Church Hopping (King of the Hill)

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"Church Hopping"
ChurchHopping.jpg
All this... over one specific seat?
Series: King of the Hill
Part of Season: 10
Episode Number: 197
Air Date: April 9, 2006
Writer: Jim Dauterive
Director: Robin Brigstocke
Previous episode: "Hank Fixes Everything"
Next episode: "24 Hour Propane People"


Church Hopping is the eleventh episode of the tenth season of King of the Hill. It was written by Jim Dauterive and directed by Robin Brigstocke. It first aired on April 9, 2006.

Plot

When the Hills are late to church and another family takes their favorite pew, they leave because their pastor refuses to assign seats and switch to a megachurch.

Why It Hops Into Bad Territory

  1. The Hills are all unsympathetic protagonists in this episode.
    1. Hank is the worst offender for being extremely rude to a family with multiple small children, starting a very juvenile fight with Reverend Stroup, getting drunk with Lucky instead of going to the megachurch behind his family’s back one Sunday morning, and even blackmailing his pastor.
    2. Peggy drives the staff at the megachurch insane with her frequent suggestions and practically never gives them an inch to breathe.
    3. Although Bobby has very little of a role in the episode, the plot starts because he forgot to set the clocks forward for Daylight Savings time.
  2. The whole plot after the beginning could have been avoided entirely if the Hills had just tried to get to church earlier the next time around.
  3. Major continuity error: The Hills had been seen sitting in other pews and not having a specific preference in earlier episodes, yet in this one, they claim to have only sat there for twelve years.
  4. Hank already had feuds with religious leaders twice on the show, and each other time it was over something much more important than where his family sits at church.
  5. Hank’s crisis of faith over being unable to find another suitable church for him and his family is not a compelling dramedy at all, especially because of the constant reminders that the only things keeping him away from his old one are his stubbornness and inflexibility.
  6. Luanne is very hypocritical for telling Hank he is going to Hell for not going to church because her boyfriend Lucky is shown to not go either, with no complaints from her.
  7. As mentioned in WIS #1, the episode ends with Hank blackmailing Reverend Stroup by convincing the family to take his preferred pew to switch to the megachurch and threatening to encourage others to leave too if she does not assign seats, which is quite ironic for him to be doing in a religious setting.
  8. The episode tries to satirize the concept of the megachurch, but fails to do so as it portrays its staff and other members in a positive light. It also could have criticized megachurches for their hypocrisy when it comes to Christian values, but misses the opportunity.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The montage of alternative churches the Hills reject while looking for a new place of worship is funny.
  2. The megachurch staff are likable characters, even if their type of church is not for every one of their faith.

Reception

"Church Hopping" is Number 10 on The Mysterious Mr. Enter’s Top 10 Worst Episodes of King of the Hill because it is an example of "protagonist-centered morality" that fails because it "gives you no reason to root for the Hills."[1]

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