King Of The Hill: The Complete Second Season

King Of The Hill: The Complete Second Season
King of the Hill hit the ground running with its first season of episodes, chronicled in the box-set released a few months ago. Unlike The Simpsons, which took at least two seasons to get into high gear, KOTH's characters were fully defined in the first season, allowing the second season storylines to expand their scope. In the solitary director's commentary (can't this series include more?) co-creator Greg Daniels relates that the writers had done at least two tours of duty in Texas to gain greater understanding of the tenor of everyday life there. This season's satire is sharper as a result, grounded in believable situations that are seldom explored in television comedy. Season Two delves further into themes of Native, Afro- and Mexican-American identity, generational and gun culture issues, and frequently bizarre behaviour in the name of proper Christian conduct. Even more fun is had in the more far-fetched episodes, as when Hank's dad Cotton steals Santa Ana's artificial leg from the Arlen museum or Hank's adventures in fishing with crack as bait. The writers were clearly on a roll — almost all the 197 deleted scenes are funny. The writing for guest stars always strives to create memorable characters, rather than just riff on their celebrity, and Ani Difranco, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates and even Green Day are outstanding. Despite the lack of director commentary, and the limited humour of the in-character commentaries, the DVD extras in this set improve on Season One. The best features are an animator taking us to school in a featurette about the illustrative details of each character, and the inclusion of a good chunk of the hilarious parenting book The Boy Ain't Right. This is one of those TV box-sets where one exclaims, "this episode is soooo good" many, many times. Plus: director intros. (Fox)