The Beverly Hillbillies

The Beverly Hillbillies. 20th Century Fox 1993.
The Beverly Hillbillies. 20th Century Fox 1993.

Before watching the movie:

While it was never really a favorite, more of something not disagreeable between other shows I did like, I recall there was a period in my youth when I watched a lot of The Beverly Hillbillies. Boy, those yokels who don’t know how they’re supposed to use egregious amounts of wealth, right? Actually I recall it using both extremes to mock the other. The Clampetts may have been walking stereotypes, but they were also people of simple tastes who highlighted just how absurd the excesses of wealthy Southern California can be. They bought a mansion in a nice neighborhood, but they still lived simply. I recently spent a lot of time thinking about what to do with a massive windfall, and I think it’s smart not to change much about one’s habits simply because smoking cigars wrapped in hundred-dollars bills on a yacht becomes an option.

I don’t know what to expect from a reboot movie made 20 or 30 years later. The show was made in a media landscape that believed in a simpler world than what the 90s accepted. The plots that stick strongly in my mind are the time Jed decided that the “billiard room” was the place to have Thanksgiving dinner because it had the nicest table in the house, and if possible he should serve a “billyard” (a rhino, like the head mounted on the wall in that room) on it, or when their banker turned out to be the last descendent of a family feud inspired by the Hatfields and McCoys, until Granny found out and revealed she was from the other family. When I try to imagine the 90s equivalent, I see a lot of manic slapstick. “From the director of Wayne’s World” being a selling point does not sound promising.

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