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The most acutely observed, realistic sitcom about regional American life bar none, this animated series is a lot like its protagonist, Texas propane salesman Hank Hill: it isn’t flashy, never gets a lot of attention, but it does its job year in and year out. With a harsh war-veteran father, a pudgy son more interested in prop-comedy than football and a stubborn, Boggle-obsessed wife, Hank tries to avoid both his dad’s callousness and P.C. feel-goodism while sticking to his principles of hard work in a world that rewards shortcuts. Creator Mike Judge makes Hank funny in his pained Boy-Scout rectitude without making him a figure of fun for it, and with its canvas of mega-stores and Laotian yuppies, the show sees modern America’s fine detail like an electron microscope.

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