Sunday’s episode of Fox’s television show King Of The Hill, entitled "Ladies And Gentrification," was nothing short of brilliant. In the episode, Peggy Hill is having problems selling a house to a hipster because none of the homes she has shown him are “real” enough for him. That is until Peggy agrees to meet Hank at his friend Enrique’s home in a Mexican neighborhood. Peggy brings her client along, as she is in the middle of showing the hipster homes to buy. Once the hipster sees the neighborhood, he wants to live there and Peggy closes a deal.
Soon Peggy is selling homes to other hipsters in Enrique’s Mexican neighborhood. The fruit stands and Goodwill are replaced by art galleries and trendy stores. Even Enrique’s favorite place to get fish tacos changes their menu, replacing the fried fish tacos with Salmon tacos. Soon Enrique has to move because he is being priced out of his own neighborhood.
There is a great scene in which Hank and Enrique are having fish tacos when a group of hipsters enter. They give Hank attitude because he’s neither a hipster nor a Mexican, calling him Gringo. The too cool hipsters say hello to Enrique, to which he says to Hank, “They always act like they know me but I don’t know who they are!”
The episode touches upon many issues of gentrification that I thought were brilliant. One is that most hipsters want what they cannot have. While most poor people are trying to get out of a barrio, the hipsters want to get in, simply because they think it’s cool. Their adventures or ‘realness” are things that most people try to escape. Another thing is how they showed how hipsters love the realness of an ethic neighborhood but do very to little preserve the culture, often eliminating ethic businesses to bring in their own hipster culture. Then there was the hipsters that feel that they are “down” with the people simply because they live in the neighborhood, without actually getting to know their neighbors that were there before them. For the most part, many hipsters fraternized only among other hipsters from the same neighborhood.
Lastly, what I thought was cool about the episode was that it was never a race issue. Hank is white and Enrique is Mexican and they get along because they are good people. Hank is not the enemy. Many Latino hipsters have sold out many a neighborhood for their own profit. I have nothing in common with them other than ethnicity. Give me a fish taco and a beer with Hank Hill any day.