The Third Season
The The King of Queens is a sitcom about the daily interactions of married New York couple, Doug (Kevin James) and Carrie (Leah Remini) Heffernan, and Carrie's father Arthur Spooner (Jerry Stiller). The basic format of the series is either Doug, Carrie, or Arthur turning some normal everyday thing into some kind of sticky situation that is worth a lot of great laughs. In the first season the series set it self up (introduced the cast, the format) and the second season felt like a large extension. This third season continues to feel very much like the previous two seasons, but at the same time a bit funnier. There is less focus on the supporting cast and more on the three major roles. This season also includes a couple of story arcs, a concept that did not appear in the earlier seasons.
Overall, season three of King of Queens is a great addition to this series. The slapstick comedy approach from James and Stiller are great. This is something noticeable from the earlier seasons. James and Stiller perform really well together. Their neurotic and overzealous behaviors offer a lot of great moments. Remini, while not an extremely funny person, the interaction of her crude and rash New York attitude with James and Stiller fit very well, adding a great balance to the series. As for the supporting cast, they show up much less than in previous seasons. However, when they do, it's a riot.
Unlike the previous two seasons of The King of Queens, this season relies upon story arcs in addition to its regular episodic format. In season three, there are two story arcs, which are a strike at IPS and Deacon and Kelly separating. The story arcs themselves are not very comical, but the situations they generate are a riot. This aspect was something that I really enjoyed about this season.
For instance, what made the IPS strike so funny was how it impacted Doug and Deacon's lives. They were bored out of their minds. The situation gave them and Arthur a chance to bond, which was full of great moments. The IPS strike also led Doug to finding a temporary job. What is funny is that we get to see Doug take a stab at teaching high school American History. A few seconds into his first day on the job, you can really tell he's not cut out for teaching. The Deacon and Kelly break up was probably the most interesting part about the season. Through it, we had the chance to watch a very odd relationship develop between Deacon and Spence. When Kelly threw Deacon out, he went to stay at Spence's place. Slowly but surely, Spence started to fulfill the role as Deacon's wife. The situation was scripted and played out very well.
As for individual episodes, the season opens with a really strong one. In the season three premiere "Do Rico", Doug discovers that Carrie gets a little too excited when he imitates a new co-worker's accent, Latino stud Rico. What makes this episode funny is how Doug reacts when he realizes just what puts Carrie in the mood for sex. "Dark Meet" is also a great episode. It features a look into Doug and Carrie's past, during which Doug meets Carrie's parents for the first time. Another solid episode is "Paint Misbehavin". Doug has a paint ball party for Deacon's birthday, but they didn't invite Spence. Instead, Doug's cousin Danny is there in his stead. The reaction and the jealous of Spence is what made this a great episode. In "Swim Neighbors", Doug and Carrie's annoying neighbors the Sackskys return. Not too long into the episode, the Heffernans and Sackskys go to war. It's a fun episode. Overall, the season episodes were quite funny and easy to enjoy.
I also found that there were several little antics that were quite funny. For instance the third season opens with a great bit. It takes a common annoyance of everyday life, product packaging. Another example is poking fun at how awkward it can be trying to decide what bathroom to use when at a restaurant that has men/women bathroom signs that lack any indication of gender. There are small jokes like this that surface throughout the season that really adds character to the series.
Overall, I was quite happy with the third season of The King of Queens. I've been a huge fan since the first I saw it. I have also had the chance to watch all the episodes in the third season through original airings and re-runs on television, and I still think the episodes are just as funny as the first time I saw them. The third seasons offers a great look into the life of Doug and company.
The video is given in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. Like the first two season DVD release the video quality could have been better. The problem is with the way that the episodes were distributed over three dual layered DVDs. First, the number of episodes on each DVD was not balanced well. The first two discs had nine episodes and ran for approximately three hours and twenty minutes each. The third disc had six episodes (one was a double length episode) and ran for about two hours and forty five minutes. Clearly a forth disc could have substantially balanced out the problem. Still, the third season looks as better as than the previous seasons. The picture has a distinct grain and noticeable compression artifacts. While you won't be disappointed, you definitely won't be impressed.
This DVD release is complimented with an English Dolby digital stereo sound audio track. The audio sounds very crisp and clean, but it is very flat. Of course, there isn't a huge demand for a large dynamic audio track. The main focus is dialogue and not sound effects or music. This release also supports closed captioning.
They went all out with this release, trailers for King of Queens, Christmas With the Kranks, Seinfeld, and Columbia Tristar TV on DVD releases. Anyways, this section was quite a disappointment, considering previous releases had audio commentaries and featurettes.
I'm a fan of The King of Queens. I thoroughly enjoy watching James, Stiller, and Remini get into to various sticky situations. I found that season one was a great introduction to this series and that season two did a great job continuing the fun. As for season three, I really enjoyed it, especially how story arcs were used to heighten jokes. I think that this season is a very good addition to the series and has plenty of great laughs for everyone.