The joy of watching the Dallas Cowboys kick butt in their season opener on Sunday was saddened later that evening when “King of the Hill” aired its series finale.
Hank, Peggy, and Bobby Hill of “Arlen” have been welcomed in my home since the TV series debuted in 1997.
Back in 1997 before the first episode aired, local radio stations were airing commercials to announce the new animated series. When I heard the Hank Hill character talking on the radio I thought, “That’s the dumbest cartoon voice I’ve ever heard. That shows sounds like crap.”
Then I watched the series debut and loved it.
The fictional Arlen was a Dallas suburb, and for years some locals thought it was really Arlington. But “Hill” co-creator Mike Judge hails from Garland, and he later admitted his hometown inspired the fictional city.
The finale was true to the series’ low-key approach, with Bobby getting entangled in another mess, and Hank learning a life lesson from the son who often tested his faith.
I loved the ending, when all the neighbors and recurring characters smelled steaks cooking in the Hill backyard and made their way over for an impromptu cookout. I was genuinely touched even though everybody in the show is a cartoon.
FOX TV’s Sunday night lineup of animated shows, “The Simpsons,” “American Dad,” and “Family Guy” is still priceless, but I’ll miss “Hill.”
On the bright side, “The Cleveland Show,” a spinoff from “Family Guy,” is getting ready to debut and it looks pretty funny based on the clips being shown.