The boys are back in Arlen, Texas.
That’s right, King of the Hill is returning after Hulu announced earlier this year it was bringing the adult animated sitcom back 13 years after it went off the air. The return will include much of the original cast as well as original co-creators Mike Judge and Greg Daniels.
While we can expect to see the likes of Stephen Root, Pamela Adlon, and Kathy Najimy return, two voice actors will not be back. These are Brittany Murphy, who died in 2009, and Tom Petty, who died in 2017.
Murphy voiced Hank and Peggy Hill’s niece Luanne Platter while Petty voiced Luanne’s husband Lucky Kleinschmidt in later seasons.
Murphy’s presence, in particular, will feel like a gaping hole as she was part of the series from the early days. Petty will also be missed because his character finally gave Luanne a happy ending, one that eluded her prior to Lucky’s introduction.
So the question remains, how should the King of the Hill reboot handle the absence of both Luanne and Lucky?
Obviously, the show should not replace either. Murphy’s voice was so iconic throughout the series and her character experienced significant growth. Fans came to love her as she showed the depth of her character as the series wore on.
Part of that growth was meeting Lucky after his debut in the eighth season, culminating in their marriage at the end of the 11th season, an episode that was originally intended to be the series finale. They also had a daughter during the final season.
I believe it would be disrespectful to both Murphy and Petty to bring in other voice actors. These two did a phenomenal job building out the characters. They’re both iconic in the roles that no one else should do them.
I, personally, would like to see them get a happy ending. Luanne spent her whole life trying to escape her humble beginnings and I think the reboot could give her that.
All it would take is for Peggy or another character to mention how Luanne and Lucky moved off to Dallas and started their own business or Lucky received another legal settlement to further provide for his family.
What’s great is neither actor left the show on bad terms. Writers could bring them back numerous times throughout the reboot without relying on the voice work.
There are so many great ways to honor the memories of both Murphy and Petty throughout the reboot. I sincerely hope Judge and Daniels find a way to do that.
But what about you? How do you hope the King of the Hill reboot addresses the absences of Murphy and Petty? How would you write them out of the show or would you keep them around in a small capacity? Let us know in the comments below or by heading over to our Discord channel.
The Boss Rush Podcast is the flagship podcast of Boss Rush Media and The Boss Rush Network. Each week, Corey, LeRon, Stephanie, Edward, and their friends from around the internet come together to talk their week in games, entertainment, and more while also bringing topics for conversation, answer listener and community questions, and cover major news and events happening in the video game industry. Watch The Boss Rush Podcast live on Wednesday Nights on Twitch at 8:30 p.m. ET / 5:30 p.m. PT or on Monday mornings at 7 a.m. ET on YouTube and podcast services everywhere. Thanks for listening! You can also get this episode one week early on Patreon.