Judge Patrick Naugle fancies himself the King of Elgin, Illinois.
Our reviews of The King Of Queens: The Complete First Season (published December 17th, 2003), The King Of Queens: The Complete Second Season (published August 4th, 2004), The King Of Queens: The Complete Fourth Season (published August 31st, 2005), The King Of Queens: The Complete Fifth Season (published September 6th, 2006), and The King Of Queens: The Complete Sixth Season (published October 11th, 2006) are also available.
"My name might as well be Fatty McButterpants"—Doug (Kevin James) comments on his weight issues, The King of Queens
Comedy comes in all shapes and sizes: just look at Doug Heffernan (Kevin James, Hitch), a deliveryman who spends his days trying to keep the peace in his castle…in Queens, New York! Doug's patient, sexy wife, Carrie (Leah Remini, Glory Daze), loves Doug with all her heart, even when he's entangled in paintball parties, trying to buy the perfect Christmas gift for Carrie and being upstaged by her boss, and arguing with his cantankerous live-in father-in-law, Arthur (Jerry Stiller, "Frank Costanza" of TV's Seinfeld). Get ready for barrel sized laughs as Doug, Carrie, and Arthur keep court in The King of Queens.
I realize that this isn't going to come a shock to most of you, but I'll say it anyhow: there has been an amazing shortage of good sitcoms on TV lately. In the last five years we've seen some of the most popular (if not the best) comedy shows end: Frasier, Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, and of course the mother all hyped final seasons, Seinfeld. The completion of these shows has left an enormous gap in viewers' weekly television schedule. In fact, as of this moment—June 1st, 2005—I cannot think of a single sitcom on TV right now that is even close to greatness or "classic comedy." It's a sad state of affairs that is no laughing matter.
Which brings me to comedian Kevin James's The King of Queens. Friend of Ray Romano (James got his start as a recurring guest role on Romano's sitcom), The King of Queens feels very much in the vein of Everybody Loves Raymond, except with a smaller cast and, alas, not as many laughs. This isn't to say that The King of Queens is not a funny show; in fact, I'd go so far as to say it's the funniest thing on TV right now. But if that's the case, it means that networks need to scramble to get their sitcom schedule intact, fast.
The King of Queens is an amiable enough comedy. Kevin James is good as an everyman who only wants to enjoy the fruits of his labor, drink beer, hang out with his buddies, and have loving (and sometimes naughty) sex with his wife. What blue-blooded American can't relate to that? It's because of these roots that The King of Queens has become a solid hit with viewers. Yet I can't help but think the series could—or can—be something more.
The supporting cast is good, including Leah Remini (remember her from Saved by the Bell?!?) as Doug's wife and the always blustering, entertaining Jerry Stiller as his father-in-law, playing a toned down variation on his Frank Costanza character from Seinfeld. However, I think this show may benefit from more supporting characters. Though Doug's co-workers sometimes enter the frame, they're not around enough to become fully fleshed characters. The writing on the show is above average, but not as strong as it could be (and there are only so many gags I can stand about James being overweight). If the writers made a few adjustments—and sometimes toned down James's delivery in some scenes—this could become a better, more entertaining show. One aspect of the show I did like was that it never feels the need to always make things soft and fuzzy in the end; one episode—revolving around Carrie and Doug informing each other about things they dislike on each other—ends without cuteness or making-up (talk about a true to life episode).
While I won't tell you The King of Queens is classic comedy, I can tell you that it's entertaining fluff with likable characters and often funny one-liners and situations. The King of Queens: The Complete Third Season is only worth buying for fans and DVD completists—otherwise, this is a show worth catching on reruns.
Each episode of The King of Queens is presented in 1.33:1 full frame. There isn't much to report on these transfers: they're clear of most dirt and imperfections, and the video is clearly rendered. The colors and black levels look good for a television show, though the image does have a slight fuzziness in a few spots. Otherwise, fans of the show will be happy with what they get.
The soundtracks are presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround in English. Much like the video presentation these soundtracks aren't anything to write home about. All of them are very front heavy without any directional effects in the mix. No alternate subtitles or soundtracks are available on this DVD set.
Well Mr. McButterpants, when it comes to special features you're squat outta luck—except for a few bonus trailers, this DVD set is empty.
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