslot where even fans like myself can sometimes forget about it, is still consistently smart and funny even after being on the air for over a decade. I would love to see it bumped ahead into the primetime lineup with The Simpsons and the rest of FOX's animated shows, but I can deal with the lousy timeslot as long as FOX keeps bringing it back.
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