Dr Ken: Allison Finds a Lump – Stand Up to Cancer (Recap/Review)

DR. KEN - "Allison Finds a Lump" - During a self-exam, Allison finds a suspicious lump in her breast, causing Ken and the HMO gang to rally around her for support while she anxiously waits for the doctor's diagnosis. Meanwhile, Dave has questions for how he will portray the character he's playing in the school play, and Pat and Damona share an unexpected moment, on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24 (8:31-9:00 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Ron Tom) KRISTA MARIE YU, SUZY NAKAMURA, KEN JEONG, DAVE FOLEY, JONATHAN SLAVIN, TISHA CAMPBELL-MARTIN

This second season of Dr. Ken has managed to successfully mix tears and laughter on many of its episodes. None, however, more masterfully than “Allison Finds a Lump.” This one touches upon a personal note. Ken Jeong’s real-life wife fought and won against “the Big C” (as the late Duke Wayne referred to the disease) and at the end of the episode Ken and Tran  talk about Stand Up To Cancer.

The episode starts with Dave taking on the role of Peter Pan and complaining about the nonsensical nature of the tale while learning his lines. Later, after a shower, Allison discovers a lump in her breast. Ken takes time away from watching a tic-tac-toe playing chicken to reassure her.

He calms Allison down after trying to rip a hand towel in half. The scene ends with the two watching the creature play the game as Ken tells a story about the bird.

The next day, Allison puts off ringing her doctor for an appointment and Ken rings for her. As she talks to the receptionist, Molly overhears her conversation. Learning that Allison has found a lump is clearly upsetting.

As Allison waits to learn when her doctor can see her, the receptionist puts her on hold. The music playing is a variation on the old Benny Hill Yakety Sax theme, every time Allison is put on hold, she is treated to this upbeat music.

She learns that her doctor cannot see her for two weeks. Ken vows to help Allison find another doctor to see her. She tells the rest of the Welltopia staff and she gets a group hug from everyone, including a passerby named Carl.

Allison and Ken go to see the most dour surgeon in all of Welltopia, Dr. O’Sullivan.  Allison worries about everything that is going on and Ken reassures her that he will help out. After he then breaks a sculpture in the doctor’s office the surgeon reveals that Allison does have a lump.

He schedules a biopsy the next day during his lunch break. Allison jokingly asks if she can be in an induced coma while waiting for the results and O’Sullivan reacts poorly, the man really does have no sense of humor.

Molly speaks with Ken about her mother and expresses her fears and offers to support  both her parents however she can. She agrees to drive Dave to his play incase Allison is not up to going to the show.

Pat, who has been going on phone dating sites since breaking up with Megan, talks with Clark and Damona about realizing how short life is. The realization that Allison could have cancer has touched them all. He vows to do more with his life and Damona talks about taking tennis lessons.

Allison and Ken have a moment where she talks about how waiting for the news is driving her crazy. They decide to attend Dave’s play and they arrive to find Pat, Clark and Damona already in attendance.

Dave’s harness malfunctions and the audience are in stitches. The next day Allison learns that the lump was not cancerous. Pat surprises Damona with a box of tennis gear and he further surprises her with a kiss. She asks him why he had to complicate things and then kisses him back.

At the Park home, Allison reveals to Molly that she got the all clear and the family indulge in a group hug after Dave announces that he is a star.

At the end of the episode Ken and his wife Tran talk about their story and Stand Up To Cancer.

This was another of those special moments on Dr. Ken where a personal note was introduced into the show. The series is already based, somewhat, on Ken Jeong’s real life and this episode broaches the fear of breast cancer and the effect it has on those around us.

Ken also, via the auspices of personal experience,  manages to dispense some brilliant advice for those who might share Allison’s experience. Dr. Ken reminds his TV wife to be proactive in getting help. The message is clear, being diagnosed with a lump is the first step, not the final one.

It is done effectively. In ways that are touching and humorous, the story line shows how life goes on all around the cancer victim, or potential victim. Dave, who never learns about the lump, goes on to adapt Peter Pan. Molly steps up to help out and Ken proves that there are no limits on his love for Allison.

There are obviously no limits on the feelings that Pat and Damona have for one another either. While this passion has never cooled, it could be a bit awkward for Damona and Eric, since they are still, presumably, a couple. The re-ermegence of this love affair has been a long time coming.

“Allison Finds a Lump” was a splendid mix of comedy with tears. Suzy Nakamura and Ken Jeong were spot on with their reactions to one another with what could have been devastating news. Krista Marie Yu provided a powerhouse performance that was simple but oh so effective. Albert Tsai proved, that in the scheme of things, he really does not need a straight man, the kid has got comedy chops for days.

On top of the powerful and poignant message that Dr. Ken passed on this week, the culmination of the Pat and Damona relationship (with those two kissing with all that repressed passion) was a splendid moment. This couple needs to be together and this, along with Dave’s happy self inclusion in that familial group hug, made the comedic portion of the episode nigh on perfect.

Dr. Ken airs Fridays on ABC. Tune in and bliss out and embrace the love that this show shares.

