A show that I didn't start watching until I caught it 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 (at least in the earlier seasons, as the two are written as a little more snippy towards one another in the later seasons) 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.
Highlights this season include: "Inn Escapable" (Doug and Carrie decide that an upstate B & B run by an old couple is not modern enough for them, so they sneak off to a nearby Hyatt), "Consumate Professional" (Doug reveals that he lied about his job in order to win Carrie over when they first met), "Fresh Brood" (Doug and Carrie decide to start a family, but Carrie doesn't exactly do well with the "test baby"), "Raygin' Bulls" (Doug and old pal Ray - played by guest Ray Romano - have a night out, but are surprised when they go unnoticed by the ladies), "Buggie Nights" (Arthur brings back hotel sheets that have bed bugs) and "Hartford Wailer" (Doug discovers that Carrie plans to pamper herself instead of getting her hands dirty when she volunteers for "Homes for America".)
Episodes: Pol Lox, Vocal Discord, Consummate Professional, Like Hell, Sandwiched Out, Shear Torture, Inn Escapable, Move Doubt, G'night Stalker, Raygin' Bulls, Baker's Doesn't, Fresh Brood, Gambling N'diction, Apartment Complex, Buggy Night, Knee Jerk, Present Tense, Sold-Y Socks, Emotional Rollercoaster, Four Play, Hartford Whaler, Fight Schlub, Acting Out
VIDEO: "King of Queens" is presented here by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, as was the prior season. 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.