Dr. Ken this week shares an important message in its usual dose of comedy. “Ken’s Apology” takes a look at Ken’s professional standing against the backdrop of a well-intentioned but annoying D.K. who attempts to challenge Dave. While D.K. may have struck out in the academic arena, he fares much better as matchmaker to Molly.
The tie-in between Ken’s lack of attention to Allison’s reminders and list of grievances against D.K. and his mistake at work was nigh on perfect. The bottom line is one that points out the clear difference between Ken and other medicos in that Park cares deeply about his patients.
“Ken’s Apology” also takes a moment to show how callous the business of medicine can be when corporations forget that they are dealing with people. Granted, America is the land of “The Big Lawsuit” and the patient whose bloodwork was incorrectly assessed did, initially, what comes naturally to those who feel they have been wronged by the system.
As Pat says at one point in the episode, it is a case of, “All’s well that ends well.” After Ken manages to give his heartfelt apology to Mr. Hubert, via the device of slapping a full glass of beer from the patient’s hand, the lawsuit is dropped.
While this may be a tad “pie in the sky” it speaks volumes for Ken Jeong’s character, a loose version of the real Dr. Jeong, who is not above bucking the system to make his point. The doctor believes that patients are people who deserve apologies when they are merited.
Because of this attitude and his stubborn refusal to toe the corporate line, we love Ken that bit more. We definitely respect his stance and it is this part of Park that obviously drew Allison to him all those years ago.
The comedy this week came mainly from Dana Lee’s interfering “father in the house” role. It works well as D.K. really is attempting to help things along. He buys the crunchy peanut butter that Allison loathes because it is better value. Creamy peanut butter has no nuts, D.K. argues.
He also believes that Dave is not challenged enough in school. He tries to have his grandson moved up a grade. Allison steps in and explains that will not happen. D.K. tells her that Ken was moved up and she then tells her father-in-law that Ken was uncomfortable with the move.
While Dave is not overly thrilled with this outcome, Molly actually benefits from D.K.’s interference. She meets the barber’s grandson and approves of this Korean guy “with the bad boy vibe.” Dave tells the young man he is wasting his time, “She really wants to focus on her grades in college,” he says.
The storyline in this episode managed to re-emphasise Ken at home versus Ken at work. It also points out why the dynamic between Allison and Ken meshes so perfectly. In the Park household, she is the adult. A voice of reason and the one who “pays attention,” to the minutiae.
Ken will react when forced to, but he allows Allison to be the grownup as do the kids. He also allows his father to have a say in family issues precisely because D.K. is still his “father-figure.”
This season D.K. is becoming a functioning part of the family. He has now moved past fixing things that are broken and is trying to help in ways that are, overall, less appreciated. He is also choosing to be a tad secretive by not revealing what the hole in the back garden is for.
Clearly D.K. has something up his sleeve.
Clark and Damona were less centerstage this week but lost nothing in the scheme of things. Damona’s revealing that Pat’s twitchy eye signalled he meant business, or needed to pee, was hysterical. Clark’s “Preach, preach,” was equally funny.
Allison’s excitement at creamy peanut butter.
Molly’s reaction to D.K.’s matchmaking choice.
The entire D.K. and Dave in school interaction.
Dave’s reaction to skipping a grade, “here ya go kid, I won’t be needing this where I’m going.”
Dr. Ken is still the best ensemble comedy show on television. Each week the series manages not only to tickle the audience’s funny bone, but also makes them think. Certainly the show is all about family this year, but Ken Jeong and his writers still manage to sneak in a touch of the professional aspect of the Park’s as well.
Dana Lee is still knocking it out of the park with his depiction of D.K. and Dave Foley is delicious as the administrator who straddles the fence when forced to take a stand.
Albert Tsai, with that cheeky grin, manages to get laughs almost effortlessly when interacting with Krista Marie Yu and later with Dana Lee. The lad emits comic sincerity from every pore.
Dr. Ken is the highlight of Friday night television. A family friendly show that everyone can enjoy. Detractors obviously do not “get it.” For those we recommend a medical check-up to fix that dodgy lack of humor.
- Ken Jeong – Ken
- Albert Tsai – Dave
- Suzy Nakamura – Allison Park
- Krista Marie Yu – Molly
- Tisha Campbell-Martin – Damona
- Jonathan Slavin – Clark
- Dave Foley – Pat
- Dana Lee as D.K.
- Stephen Guarino – Connor
- Jerry Minor – Eric