King Of The Hill: The Complete First Season

King Of The Hill: The Complete First Season
One of the most underrated shows on television is finally available on DVD, I tell you what. King of the Hill remains underappreciated because its low-key approach to laughs and the uniqueness of its setting are not conducive to the moronic styling or arch satire of so many other TV comedies. The "making of" featurette explains creator Mike Judge's method: to keep it as real to his own Texan experience as possible without condescending to the characters or their cultural background. This pride-of-place realism is key: characters are less cartoon-ish than on any other show, including most sitcoms, and no one comes off as a complete buffoon. Immersed in the staunch conservative values of fictional Arlen, Texas, propane salesman Hank Hill, his family and friends are just trying to make sense of the surprising diversity around them — few shows have regular Asian or Native American characters and Mexican culture plays a big role in the show. The only characters consistently played for laughs are Northerners — Wallace Shawn and Burt Reynolds shine in one episode, as dastardly rival propane salesman Reynolds plays to Boston businessman Shawn's cliché-ridden notions of Texas to win an account from Hank. However, this collection is disappointing due to its lack of interesting commentary, which is downright dull when compared to the manic Simpsons DVDs. The potentially interesting in-character audio tracks by the actors are uninspired and even director Klay Hall has few insights into the shows. However, this show was so fully realised, even in its pilot episode, that the first season bears much repeated viewing. Extras: "making of" featurette; animation do's and don'ts; Barenaked Ladies video; commentary; deleted scenes. (Fox)