Blog 6: King of the Hill, Halloween Special

27 Oct

           There have been a few television programs that have been canceled and still run to this day. That being said, there is one that still lives as one of the best shows to air on TV, even after six years of its cancelation. This show is famously known as King of the Hill. The show was an animated sitcom series that was produced by FOX until it was cancelled in 2008 after thirteen seasons. It is now currently aired on Adult Swim where reruns of episodes are being showed. The series centers around a middle-class Methodist family, the Hills, in a fictional town of Arlen, Texas. The family consists of Hank Hill, the well-mannered/tempered father and assistant manager of Strickland Propane, Peggy Hill, the overconfident mother and substitute teacher, Bobby Hill, the overweight comedic son, and Luanne Platter, the absent minded niece of Hank and Peggy. The series focuses on the family and how they overcome ridiculous situations in a naturalistic scenario. The plots are usually centered around Hank with him being the voice of reason and occasionally solving the problem.
In every episode of King of the Hill, there is usually a lesson that involves a certain issue that affects the world. And there is one that focuses on the issue of how religion is portrayed. This was the Halloween special that I recently watched called Hilloween. In this episode, Hank and his friends are working on a haunted house for the local school in the hopes that Bobby will have the same joy that he had at is age. Meanwhile, Luanne becomes influenced by an outspoken member of the church, Junie Harper, who convinces Luanne that Halloween is a satanic holiday and should be boycotted by the community. After Junie gets the haunted house canceled, Hank exacts his revenge by taking Bobby to egg and teepee her house. In the aftermath, Junie convinces the community to cancel Halloween and issue a curfew. Bobby feels bad about the egging incident and Luanne convinces him to go to a Junie’s Hallelujah House, opposite of a haunted house. Outraged by this discovery, Hank decides to protest by marching to Junie house in the Halloween costume he had as a kid. The community then joins in, even Luanne, and they convince the kids attending the house to go trick-or-treating again. Junie is passively defeated and episode ends with Luanne joyfully yelling Happy Halloween Everyone.
This is an important episode to keep in mind when the issue of religion comes into perspective. There are two characters that portray the issue of religious beliefs; Luanne and Junie. Luanne has been convinced by Junie’s opinion because she was naïve. In Images of Evangelicals, Rendleman explains; “Often appearing as a supporting character in ensemble pieces or movies with traditional leads, the naïve evangelical is a cultural innocent who reaches out to others with his or her faith.” (Rendleman 282). Because Luanne isn’t considered the sharpest tool in the shed, she was easily able to be persuaded by an outrageous assumption by Junie and able to convince Bobby because of his youthful nature. Junie is considered the psychotic evangelist. She has not shown much signs of violence, but during the Hallelujah House she scared children asserting her own religious agenda onto them. She claimed Hank to be a hypocrite evangelist simply because he was convincing his son to dress up in a costume and have fun on Halloween. Hank was nowhere hypocritical because he was saying that Halloween is harmless fun. Hank’s beliefs disconfirmed hypocritical evangelism.

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