Dr Ken: Ken and Allison Share a Patient – Punt (Review)

 SUZY NAKAMURA, KEN JEONG

Last week’s episode of Dr. Ken saw Allison make a career change and start working with Ken at Welltopia. Now reality has checked in at the care facility and the new Dr. Park is already making her mark.

At first things go very well, Damona will arrange Allison’s appointments and Dr. Park heads off to her new office. As she leaves Pat makes an announcement;  he has a new girlfriend.

A problematic patient causes the first rift between the Parks as Ken sends Mr. Davis to Allison for a psychiatric consult.  She finds nothing wrong and send him back.

Allison then tells Ken to “dig deeper.”

This goes over like a proverbial lead balloon and Ken attempts to go around Allison by sending Davis to another psychiatrist for a second opinion.  The couple declare war although hilariously when Allison suggests a consult between the two, Ken thinks she wants to “mess around.”

Ken: “Well, I am really mad at you right now, but…”

At the Park home, Molly asks if her parents are still married and Dave starts middle school.  D.K. makes himself useful by cooking and coaching the youngest Park on making friends.

Despite Dave’s over optimistic view that middle school will be the place where “everyone is friendly.” He only connects with the school librarian who tells him to “shush.”

DANA LEE, ALBERT TSAI, KRISTA MARIE YU
D.K. helping out with the kids.

D.K. tells Dave of an old Korean folk tale about an emperor with no friends. The man is given a magic  owl feather and suddenly the ruler has lots of friends.  Dave decides to give the feather a go and is excited that it  is also a fashion accessory.

At Welltopia Pat continues his spiel about “Cheryl” (his new girlfriend) in an effort to spark some interest from Damona.  However she really has met someone else and Pat’s plan goes pear shaped.  Clark offers advice and Pat struggles to maintain his cool.

Later Damona and Pat have a heartfelt chat and the administrator admits he misses her friendship.

Dave uses the feather for one day and gets a ton of new friends. Molly is impressed.  At the hospital, Allison and Ken get into a “punt” battle as they try to pass Mr. Davis back to one another.

Ken infuriates his wife by using the game show “wrong answer” buzzer noise to interrupt her during their argument.  Later Allison does the same to Ken as they argue about what is wrong with Ken’s patient.  Accusations of disrespect are made.

SUZY NAKAMURA, KEN JEONG, DAVID LENGEL
Punt-Mate!

Finally Allison and Ken speak  with Mr. Davis together. Initially the dual consult turns into a “punt” battle. Then the patient reveals new details about his condition. This leads to a diagnosis and a high five moment between Ken and Allison.

At the Park home Molly asks D.K. what will happen if Dave loses the feather.  Her grandfather assures her that this will not be a problem. “This is not my first rodeo, you know,” D.K. says.

Ken then rushes into the kitchen.  He is looking for his magic pen. Ken finds it and and says, “This was once used by an emperor you know.”

This episode is going to be hard to beat in terms of laughs per minute.  Everyone was on their “A” game and the storyline was hysterically funny.

Standout Moments:

Molly’s “unsubscribe.”

Dana Lee’s Dumbo trick with Dave.

Dave’s “detective hat.”

Molly, again, “Wow you really are the funny one in America.”

Allison and Ken’s  game show buzzer battle “Annh!”

Punt and punt-mate.

Pat’s make believe girlfriend and tapas.

Dana Lee, again, and “double standard.”

Damona and Clark’s reaction to Allison’s challenging Ken, “Oh no she didn’t…”

Pat’s face as he eats the “room temperature fruit.”

Allison’s reaction to Pat’s telling her that his news involves her too.

Pat and Damona’s talk about being friends.

DAVE FOLEY, TISHA CAMPBELL MARTIN
Pat and Damona

Dana Lee just killed it in this episode and he is a welcome addition as a more visible regular.  Suzy Nakamura has managed to become even stronger as a character and this episode gave both her and Ken Jeong the funniest “battle” yet.

(On a sidenote, the “annh” game show buzzer bit had me in hysterics.)

Krista Marie Yu has perfected that look and the interaction between Albert Tsai, Krista and Dana Lee was almost perfect.

This season has proven to be even better than the first.  Dr. Ken continues to be the best thing about Friday nights on television.

Tune in and watch this family comedy.  It will be good exercise for your funny bone.

