As always, Hall’s approach is that of the semi-closeted intellectual: an aesthete in hick’s clothing. Tonight’s highlights include a bang-on assessment of JR Ewing who, Hall reckons, embodies the average Texan’s ‘metamorphosis from cowboy to urbanite’ and a wonderfully witty deconstruction of the sexual politics of college football. Hall’s trump card is his partiality. Balance is a sorely overrated quality in factual TV and it’s always refreshing to hear an informed, perceptive and opinionated individual letting rip.
Hall doesn’t seem overly fond of many aspects of Texan culture – the myth-making, sentimentality and occasional hypocrisy are all firmly interrogated – but he’s generous too and entirely engaging throughout.