All hail The King of Queens - because he's funnier than ever! In this outrageous and unforgettable fourth season, parcel deliveryman Doug Heffernan (Kevin James, HITCH) continues to juggle the intimate moments of marriage with his lovely wife Carrie (Leah Remini) while sparring with that royal pain in the basement - father-in-law Arthur (Jerry Stiller). With such hilarious mishaps as hoarding an airplane's oxygen mask and installing a hidden camera to spy on Arthur, you, too, will crown this hilarious hit-comedy king!
The fourth season of The King of Queens
opens with a perfect example of how the show spins real life into farce: Delivery guy Doug and his sardonic wife Carrie (Kevin James and Leah Remini) want to get pregnant, but can't get Carrie's cantankerous father Arthur (Jerry Stiller) out of the house; the only solution their budget will allow is hiring a dog-walker named Holly (Nicole Sullivan) to take Arthur to the park. A more banal sitcom would conclude with Arthur's rage when he discovers the truth, but The King of Queens
finds a grace note with Arthur and Holly beginning a genuine friendship. Which is not to say that The King of Queens
goes for easy sentiment; some of the fourth season's best moments walk a distinctly unsentimental line. When Arthur goes into the hospital for a heart problem, Carrie discovers that he hid a college acceptance letter from her in order to keep her at home. While Arthur lies unconscious, Carrie wrestles with anger and grief--and, thanks to smart writing and Remini's deft performance, it's almost uncomfortably funny.
James, Remini, and Stiller form the sitcom equivalent of a rock'n'roll power trio--it's astonishing that so much comedy can come out of just three people. The King of Queens has solid supporting players (and, towards the end of this season, succumbs to the questionable trend of casting celebrity guest stars), but the skillful interplay between Doug, Carrie, and Arthur drives the vast majority of the show's stories. The fourth season has a handful of episodes that wallow in typical sitcom schtick, but it's impressive how many more episodes remain fresh, lively, and true to these vivid characters. Even an episode that flashes back to Doug and Carrie's wedding--a premise that usually guarantees a saccharine kiss of death--finds a balance of tartness and genuine warmth. Satisfying and well-crafted. --Bret Fetzer