From the sublime (uh, yeah, we just called Alessandra Stanley sublime; we feel kind of weird about it as well) to the ridiculous: the Times' other TV critic takes a break from watching YouTube to bring her highbrow critical faculties to the lowbrow arena of the sitcom:
Just as "The Pilgrim's Progress" begins when the everyman comes upon a book, "The King of Queens" begins when Doug comes across a television set. That anachronism, a pre-digital, 70-inch technology coffin, is intended for enshrinement in Doug's basement in the series's pilot episode. He hopes it will attract his slobby friends to the rec room for sports viewing and dissipation. But Arthur Spooner (Mr. Stiller), Doug's father-in-law, shows up to wreck the plan when his house burns down. Doug adapts, but Arthur's arrival is this comedy's original sin. Anyone who suggests that it's Carrie who gets the raw deal in the marriage is not thinking straight. As far as I'm concerned, the spouse who brings a parent into the marital home puts everything in hock to the other spouse, and must spend a lifetime paying for it.Also, that episode of Seinfeld where they had the bet about who could go the longest without strokin' it? Straight out of the Bhagavad-Gita.