Another week, another story about a classic TV show being revived.
This time, it’s King of the Hill because all of The Simpsons‘ old animated counterparts on Fox must eventually come back – first Family Guy, then Futurama, next King of the Kill, after that maybe, I dunno, The PJs.
According to THR, Fox Television Group chairman and CEO Dana Walden told reporters the network has had “preliminary conversations” with King of the Hill creators Greg Daniels and Mike Judge about bringing the Hill family back.
“I would like to explore that. We had a very preliminary conversation given what’s going on in the country, they had a point of view about how those characters would respond. But again, it was one meeting and I hope to revisit it. The meeting was probably two and a half months ago. They’re both very busy and it was really just a first exploratory, ‘Are you excited about this? Is there potential in that future?’ And they were both excited about it but they’re working on a lot of different things individually, so it’s about finding time.”
The “what’s going on in the country” line is similar to the logic ABC used to justify why Roseanne is coming back. Basically, Trump + disenfranchised middle class voters = What old blue collars show can we revive? What do the Connors look like in 2017 America? What has become of small town Arlen, Texas? I can’t even imagine what recent history will have done to conspiracy theorist Dale?
It was actually 20 years ago that King of the Hill premiered as a mid-season replacement, serving as Fox’s long desired answer to the question of what to air after The Simpsons. Born out of Judge’s experiences living in Dallas, Daniels’ expertise in family sitcoms and their mutual knack for thoughtful exploration of the mundane, Hill ran for 13 seasons and 259 episodes.
I’ve watched almost all of them, and don’t even have to hesitate to pick my favorite moment in the history of the show. It comes in the season six premiere, the perfectly titled “Bobby Goes Nuts.” As per so many King of the Hill episodes, Bobby’s failings to live up to his father’s old-fashioned ideals about masculinity leads to big laughs. In this particular case, after being bullied in school Bobby goes to the YMCA to take a self-defense class, but ends up in a woman’s self-defense class where he learns to shout “That’s my purse! I don’t know you!” before repelling any male attacker with a swift kick to the groin.
After this, when Bobby starts winning fights at school Hank can’t help but feel a little proud until he learns that his son is just going around kicking other kids in the balls. The following is his ill-fated attempt to re-train him in the proper art of self-defense:
Picking this as your favorite moment amidst so many others spread across 13 seasons of television might be akin to saying your favorite show is America’s Funniest Home Videos even though you’ve seen objectively better programs. It seems a bit lowest common denominator, laughing at the sight of someone being kicked down there. However, that was always just so King of the Hill, taking a seemingly standard scenario (father teaching a son how to fight) and twisting it (son kicks father in testicles and turns into a bit of monster about it until he tries the same trick on his mom only to discover she won’t go down so easily).
What does any of this have to do with the talk of bringing the show back? Nothing, really. I just really, really love that scene. Bring the show back, don’t bring it back. Whatever. It’ll work itself out. Mike Judge brought Beavis & Butthead back, and it was better than ever and no one watched. The same could happen here, minus the part about no one watching (hopefully). Or not.
There’s already a perfectly good King of the Hill successor as is, Netflix’s F is For Family. Man, I should really go finish that show’s second season. Plus, the voice behind Bobby, Pamela Adlon, has a great FX show (Better Things) I’ve yet to finish. In fact, see ya’ later. I gots some streamin’ to do.
Before I go, though, say it with me:
That’s my purse!
I don’t know you!