Cast:

Guest starring  David Lengel as Mr. Davis

Luke Cage: Moment of Truth – Dark Marvel Magic (Review)

Mike Colter as Luke Cage

Luke Cage, the latest hero from the Marvel-verse to appear on Netflix, hit the stream on 30 September.  Like the rest of these Netflix offerings, the entire first season is on offer. However, it seems criminal to  binge though the whole show in one or two sittings.  This dark and moody Marvel magical offering is like a good port. It should be sipped and not gulped.

The series looks like a direct homage to the original comic set against the ’70s atmosphere of blaxploitation films like Shaft, Super Fly and Foxy Brown; to name but a few.  It may have that texture but the framing of each scene is pure Marvel.  The final shot of the first episode, for instance, transforms the viewer right back to childhood.

Drinking in the dark colors and the hues of orange in that last shot is pure comic book storyboard art at its finest.  (And yes comic books are art, thank you very much.)

The first episode of Luke Cage offered a bit of backstory (very little actually) and offers the audience its first personal view of the hero. Sure Luke was in Jessica Jones but his character was peripheral at best.  The bulletproof strongman was there for support and little else. (Apart from that sex scene.)

“Moment of Truth” is slow, almost plodding in its pace, as it sets up Cage and his world.  All the events are presented in an almost lackadaisical style. Nothing is hurried, not even the million dollar robbery later on.

While this is a tad frustrating, it matches the environment. No one in this verse does anything without reason. The villains are steady and, despite being bloodily violent, maintain a pedestrian pace.

Cage is pressed into the role of good guy. His prison background has made him cautious and slow to commit. It is a combination of factors that forces Luke to stand against what he clearly knows is wrong.

Despite the slow crawl of the pilot there is a lot going on in the streets of Harlem. Luke Cage may be keeping a low profile, sticking to his personal code of ethics, but no one else is.

A club owner and gangster colludes with a corrupt councilwoman and a mobster from another “gang.” Illegal gun sales and a robbery that turns deadly is also just another event in the neighborhood.

Cottonmouth looks to be the big bad of this series.  (How apt that he has a huge portrait of a crowned Biggie Smalls behind his desk.) It is fitting that Ali has been cast as Stokes. The actor exudes restrained power from every pore. No one else would have been a good match for Colter’s Cage.

The cast all bring much to the table and each one has an impressive pedigree on offer. Ron Cephas Jones, for example, has been one busy performer in the last two years with roles in Mr. Robot, This is Us and now Luke Cage and he has a relatively small role. 

Watching the season’s first episode was a little frustrating at first as it took its sweet time getting to the point.  It was, however, worth the wait. Luke Cage is a brilliant addition to the Marvel television stable of shows.

Head on over to Netflix now and watch this hero work against the  backdrop of a faint R&B soundtrack. Luke Cage, aka Power Man looks to be another winner.

Cast:

The Good Place: Jason Mendoza – Forking Silence Was Golden (Review)

 The Good Place - Season 1

Rather interestingly, NBC have shuffled The Good Place from Mondays to Thursdays.  This could be because Timeless is starting on 3 October and the the network wants to give the new drama some breathing space.

Overall The Good Place is performing well with an average of over 6 million viewers per show. (Although moving the show to Thursday cut their viewing figures almost in-half.)

Slipping into episode four, which takes up right after Jianyu confesses he does slipped the note under Eleanor’s door, we learn that the Taiwanese monk is really a Filipino wannabe DF from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  He too is a very square peg in a round hole.

He wants help from Shellstrop who is panicking at the idea of being caught and chucked out of the forking place.  Eleanor is stunned that Jianyu knows she does not belong.

He reveals that she drunkenly told him the night of the welcoming party. “I kind of vaguely remember that,” she admits.  Eleanor realizes that if she wants to stay in the Good Place, she needs to form an alliance with Jason.

While those two head off to his “bud-hole” Tahani is recruited by Michael to host the new restaurant opening. The “Good Plate” will be the event of the neighborhood and Al-Jamil is up for the challenge. The two engage in excited small talk and Michael reveals he is thinking of wearing suspenders.

(Sidenote to the writers here:  Tahani never flinches when Michael uses the term suspenders. In England the items used to hold up one’s trousers  are called “braces.” Suspenders have to do with garter-belts and hose.  So come along chaps, if writing for an English bird with a cut-glass accent, do your homework.)

The Good Place - Season 1

Later, Tahani comes home to swap her gloves and Jianyu speaks. Tahani decides that Chidi and Eleanor are helping her soulmate to talk.  (Another odd “English” phrase is used here, “Whisper in your snicker box .” A phrase never once heard over a 32 year period in that country. There are plenty of real quirky, to American ears anyway, British sayings that would have sufficed.)

