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The King of Queens - The Complete Sixth Season


TITLE: THE KING OF QUEENS - THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: September 19, 2006 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Color/2003-2004
MSRP: $39.95
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 24
Running Time: Approx 528 minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0
Closed Captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Well, my complaint at the top of the previous review may just have been read after all, as only three months after the 5th season’s release, the sixth season of King of Queens is now on DVD. With both Will & Grace and That 70s Show now having gone off-the-air, King of Queens becomes the longest running live-action sitcom still on television, having debuted in 1998. The King of Queens will begin its ninth and final season, midseason on CBS, in a slot to-be-determined. Keep visiting SitcomsOnline.com for updates on KoQ’s timeslot, when it’s announced!

In this season of the show, Doug (The FINALLY Emmy-nominated Kevin James) loses weight, Carrie (Leah Remini) gets a pink slip, and Arthur (Jerry Stiller) gets ping pong fever. Doug squares off against his junior high arch enemy, while Carrie gets in touch with her inner couch potato, and Arthur lives his dream of becoming a shuffleboard god. All this and more … on the sixth season of The King of Queens.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Admittedly, I think a lot of the episodes this season were good, as opposed to great, while others were simply just mediocre. A few of the best ones to keep an eye for though: The season premiere, “Doug Less,” is one of the better episodes of the season in my opinion. Kevin James did lose weight before this episode ­ compare him in the episode against the opening credits if you doubt me. In episode 10, American Idle, Carrie gets fired, and starts lounging around the house, turning Doug into the motivated responsible one….talk about a headache-inducing concept. Episode 23, Icky Shuffle, is the shuffleboard episode mentioned earlier, while in episode 24, Awful Bigamy, Holly gets evicted and comes to stay with the Heffernans, and winds up waiting on Doug hand and foot.

Guest stars for this season are mostly the usual gang, with a couple of newbies. Many of you probably best know Nick as the voice of Salem on Sabrina the Teenage Witch. However, he’s also a producer of the show. As such, he usually makes a few guest spots per year. This season, he appears in episode 1, “Doug Less (1),” episode 7 “Secret Garden,” and episode 22, “Alter Ego.” Rachel Dratch, the longest-tenured female cast member in Saturday Night Live history (who announced over the summer she wasn’t returning to SNL this season in order to focus on the upcoming sitcom 30 Rock), also has a recurring role on the show, namely the character Denise. Denise appears in episode 3, “King Pong,” as well as episode 22, “Alter Ego.” Lou Ferrigno returns as, well, himself this season, in episode 9 entitled “Thanks Man,” Jenny O’Hara returns as Doug’s mother Janet in episode 4, “Dreading Vows” and episode 19, “Precedent Nixin’.” Anne Meara, the real-life wife of Jerry Stiller (Arthur) appears in episode 17, “Multiple Plots” as well as episode 23, “Icky Shuffle.” As for the non-recurring guests, Judge Reinhold appears in episode 7, “Secret Garden.” Janeane Garofalo appears in episode 15, “Cheap Saks.”


Packaging:

King of Queens uses a similar style, just with interchanged cast photos, for all their front cover art, so it shouldn’t be a shock to anyone that, in front of the houses in Queens with unrealistically blue sky is yet another cast photo. For this season, it’s Doug in brown and dark blue, with Carrie leaning on him to his left/our right. Arthur meanwhile leans on him to his right/our left. Rear cover is a tan/leather-looking background with various still images with a photo border around them (complete with black corners). The inner Digipak (release your inner Digipak, folks), follows a similar theme. The tan-leather background is omnipresent, with the various images being presented as “photos”. The logo is the first photo, with the street sign pole (for “Queens”) in the show logo, is hanging off the photo itself, creating an interesting look. The rest of the photos are actual photos of New York City (how appropriate then that the “photo album” motif should be used on one of the glossiest sets I’ve ever seen) with the cast standing in front of them. I should clarify…the outer art of the Digipak is photos, while on the inner art they switch to postcards from various places. These postcards actually carry over onto the discs. Below the postcard portion on the disc, on masking tape written in black marker, is the Disc number. The cast still stands in front of the image as mentioned before. The photos are of various places around NYC, while the post cards are of “Lake Chapawahwah”, “Miami”, and “Memphis”. Each disc holds exactly eight episodes. As there ARE 8 episodes per disc, and three discs, that means: Disc 1 holds episodes 1-8, Disc 2 holds episodes 9-16, and Disc 3 holds episodes 17-24.


