A show that I recently discovered in syndication, "King of Queens" remains above forgettable due to the show's writing and acting - which often throws out enough good-natured one-liners and inspired situations to keep the laughs coming. The core idea is nothing terribly original: Doug Heffernan (Kevin James) is a delivery driver (read: UPS) who is happily married to Carrie (Leah Remini). In the opening episode, Carrie's father Arthur (Jerry Stiller) loses his wife, then proceeds to lose his house in an accident. Although a retirement home is an option, Doug knows that Arthur's destination is his basement, which is where Doug planned his dream room, complete with new big-screen TV.
The show's acting is also another terrific aspect of the show. Although some critics fired at the fact that the overweight James wouldn't realistically attract a looker like Remini, the two do share a really warm chemistry that makes them a believable couple. Jerry Stiller is also terrific in a supporting role, throwing in an energetic and surprisingly edgy comedic presence into an otherwise somewhat straightforward show. The supporting actors (such as stand-up Patton Oswald) also manage to create enjoyable, realistic characters.
I don't know how many share my opinion, but after watching several seasons of "King of Queens" at this point, I think it's a rare show that's actually gotten better over the years. The plots are more clever, the dialogue is a little sharper and snappier (and the delivery and pace somewhat faster) and finally, the cast seems to continue to grow more comfortable with each other.
Some of the best episodes of the seventh season include: "Name Dropper" (Doug fakes a heart attack in front of everyone Carrie works with because he cannot remember her friend's name; Carrie's boss then demands Doug see a top specialist), "Silent Mite" (Doug loses his wallet at the mall and gets Arthur to help him track it down), "Hi...School" (Doug delivers a package to his former high school and starts coming back as the "football hero"), "Slippery Slope" (Doug gets Carrie to come with on a weekend at a timeshare, where they aren't prepared for the selling pressure) and "Pour Judgement" (Doug tries to attempt his dream of being a bartender.)
The set offers 22 episodes on 3 discs: Lost Vegas, Dugan Groupie, Furious Gorge, Entertainment Weakly, Name Dropper, Offtrack … Bedding, Silent Mite, Awed Couple, Cologne Ranger, Domestic Disturbance, Pour Judgment, Gym Neighbors, Gorilla Warfare, Hi, School, Deconstructing Carrie, Black List, Wish Boned, Van, Go, Ice Cubed, Catching Hell, Slippery Slope, Buy Curious
VIDEO: "King of Queens" is presented here by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The previous seasons have been presented in full-frame, so it's nice to see this jump to widescreen, which is what the show is filmed in. Picture quality is noticably better this season, as sharpness and detail definitely appear a few steps up over the presentations of prior seasons. There are still a few minor instances of artifacting and shimmer scattered through these episodes, but these faults are only briefly spotted and very minor. Colors looked a bit richer and tighter here, with no smearing or other faults. Very pleasing.
SOUND: The show is presented here in Dolby Stereo, and offers clear dialogue.
Final Thoughts: "King of Queens" is one of those rare shows that actually has managed to improve after several seasons. The situations are very funny, the cast is terrific and there's really not a weak episode in the bunch here. The DVD presentation offers very good video quality, fine audio and no extras. Recommended.