As I have mentioned before, my time in front of the television is devoted pretty much 95% to sports programming. When I do venture out and watch something different I usually tune into COPS, the news, or the History Channel.
One type of television genre I never really liked that much as a kid or an adult is cartoons. I don’t have much of an imagination and I am much more into non-fiction programming. However, there is one cartoon that I have great admiration for.
I am a big time “King of the Hill” fan. Whenever possible, I try to catch an episode on Cartoon Central at the eleven o’clock hour. It’s funny, I have ran into a lot of people who think the show is garbage. On the other side of the coin, I also know the program has a large following. In case you have never heard of King of the Hill, all you really need to know is that it is an adult cartoon centered on a family of four living in the mythical town of Arlen, Texas. The family lives a typical life surrounded by neighbors and relatives.
The first reason why I love King of the Hill so much is because of the stereotypes. Man, they are hilarious. The show really holds nothing back. They stereotype Asians, Natives, African-Americans, and Mexicans. Of course, the biggest stereotype is of the common white man. The show relies on generating laughs off of a white trash type culture. Hank and his three friends (Dale, Boomhauer, and Bill) stand outside by a fence each day and drink beer. Part of the charm is that the stereotypes really are not presented in a controversial or degrading way in a fashion like “Southpark” might portray them. Well, I guess I should say some of the stereotypes on the show are portrayed in kind of a degrading way, otherwise they really wouldn’t be that funny. But my point is that it does not go as far or as tasteless as “Southpark” does. Whereas Southpark is just blunt and in your face with their type of humor, King of the Hill is much more subtle and clever.
Another reason why I am a big fan of King of the Hill is because of the characters. There are so many colorful, funny, well developed characters in the show. So many of them you can point at and say “Hey! I know someone exactly like that!” I mean let’s get real here, who doesn’t know someone who fits Boomhauer to a T? Everyone has had that person in their life who you can’t understand because they talk so fast and add so much jibberish to their speech that you kind of just humor by nodding your head at (Side Note: Sometime, put on closed captioning when Boomhauer talks. The closed captioning will display everything he is supposed to be saying). Or who does not know someone like Con? Or what about Dale? I have met numerous paranoid, conspiracy-theory wackos in my lifetime. Then there is Hank’s father, Cotton. Everyone has that family member who is senile/bush league who will go on forever telling war stories. I could keep going with characters who I enjoy…John Red Corn, Nancy Gribble, Stuart McDoodle, LouAnne, Mr. Strickland, etc. Such a great cast! I do admit that I am not a Peggy fan, however. She annoys me in both her actions and her voice. I hate shows that focus on her.
Moving on, I really enjoy King of the Hill because of how relevant and up-to-date the episodes are. The shows focus on current events and actual real life people. I truly believe King of the Hill is by far the best at “cartooning” celebrities. I think this is partly the case just because the characters in the show look like normal human beings. No “Simpsons” weirdness or “Southpark” cutouts or “Family Guy” messed up eyes and mouths. Not only are the celebrity guests depicted in a very believable way, they are always funny.
Now I know I could have just included him in with my character paragraph, but I kind of pinpoint this guy as a whole separate reason for me liking the show so much. I am talking about Hank Hill. In the whole world of cartoons, I don’t think there is a character who is more powerful, humble, and relatable as Hank. He definitely makes that show and holds everything together. Hank is a man of integrity who understands hard work and reflects all the traditional interests and ideals of the typical guy. What is not to like about a guy who is fair to everyone, loves football and propane, is a family man, enjoys throwing back cold ones, and who is not afraid to take a stand for a view that is unpopular but right. If there is any cartoon character who I look up to, it is Hank Hill.
Finally, I am so gung ho about “King of the Hill” because most episodes have an actual message and convey emotion. Yes, I will admit to tearing up a few times while watching the show. Some of the endings really do just hit you. The joking ends for a second and everything comes together and a meaningful message is sent. King of the Hill is created as a cartoon for adults that is intended to make them laugh but there is so much more to it. Issues such as treating the elderly with dignity, respecting different cultures, enjoying the holidays with family, making the most out of a bad situation, helping out people in dire need, and conflict resolution are all themes that are covered in the show. Sometimes it helps to be reminded of common life lessons through an unconventional, lighthearted medium such as a cartoon. King of the Hill does just that.
Well of course my inspiration for this blog tonight was the fact that I was watching King of the Hill. I needed a few laughs in the middle of this busy week. Sadly, the show has long since gotten over since I started to write this post. Because the show has concluded, I think that is my cue to wrap up this installment of “Don’t Blink.” If you share a love for King of the Hill like I do or have a favorite KOTH episode, please let me know. Until my next blog post, be sure to keep your girlfriends and wives away from John Red Corn. Don’t Blink.