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The King of Queens - The Complete Seventh Season


TITLE: THE KING OF QUEENS - THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: January 16, 2007 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Widescreen/Color/2004-05
MSRP: $39.95
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: Approx 476 minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0
Closed Captioned
Special Features: None


Introduction:

King of Queens’ seventh season is finally here on DVD. They’re now getting closer to be caught up with the show. Good news to report, for what it’s worth. I had two issues with the previous release, and one of them was fixed. On the last set, I complained about the aspect ratio being 1.33:1, when the 2003-04 Season aired in 1.78:1. I also complained about the lack of special features. On this set, there are still no special features, but I’m happy to report we do have 1.78:1 episodes. I’m also happy with the quick turnaround, again, between releases. 4 months between seasons 6 and 7. Nice.

By this point, all you fine folks know the show (overweight package delivery guy married to hot wife, hijinks ensue, especially with wife’s insane father living in basement), you know the actors - Kevin James, Leah Remini, Jerry Stiller, Victor Williams, Patton Oswalt, Gary Valentine, Nicole Sullivan. That just leaves talking about this season’s episodes and guest stars, and that’s it own segment.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

This was the point in the show’s run where we started getting the frequent “is this the last season?” talk. They usually never decided until mid-to-later season, so at points in the season you *can* kind of feel a bit of a “going away” tone ­ it’s something that happens more often in older shows that get renewed on a per-season basis.

One of my first favorite episodes in the season comes at episode 3, “Furious Gorge.” Carrie forces Doug into going into an overeating support group, but Doug winds up going to an abusive relationship support group. I also like the next episode, “Entertainment Weakly” ­ Doug has always been considered the IPS funnyman, but now a new guy’s threatening to steal that role away from him ­ at the same time, an assistant is hired to work for Carrie, and ends up performing a lot of the work. “Silent Mite,” the show’s Christmas episode, is good. Doug loses his wallet while Christmas shopping at the mall, and tries to find who might have taken it, which leads to him blaming one of Santa’s dwarf elves. In “Domestic Disturbance,” Carrie uses the extra money she’s been earning to hire a maid, Doug winds up hiring someone too ­ Spence’s mom Veronica (Anne Meara). Veronica winds up making more messes than she cleans, especially when Arthur gets involved. In “Gym Neighbors,” the Heffernans start working out with the Ferrignos, leading to Doug to make a pact with Lou that allows him to sit around instead of working out. In “Catching Hell,” a work event lands Carrie, Doug, and his friends to a skybox seat at a baseball game. But an important client finds fault with Doug, Spence has to step in as the devoted husband. In “Slippery Slope,” Doug lures Carrie to a timeshare/ski weekend, where their relationship gets put to the test under the sales pressure. On the same excursion, Spence and Danny pose as a couple, and feel intolerance. Finally, in “Buy Curious,” Doug and Carrie’s neighbor passes away, and they want to buy the house ­ as it would be a very profitable investment. In their hurry to close, they become a bit worried over Lou, who seems to want the lawn upkept fairly badly.

Recurring Guests:
Anne Meara: “Name Dropper,” “Domestic Disturbance,” “Buy Curious”
Jenny O’Hara: “Offtrack…Bedding”
Nick Bakay: “Offtrack…Bedding”
Lou Ferrigno: “Gym Neighbors,” “Catching Hell,” “Buy Curious”

Other guests: Dave Price, “Gorilla Warfare.” Who is Dave Price? Well at the moment, he’s the weather guy for CBS’s Early Show. But more importantly than that, it’s who CBS seems to want to anoint as Bob Barker’s replacement for The Price is Right (Without soap-boxing too much, from everything I’ve seen and heard, that’s a bad idea). But, anyway…Burt Reynolds guests in the episode “Hi, School” as the coach. In “Catching Hell,” Hal Linden (everyone’s favorite, Barney Miller) guest stars as Bernard. You know, I heard he got his name from a certain town in New Jersey…


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:

Oh yeah, I had a third gripe last time, the menus. This seems to be consistent across most of Sony’s sets, in that they’re *plain*. A lot of the *commercially* available DVD authoring programs now allow you to make more advanced menus than this ­ I can only imagine what the Sony corporation has but elects not to use. The main menu is a nice enough photo ­ except it’s the same one used on the packaging ­ Arthur, Doug, and Carrie in a skybox at Shea Stadium. A green bar runs along the top, with the logo on the left (just inside the 4:3 pan & scan cutoff line) and the options on the right (again, just inside the 4:3 p&s cutoff). Episode selection ­ the entire upper 4/5 of the screen is a dull gray/light gray color, with the green bar running at the bottom. The generic KoQ cast photo (Arthur in blue shirt next to Doug in that olive colored shirt next to Carrie in yellow) is at the bottom, while a generic photo of a baseball bat, glove, and ball appear behind/to the side of them. A small still of each episode appears in the gray area, with the episode title below it.


Video and Audio Quality:

Widescreen folks. After spending a page in my last review talking about how the show had been airing in widescreen for a few seasons already but the DVDs were in 4:3, this season’s set just so happens to be in widescreen. Yay! The video is about as good as you’re going to see for a show shot on the material it is. There’s also nothing wrong with the audio. It’s a nice, good, 2.0 mix. I could gush about 5.1, but come on this is The King of Queens. It doesn’t need 5.1. Each scene is its own chapter (it’s unfortunate there are no scene selection menus), thus each chapter stop is placed…at the end of each scene. (Who would have thought?)

Runtimes/Disc Breakdown
Disc 1:
1)Lost Vegas: 22:03
2)Dugan Groupie: 22:04
3)Furious Gorge: 21:53
4)Entertainment Weakly: 22:03
5)Namedropper: 22:02
6)Offtrack…Bedding: 21:58
7)Silent Mite: 21:53

Disc 2:
8)Awed Couple: 21:57
9)Cologne Ranger: 21:58
10)Domestic Disturbance: 21:14
11)Pour Judgment: 21:54
12)Gym Neighbors: 22:02
13)Gorilla Warfare: 21:04
14)Hi, School: 21:48
15)Deconstructing Carrie: 21:17

Disc 3:
16)Black List: 21:02
17)Wish Boned: 21:43
18)Van Go: 21:02
19)Ice Cubed: 20:32
20)Catching Hell: 22:05
21)Slippery Slope: 20:53
22)Buy Curious: 22:03


Special Features:

None. I'm giving up on trying to get Sony to do something special in terms of features for these sets --­ it’s obvious they have no desire to do so, or they’re sacrificing depth for timeliness, or something. The material’s there, they just don’t want to use it. I understand, at some point someone at corporate thought it was in their best interest not to, and I get that, I really do. Just, from the fans perspective, it’s disappointing.


Final Comments:

OK, maybe it was *three* complaints last time. I’d forgotten about the menus (they’re forgettable, what can I say). The video issues I’d had were tied into using the 4:3 copies, and by switching to the widescreen versions appear to have fixed them, so that’s good. This leaves the menus, and the lack of features, as my two main gripes. Sony, please, do something about the menus. Drop the fake photos of the cast and make the menus animated with the locations or something (maybe driving down the road in front of the Heffernan house, and then stopping at the House, or something like that). I don’t know, but something needs to be done.

I’d honestly rather keep the fast turnaround time and not have the special features, though I’d love to have both. It’s a good show, with the majority of the run already out, and the last two seasons almost assuredly coming out, so there’s no reason not to buy it. Recommended.


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

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 3/5
Special Features: 0/5
Final Score: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher on 01/11/07

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000K4X5QM/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=191665


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