(On a sidenote: Does Ken call Allison Molly as they leave O’Sullivan’s office? Answers on a postcard please or down in the comment section below. Please and thank you.)

Cast:

Guest starring Patrick O’Sullivan  as Dr. O’Sullivan

Dr Ken: Pat’s Rash – Allergic to Nuts (Review)

 DAVE FOLEY, TISHA CAMPBELL MARTIN, KEN JEONG

Dr. Ken this week focuses on relationships. “Pat’s Rash” is brought about by his “allergy to nuts,” as Damona puts it, and along the way more than one romance falls by the wayside. It is also crystal clear that both Pat and Damona have unsettled issues with their brief office liaison. This week’s episode is all about relationships, both romantic and otherwise.

The Storyline:

Pat comes into Welltopia with his new girlfriend Megan. He has a rash on his face and Megan is not happy about it. He reluctantly decides to have Ken look at the hives on his face before a banquet that he and Megan are due to attend.

After running tests Ken believes that the stress of dating Megan is destroying Pat’s health. He tells Pat this and he reacts badly.

Meanwhile things are not going too smoothly for Dave with Emily. As he struggles to communicate with the overly quiet girl, Molly steps in to help. D.K. offers to break up with Emily for Dave, who is perfectly willing, at first, to let his granddad do the deed. Molly insists that Dave do it himself.

Clark and Allison attend a meditation class and both find the experience daunting and annoying. As they work on their burgeoning friendship both of them work too hard at compromising.

Ken and Allison discuss Pat’s problem at home and Ken’s statement that “he needs to leave her before his face falls off,” prompts Dave to believe he should break up with Emily.

Pat learns from Ken that Megan is damaging his health and gets angry at his friend and colleague. He then breaks up with Megan in front of Damona, Clark and Ken. She reacts badly and Damona goes to bat for her former lover.

Dave starts to break up with Emily who cuts him short. Using more words in one episode than she has the entire time the two have dated, she tells her boyfriend that the relationship has been over for ages. Emily then leaves.

Pat thanks Ken for looking out for him and later he and Damona talk about their agreeable breakup while making “eyes” at one another. This romance is definitely not completely over…yet.

D.K. is pleased that Emily has moved on and Molly supports her brother with more sage advice and a hug. Later Dave thanks Ken and Allison for their help and Ken takes full credit as Allison uses her new meditation training to deal with Ken.

Standout Moments:

Damona’s reaction to Pat’s rash.

Ken’s exact same reaction seconds right after.

D.K.’s offer to break up with Emily for Dave.

Damona sticking up for Pat “He broke up with you!”

Clark and Allison and their inner dialogue at the meditation class.

Emily’s verbal outburst when she and Dave break up.

Pat and Megan full stop.

D.K.’s reaction to Emily after the break up.

Molly’s impression of D.K. “Dave doesn’t want to see you anymore.”

D.K.’s response to Molly’s impression “I wouldn’t beat around the bush like that.”

Clark’s reaction to Megan’s line about her husband.

Clark and Allison’s inner dialogues at the end of the episode.

Final Thoughts:

As pointed out, this one was all about relationships. Pat and Megan were not a good match over the long haul. His initial refusal to go back to the single life added to his problems. Dave and Emily also had problems but since she never talked to Dave they stayed together.

The message in this episode of Dr. Ken is that sometimes we have to step outside our relationships, with the help of friends and family, to see what is really going on.

It was brilliant to see D.K. back in the mix and Dana Lee, Krista Marie Yu and Albert Tsai rocked it this week. As funny as the main storyline was, the Park family interaction, which included Dave misunderstanding Ken and Allison’s conversation, was brilliantly funny this week.

The ongoing plot line of Allison and Clark trying to bond is still funny and the Pat/Damona “will they/won’t they” arc is far from over.

Everyone in this episode of Dr. Ken got a fair share of the comedy pie. Ken got in some good lines and reaction and Gillian Vigman just killed it as the  shrew in this tale. Brilliant stuff indeed.

Dr. Ken continues to be the best thing about Friday nights. Tune in and check this out if you have not already done so. This is good family fun that everyone can enjoy.

Cast:

 

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

Agents of SHIELD: The Man Behind the Shield – LMD Invasion (Review)

MALLORY JANSEN, ZACH MCGOWAN, JASON O'MARA

The big payoff of Agents of SHIELD this week in “The Man Behind the Curtain” was four of the team being replaced with LMD replicas by Radcliffe, via Aida after a trio of agents go in and pull Mace out of The Superior’s clutches. There was a somewhat satisfactory fight sequence between the Russian baddie and Quake which ends, somewhat predictably, with the delusional chap losing.

The inhuman SHIELD agent does take it for granted that The Superior was killed with her final action which leaves the barely living Watch Dog leader to Aida’s devices. (On a sidenote, the actions of Aida, “Even filth has a purpose” in terms of very human delight at enacting revenge on the idiot leader was just brilliant.)

The Superior managed to prove that he had no real idea or understanding of his place in this verse. His statement to Quake before having his arse handed to him an a plate (that he had been training for this event) showed how little he really understood about the whole issue of inhumans.

