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The King of Queens - The Complete Fourth Season


TITLE: THE KING OF QUEENS - THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: June 14, 2005 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Color/2001-2002
MSRP: $39.95
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 25
Running Time: Approx 559 minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0
Closed Captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Season Four of The King of Queens is now on DVD! Season Four of The King of Queens experienced a couple of milestones this season. It finished 20th overall in the Nielsen ratings this season, its highest ranking to date. It also hit the 100 episode mark this season. Season 4 stars Kevin James as Doug Heffernan and Leah Remini as his wife Carrie. Also starring are Jerry Stiller, as Carrie's live-in father Arthur, as well as Victor Williams as Deacon Palmer, Patton Oswalt as Spence, and Gary Valentine,­ Kevin James' real-life brother,­ as Doug's brother Danny.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Most of the season four episodes are downright great. My recommendation is honestly just to take a day, pop the episodes in the DVD player, and watch the season straight through. As for guest stars, this season does have a few noteworthy ones. Comedian Chris Elliott guest stars in episode #7, Lyin' Hearted. Jenny O' Hara (“My Sister Sam,” “The Facts of Life”) returns as Doug's mother Janet for a lot of episodes this season, including #9 ­ Veiled Threat, in addition to # 12 ­ Ovary Action, and #19 ­ Screwed Driver. Peter Scolari (“Bosom Buddies,” “Newhart”) guests in show #16, “No Orleans”. Gavin MacLeod (“The Love Boat”) guests in episode #18, “Hero Worship.” Show #20, Lush Life, guests Lou Ferrigno as himself. In show #22, "Patrons Ain’t", Marla Gibbs (“The Jeffersons,” “227”) guest stars as Nana Louise. Eddie Money guest stars as himself in the next episode, appropriately titled “Eddie Money,” as does Jerry Stiller’s daughter Amy, and Leah Remini’s sister Nicole. Finally, Erik Per Sullivan (Later would go on to be Dewey on Malcolm in the Middle) is in the series finale, “Shrink Wrap.”


Packaging:

The packaging is, like the previous King of Queens releases, a standard Digipak. The outside of the box features Doug, Carrie, and Arthur beneath the King of Queens logo. Reverse cover has various sheets of paper with a slice of pizza and a picture of the main three cast members, with set information on the yellow sheet of paper in a handwriting-style font. The interior disc holder, when unfolded, has on the back a nice animated panorama of a street in Queens with houses (similar to the front cover). Interestingly, a couple of the houses look like the famed residence of Archie & Edith on All in the Family. In front of the street is: Doug giving Arthur a noogie in front of a “Watch Opposing Traffic” sign on Panel 1, a simple Wrong Way sign on the second panel, the main logo is the 3rd panel, while Carrie arguing with Doug in front of a Do Not Enter Sign on the last panel. The opposite side, containing the three disc holders and the insert holder, is a table with various pictures, remote controls, foot, and other assorted junk on it. Each of the three discs has various Polaroids of various cast members. The first nine shows of season 4 are on disc one, shows 10 through 18 are on the second disc, while 19 through 24 can be found on the third disc.


Menu Design and Navigation:

Main Menu on all three discs is Doug attempting to kiss an angry Carrie. All three discs' main menu does feature a Play All button. Episode selection menus are a still shot of the episode, with a street name sign graphic hanging below each with the episode title. Previews menu is nothing but plain text with a crown appearing beside the active menu choice and the episode selection and main menu buttons at the bottom.


Video and Audio Quality:

Video looks fine, overall. The episodes are presented in full-frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio -­ the series had yet to transition to the widescreen format now standard in prime time. There's a minor to moderate amount of grain in the episodes, but overall, the episodes look fairly nice. The nine episodes per disc on one and two start to cross the line at which compression can become an issue.­ There IS minor artifacting on some scenes on discs one and two. Overall though, it's not enough to detract from the viewing experience. Chapter stops are placed at the end of the fade-to-blacks. This is fairly decent placing ­with the tendency in some releases nowadays to forego chapter stops, it's good to see well placed ones. Audio is a Dolby Digital 2.0 track in English. There's little to no hiss, which is good. The audio mix is fairly well balanced among the channels. There's nothing really distinctive to differentiate between the audio channels. ­ The mix is almost completely balanced towards a center mix.


Special Features:

The only “special feature” is a few promotional spots for various Sony DVD releases - Contemporary TV, Hitch, NewsRadio, Seinfeld, and King of Queens - yes, the same Contemporary TV release that's been on pretty much every Sony release in the last three years. Kevin James and Will Smith’s movie Hitch is also out on this same date on DVD.


Final Comments:

Ultimately, I only have two problems with the set, and all both are common problems with Sony releases. 1) No Special Features (other than Sony DVD previews). It could not possibly be that hard to get some cast or crew to come in and lay down a few commentary tracks, or dig the vaults for various promos ­ something. Problem two is more of a minor nitpick than anything else ­ it regards the main menu. It's nothing but a static graphic with a few bits of dynamic text for the options. How hard would it be to get some animations carrying clips going in the background ­ or even just play the show's theme in the background? For the next set, I'd love ­ LOVE to see the above done. The fourth season set of King of Queens is essentially the same as the first three season sets. If you're new to the show, you might want to start here ­ the series was established, but wasn't yet at the point where they were starting to rehash plots and ideas. There's nothing really that amazing about the set, but there's nothing really horrible either. The show's great, but the DVD set is just missing something.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Navigation/Design: 3.5/5
Overall: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 05/26/05

To order the DVD click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000957O8C/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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