Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, Ben Affleck and Robin Tunney, the project offered a chance to look at the unique commingling of aspiration and desperation that Hollywood often induces. For the full feature, from FilmStew, click here.
Authenticity is an underrated commodity on many fronts. Heck, it’s helped George W. Bush find presidential election twice (well, arguably twice…) despite not exactly being the most intelligent or well spoken guy on any given city block. Similarly, The King of Queens is a genial, well-worn comedy that initially took its leading cues from fellow CBS laffer Everybody Loves Raymond when it bowed in 1998, but eventually found its own scrappy voice and thus worked its own comfortable groove into couches all around America.
Created by Michael Weithorn and David Litt, the series centers around parcel delivery truck driver Doug Heffernan (Kevin
James) and his wife Carrie (Leah Remini). In place of a brood of
precocious and/or ankle-biting kids, however, is Carrie’s father Arthur
(Jerry Stiller), who lives with the couple. As is typical of these
“oafish patriarch” shows, Doug spends plenty of time raging against
Carrie’s attempts to get him to lead a healthier lifestyle, and many
jokes come from the mindset and canted point of view of a
sports-obsessed guy’s guy. (“Great, I screwed up and ate all the
franks,” says Doug mournfully at one point. “Now all I have left is a
stupid bowl of beans.”) The regular addition of Mad TV’s Nicole
Sullivan as Arthur’s part-time caregiver Holly is an inspired touch,
and Victor Williams scores subtle points for his work as Doug’s
recently divorced best friend, Deacon Palmer.
While several of the two dozen episodes this season dip back into overly familiar
terrain — like Doug and Carrie’s nervousness and competitiveness with
their new, white-collar neighbors — there’s some legitimate fun to
be had too. “Affidavit Justice” finds Doug pretending to be a lawyer, while both “King Pong” and “Icky Shuffle” showcase Doug’s competitive steak when Arthur buys a ping pong table and and the aforementioned duo team up for a shuffleboard tournament, respectively. “Eggsit Strategy” (bonus points for the title) finds Carrie’s job in jeopardy when her flaky boss is fired, and “Damned Yanky” delves winningly into the subject of sexual fantasy, with Carrie upset that her husband’s apparently aren’t always about her. Sixth season guest stars include Janeane Garofalo, Judge Reinhold, Jon Favreau, Anne Meara (co-star Stiller’s real-life wife), Saturday Night Live‘s Rachel Dratch and Lou
Ferrigno as the Heffernans’ sad-sack neighbor.
The King of Queens: 6th Season is presented on three discs
stored in attractive gatefold packaging that is in turn housed in a
cardboard slipcase. Episodes come in 1.33:1 full frame transfers, with
English Dolby surround sound audio. As is unfortunately too frequently
the case with later seasons of current day sitcoms, there are no
supplemental bonus features contained here. While there might not be a
lot for James or Remini at this point to say about their characters,
surely some of the series’ writers could offer up a handful of
interesting audio commentaries or interviews about the plotting out of
seasonal arcs or other such tidbits, which would be a nice morsel for
longtime fans. B- (Show) C- (Disc)