The South: from King of the Hill to Real Life™ and beyond!
January 1, 2008 5:25 PM Subscribe
The South: from King of the Hill to Real Life™ and beyond. Help me sort out some questions I have on the nature of the South!
posted by Lockeownzj00 to society & culture (46 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
This started out as a question about King of the Hill, so I'll start from there. It's long. Bear with me.
I started watching King of the Hill again recently, mostly because I've been going through a lot of the classic animated "sitcoms" lately and thought I should reassess it (especially since I was too young to grasp its true humor/brilliance when it was still nascent). Watching it got me thinking.
Let's see, I'll use the Simpsons as an example. With a show like the Simpsons, I'm well acquainted with it enough, and have read enough about it, to kind of see its overarching place in American culture and society: how it's influenced it, how it represents it, how the culture at large perceives it, etc. etc. I can see its cultural footprint, however hazily, in my mind.
But the thing with King of the Hill is that it's about a culture and place I'm not part of, so I have a much different, and much more linear view of the show culturally. What I'm wondering is how the show is perceived in, let's say, the show's backdrop, Texas--or the rest of the South for that matter (which, to me, is still unfortunately a big coagulated mass of states).
See, though the Simpsons is absurd and ridiculous at times, in many ways it succeeded in doing exactly what Matt Groening had hoped for: it conveyed more honestly suburban family life than any past or contemporary sappy sitcoms. So I'm wondering if this is the case as well with King of the Hill--is it, in the end, human and accurate? Is it beloved? Was it a love letter from Mike Judge to his childhood? And I guess more importantly Is there anywhere on the net where I can find these kinds of questions analysed?
This is the first half of my question. Winded yet?
Well, this whole line of thought got me thinking. As a Northerner (and a fairly sheltered Northerner at that), I feel that I still have a hackneyed, negative, largely ignorant view of the South and southern states.
What kind of literature (or cinema, actually) can I look for that paints a different, more human picture of the South?
One author I've read who I understand does just the thing is Dennis Covington (I've read an excerpt of Salvation on Sand Mountain for a class). I'd be grateful if anyone could school me.