Dr Ken: Ken Teaches Molly a Lesson – Laughter to the Nth Degree (Review)

KRISTA MARIE YU, SUZY NAKAMURA, KEN JEONG

As amazing as it may seem, after all the odds are against any sitcom knocking out of the park every single week,  Dr Ken achieves this easily. So much so that each episode equals laughter to the nth degree and one should avoid watching it on a tablet (or other device)  in public places if easily embarrassed. For instance, at this exact point and time, this reviewer is sitting in a crowded fast-food outlet, earphones in and is chortling, snorting and leaking tears of laughter at the beginning of Ken Teaches Molly a Lesson.

This episode is all about family, although those crazy folks at the medical center do appear and Dr. Park, along with Damona,  do a ’77 riff on Pat that is truly memorable and funny as hell.  Before then, and later, the episode is owned by Ken Jeong, Krista Marie Yu, Suzy Nakamura and Albert Tsai.  The part that had this reviewer laughing out loud, aka “LOLing” in a public place, was Molly’s question control after informing her parents that the police had shut down a party she was attending due to underage drinking.

Ken and Allison agree to not get angry and Molly allows them two questions. The parents discuss the situation and believe that the deal will not improve so they agree . Molly then explains about the police and the drinking.

Ken: “All right. Is there more?”

“Molly: “No and not a wise use of your question.”

Ken: “Damn!”

Allison: (to Molly who is leaving the room) “Hold on.  Don’t I get a question?”

Molly: “Yes! Good question Mom!”

Allison: “Damn!”

The teen does not escape, however, as Ken forces her to “fess up” about drinking half a beer and then pouring it out because she did not like the taste. Ken reacts badly to the news and Allison thanks Molly for telling them.

The two adults disagree on how to handle the situation.  Ken changes from the “fun one” to the strict one unlike Allison  with her “commune” upbringing.  She mentions his jail time after the first “Molly” incident. Ken agrees to handle things Allison’s way, but in the end, cannot.

Dr. Ken manages to put a brilliant spin on the gags in the show, from Ken Jeong’s referring to consuming half a beer as a “Korean whore’s breakfast” to spitting while saying “Fo sho.”  Determined to teach Molly a lesson, Dr. Park sits her down and drinks non-stop while showing his teenager the perils of alcohol consumption.

Cue one massively intoxicated Dr. Ken, who manages to get drunk as a lord and embarrasses Molly again in front of her friends.

Standout moment:

Ken drunkenly lurches toward a teenage girl he thinks is Molly and after hugging her says, “I used to give her a bath!” His trumpeting this mortifying information to the wrong girl is hysterically funny and culminates in Molly storming off.

While Ken “teaches Molly a lesson” Allison is determined to be the fun parent with Dave, something that Ken does already. She takes the boy to an Angela Merkel biography reading by the author. On their trip, she gets stopped for an illegal U-turn, gets the cop’s gender wrong, lies about Dave’s health to get him a seat at the reading and Dave falls asleep moments later, snoring out loud.

Back at work, Julie is upset that no one cares about her breakup with Topher and when Damona asks her if she thought that the medical clinic would be like Grey’s Anatomy, she says yes. Dr. Julie Dobbs then  goes into full blown rant mode and is offered half a tissue from Pat as “you look upset.”

TISHA CAMPBELL MARTIN, DAVE FOLEY, JONATHAN SLAVIN, KATE SIMSES
TISHA CAMPBELL MARTIN, DAVE FOLEY, JONATHAN SLAVIN, KATE SIMSES

By the end of the episode, Allison learns that she has become the fun one, Ken is massively hung over and each one takes pride in their efforts to be great parents.

Once again, Kate Simses kills it, with her Grey’s Anatomy rant, and Tisha Campbell-Martin teams up with Ken Jeong to deliver a  brilliant comedic rip on Dave Foley‘s administrator.  Ken and Krista Marie Yu also interact perfectly as he gets more and more intoxicated while she tries to warn him about his consumption. Suzy Nakamura and Albert Tsai are also spot on in their scenes together.

*Sidenote* Ken Jeong’s  “masking” bit re: strawberry daiquiris;  is another belly laugh moment as is the “second wind” entrance at the party. 

Like Dave’s description of his night out with Allison this episode of Dr. Ken: Ken Teaches Molly a Lesson, was “badass.” The series airs Fridays on ABC, tune in and prepare to laugh your “badass” off…

 

 

 

Dr Ken: Halloween-Aversary – Comedy Gold (Review)

JONATHAN SLAVIN, KEN JEONG

In keeping with what is now tradition on Dr. Ken,  Halloween-Aversary is comedy gold.  Also as with each episode thus far, their Halloween special is set on the day/night of the holiday itself and is not the focus of the episode.  There are costumes, candy, a skeleton and everyone in the show have some brilliant comedic moments.  This series has now reached the point where the laughs are guaranteed, regardless of the storyline.

This week’s show features a painful trip down memory lane for Ken.  At the Park home, Dave is dressed as Dr. Frankenstein “who is the real monster” and Molly is annoyed that she has to babysit. As the family work out who is going to what party, Molly repeats the story of Ken’s “botched” proposal, as revealed by grandma, 20 years previously.

