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.

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.

Dr Ken: Ken’s Apology – All’s Well That Ends Well (Review)

 KEN JEONG, BOB CLENDENIN

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.

 DANA LEE
Dana Lee, it was the smile…

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.

Standout Moments:

Allison’s excitement at creamy peanut butter.

KEN JEONG, SUZY NAKAMURA
Creamy peanut butter love…

Molly’s reaction to D.K.’s matchmaking choice.

The entire D.K. and Dave in school interaction.

D.K.’s “smile.”

Ken’s “apology.”

Pat’s “non-apology.”

Dave’s reaction to skipping a grade, “here ya go kid, I won’t be needing this where I’m going.”

Final Thoughts:

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.

ALBERT TSAI

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.

Cast:

Guest starring Bob Clendenin as Mr. Hubert and Ryan Michelle Bathe as Dave’s teacher..

Dr Ken: D K’s New Girlfriend – Bonding (Review)

DANA LEE, KEN JEONG

Dr. Ken this week sees the Park family and friends bonding in a different way.  “D.K.’s New Girlfriend” sees  Pat bonding with Dave, Allison bonding with Molly and Ken re-bonding with his father.  It also sees Clark and Damona bonding with new colleague Allison.

Love in the Afternoon:

Ken gets into an argument with his father when he and Allison return home to find D.K. having a spot of romance with his girlfriend Linda. Awkwardness ensues when the couple find D.K.’s clothes and his girlfriend’s bra in the front room. The lovers emerge from the downstairs guest room, much to the embarrassment of all. (Except Linda.)

Everything between Ken and his father becomes stressful when it emerges that D.K. overhears Allison complaining about his still living in the house. As Ken tries to explain about boundaries, D.K. gets angry and moves out of the Park house and into Linda’s apartment.

Allison and Molly try to enjoy a little mother / daughter special time at a local spa. Clark and Damona “spa crash” the establishment, much to Allison’s initial annoyance.

Dave, Pat and Ken attend a local jazz club. The music is definitely not Ken’s cup of tea and Pat agrees to stay with Dave to heard the rest of the jazz band’s set.  Pat gets “lucky” when single parent Megan zeros in on what she believes to be another single parent.

Pat lies and says that Dave is his adoptive son and the youngest Park kid agrees to go along. There is one proviso, however.  No more “burns.” The two try to pull the wool over Megan’s eyes but Pat blows it when he tries to persuade Dave to eat shrimp.

Megan gets upset when Pat ignores the fact that Dave is deathly allergic to shrimp and their ruse falls apart. Meanwhile, Allison learns that Molly is growing up and that, despite the annoyances of working at Welltopia, the family are grateful that they can see more of their mother.

Ken apologizes to D.K. and asks him to return the house. Ken’s father reveals that he is at a loss.  D.K. tells his son that he never imagined himself having to live with his son in his mid 70’s.

By the end of the episode, D.K. is back in the Park house and Dave reveals that he would welcome Ken to live with him.

Standout Moments:

D.K.’s “Bus-ted.”

Ken’s “hippy tea.”

Allison’s mammoth moan session with Molly.

Ken’s “lead on the bra” line.

Dave and Pat’s entire luncheon at the Jazz club and Megan.

Clark and Damona full stop.

Clark’s callous call.

D.K.’s “late life crisis explanation.”

Dave with his jazz sounds, a’la Pat.

Final Thoughts:

Dr. Ken continues to up the stakes in terms of storyline and cast performances.  Dana Lee provided a well delivered mix of comedy and pathos. Ken Jeong proved yet again that his comedy comes from the heart and that the Jonathan Slavin / Tisha Campbell-Martin double act can work anywhere.

Albert Tsai killed it this week in his scenes with Dave Foley (who always knocks it out of the park) and the ensemble worked like a well oiled comedic machine.

The second season has allowed for more tragedy tinged comedy over all. D.K.’s lament was enough to raise thicken the throat and cause those tear ducts to overflow just a little.

By putting an emphasis on the extended family, present and future, the show makes its comedy feel that little bit richer and truthful.  There is, in most families, a juxtaposition of roles as the unit ages.

Parent’s suddenly begin acting more like children and vice versa. This has been a theme in the series this year. D.K.’s New Girlfriend just changed the usual players to Ken and his father instead of the younger Park family members and their parents.

Dr. Ken continues to get the mix just right in terms of comedy with a side of seriousness. The message, dutifully delivered each week, is that family matters, regardless of age, location or temperament.

The series airs Fridays on ABC. Tune in and check out this family fun show.

Cast:

Guest starring Gillian Vikman as Megan and Cheryl Bricker as Linda.

Dr Ken: Ken Learns Korean – Out of the Mouths of Babes (Review)

KEN JEONG, VANA KIM

Dr. Ken this week leaves traditional Halloween tales behind and focuses instead on heritage and honoring our past. “Ken Learns Korean” is a more intimate look at remembering our family’s traditions and culture.

Another theme addressed is how children can surpass expectations and teach us as parents. “Out of the mouths of babes” means just that as Dave shows Ken later in the show.

Molly also teaches Allison something while practicing to retake her SAT.

The Storyline:

Dr. Ken starts with Ken encountering a patient who only speaks Korean. She talks to Ken who immediately checks that a translator has been called for. In seconds Troy shows up.  The patient has Troy translate her apology. She explains that she thought Ken was Korean.

