Reviews: The Kingof Queens
Everyone feels so-so about Doug?
hmm. An attempt to get extra juice out of the Everybody Loves Raymond franchise by slightly altering the central premis and recasting with a slightly different emphasis. The characters are good and loveable enough, but it does feel like a cheap knock-off of ELR. Married couple, with an intrusive and in-yer-face parent who is always there (eccentric man-child hovering on the brink of the Alzheimers precipice?) Funny, and it grows on you, but too derivative of ELR, which is not always a bad thing but needs better scripts to make it work. In the hands of ELR's scriptwriters, this might well have been stellar. But when the Raymond characters do walk-ons, you can tell their lines are written by different people - this jars.
I'll admit I wasn't a huge fan when I first saw the show, but when I got the complete series as a Christmas gift and started going through it, I started to enjoy it quite a bit more then I did the first time around. James and Remini both have great chemistry together and make even the not-so-great episodes watchable. Stiller is funny sometimes, though his character does have a tendency to grate on the nerves to the point where I can't help but want to punch him in the face(like when he screwed over that waitress). Also sometimes characters can be rather unreasonable(I.E. Carrie in "Restaurant Row") or hold the Idiot Ball once too often(the Pyramid scheme episode), but other then that it's an enjoyable enough show.
This is a show with Kevin James in it. If you don't like him, then you're probably not going to like it. But even if you do like him, you may notice the fact that his schtick still doesn't change. I can't recall a single episode that wasn't fueled at least in part with his "fat idiot" routine that he uses in everything he's ever been in to my knowledge. In other words, if you marathon the show, you're going to notice it getting very repetitive. Leah Remini plays the abrasive wife. I'm not as familiar with her, but episodes don't seem to be based around her brashness quite as much, which is a shame, albeit a justified one as her character has no friends. That's not to say her acting ever rises above passable, as I'm just as often bored out of my mind watching her as James. The one who steals the show is, of course, Jerry Stiller as the crazy father, whose over the top antics are frequently enjoyable to watch, but that's a bit of a double-edged sword in that it just reminds me how much I'd rather be watching Seinfeld. Speaking of which, I do think part of this show's problem is expecting us to care about either one of the half-wits that comprise its main cast when one is a complete tool and the other is an annoying bitch, but that's a sitcom for you. The remainder of the cast are generally okay, but other than Deacon, they all suffer the same problem as the main cast, though their quirkiness usually does make up for it... when they bother to show up at all. Another problem I have is that the show doesn't ever, to my knowledge, take advantage of its setting in New York City, an enormous and culturally diverse city steeped in histoy. The show could be set practically anywhere and it wouldn't make a difference, despite the very title referring to the fact that it's set in New York. Now I haven't religiously watched the show as you might imagine, so I can't comment on how it changed from season to season, but when every episode I ever watched seemed to revolve around Doug/Arthur/Carrie doing something stupid and trying to fix it, can you blame me? Bottom Line: Dull premise, dull acting, and overly repetitive. If a rerun's on, do yourself a favor and change the channel.