Backstory wise, the Phil and May relationship was looked at in more detail with emphasis on their “almost romance.” That they were attracted to one another has always been a constant but it turns out that May’s “civilian number 14” (Andrew Garner) was the one who stopped them from consummating their attraction.

It explained much but the portrayal of Phil Coulson as a somewhat nebbish agent that May poked good natured fun at was, to a degree, misplaced. In the overall scheme of things, one feels that this may have been an attempt to make Coulson less capable whereas in the verse itself the head of SHIELD has always felt completely on top of everything.

(With the exception of his death by Loki’s hand earlier.  Even then, however, Coulson was pretty much unflappable. When he fires the weapon at Loki his throw-away remark of “so that’s what it does,” showed the real essence of Phil. Just as his last words to Nick  Fury revealed his true thought process.)

Regardless of the “manufactured” feel of the flashback, which managed to tie in The Superior with Coulson and May, it served to show just why Phil was so ready to accept the LMD version of Agent May.

Mace has, seemingly, been rescued just in the nick of time but, especially after Aida’s whispered comments to the barely alive Superior, he could have died and still had his consciousness imprinted onto the LMD that Fitzsimmons spot in the corridor at the show’s end.

The episode ends with LMD Phil reviving LMD May and saying that they have waited forever. Clearly things will be taking a downward turn before the season finale. So far it looks like the only two members of SHIELD on Phil’s team who are not Radcliffe replicants are the two scientists.

It will be interesting to see if The Superior becomes a more interesting character once he has been turned into a LMD. Up to this point he was all empty posturing, with Aida at least who could have kicked the Russian’s arse seven ways to Sunday with little effort, and pointless threats.

The big question at the end of this episode of Agents of SHIELD is whether  Mace actually survived his session with The Superior’s goons and just what purpose Radcliffe has in mind for the fallen Watch Dog leader.

On yet another sidenote, the whole Framework exercise at the start and later with Mack, was brilliant. While we see none of what transpires during Mack’s session the Oculus Rift line was priceless. The earlier sparring match between Phil and Daisy was also great to watch. One can only presume that many things will be sorted out in this Matrix type world in the series.

Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays on ABC. Tune in and see where the season heads next in this alternative LMD world.

CAST:

Agents of SHIELD: Boom – I Is For Irony (Review)

JOHN PYPER-FERGUSON

Agents of SHIELD “Boom” serves up a heavy dose of irony. There are several instances where certain characters get their fair share of karma courtesy of the plot lines on offer. Shockley, after breaking the terrigen crystal developed by Radcliffe, is affected instead of Senator Nadeer as expected.

As a further bit of irony, however, Shockley’s first act as an inhuman is to explode, blasting the horrible Ellen Nadeer into oblivion. This episode shows who Radcliffe based Aida on, a real-life love interest who was dying of a brain tumor.

It was interesting to see that Holden Radcliffe was once, like most comic book villains, a good guy who wanted to use science to save the love of his life from death by tumor. Agnes, the template for Aida, professes to hate Radcliffe for deserting her.

Coulson talks her into making contact with her former love in order to save May. Meanwhile, Shockley’s mission turns him into living bomb. Quake practices on how to neutralize the newest inhuman and Jeffrey Mace learns that the facsimile of the Captain America serum is killing him.

Later, the “leader” of SHIELD will sacrifice himself to stop The Superior from interfering.  Mace injects himself with the serum via his new suit and is captured by the Russian big bad.

The very act of using himself as a distraction serves up yet another dose of irony since his inadvertent act of heroism got him the job as a faux Captain America in the first place.

Agnes unsurprisingly chooses to return to Radcliffe when he promises her a Matrix-like existence in his re-created world. She is “downloaded” into the verse where there is no brain tumor. Unfortunately, the woman dies shortly after being loaded into the world.

Radcliffe explains to the Agnes’ replacement (Aida) that it was always going to happen. Her brain, however, lives on in the new re-creation, the same manufactured world that May is currently residing it.

The implication is that May too will die if she is not rescued soon. One interesting point is whether or not a replication of May will live on in this new world even after she has been rescued.

By the end of the episode Shockley is still determined to help The Superior bring down SHIELD and the rest of the inhumans. He escapes from the omnijet, after being shoved into a containment pod and ejected before he can blow everyone on board to pieces.

Mace has been captured by The Superior. Somewhat annoyingly, that Captain America serum does not render him immune to high powered cattle prods.

This is an interesting development in the show. In the Marvel verse Mace does actually take on the role of Captain America for a short while. Daisy, aka Quake, tells Jeffrey that he is not the new “Cap.” One wonders if this spell in captivity will somehow change things for Mace in that department.

As a sidenote, kudos to Mallory Jansen for knocking it out of the park in this episode and the storyline on Phil Coulson and his search for May was spot on. Clark Gregg never fails to deliver.

Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays on ABC.

CAST:

Guest starring John Pyper-Ferguson as Terence Shockley and Zach McGowan as The Superior.

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

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

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.

Cast:

 

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