Menu Design and Navigation:

For all the work that goes into this show’s packaging, you’d think they’d be trying harder on the menus. Seriously, I’ve seen menus made in the late 90s that looked better. In front of the aforementioned houses in Queens/blue sky you have Doug and Carrie looking at each other, with the KoQ street sign over Doug’s head. The menu options are written in basic green text above Carrie’s head. Episode selection features a still shot of an episode, in a 4x4 grid with 3 other episodes, with the episode title below it. An up arrow signifies returning to the main menu, while left/right arrows allow you to go between page 1 and 2. On page 1 is Arthur smiling, while page 2 has Doug with his arm around Arthur, and Arthur looking slightly panicked. On disc 2, the episode selection menus change. Page 1 has the shot of Doug smiling with his head on Carrie’s shoulder, with Carrie also smiling, that I think I’ve seen in the artwork a couple times. Page 2 has Carrie rubbing Arthur’s shoulders. On Disc 3, Page 1 has Doug and Carrie looking like they’re going to get into a little boxing match, while page 2 is completely abandoned, except for the houses.


Video and Audio Quality:

For the last couple sets now, I’ve become increasingly worried about something. CBS was an early adopter of high definition video and the 16:9 aspect ratio, so in the back of my mind I was a bit puzzled why KoQ wasn’t in widescreen while most other CBS shows of the era, including the most relevant Everybody Loves Raymond, were. I now have the answer. Through a couple days of searching, I’ve come upon articles and both message board and Usenet posts tracking King of Queens airing in High Definition since at least 2000. As such, the last several seasons should have been in widescreen, and this season most definitely should have. However, all releases to date, including this one, have been in 4:3 Full Frame. Either Sony has been inadvertently using “cropped” master prints (IE: The edges removed to make the 16:9 picture 4:3), or Sony has been deliberately cropping the 16:9 picture to appear 4:3. In either instance, it’s deplorable. These shows aired in 16:9, so they should be on DVD in 16:9. Admittedly, the fact that I didn’t fully put two and two together until this season’s release means that while it’s an edit, it’s not a noticeable one unless you already had HDTV and an HDTV signal back then. In addition, the video looks a bit washed out in places, and not appearing as vivid as it should. There are also very mild interlacing issues, at least on my player. Audio is a decent, tolerable, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix. Not spectacular, but certainly does the job. Chapter stops at the end of each scene.

Disc 1:
Doug Less (1): 21:43
Doug Less (2): 22:09
King Pong: 21:39
Dreading Vows: 22:07
Nocturnal Omission: 22:02
Affidavit Justice: 21:31
Secret Garden: 21:58
Eggsit Strategy: 22:06

Disc 2:
Thanks Man: 22:14
American Idle: 22:08
Santa Claustrophobia: 22:06
Dougie Howser: 21:32
Frigid Heirs: 21:16
Switch Sitters: 22:14
Cheap Saks: 22:06
Damned Yanky: 22:02

Disc 3:
Multiple Plots: 21:58
Trash Talker: 21:47
Precedent Nixin’: 22:03
Foe: Pa: 22:08
Tank Heaven: 21:39
Alter Ego: 22:07
Icky Shuffle: 22:07
Awful Bigamy: 21:47

I wouldn’t be too worried about the 21:xx runtimes. For a modern show, 21:00-22:00 is shockingly normal.


Special Features:

None whatsoever, this is a let down.


Final Comments:

This release is a bit depressing. Finally coming to the realization that the video just isn’t the way it’s supposed to be hurts a bit, and the other technical and visual considerations of the set, except the packaging, are lacking too. I know Sony’s capable of more and better, and I wish they’d put more effort into it ­ I KNOW a show like King of Queens, if ABSOLUTELY nothing else, has to have an interesting blooper reel that couple be added, episode promos from CBS or syndication, having an alternate audio track of Kevin James’ standup act or him on commentary, SOMETHING. If you’re a fan of this show, there’s no reason not to buy this set --­ the video issue’s been present since at least season three, possibly even season two but we just didn’t know until now. And it’s obviously not THAT big of a deal, or more of a fuss would have been made before now. If you’re interesting in purchasing the show, we have a convenient link at the bottom of this review that not only provides you an opportunity to buy the show from Amazon.com. If you’re not a fan of the show, this probably isn’t the set to buy. The episodes, while good, probably aren’t the highlight of the series, and the price for episodes only and no features is a little much if you’re unused to the show. Mixed recommendation.


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

Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 3/5
Special Features: 0/5
Final Score: 3.5/5

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 09/05/06

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000GRU09S/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=182161


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