The King of Queens: Season 3

ISBN 13: 9781404979147

The King of Queens: Season 3

9781404979147: The King of Queens: Season 3

24 episodes on 3 DVDs.

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The third season of The King of Queens upholds the quality of the first two: Smart but unpretentious comedy based firmly in the daily lives of blue-collar couple Doug and Carrie Heffernan (Kevin James and Leah Remini) as they cope with their jobs, their friends, and sharing their home with Carrie's eccentric, obsessive father Arthur (Jerry Stiller). While dozens of mediocre sitcoms are built around fat guys implausibly married to sexy women, James and Remini have such chemistry and their characters are so well-crafted and complex that their marriage seems not only convenient for sitcom purposes but downright meant to be.

The show only goes astray when it goes for a gimmick. In one episode, Doug dreams of himself as Ralph Kramden in The Honeymooners; while it's understandable for James to tip his hat to one of his idols, this belabored concept sucked all the humor out of the show. But when The King of Queens sticks to small, mundane troubles, the results are unfailingly delightful. For example, Doug becomes self-conscious about his weight when he discovers that Carrie buys his clothes at the Big & Tall Shop; Carrie is excited to go to lunch with some of the women lawyers at her firm, then humiliated when it turns out they didn't know she's a secretary; or Carrie admits she finds Doug's best friend Deacon (Victor Williams) hot. These events launch some wonderful farce, all the funnier because anyone can identify with the characters' insecurity and jealousy. This firm psychological grounding lets the series keep its footing as it dips into some deeper emotions, like the break-up of Deacon's marriage or an unexpected pregnancy. Because James and Remini keep their characters truthful in their most ridiculous moments, they keep us engaged and even moved as they enter what could be maudlin territory--plus, the writers never lose the opportunity for a sharp but telling joke along the way. The King of Queens makes sitcoms look easy, but the show's skillful balance of an ordinary world and fine-tuned humor is anything but. --Bret Fetzer

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