King of the Hill (Season 8) (2003)

As I’ve mentioned before, “King of the Hill” is genuinely impressive in its consistency and downright hilarious writing. Additionally, the voice work is blessed with extraordinarily talented performers, from creator Mike Judge to Kathy Najimy to Brittany Murphy, who have long ago found the hearts and souls of each of their characters, and here the writers manage to push the characterizations further with confidence. Episodes like “Patch Boomhauer,” “Rich Hank Poor Hank” and “That’s What She Said” manage to find new things for the established characters to do and satisfying new arcs for them, in particular Hank: The writers manage to take Hank out of his comfort levels a number of times, and it’s that willingness to challenge the characters without losing track of what makes them so well-rounded in the first place that makes this season all the more interesting. The show’s satirical upending of Texas culture still provides plenty of opportunities for laughs, in particular in episodes like “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Alamo” and “Hank’s Back,” where Texan macho posturing is upended without ever veering into nastiness or mean-spiritedness.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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