At the gala event Jianyu just starts speaking when Eleanor destroys the chef’s three tier cake.  At the exact same time a giant sinkhole appears in the restaurant. People panic and flee the venue.

Tahani believes this to be her fault but Michael talks her into re-hosting the re-opening.  Meanwhile Chidi is invited into Jason’s bud-hole and he joins Eleanor in trying to talk the imposter into taking ethics training.

Back at the Good Plates eatery, the sinkhole (that Michael said would repair itself in a matter of days, is getting bigger.  Eleanor is overjoyed when Jianyu joins the class and she discovers she is the smartest student in the class.

Apart from the English gaffes, there were two outstandingly funny gags in the show. Eleanor’s obsession with “knowing yourself” meaning masturbation and Chidi’s exasperated reaction to it. And the “bud-hole” gag.

As the show continues a couple of  things become clear. Michael is a novice in every sense of the word and there must be more “mistakes” in The Good Place.

It would not be surprising to learn that all the occupants are “boo-boos”  After all, would these extreme examples of “good-two-shoes” be so quick to blow their own horns? So far the only person in the place who seems genuine is Chidi.

The Good Place - Season 1

Kudos to Jameel a Jamil for channeling her inner Penelope Keith. (Keith played upper class neighbor Margo in the 1970s sitcom The Good Life) Although Tahani is a tad more bubbly than Margot…

The Good Place is great fun and hearing  Eleanor call someone a “shirt head” or say “fork” never ceases to amuse.

The series now airs Thursdays on NBC.  Tune in and see if Jianyu learns “ethnics” or not.

CAST:

Rosewood: Secrets and Silent Killers (Review)

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Rosewood this week reveals the issue between Slade and Hornstock. It also uncovers a few secrets about Eddie; Villa’s murdered husband, and a silent killer strikes.

The first episode of season two finally introduced Donna’s secret, Gerald.  A man convicted of murder who claims he is innocent.  Rosie’s mother decides to fight his cause. It looks, however, like Gerald may not be so innocent after all.

Rosewood “murder of the week” was Danny Williams. A hardware clerk who is killed after attending a bachelor party.  Team Magic City believe the victim is forcefully overdosed. Later TMI gets conflicting blood work results and calls Pippy.

As they work on cause of death it is revealed that Williams is really Connor Thorne. Thorne was an embezzler who took millions from other people and then “died.”

Rosie’s little sister comes up with the cause of death after TMI calls. Pippy also reveals that she listened to TMI’s message more than once.

Slade is pushing Hornstock into increasingly demeaning jobs. Ira believes it is because of his dyslexia.  Villa confronts the new captain and learns that it goes back to Hornstock turning himself in to Internal Affairs.  Slade does not yet trust Ira to be a member of his  team.

Villa also learns that her dead husband may not have been what he seemed. She finds hidden money and a digital camera in an old suitcase.  Annalise suffers a mini meltdown and goes to see Rosie.

Even though Pippy is missing from the day to day workings at Magic City, Mitchie and TMI are working well together.  Pippy’s expertise is still missed however and with her short visit to the lab, it looks like she may be on the road back.

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The method of murder may have been worked out (nitrogen in a bag placed over the victim’s head) but there are a number of suspects to work through.

Williams’ neighbor was blackmailing him and has the hots for the dead man’s wife. Troy, however, did not kill Williams.  Suspicion then moves to a gorgeous female doctor or members of the dead man’s Narcotics Anonymous group.

Finally the list narrows down to one person. Jenny Williams, the dead man’s wife.  As Villa questions the woman, Ira Hornstock comes in with more information. Jenny, it seems, is the daughter of a man who committed suicide when Williams/Thorne took all his money.

The show ends with Donna having to tell Rosie about Gerald.  Mitchie and TMI were going to tell Rosewood if she did not. Rosie visits the convicted murderer  in prison and asks why a serial killer approached his mother.

Rosewood “Secrets and Silent Killers” was all about trust, being the member of a team and how secrets change how we feel about a person.   Watching the interaction between Slade and Ira it will be interesting to see what secrets the new captain is hiding.

Eddie’s secret, which so upset Villa at first, has now become her focus.  Rosie has set things in motion to have the body exhumed and Annalise is ready to move forward with their investigation.

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Rather annoyingly, it was too easy to guess who the killer was this week.  Normally, each episode has enough going on that the viewer is pleasantly surprised.

Still, armchair detective victory aside, this continues to be an entertaining show with characters that are easy to connect with.   The cast all have an amazing chemistry together  and Ciboria is a good fit as the new and slightly different captain.

