King of Queens is exactly the kind of show we need right now. Its comedy and story almost never get overly serious, leaving you with a light-hearted “of the time” sitcom that did the whole shared universe thing with other sitcoms well before big blockbusters made it all the rage.
King of Queens took the typical format of sitcoms during the ’90s era but tweaked things here and there to keep it fresh. It, of course, stars Kevin James as your typical blue-collar workingman who enjoys sports and beer, paired with the steller Leah Remini who seeks out the more high-end nature of life. The big twist King of Queens brings to the market was the idea that instead of Doug and Carrie being the mother and father to your typical suburban family, they instead house Carrie’s widowed father: Arthur.
The recently-passed Jerry Stiller plays Arthur Spooner with more conviction than almost anything that was seen on network television sitcoms at the time. He steals every scene he’s in and has earned himself the honor of being one of the most quotable TV characters of all time. The various versions of Arthur you may get in any one scene depends on who he’s playing off of. The Doug and Arthur combo can show bickering and fighting, like two children hashing it out on a school playground, where a scene with his daughter Carrie can show tremendous compassion and love… but also still a lot of light-hearted battles.
The show also includes a range of supporting characters that almost all end up getting their due in one way or another. Seeing now fan-favorite Patton Oswalt dominate a senior center’s shuffleboard contest never gets old. And having a younger Bryan Cranston trick the unwitting Doug into a Sparkle Tap pyramid scheme will never be boring to watch.
In all, King of Queens is the perfect binge show for one reason: It never takes itself too seriously. The show has seen characters come and go without any explanation. Remember when Carrie had a sister? Whatever happened to Richie Iannucci? Why did Arthur have an episode-long fling with his actual real-world wife (Anne Meara), just for her to then suddenly be cast as Spence’s mom, whom Arthur then despises for most of the duration of the show (until they get married in the series finale)? The answer is simple: It’s because it doesn’t matter. This isn’t TV to be taken seriously; it’s meant to be watched for a good, light-hearted laugh.
More From Binge It!…
Binge It! is IGN’s recommendation series. Movies, TV shows, books, comics, music… if you can binge it, we’re here to talk about it. In each installment of Binge It!, we’ll discuss a piece of content we’re passionate about — and why you should check it out.