Lie To Me

Oh Doug! You will never be too fat! Fill up at Eddie’s U Fry It. Eat that whole bag of Doritos. Don’t pull a Jonah Hill and attack weight loss. You have to be fat. It’s part of who you are. You can suck in the gut, or wear a girdle for your film work, but, as THE KING OF QUEENS (syndicated and playing everywhere on a TV near you), you must be a big boy! It don’t work without it. It’s out of character.


(Meatball sub, please?)

I mean, look, your character, Doug Heffernan (even that name is fat!), lies continuously. It’s funny. I laugh my butt off – still – all the time – and I’ve seen every episode at least twice (probably). Lots of episodes revolve around Doug lying to his wife Carrie, or his friend Deacon, or his father-in-law Arthur, or his cousin Danny, or even fat, geek, whipping boy, Patton Oswald (super stupid compared to the actual Patton Oswald’s stand-up material).

Doug Heffernan has no qualms about lying whatsoever. He will stare you dead-in-the-eye and tell you what you want to hear (no matter how untrue) until he gets his way. So it goes with food and being fat. The man has a greedy, gluttonous hunger that spills into all facets of his life.

It’s kind of sick when you think about it, but it’s a sitcom and Doug is also a sweet lug who always means well. Watch and see how easy it is to forgive his base ugliness. He loves his wife and often lies to protect his friends (no matter the idiot consequences). But…

Did you know that Doug Heffernan attended a wedding and took one of those disposable cameras and took a picture of his junk? Ouch. Seriously. He even put a little top hat on it.

When the pictures were developed and passed around a post-wedding send off soire, everybody freaked out. Doug blamed it on his cousin Danny. The scapegoat appears in pictures before and after the offending organ was captured on film. He was drunk. Oh, and he happened to once date the new bride. He was visibly broken up over it.

(Doug? I love the guy!)

Doug knew all of this, but instead of coming clean he twisted the knife and rode his cousin into the ground. Evil, sir, evil. Horrible, sir.

At long last, guilt eating him, he admits his faux pas, and then in frustrated grunts and ape-man groans he tries to pretend that what he did was fine. Carrie raises her eyebrows. Doug insists that Danny will be cool. So long as the lie sticks all is well. Things fall apart (of course), but everyone forgives Doug, because Doug Heffernan is an unstoppable beast. With friends like him, who needs enemies? You feel me, Loyal Reader?

Then there’s the love…

Carrie loves Doug.

Doug loves Carrie.

They dog each other every chance they get – kind of like a tamer THE WAR OF THE ROSES – but kiss and make-up after twenty-minutes.

Despite the lovey-smokescreen, when you really think about it, the show spends lots and lots of time being mean. They even ran a cliffhanger where Doug and Carrie almost separate – the couple wanting to live different dreams (she wants the NYC, high-rise condo, he wants their Queens’ duplex). They had a miscarriage episode. The elderly are abused regularly.

I love every second, Loyal Reader.

It’s funny because years and years ago, when I was attending Cal State Northridge, I’d watch TV screenings at the various movie studios to make a few extra bucks. The studios hired focused groups (fifty bucks for about three hours work!) to rate pilots and figure out their programming schedules / renew / pick up shows. You sit in a screening room with about twenty or thirty others and turn a little knob on a little remote control box. You go left everytime you like something, and right everytime you don’t.

The first screening I did was for THE KING OF QUEENS. I wasn’t all that impressed. I turned my knob right again and again and was surprised to see that the show actually made it on to the air.

But that’s how it goes with sitcoms. You give them half the chance and they’ll grow on you like a fungus. Smart ones like KING and THE OFFICE (which is so good, we watch it in primetime and in re-runs)? They infiltrate your soul. They whisper into your ear and convince you that they are much more than they are.

You say tomato, I say tomato…


2 Responses to “Lie To Me”

  1. Don’t forget that the beauty of this particular show is that the wife, Carrie, is not the ho hum boring straight man to Doug’s funny man. She’s just as funny and just as mean, if not meaner. Refreshing to see in a sitcom land of perpetually rolling her eyes housewives.

  2. True. Carrie is a beast! Banning businesses, lying, stealing, insulting – she’s definitely Doug’s equal, or rather, his superior. I’m humbled by her ferocity!

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