Farewell, King of the Hill

Farewell Hank Hill.

Be well Boomhauer, my incomprehensible friend.

Take care Bill Daughtrey.

Good Luck Dale Gribble.

Kahn and his family are going, and taking Nancy Gribble, John Redcorn, and young Joseph with them.

For the last 13 years, the fictional town of Arlen, Texas, came into our living rooms on Sunday nights.

They were nicer than the Simpsons, less coarse than the gang at South Park, and better friends than even the cast of Friends.

They did not need to go to Moe’s Tavern or even the bar on Cheers. They simply drank in front of Hank’s home on the street.

My very first week as a blogger was in March of 2007, where I wrote about King of the Hill.

“While King of the Hill’ is a fictional show, and a cartoon at that, it does what most shows fail to do…show red-state America in a positive light.

Yes, Boomhauer is incomprehensible, and Dale Gribble is the stereotypical government conspiracy nut. However, they are not treated as the norm. Hank is friends with them, but he (and the rest of the town) see them (especially Dale) as wingnuts. Hank Hill likes football, red meat, and while he believes in Jesus, does not preach to others. His primary concerns are feeding his family and helping his son grow up the right way. He is uncomfortable talking about things people don’t talk about.

Hank Hill might not be totally comfortable talking about gays, but he is not hostile towards them. He goes hunting, but does not have bloodlust. He drinks beer, not Evian water. He votes republican, but is more interested in talking about the Dallas Cowboys. Also, he is a ‘guy’s guy.’ When a touchy feely liberal asked him ‘How about you just bond with me? How about you just understand me?,’ he replied ‘How about I just kick your @ss?’ He was not looking for a fight. He just wanted to be left alone from all the ‘touchy-feely’ garbage that in his (and many) mind is bringing down America. When a Massachusetts client wanted to call him J.R., and have him wear a cowboy hat, he replied ‘You know, Texas has changed a lot in the last 150 years.’

King of the Hill works because it treats red state America with dignity. It does poke fun at ‘Bubbas,’ but it pokes more fun at the elitists that misunderstand them. In the end, Hank is a Bubba, but what is a Bubba anyway? A Bubba is a hard working family man who just wants to watch football, drink a beer, and eat a steak, without being attacked by liberal, vegetarian tofu nuts while doing it. It was Bubbas at Iwo Jima, not New England liberals on college deferments.”

Now 13 years later, our friends in Arlen, Texas, are saying goodbye.

I loved King of the Hill. It was a fun show that actually dealt with some serious things.

I loved the fact that it treated Middle America with dignity. As someone who has recently been to many new places all across America, I can tell you that what elitists refer to as hicks, hillbillies, and hayseeds, I refer to as really kind human beings.

Yet as fun as King of the Hill was for so long, the very last episode was outstanding. I know it is “only” a cartoon, but so many television shows have underwhelming finales to their series. King of the Hill was subtle about it, but the show ended about as perfectly as possible.

One of the themes running throughout the show was the relationship between fathers and sons. Hank Hill loved his son Bobby, but constantly lamented how different he was. Hank was an athlete. Bobby was not. Hank was a “guy’s guy.” Bobby was not.

A couple of lines I remember from the show in particular reflected this relationship.

“Something about that boy aint right.”

“Well I want to hang out with Bobby, but the boy isn’t really good at anything.”

Bobby idolized his dad, and really hated disappointing him. Yet despite his struggle to mature, he was a good kid. Hank knew this, and stayed patient.

This patience came from the fact that his own father was abusive. Cotton Hill had his shins blown off in World War II. He was not a compassionate man. He would speak in a way toward Hank that Hank would never speak to Bobby.

“Boy, I gave you this task because it’s unimportant, and I knew you’d probably screw it up.”

Cotton eventually remarried a woman 40 years his junior, and they had a child. He wanted to name the boy Hank, but he already had a son named Hank. So instead he named the kid “Good Hank,” or G.H. for short. He even referred to Hank’s wife Peggy Hill as “Hank’s wife.”

Yes, it was only a cartoon, but Hank managed to love is father despite the old man’s abusive nature, and love his son despite his son being more than a tad odd. He made sure to discipline his son, but not in the cruel way he was disciplined by Cotton.

