I try not to read the New York Times mainly because I like it when my ears don’t bleed and I’m not running around the house pulling my hair out. But I saw this piece linked up on Big Hollywood and clicked on it. And boy, was I glad I did.
The New York Times has written the most unintentionally funny piece I’ve read in a long time. In short, The New York Times doesn’t think Mike Judge is funny anymore. Mind you, they thought he was hilarious when he created the show ‘King of the Hill’ because they saw it as mocking middle America but now Judge’s new show “The Goodes” is mocking political correctness. And the NYT is not happy.
The Times introduces the piece by saying “King of the Hill” was great because essentially the dumb rubes in middle America didn’t know they were being made fun of while the show “mocked provincial mediocrity enough to appease the yen for religious condescension on the coasts.”
Yup. They actually wrote that.
The writer then does what every other writer in the media does, they entwine whatever they’re writing about with politics. In this case they confuse the fate of the cancelled “King of the Hill” show with the election. Hey NYT, not everything has to do with politics.
Just a few days before the November presidential election, Fox canceled “King of the Hill” after 13 seasons, its ratings having declined, testament perhaps to a national exhaustion with values-bashing even when the bashing produced few scars and little bloodshed.
13 seasons is a long time. Mentioning that it was cancelled a few days before the election is a bit of a non sequitir. It’s like saying, “Just a few days before the election, a volcano erupted in Hawaii” or “Just days before the election, another NFL star got into some legal trouble at a nightclub.”
In reading about the new show, I’ve got to admit it seems kind of funny to me. It has a pretty funny premise in that the Goodes are:
a family of zealot, vegan, recycling nutcases who don’t fight over paper versus plastic because they believe in neither. “I know a lot of people are comfortable shopping with reusable bags,” Helen Goode (the voice of Nancy Carell) explains as she piles her groceries into her arms in the checkout line of a pseudo Whole Foods. “But I’m not,” she says. “They’re made in sweat shops.”
The Goodes have a dog named Che that leers at rodents because it isn’t allowed to eat meat, and an adopted teenage son named Ubuntu (Dave Herman) whom they thought was black but who turned out, once they got him from South Africa, to be the blond child of Afrikaners. To compensate for his racist lineage, they dress him each day as if he were being sent off to a parade in honor of Nelson Mandela. His brand new driver’s license identifies him as African-American. When he apologizes for using too much gas during his initial spins around town, his father assures him that it is not really the consumption that matters: “It’s O.K., Ubuntu, what’s important is that you feel guilty about it.”
Now to me, that sounds kind of funny. But the New York Times finds it…wait for it…”aggresively off-zeitgeist.”
Here’s the graph:
But the show feels aggressively off-zeitgeist, as if it had been incubated in the early to mid-’90s when it was still possible to find global-warming skeptics among even the reasonable and informed. But who really thinks of wind power — an allusion to which is a running visual gag in the show — as mindless, left-wing nonsense anymore?
Look, if ever you write the term “aggresively off-zeitgeist someone should come in with a club and beat you until you stop saying silly things. But I guess I’m one of the unreasonable and uninformed because I giggle when I listen to global warming fanatics.
But then the writer concludes with dragging politics back into things:
Mr. Judge, who remains obsessed with the insanities of political correctness, still has his head very much in the Clinton years, and it is possible to watch “The Goode Family” feeling so thoroughly transported back to another time that you wonder where all the Monica Lewinsky jokes went. Sometimes you’ve just got to move on.
Hmmm. Maybe it’s not Mr. Judge who’s obsesses with political correctness. Maybe, just maybe, it’s the New York Times.
And since King of the Hill ran for thirteen years, it’s a strong bet that The Goodes will be still on the air long after the Times has declared bankruptcy and sold for parts and exists only as a punchline on sitcoms created by Mike Judge.