The retrospective proceeds now v the ninth and tenth episodes of the an initial season, beginning with the second “road trip” episode (maybe more than you’d mean for the at an early stage episodes of a comedy, however why no — one animated present can, theoretically, walk anywhere).

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“Peggy the Boggle Champ”

Why execute we continue to be interested in characters whose lives can’t change? That’s the inquiry that has constantly interested me, especially now the both fandom and TV writing are far much more oriented towards change. The question most of us have around TV collection now is what’s walk to happen in the future: just how will the characters’ resides change, what dilemmas will castle face, and over all that will get in addition to whom. Writers are interested in this too, and fill countless shows (such as Parks & Recreation, to stay within the King that the Hill family members for a second) with recurring romances and shifting circumstances, choose a truth show.

But many shows don’t actually lend us to those type of questions. King that the Hill will have much more continuing story threads and also character advancement than any kind of other animated sitcom, however that’s still not an extremely much. Hank and Peggy are never going to leaving that residence in that neighborhood. Lock will never cheat on every other. Hank will never get another job, and also it will take Peggy a full eight periods to uncover something various other than substitute teaching. Now that Kahn and Minh have been introduced, they will rarely accomplish anyone brand-new who they proceed to know after that one episode. In other words, not much is walking to happen to them. Therefore what accounts because that our continued interest in them, and for any kind of characters indigenous a non-serialized show?

Well, it’s the we can learn brand-new things about them. That’s what happens in this episode, wherein we are introduced to previously-unknown understand or character backgrounds for both Hank and Peggy Hill. The basis for the story is that Peggy is Arlen’s best player in ~ the game of Boggle (aka slightly much more high-tech Scrabble) and goes to Dallas to take part in the statewide tournament. The selection of Boggle together Peggy’s favourite pastime is perfect, due to the fact that it fits in so well v the method her personality is developing: it’s a video game where you need to know enough to type big words from randomly-generated collections of letters, definition that the requires expertise of words without knowing precisely what they average or exactly how they’re used.

Meanwhile, we likewise learn about Hank’s past as a high college athlete, something the hasn’t been discussed up come now. Since high college football has such huge cultural importance for men like Hank, that was inescapable that this would become a component of his character, yet KotH’s way of presenting it is a little off-centre: rather of act an episode about his past, or around football, it’s about Hank accompanying his mam to a non-athletic tournament that means as much to her together football as soon as meant to him. Since this is still very early episode and Hank is still more of a jerk 보다 he would later become, he needs to learn to accept this reality — and the truth that there’s nothing unmanly around supporting his wife, the way she as soon as supported him when he was a football hero. However this permits the writers, Jon Aibel and also Glenn Berger, to pepper the episode with small bits that information around what Hank was favor in high school, the truth that his proudest moment was going to State and the saddest to be the reality that his team lost. The many memorable step in the episode has him try to live as much as his job as Peggy’s “coach” by demonstrating how his coaches supplied to act in high school.

These brand-new things we’re learning around the personalities don’t have to finish when the illustration does, not if the writers aren’t just using them because that plot purposes. (The difference in between a well-written show and also a poorly-written one is regularly that the poorly-written display will just introduce character traits or understanding to journey a plot, but forget about them a week later.) These authors aren’t. Peggy’s Boggle obsession will certainly come up later on and feed right into the type of character she is — specifically her id that anyone is together interested in the game as she is. And we’ll discover out more about why Hank lost the huge game and also how this impacted his life. However these space not arcs. If we’re city hall to discover out where Hank and also Peggy will finish up, we’re walk to be frustrated, because the display signals very plainly that they will constantly be together, and their connection will always be pretty lot the same. (And as I said, we’re talk here about one the the couple of animated mirrors that is ready to have arcs or change the characters, particularly supporting characters. Yet it’s no Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which started at the same time. There will be couple of major changes.) yet what a an excellent TV display does is heap on bits of details until we have actually fully-formed characters. Every time us watch, we find out something brand-new about castle or obtain a twisted on something we formerly learned around them. The an outcome is the we deserve to feel the the present is not simply standing still also though nothing is, technically, changing.

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This is why emotionally involvement in non-arc episodes deserve to be for this reason intense, and why, in a strange way, it’s no the arcs that really loan depth come a show. Characters who adjust constantly and spectacularly — friend know, going native meek little schoolgirl come supervillain and back — don’t change the way real human being do. In actual life, we learn things around people we didn’t recognize before, and also that adds to the method we watch them. What King that the Hill is do the efforts to do is what The Simpsons did in its early on years, and also what many an excellent comedies do: create characters who rarely readjust but have continual character backgrounds that the writers and also the audience can attract on. Therefore the finishing of this episode, which may be among the couple of times anybody ever before wins noþeles in the whole series (Greg Daniels and also his writers soon dropped in love v the idea of characters losing competitions however coming out better from the experience) profit a tiny extra resonance currently that we know exactly how much the a stretch that is because that Hank to recognize that Peggy’s “girly” games are as vital as his man stuff. But Peggy’s status as a Boggle champion will currently become part of her background, fueling what will certainly eventually become her inflated sense of accomplishment. The more we know around the characters, the much more interesting their stories are.