The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 11, 2003 - 9
By Alex Wolsky
Daily Arts Writer
disappoint at the State
By Forest Casey
Daily Arts Writer
While Scotland's Belle & Sebast-
ian produce perfectly poignant and
precious music, picking up perfectly
where Nick Drake's delicate Dream
Pop left off, are they worth $26 a
With a catalogue as varied, whim-
sical and melodic as they have, the
In a move that brought us "Futurama" and "Fami-
ly Guy," FOX unleashed a series of animated sit-
coms hoping to find the obvious heir apparent to
the throne of "The Simpsons." One of those fight-
ing for recognition was "King of the Hill," the story
of a slow-talking, southern patriarch attempting to
guide his family towards his own distorted percep-
tion of normality, which returns to DVD with the
complete second season.
Based on the lives of a modern Texas family,
"King of the Hill" maintained "The Simpsons"
stylized writing and sound
characterization with an equal
balance of comedy and drama. King of the
The strongest aspect of "King Hill:
of the Hill," however, comes Season 2
from the almost reclusive style DVD
of humor placed within the
show. Based on a model simi- FOX
lar to "Family Guy" and "The
Simpsons" before it, "King of the Hill" maintains
comedic presence through the personalities of its
In season two, creators Greg Daniels and Mike
Judge extended the show's range by drawing on an
extensive list of influences, including farce
("Jumpin' Crack Bass"), political lampoon ("Junkie
Business") and tragedy ("Leanne's Saga"). Daniels
and Judge developed their characters beyond the
Belle & Sebastian
have been well
worth the ticket
nately, the band
failed to impress
even itself, and the
Friday, Nov. 7
At the State Theater
Courtesy of FOX
The men of the "Hill."
It wasn't until they did a cover of
Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" that
they appeared lively, and even then, it
was limited to miniscule head bob-
bing. Ironically, before they played
this song, I was giving them many
more chances, but why dig up a dusty
pop classic- to appear "fun?" Why not
play "I Love My Car," "A Summer
Wasting" or "The Model?" B&S
appeared to be bored with their reper-
toire of songs.
The massive light show only
served to infuriate fans more, belt-
ing out rainbow brightness when
they covered the Jackson 5, and
pasting false emotions on the crowd.
If it is all about the music, then why
this. cheap pull of the heartstrings?
Why is it necessary for a quiet band
to have 14 people on stage, includ-
ing two drunk backup vocalists and
three people playing maracas? I sup-
pose the astronomical ticket prices
go to support all of these maraca-
This is not at all to say that Belle
& Sebastian are a "bad" band - far
from it, in fact. Murdoch's voice
and lyrics make any ordinary walk
through campus seem perfectly
melodramatic. It's almost as if they
were meant to be listened to in an
B&S seemed lost in the gigantic
State Theatre, their delivery of deli-
cate melodies obstructed by the
sheer mass of people.
typical redneck stereotype making Hank, Peggy,
Bobby, Luanne and Bill multi-dimensional.
The DVD set includes four discs with 23
episodes containing classic "King of the Hill"
episodes "The Man Who Shot Cane Skretteburg,"
"Meet the Manger Babies" and "Husky Bobby"
where Hank's son finds love modeling plus-sized
clothing. The DVD captures all of the episodes in
their original full-frame form with a re-sampled
Dolby Surround sound in both English and Spanish.
The 23 episodes are complimented with various
storyboards, in-character commentaries, special
never-before-seen director introductions, featurettes
on the animation of the show, excerpts from the
now out-of-print book authored by Daniels and
Judge "The Boy Ain't Right" and a selection of
recordings and music videos inspired by the show.
The most impressive feature is the 197 deleted
scenes. Containing multiple takes on certain punch
lines and various additional scenes that build upon
the humor of the show, they allow the viewer to see
a side of "King of the Hill" only hinted at during
the aired episodes.
Overall, the second season brought new light to
an emerging animated sitcom. While not quite to
the standards of "The Simpsons" in its prime,
Daniels and Judge brought a new sense of in-depth
characterization to "King of the Hill." And while
the deep characterization took hold on one hand
and the writing improved on the other. Season two
would show just how strong of a contender FOX
had bred with "King of the Hill."
show was a disappointing mix of
unnecessary theatrics, technical dif-
ficulties and general malaise felt, it
seems, by both the band and the
The concert itself was nonchalant,
with lead singer Stuart Murdoch
looking even more apathetic toward
his own music than the crowd. I
know that Belle & Sebastian's brand
of chamber pop is difficult to enjoy
in the same way as, say, an Andrew
WK concert, but the band really
looked as if they were working the
checkout counter at a supermarket
- simply doing their jobs instead of
enjoying the concert.
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