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King of the Hill -"Death Picks Cotton" -11/11/07

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King of the Hill -"Death Picks Cotton" -11/11/07

Old 11-11-07, 09:45 PM
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King of the Hill -"Death Picks Cotton" -11/11/07

Don't know how many people still watch this show...

The episode title gives it away, but I'm really surprised that
Spoiler:
they killed off Cotton
Old 11-11-07, 09:51 PM
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I still watch this show and love it!
Old 11-11-07, 10:11 PM
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This show used to be so good, and now it is so not good.
Old 11-11-07, 10:24 PM
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Why Cotton over Peggy? She's been grating on my nerves for the last few seasons...
Old 11-11-07, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by conscience
Why Cotton over Peggy? She's been grating on my nerves for the last few seasons...
Actually, when it comes down to it, I hate everyone except Dale. He's the only one who's even remotely interesting on the entire show.
Old 11-11-07, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by conscience
Why Cotton over Peggy? She's been grating on my nerves for the last few seasons...
I've never liked the Peggy character. One of the reasons Cotton was so amusing was because of all the crap he gave her.
Old 11-11-07, 10:45 PM
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KotH, at it's best, is a brilliant piece of work.

Rest in Peace, Cotton.
Old 11-11-07, 10:49 PM
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I hate that they killed off Cotton but I love how he went.
Old 11-12-07, 12:52 AM
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I haven't watched this show in awhile. Why wasn't Didi and G.H. there?
Old 11-12-07, 06:34 AM
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I don't watch this much but whatever happened to Cotton's wife and child?

R.I.P. Cotton.

and yeah they can kill of Peggy too.
Old 11-12-07, 09:18 AM
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I think Peggy is funny sometimes. She's had some very funny lines. In this episode I loved her reaction to Hank's admitting that his father may be dying, calling it a gush of emotions.

I won't miss Cotton at all. The title of the show was funny.
Old 11-12-07, 12:12 PM
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I am really unsatisfied with this, the more I think about it. The funniest thing about Cotton has always been his underlying decency. The people who killed him don't even get what he's about.

What used to be great about "King of the Hill" is what is still great about the best episodes of "The Office," which is run by "King" creator Greg Daniels; he understands that the funniest stuff comes from real pain and he makes sure all the characters are recognizably human and he earns his laughs.

Part of the charm of "King of the Hill" when it was on top of its game was in finding comedy by making fun of characters who would ordinarily be treated as tragic, like Bill, a decent man who has suffered from chronic depression since his life was devastated by a nasty divorce, or Cotton, who is a WW2 combat veteran living with a crippling injury.

The entire comic premise of the that character is that he is a very proud man, trying to preserve his dignity in the face of the fact that he is essentially a walking sight-gag. The orneryness, the emotional repression, and the crazy antics have to come from the fact that he has a worldview where disability is inconsistent with masculinity, and he has never fully come to terms with that.

His strained relationship with Hank, in competent hands, was a mirror that the show's original writers used to comment on and flesh out Hank's relationship with Bobby. Cotton's identity is centered in his notion of masculinity, and, since that was compromised by his injury, he needed Hank to somehow compensate for his reduced potency. But Cotton could never come to terms with the injury and he expresses his self-loathing as contempt for Hank. Cotton's central tragedy is that he can't accept love because he hates himself, and he transfers his own self-hatred onto Hank. The shattered egos of both men are a constant source of hilarity.

One of the show's central premises is that Hank had expectations about what he wanted his own son to be, and he has his own concepts of masculinity. Bobby defies all of this. Hank being disappointed or embarrassed by Bobby is a gag that gets old very fast. But if you set up Hank's resolve to be a better father than his own father, and his profoundly decent commitment to not imposing his own hang-ups on Bobby, and then you write Bobby to constantly flout Hank's values and fail to live up to even the most modest expectations, you have something really funny.

The funniest thing about Bobby, is that Bobby is decidedly unmasculine and intensely mediocre, and he has a very positive self-image, and Hank is decent and deserves better than his lot, and he hates himself. His complicated history with Cotton is the backstory that makes this credible.

Instead, they used Bobby as a throwaway joke, and then shunted him off into a side-plot about Lucky. Speaking of which, every time I see Lucky, I miss the people who decided that "chicken butt" Buckley had to die in a fire.

Last edited by ScandalUMD; 11-12-07 at 12:19 PM.
Old 11-12-07, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Lateralus
I don't watch this much but whatever happened to Cotton's wife and child?

R.I.P. Cotton.

and yeah they can kill of Peggy too.
Yeah, where did they go?
Old 11-12-07, 06:23 PM
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Peggy Hill!
Old 11-20-07, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by ScandalUMD
I am really unsatisfied with this, the more I think about it. The funniest thing about Cotton has always been his underlying decency. The people who killed him don't even get what he's about.
Underlying decency? Where did you get this? I vividly remember an episode which focused on Cotton’s verbal abusiveness to Hank’s mother and he typically comes off as bitter man in almost every episode. The one exception I can think of where Cotton says he is proud of Bobby (like a typical doting grandfather), and even then it was a backhanded compliment since he was proud that Bobby wasn’t Hank.

Hank’s appeal is his profound ability to be an ethical man and good father in spite of the swirling chaos around him. Also, while Bobby being decidedly unmasculine is funny, I think a larger part of his appeal is his decision to be his own man. Sure, there are episodes where he gets out of line (“Give me back my purse!”), but his ability to march to the beat of his own drummer makes him more like Hank than you’re giving him credit for.

Bobby may be a mediocre student and athlete, but there are several episodes where he’s applied his own distinct brand of common sense (as either inherited or learned from Hank) to make it through the day. Episodes focusing on Hank bailing out his equally damaged friends out or taking on “the system” clearly identify the parallels between the two characters.

While I agree with you that a lot of the funny stuff comes from pain, I believe this show’s real appeal comes from the humor of character’s ability to triumph (or even just survive) against the odds or whatever course that would have been suggested by conventional wisdom.
Old 11-20-07, 04:39 PM
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^
Was this an essay for a class or something?
Old 11-20-07, 06:21 PM
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I'm a little behind the times when it comes to KOTH. So Cotton died huh?

Cotton's always been my least favorite character of the show, and the "underlying decency" or actually lack of it from Cotton is why I couldn't stand him. It's true that the charm of the show is the heart of flawed characters, but I never thought there was much heart behind Cotton. Maybe the writers intended for there to be, but it always came across as forced.
Old 11-21-07, 01:49 PM
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Cotton was a great character who was decent at his core. Remember when he helped Peggy learn to walk again after her skydiving accident?

One of favorite lines from Cotton was when he was sitting in the back seat of Hank's truck and said, "Good God Hank you have a fat neck!"
Old 11-21-07, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Lateralus
I don't watch this much but whatever happened to Cotton's wife and child?
I wondered this as well all through the episode. Also, what happened to his elder son? The Japanese one. I can't seem to remember his name. Towajiro? It was something that started with a "T"...
Old 11-21-07, 11:41 PM
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Yes, Cotton was a decent man deep down. Remember when he told Hank that he was a good father despite Cotton being a lousy father. He just expressed it in a very Cotton-like manner.

"You're a great father, Hank. You made Bobby. All I did was make you."

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