A Glass of Chianti

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Oh! I remember what I was going to say

...like, a month ago, when this aired. Tipped off by a post over at Claw of the Conciliator, we* bring you: Evangelical Church Shopping: King of the Hill-style. The treatment of a certain type of suburban Protestantism is quite well done and the selection of clips from the episode gives you a good flavor of that whole church scene if you are sheltered enough to be unfamiliar.

The noticeable absence of good King of the Hill fansites (and, well, vocal fan base) has bothered me, to be honest. When I need a Futurama reference explanation there are, literally, dozens of places to go: pretty comprehensive episode summaries, memorable quote lists, goofy sound depositories, etc. But for KotH? A smattering of plot summaries with hardly a memorable quote in sight. It's always struck me as odd, frankly, because KotH is a show where there is something for everyone. It strikes a really good balance between humor that relies on characterization to bring the laughs (ex. Peggy describing herself as a "substitute teacher of EspaƱol" isn't funny except, ummmmm, it is!) and humor that is more situational in nature. Even when the show gets wacky (DDR in Japan, people), it's heartfelt and hilarious. Plus, any show that manages to get the atmosphere of a postmodern art gallery as pitch perfect as "Ceci n'est pas une King of the Hill" (throwaway sight gag: a canvas with "Close your eyes and think of Freud" hanging on the wall) is quality stuff.

I guess people who tend to gloss over the show do it because it seems to be perceived as a kind of a "regional" thing. Personally, I don't see the humor as more regional than Family Guy, and you never hear people complaining about the fact that much of the humor seems to hinge on whether you think a place/person/pop culture reference with a Q in the name is funny inherently or not. I'm sure Rhode Island is hilarious and someday if I get there I'll breathe the magic air and start laughing at all those regional things that are going over my head. And I'll name my first born Quamie or something quazy like that. To contrast, Tom Landry Middle School is funny no matter what.** Even if you don't find the idea of a middle school being named after a football coach to be amusing, the fact of the matter is that the show isn't based on mere references to the region. The heart of the show is that there are real characters who aren't contorted and abused to get the laughs behind the broad humor. That investment in the characters pays off in the end. Plus, there's Chuck Mangione! Often! The only way KotH could be better is if Chuck Mangione were Randy Travis.

Anyway, Megachurches (and the rest of the Evangelical ambrosia) and Hank Hill - TV was made for things like that.

*We, meaning I, of course... I'm just practicing speaking on behalf of other people without permission. I have a few months still before I need to be fluent in that.
**I'll grant that it probably way funnier if you've spent time in Footballland.