Dr Ken: A Dr. Ken Valentine’s Day – Was That a ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ Reference? (Review)


Dr. Ken continues to shake things up a bit with a sly reference to a new Netflix show.  Initially it seemed that the show that “everyone is binging” on the platform might have been Stranger Things. However, the response of “zombies” means it can only be Santa Clarita Diet. You have to love a show that brings topical humor with a capital T.

“A Dr. Ken Valentine’s Day” gives us a generational look at the “corporate” holiday. We see it from Dave and Emily’s viewpoint (Ken Jeong’s daughter Zooey reprises her role as the practically silent girlfriend of Dave.), Ken and Allison, Molly and Jae as well as D.K. all have a different understanding of the holiday focussed on true love.

We also see Clark and Connor, still very much in love and caught up in the wonder of each other. Pat manages to get a date with Megan, the woman he tried to con into believing that Dave was his adopted son and Damona ends up telling Eric about dating Pat.

The story:

Allison sends Ken a text saying that she does not want to do anything for Valentine’s Day. She tells him that laying around the house in her sweatpants is her plan for the holiday.

Clark sets up an intricate scavenger hunt which will lead Connor to a romantic gift of love. He asks Ken to drop off the box in the sculpture garden near his home. Clark then learns that Damona never told Eric about dating Pat after she reveals that their Valentine’s Day dinner will be at a steakhouse they discovered.

Dave is cooking a romantic meal for Emily, with help from D.K. while Molly and Jae are doing nothing for the day; opting to “Netflix it” on the couch. Things get complicated when Dave asks Ken to read the poem he wrote for Emily.

Ken recommends dropping the poem. Later, Allison gets emotional when Dave’s roses for Emily are delivered and she believes that Ken got them for her. She is now regretting her decision to ignore the holiday. Allison then discovers the poem and she thinks that Ken wrote it for her.

Connor and Clark are at the sculpture garden when they learn that Ken did not drop off the gift box as promised. Clark is furious and calls Ken repeatedly. Dave’s meal is ruined and Allison learns that the poem was written by her son for Emily and not by Ken.

Damona and Eric see Pat with Megan at the steakhouse. Megan goes to the restroom and after a very long period of time everyone believes Pat’s date left him in the restaurant. Eric invites Pat to join them at their table.

Ken makes a “sketchy” reservation to apologize to Allison, Connor gets his gift, an email that Clark sent Damona the day after they met, Dave and Emily get past their dinner disaster, Molly and Jae make use of Ken’s reservation and he gets Molly a teddy bear.

Pat learns that Megan did not desert him at the steakhouse after all, she got trapped in the ladies room, and Eric is okay with the news that his girl dated her colleague.

Standout Moments:

Pat’s re-entry into the room to speak with Megan.

Dave’s creme brule gag.

D.K. and Dave’s double act.

Allison’s reaction to the poem.

Pat, Damona and Eric “Sometimes a lot of fun together.”

Megan and Pat.

The “Simpson’s” shot on the sofa with the (possible) reference to the new Netflix show Santa Clarita Diet.

Clark and his reactions to Ken’s forgetting the gift placement.

The cute “flat, warm coke” story about Ken and Allison’s first Valentine’s Day together.

Connor and Clark.

Final Thoughts:

The added bonus of having a second season with a full order of episodes allows Dr. Ken the latitude of being self referential and topical.  The Netflix binging reference, which may or may not be SCD, was brilliant but so too was the return of Megan. “The one that got away.”

It was also nice to see this follow up the Pat/Damona romance after it was made abundantly clear that they both still have feelings about one another. In a perfect Dr. Ken world, these two would eventually get back together. If not, then at least Pat seems to have found a spiritual twin, if not soulmate in Megan.

Molly and Jae (Krista Marie Yu and Justin Chon) could win the perfect couple of the year award. These two young performers look great together and their character’s seem so in sync that they should never break up on the show.

D.K. and Dave are still the perfect double act and the return of Emily was perfect. Zooey Jeong is clearly a chip off the old block. The storyline with Allison and Ken proved once again that these two are the best television husband/wife team on offer.

Suzy Nakamura not only has comedy chops for days but she can exude emotional sincerity almost effortlessly.  The ongoing storyline of Connor and Clark is touching and funny. May these two never ever break up.

Guest star Gillian Vigman killed it as the adoptive mum who gives Pat a second chance. Hopefully she will return and make Pat complete. She and Dave Foley made a brilliant temporary couple.

Dr. Ken airs Fridays on ABC. Tune in for your weekly ration of fun and laughs courtesy of this brilliant ensemble team. On a sidenote, if the characters were not talking about Santa Clarita Diet, what other zombie show is worth binging on Netflix? Answers on a postcard please, or in the comment section below.



Guest starring Zooey Jeong as Emily and Gillian Vigman as Megan.

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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