The last episode showed Bobby finally finding his calling. It turned out Bobby had actually been listening to his father all of those years. Bobby had a knack for discovering the quality level of meat. He could tell what meat was prime, and what was flawed. As Hank beams with pride, Bobby goes on to win a meat judging championship. Despite never being good at football, Bobby finally brings home a trophy.

Hank was thrilled, but what made the moment so nice was that he loved Bobby even without the trophy.

As the very last episode ended, Hank surprises Bobby with his very own grill. Peggy comes outside to see father and son bonding as they grill steaks together. After 13 years, the finally have something in common.

I found this episode poignant because I have nothing in common with the people who brought me into this world. My parents are retired schoolteachers. I am a stockbrokerage professional. My parents are quiet. I speak publicly for a living.

My father likes guns. I support gun rights, but guns do not interest me. My dad likes fishing. To me fishing is even more boring. I like football. My dad has zero interest in it.

I made an effort. I went fishing with him once. I went to the gun range with him once. This was one more time than he was willing to sit and watch football.

He is who he is. One day he will be gone. All I know is that while there are plenty of boys who grew up without fathers, there are other boys who spent time with their fathers actually doing things. This is a foreign concept to me.

People cannot and should not force their interests on others. Yet as an adult, I just hope that my future son voluntarily enjoys some of the things I enjoy. I will still love him if he prefers fishing to football. I just might have less to talk to him about. I will make an effort, but that is not a guarantee of bonding.

Hank Hill remembered how brutal Cotton was on him. Through a lifetime of acquired patience, he found a way to bond with Bobby that was as genuine as can be. This aspect of life is no cartoon.

Society is better when families are stronger. For 13 years, a television show gave us a positive portrayal of a family that consisted of decent salt of the Earth people.

New neighbors will move in, but for those that like good families and good television, the Hills are already missed.

Take care Hank. You were a good dad and a better neighbor. You also had great writers.

Mike Judge, way to end it on a high note.

eric

Now on to the Week 7 NFL pregame spreads.

Green Bay Packers @ Cleveland Browns

(Packers by 7.5, they cover)

San Francisco 49ers @ Houston Texans

(Texans by 3, upset special, 49ers win outright)

San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs

(Chargers by 4.5, upset special, Chiefs win outright)

Indianapolis Colts @ St. Louis Rams

(Colts by 13, they cover)

New England Patriots @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

(Patriots by 14.5, they cover)

Minnesota Vikings @ Pittsburgh Steelers

(Steelers by 4, they win but fail to cover)

Buffalo Bills @ Carolina Panthers

(No line, Panthers win)

New York Jets @ Oakland Raiders

(Jets by 6, upset special, Raiders win outright)

Chicago Bears @ Cincinnati Bengals

(Bengals by 1.5, they cover)

Atlanta Falcons @ Dallas Cowboys

(Cowboys by 4, they win but fail to cover)

New Orleans Saints @ Miami Dolphins

(Saints by 6.5, they win but fail to cover)

Arizona Cardinals @ New York Giants

(Giants by 7, they cover)

Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins

(Eagles by 7, they cover)

eric

4 Responses to “Farewell, King of the Hill”

  1. Dav Lev says:

    Unfortunately, the liberal Jewish fathers ( and Im sure many gentile
    fathers) instill the idea of Tikkun Olam (save the world) into their children.

    Liberalism among the majority of the Jewish community, has replaced
    Torah and the Talmud.

    Some religious factions even accuse US Jews of loving Israel, more than they do their own faith ( most Jews do NOT attend church (shul) services, and their belief in G-d is questionable. When asked what is a Jew, they say someone who eats cornbeef and reads the NYTimes).

    The above seems outrageous..even comical. But there are kernals of
    truth to these opinions.

    I am now debating a few acquaintences who advocate liberal causes.
    (They are Jewish, some more observant than others). Guns owned by Jews, forget it. All kinds of excuses are being given me..I have a temper and may kill someone..and I may use it on myself..I don’t have room in my apartment.

    Telling them that if the Supreme Court allows anyone to own a handgun
    even in blue New York City..the number of guns will most likely double from the current over 250m.

    Jews don’t want to hear this…they believe it is anti-Jewish to own a gun.
    They dismiss the fact that less than 300 guns ( small arms) were owned by 500,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. All but a few people did not survive the final attack by the SS..aided by Ukrainians and others.

    One friend tells me that he is more concerned about liberals who
    say horrible things about Obama.

