The title sounds brutal, I know, but I assure you, I’m a fan. I love King of the Hill. Granted, I’m kind of a minority within my circle of friends, and even family when it comes to this, but all the same, I love this show.
In recent months, there’s been talk of giving it the ol’ reboot treatment. I say this as both a fan of the show who saw how it ended and was legitimately content with this being the last episode, and as someone who’s sick and tired of memberberry culture’s stranglehold on entertainment. King of the Hill needs to STAY dead.
It hasn’t even been dead for all that long compared to most of the corpses being dug up for nostalgic puppet shows. If they hadn’t made Jigsaw (AKA, Saw 8), King of the Hill would probably even hold a record for how shortly it’d been resting in its grave before the entertainment industry came wandering into that graveyard with its shovels and marionette strings.
I’ve heard tale that the new King of the Hill isn’t really going to be a full fledge reboot, nor will it be a straight up “picking up where we left off” concept. Rather, it’s going the “years later” concept seen in such reboots as Fuller House, and Girl Meets World. The rumor I heard was that Bobby would be college aged, and his parents would be older. In core concept, this sounds like a fun little novelty episode at absolute best, and like something I’d read on Fanfiction.net at absolute worst. And I suppose fanfiction made into legit canon can work. It worked for Adventure Time (though god only knows why). Unfortunately, fanfiction is also the reason 50 Shades of Gray exists, so…
I see nothing but disaster for this reboot. Largely because, like I’ve said, it’s a reboot. It’s starting to get to a point where even the people who WANTED to see the Ghostbusters strap on the packs one more time, or the Power Rangers to morph one more time, or whatever their favorite nostalgic property did one more time, don’t want to see it anymore. Too little too late, according to my Twitter. Unless you WANTED to see Predator go on a human hunt one more time. Or The Usual Suspects do its thing one more time. Or possibly Highlander endure the quickening one more time.
That much is probably just my personal bias, coupled with the fact that I’m sick of memberberry culture in the modern day. Seriously, if I knew the stuff I used to watch as a kid was going to still be here as an adult in his thirties… I don’t know what I’d say.
The thing about King of the Hill in particular, though, is that it ended on season thirteen. THIRTEEN! Usually when a show makes it to season SIX, the fanbase is starting to contemplate maybe moving on to greener pastures, and the creaters start to get lazy. To put it another way, somewhere around season 6 and season 7 is when a show encounters the problem of seasonal decay.
Seasonal decay is when a show with a lot of power, a lot of influence, and a lot of popularity behind it begins to lose all that power, all the influence, and all that popularity in a very slow, barely noticeable fashion. It’s more or less the opposite of jumping the shark, where in a show makes a change so drastic and irrational that the fans leave almost instantly. With seasonal decay, the fans drop out of the fandom at a slower, barely noticeable rate. You never really notice WHEN the show starts to feel meh… Unless you’re one of those obsessive idiots who memorizes things in the background of every scene of every episode for no reason other than to prove to your fellow nerds your dick is bigger because you noticed it, of course. You just sit there, watching your favorite show, but notice that suddenly, everything that used to be funny, cool, and overall interesting about the show is just falling flat lately.
King of the Hill, as much as I love this show, definitely fell victim to seasonal decay. The Powerpuff Girls is another example of a show that entered seasonal decay, and while I myself didn’t even bother watching it, it’s basically all over the internet that rebooting it definitely didn’t help. I mean yeah, it didn’t help The Powerpuff Girls any that the reboot looked nothing like the original, and felt more like an episode of Adventure Time as written by the Teen Titans Go staff than a legit Powerpuff Girls series… But yeah, rebooting it didn’t remedy the decay at all.
And of course, you can’t talk about rebooting King of the Hill without addressing the ginormous elephant in the room: Tom Petty and Britney Murphy are no longer with us, and therefore, can’t reprise their roles as Luanne and Lucky respectively.
I’m not sure how much that’ll bother people. I’m a bit of a minority within the KOTH fandom in that I actually didn’t mind Lucky becoming a main character marrying Luanne, and getting her knocked up with… I think they eventually named their baby Grace, but it would’ve been funnier to me if they stuck with Lasagna. Hell, they could’ve called her Liz for short. But I digress.
People HATED Lucky. Him becoming a regular character was considered the closest thing to a jumping the shark moment that show had. Hell, I distinctly remember a petition circulating through the internet demanding that Lucky be removed from the show entirely! And you wonder why congress doesn’t take petitions seriously?
I can see that complaint, but at the same time, Lucky was pretty harmless. He seemed like the kind of guy who, if nothing else, was a product of his environment. And that environment, for better or worse, was the trailer park.
I suppose it’s an irrelevant observation now, considering Tom Petty’s gone now, and can’t reprise the role anymore. Sure, you COULD possibly make a claim like “Oh, somewhere in the time skip, Lucky and Luanne moved to Georgia because shut up.” Still, I have a hard time imagining King of the Hill without Luanne at this point. And recasting Luanne and/or Lucky would be a bit of a grave disservice just to give some random schlubs in a dormitory their memberberry fix.
Admittedly, at the time of this blogging, the talks between Mike Judge and the network are just that: talks. Maybe nothing will come of these talks, or maybe we’ll get the reboot after all. I’m not certain at this point, but all I can say for sure is that the prospect of a reboot doesn’t fill me with a whole lot of confidence, I tell you what.