Dr Ken: A Park Family Christmas – Fun Allison, D.K.’s Bad Santa and Connor (Review)


 ALBERT TSAI, DANA LEE, KEN JEONG, KRISTA MARIE YU, SUZY NAKAMURA

Dr. Ken delivers another brilliant dose of comedy with a generous helping of sentimentality on the side. A suicidal patient, D.K. as grumpy Santa and Allison working overtime to prove to her colleagues at Welltopia that she can be fun. Clark tries to get Connor the perfect gift and Molly manages to meet and impress Pat’s Stanford friend.

The real tour de force of this Christmas episode however was the “perfect gift” that Connor gave his boyfriend Clark.  A bended knee proposal that insured there would not be a dry eye in the house.

Ken Jeong and his ensemble team of performers have once again delivered that mixed bag of treats; comedy with just a touch of “watery eye” and lump in the throat moments.

We get to see just what makes Allison tick. Not only is she above and beyond professional in her dealings with patients, she also seems them as friends. In other words, Allison cares for those she counsels as much as she cares about how her Welltopia workmates see the real Dr. Park.

The teaming of Allison and Ken at the clinic has seen Dr. Ken changing ever so slightly from the irascible medico we met in the first season.  While this has enabled the couple to learn from each other at work, they also mesh better at home, to the benefit of all.

D.K. continues his contrary behaviour this week with his ever so grumpy Santa. Telling all the kids that they will get a ball instead of what they want, Dave is more than mortified at his grandfather’s depiction of jolly old St. Nick.

When he explains the motivation behind Father Christmas, D.K. thanks his grandson and tells him that he too will get a ball for Christmas. Dave is not impressed.

Apart from D.K.’s splendid comic offering, the women of the Park household get to shine in this episode.  (Although when D.K. presses the send button on Molly’s application, her expression is beyond  priceless.)  Allison proves once and for all that she is the mistress of multitasking and can, indeed, be fun.

Molly shows that when the party chips are down that she can orchestrate the perfect game plan to save the day. She manages to impress not only the man from Stanford but the rest of the party goers as well.

This season has seen a move toward letting the character’s on the show progress in satisfying arcs. Allison is more rounded this year and twice as funny as a result. Molly is growing up before the audience’s eyes and Dave has also advanced logically. (He does still maintain that comic “off the wall” personality that makes his character so much fun though.)

Another storyline that has been undergoing an evolution of sorts is the Connor and Clark storyline. We see in this episode that Connor puts a lot of thought and love into every gift he gives Clark. Clark tries to match that with his Christmas gift and it is touching to see how well it goes over.

Connor manages to beat his boyfriend in the perfect gift stakes when he proposes to Clark. This was a sweet end to these two and their romance throughout the second  season. Damona is still with Eric and while there are no wedding bells in the air for these two, they are a pretty satisfactory match.

The end of the episode gave Ken Jeong a chance to show off his “pipes.” If there were any dry eyes in the audience after Clark and Connor’s scene, the heartfelt rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” meant at least a Texas-sized lump in the throat  of all who watched.

Standout Moments:

ROSE ABDOO, ALBERT TSAI, GEMMA BROOKE ALLEN, DANA LEE

The entire D.K. and Dave scene in the library.

Ken’s attempt at talking Allison out of hosting the party.

Pat’s canceling the party remark.

Clark and Connor and that bended knee proposal.

Ken showing up at Welltopia to support Allison and the two of them inviting  their patient to the party.

The moment D.K. hits send on Molly’s laptop.

Molly’s saving the party and the “sushi” bit.

Allison’s “this is the party I planned.”

Mistletoe.

“That’s what Santa does…”

The song at the end.

Final Thoughts:

This was a splendid episode with the right amount of comedy and sentimentality. Christmas episodes have a tendency to be downright mawkish on a lot of shows. Nothing in this offering from Dr. Ken was over done, we believe implicitly in Allison’s move to invite her patient to their party.

We also believe that she is sincere in her wish as appearing more than just “Professional Allison.” Suzy Nakamura brings equal measures of comedy and clearcut moments of truth to her role.

Albert Tsai and Dana Lee were the new “Park” double-act in this episode. This allowed Krista Marie Yu the chance to hone her comedic skills most admirably. Jonathan Slavin continues to round out Clark and Tisha Campbell-Martin manages to seemingly do so much with so little effort.

(On a sidenote: Stephen Guarino, who plays Connor, is steadily becoming another regular, more as straight-man than anything else, who delivers each time he appears.)

Dr. Ken continues to be the best family show on Friday night television. It consistently brings a wonderful mixture of  laughter and tears which is the mark of any quality comedy series.

Cast:

Guest starring Mark Bloom as Curt.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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