    Telling him that there are vicious anti-Semitic groups in the USA,
    affiliated with even more Islamo-fascistic groups, falls on deaf ears
    I’m told Im living in the 1980s.

    Rabbi Marvin Hier, a survivor of a concentration camp, has been warning US for years about creeping anti-Jewish (and other) hatreds. Allowing a small hole to be left open…opens up more holes eventually, that is how
    the NAZIs almost accomplished their goal for the entire world..a world Judenrein, w/o Jews.

    Hey guys, hows about that right wing nut in Britain. Did we all see
    the ranting and raving of the protests at the TV studio? Talk about
    perfidy. England is the mecca of Islamic-fascism….Sharia law is gaining there. Tolerant England is debating a right-winger? Wwowoow.

    Read today that 2 females, daring to wear pants in the Sudan were flogged. Then I read that a Saudi was flogged for daring to talk about
    sex…AND ENGLAND IS ALLOWING Sharia. Oh me oh my. And Obama
    wants to engage with the Sudan..oh vey!

    My father was liberal in his youth..during the Depression as were many others. But he finally got the message..after years of work ( 6-7 days week), and struggling for his family, he saw through liberalism…transferring wealth from the hard-working Joe who cares about his family, to the person with a hand outstretched for some of his after tax dollars.

    I like the idea of a father going fishing AND watching the Dodgers play in the NLCS, or the Yankees beating the dickens out of the Angels. I like
    Jeter and AJ. I want fathers (Jewish) to instruct their children on the use of guns to protect themselves. ( Jews cannot kill animals for sport..which is okay with me).

    I want every father to show his son (and daughter) how to use a single shot 12 gauge and an 8 shot shotgun/a 22/ a 30-06, etc.

    I want fathers to display guns in their living room..somewhere on a
    gun shelf, for everyone to see.

    I am reminded several years ago, when my bldg manager came to
    inspect my apartment, he noticed the 12 gauge next to the TV. After
    he picked himself off the floor (Jews don’t own guns), he asked whether it was loaded?

    I want Jewish fathers to display the American flag..everyday.
    I want Jewish fathers to say it’s okay to own a manufacturing plant,
    a restaurant, an antique shop…we don’t need more doctors, lawyers
    and CPAs. I want Jews to go into engineering, chemisry and biophysics.
    I want Jews to work in defense plants..

    I want fewer B Madoffs and J. Abramoffs..in fact, I never want
    to see this again.

    I want Jewish fathers to show by example, a love for the USA..
    I want more Republicans….I want Jewish marines and sailors.
    I want Jews to fly F-22s. I want Jewish admirals on ships in the Persian
    Gulf., displaying the Star of David proudly for the Iranians to see.
    I want Iran to start sweating.

    I would like to see more Jewish basketball players…and football stars.

    That is what I want.

  2. It was a shame KOTH ended. It was a great show. It showe Middle America in a good light, which is nice, but it also showed the dark side. The depictions of Northeasterners and Coast people was too cartoonish (pun intended) though, and Judge’s new show on ABC just overdid that theme and was cancelled. When you look at some of judge’s other work (like Idiocracy and Office Space) you see where he really comes down on Middle America and corporate America, and it’s not a pretty sight. He is no corporatist/conservative by any stretch. You also may recall the famous “weak handshake” scene with GWB and what Hank thought of that. Meanwhile, Ann Richards was regarded with admiration and respect. The same Ann Richards that the sleazy Bush machine spread lesbian rumors about. I don’t think Judge is a fan of Bush by any stretch either.

    JMJ

  3. Oh, by the way – for our good host – you are not registering on WOT. You should register there so we can rate the security of your site. Your site is very secure. I picked up one virus, just once, but to this day have no evidence that your site was the direct source, and have long since been convinced it was not (I think it was via my blogger ID). Please get yourself updated on WOT so more people can feel safe about reading your opines.

    Another thing – kudos to Bill O’Rielly for his honest and right stance on regulating CEO pay for companies that take TAXPAYER money the other night! Sometimes those Fox people get it right.

    JMJ

  4. blacktygrrrr says:

    To me WOT stands for War on Terror.

    I registered for the War on Terror years ago.

    Ok Jersey, my powers of deductive reasoning combined with some rabbit ears tell me you meant something else.

    What is this WOT you speak of? If it is a soft power diplomacy site I am not interested. 🙂

    Jokes aside, fill me in on this one, and thank you in advance.

    eric aka the Tygrrrr Express

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