Rosewood airs Thursdays on FOX. Tune in to learn Eddie’s secret and whether the new captain has one or not.

Cast:

Guest starring  Tate Ellington as Troy Randolph, Nishi Munshi as Jenny Williams, Robert Wisdom as Gerald Kelly and Andy Favreau as Danny Williams/Connor Thorne.

Superstore: Back to Work – Strawberry Jam (Review)

 Superstore - Season 2

This week on Superstore everything is “back to normal” as the staff return to work. Dina is, unsurprisingly, unpopular with her co-workers and Glenn is trying to change his image. Mateo works overtime to impress the corporate rep and Amy makes a mistake.

The strike is officially over and all the employees are back on the floor.  Jeff the corporate troubleshooter tries to sort out the issues that Glenn and his team have with the company. He also is a fly in the ointment for the store as he is everywhere.

Dina has trouble reasserting her authority and Jonah attempts to help her become a friendlier assistant manager.

The episode follows the usual template, Glenn trying to be something he is not, and failing miserably, and the usual Cloud 9 gags.

However, the show kicked everything into high gear with the severed thumb. As Amy relays the day’s tasks to several employees, she finds the deli unmanned. A long line of annoyed customers means that, as supervisor, she must step in and get the section running.

Amy enlists the aid of Marcus. She takes on buns, veggies and condiments and tells Marcus to handle the meat slicer.  The poor guy has no idea what he is doing and when he turns the device on, manages to slice off his thumb.

Cue comic gold.

As the young employee is in complete denial about losing his thumb, Amy is beside herself.  While Marcus refuses to check and see if the appendage on the floor is his, Amy dances about arms flailing.

The camera pulls back and the point of view is now through the deli door window with no sound.

Brilliant.

Soon after, Amy gathers herself and puts the thumb into a cold guacamole container. She rushes to get Marcus to the hospital so he can have it reattached.

Jeff and Glenn stop the two as they are leaving and Amy puts the guacamole with the thumb on a display basket of chips.  Moments later a Cloud 9 employee picks up the container and puts it in a trolley.

Amy gets away from the rep and Glenn. As she and Marcus start to leave, she realizes the thumb is missing.  The supervisor must now find Marcus’ thumb before it is too late to have the thing reattached.

Superstore - Season 2
Kaliko Kauahi as Sandra

Orchestrating a store-wide search while not alerting Jeff is amusingly  difficult. Amy tells Garrett if the missing appendage is found to say “strawberry jam” over the tannoy. The whole thing comes to halt when a customer complains about a thumb in his guacamole.

As this is Superstore there were subplots galore.  Cheyenne returns to pick up some things for the baby and winds up working.  The pay off comes when the new mother  is singing to her newborn.  A customer yells at her for being on the phone and Cheyenne puts her cell in his bag.

Glenn spends the entire episode working to impress Jeff. He believes the corporation sees him as a weak ineffectual boss. Turning himself into a “hard arse” does not go overly well.

Mateo does his sycophantic best to be noticed by Jeff. Accosting  customers and stalking the corporate representative. The busy troubleshooter is not, it seems, overly impressed or observant as he gets Mateo’s name wrong and calls him Ma-tay-toe.

Dina tries to get her fellow workers to accept her after Jonah tell her it is important to be liked.  She fails abysmally and finally gives up. It turns out that Dina is not a bully after all. She is just a social inept in charge of people. In other words she is atypical management.

After the thumb is found, Amy is in trouble for putting an untrained worker on the meat slicer.   Dina overhears that her coworker may be fired for her mistake.

The assistant manger finds Jeff who is about to send his report off to “corporate” and Dina asks what might happen to Amy.  “Suspension or termination,” Jeff replies before stating that he really needs to send his report.

Dina mentions that she too has a report to file.  One that points out that Jeff was “in charge” when Amy made her mistake.  Jeff decides not to file the incident report and tells Dina that he really does not like her.

“And I really don’t care,” is her reply.

As Jeff goes to leave the store, Mateo stops him and complains that the corporate rep never noticed him. Jeff assures Mateo that he did.

Superstore - Season 2Superstore  managed to make a point while presenting the funny side of human dismemberment. As much as the corporation was less than supportive of their staff, the workers also had room for improvement.

Neither side is sin free, although the staff could claim March 14 as their one “perfect” day.

Superstore airs Thursdays on NBC.

Cast:

Guest starring Matt Bunin as Jeff and Jon Barinholtz as Marcus