Clark has been made the union rep for all the nurses and he will be handling negotiations with management. Pat overhears and tells the new negotiator that he will be looking forward to the meeting. Clark is intimidated.

Molly is working on improving her vocabulary for her upcoming SAT retest and practices on her mother at dinner. D.K. tells Allison that he is having a card game and needs a bag of ice around nine o’clock.

She is not impressed and tells Ken that she will not be bringing ice for D.K. Ken says he will tell his dad that there will be no game. D.K. then comes in to say they need a fourth. Would Ken like to sit in?

Ken would.

D.K. and his old buddies make fun of Ken for not knowing how to speak Korean.  Hurt and angry Ken goes in the kitchen and tells Dave that he will go to Korean class with him.

Pat rips Clark apart at  the negotiations. The hospital administrator has the floor and uses it to verbally run circles around Clark.

At the school Ken gets off to a shaky start.  The class are calling out numbers in Korean and Ken says his name. He then learns that they are doing numbers so he says “four.” The teacher asks for the number in Korean and Ken says it with an accent.

The teacher is not impressed.

Molly and Allison continue their vocabulary contest and confuse D.K. while back at the school Ken has more problems with learning  his father’s language.

He manages to successfully translate “where is the zoo”  but cannot give the directions in Korean. The phrase she wants is “over there.”  Ken asks the boy beside him for help. This is a bad move as the child has Ken say the zoo is on the teacher’s bottom.

KEN JEONG
The zoo is where?

Once again the teacher is not amused and she forces Ken to stand in the back corner…Again.

At Welltopia Clark is frustrated at how the negotiations went. He mentions striking and Damona goes off.

Meanwhile Ken tells Dave he is giving up Korean lessons.  Dave sets his father down and talks to him.  He explains that taking the lessons connects everyone. He does not “want to be the one to break the chain.” he says. “Do you,” he asks his father.

Ken is impressed enough to continue taking the lessons.

Back at the hospital Clark is pushing for the nurses to strike and no one supports him. Pat overhears and tells Clark that he stands alone, “like the cheese.”

Clark’s response is to go full out Norma Rae and his spiel is so impassioned that everyone, even the doctors, agree to the strike. His sincerity and passion moves Pat as well who agrees to the shorter hours.

Clark has won.

Molly finally stumps Allison with the word adumbrate, “to foreshadow or portend,” and Allison gracefully accepts defeat. When Molly leaves the kitchen, savoring her victory, Allison mutters, ‘Adumbrate. You’re adumbrate.”

D.K. comes in the kitchen to ask for ice and Allison puts her foot down. “You need to show me more respect,” she says and D.K. reaches into his back pocket for an envelope.

It is her “cut” from the last game. Allison is impressed. She will be cheerfully providing ice and scotch.

Ken comes in to play in the card game and speaks Korean  to Bum-Kun.  D.K.’s card playing cronies are not impressed till Ken goes on to “burn” Bum-Kun…In Korean.  Ken now feels accepted. He does, however, mess up by calling his fellow card players “old people.”

The episode ends with D.K., Dave and Ken watching Korean soap operas.

Standout Moments:

Luke Cage.

Ken being placed in the corner at Korean School.

Dave’s “Whose dad is that” and “DAD!”

Clark’s impassioned “Norma Rae” speech.

Allison and Molly’s “dueling vocabulary.” (Like dueling banjos but with words.)

D.K.’s game night and Allison’s reaction to her “cut.”

Ken at the card game.

“You wouldn’t understand, its a Korean thing.”

“Four.” (With an accent.)

Pat “owning” Clark at the negotiation table.

“Wounded gazelle meet hungry hyena.”

“I didn’t even want to date him!”

“You’re both sounding super silly.”

“Sure your dad is jacked…”

“The peninsula country in Asia where we come from.”

Final Thoughts: 

This episode was primarily about keeping in touch with our roots and how easy it is to forget where we come from.  It is also, like the rest of the season so far, about family.

Even Clark’s storyline was about “family” the people we work with day in and day out, our work family.

Since the underlying theme was about children teaching their parents a thing or too, Clark standing up to Pat, as daddy, is also a parent child relationship. Although arguably the hospital administrator can be seen as another child more often than not…

DANA LEE, KEN JEONG, ALBERT TSAI

The end of the episode with the three generations of the Park men watching a Korean soap opera was just brilliant.

Major kudos to Jonathan Slavin for knocking it right out of the park with his nurses speech.  His passion was so real that it induced goosebumps in at least one viewer…

Mad props to Dave Foley for his politician style double-talk during the negotiation segment. (And his Farmer in the Dell reference.)

Also a huge nod to Albert Tsai. His embarrassed cry when Ken tells the teacher that the zoo is on her bottom had this reviewer in stitches.

Dana Lee and his two card playing chums were spot on in this episode as well.

Another win for the Dr. Ken cast and crew, “Ken Learns Korean” was warmly funny and touching in all the right places.

Dr. Ken airs Fridays on ABC. Tune in for a family friendly comedy show that will light up your night.

Cast:

Guest starring Joshua Elijah Reese as Troy the translator, Tom Yi  as Bum-Kun, Nancy J. Lee as the teacher,