Ken then tells the real story of how he was dressed as Judge Ito (Cue flashback sequence.) and as he goes to ask Allison to marry him,  she ruins it by beating him to the punch. He angrily reacts and tells her she messed up the moment with a “mouth-fart.”  Later, he decides to re-propose and get his wife a new ring.

At work, Pat takes a medicated lollipop (sucker) from Julie’s desk and Damona takes advantage of his “high-ness” to get a lot of things approved. Ken tries to buy a new engagement ring and Allison almost finds out when the bank gives her a credit card fraud call. While Ken tries to keep her from finding out he is using the card they get into an argument.

KATE SIMSES, TISHA CAMPBELL MARTIN, DAVE FOLEY
KATE SIMSES, TISHA CAMPBELL MARTIN, DAVE FOLEY

Ken gets so angry that he decides to call the whole thing off. After the big blow up, Hector tells Allison about the “surprise.”

In terms of comedy, this episode was the Rolls Royce of the series to date.  The jokes, gags and funny lines were many and delivered at a pace that almost took the viewer’s breath away.  Once again there were moments of truth in the performances of all the actors. Amid the stand out moments, Kate Simses once again gave her character that special touch (Watch for the red dragon moment) that makes her the queen of nuance.

Memorable moments:

Hector’s friend Keith.

Pat slamming his hand in the door (a hysterically cringeworthy moment capped by Damona yelling at him not to “play with it.) and Dave Hoyle’s  entire performance as the hopped up administrator.

Molly struggling to cover up her destruction of Ken’s medical skeleton and telling little brother Dave that “Your scent is all over this Dave.

Allison wearing a witch costume, her argument with Ken and her increasing ire over his gloating.

Ken: his costume, both in 1995 and the present. The dirt nap reference and his “proposal” as well as his usual portrayal of the doctor with “tude.”

Dr. Ken has moved the comedic bar with this special episode.  Brilliant comedy with a tiny bit of sentiment and a single tear.

KRISTA MARIE YU
Molly aka Krista Marie Yu

With this last episode the show has become a true ensemble effort with everyone knocking it out of the park in terms of comedy turns that make one laugh uproariously. Tisha Campbell-Martin, Kate Simses, Dave Foley, Jonathan Slavin (who manages to get the last laugh), Suzy Nakamura, Albert Tsai and Krista Marie Yu all had moments of sheer comedy bliss on Halloween-Aversary not once or twice but repeatedly.

Dr. Ken is filmed in front of a live studio audience and there are Twitter pics to prove it.  Although when watching the show, it is easy to hear that the people watching the performances are genuinely loving the action.  This is an ensemble sitcom with Ken Jeong as the glue that keeps the whole thing moving towards its goal of delighted laughter for the audience in the studio and the viewer at home.

Dr. Ken airs Fridays on ABC and has established itself as a show that equals comedic satisfaction.  To watch this sitcom is to love it.  Ken Jeong has proven that he and his fellow cast members can deliver the laughs and the show is “OMG” funny. Tune in and enjoy the fun that is Dr. Ken.

 

Dr Ken Keeps the Laughs Coming in ABC Comedic Win

KEN JEONG, SUZY NAKAMURA, KRISTA MARIE YU

Episode three of Dr Ken proves that ABC have a solid comedic win with the show that has hit its stride and keeps the laughs coming. Show co-creator, and star, Ken Jeong and his co stars prove that comedy does not have to be frantic or rushed or forced. The pilot, which did feel a little rough, was promising, but by the second episode, Dr Ken definitely rocked it.

Unlike other sitcoms, for instance ABC’s Black-ish, that try way too hard for the “yuks,” this newest offering, as stated previously, hits every note spot on. Each character brings something to the table.  Everyone has a “high” point, or gag (or personality trait) that pleases, just like co-workers and family members do in real life.

Kate Simses as Julie, never fails to get laughs in all the right places. Last week her sincere response to Damona’s (Tisha Campbell-Martin“Are you hugging yourself,” was brilliantly funny.  This week her quick shift from not caring about working on Saturday to caring…deeply had the same effect. This actress has comedy timing to spare.

Something she shares with Campbell-Martin (mouse reference: “Imma get you a new one.”) Jonathan Slavin as Hector and Dave Foley as the boss everyone loves to hate, Pat. This is one comedy program that gets the formula right. Sure there are funny lines, moments and situations at Ken’s home, but the laughs do not stop when he leaves the familial house.

Jeong’s character has great lines regardless of the setting, but so do his “family” members. Nakamura kills it with her “wise” mom delivery, the gag in episode three has her paying Molly (Krista Marie Yuto make her unwanted nickname go away.  (This is done with a straight deadpan delivery that makes the interchange very, very funny.)

It has to be mentioned here…In the pilot episode the gag that won the “funniest” award for that opening episode was the “molly” bit where Dr. Ken is arrested. Truly hysterical and the sight of a thirty-something professional in a club shouting for “Molly” was brilliant, as was the punchline.

Krista Marie Yu is spot on as the sophisticated teen who gives her mother the “solid burn” in the latest episode and Albert Tsai keeps delivering as little brother Dave,  almost also known as Klompers…

This week saw Dr. Ken get “promoted” to indoor valet parking and his staff learning that they must start working Saturdays. Cue friction and a funny song about Ken losing touch. Mrs. Park  tells her husband that he should stand up for his co-workers so he approaches Pat (in his “not-yacht”) to talk the situation over.

What makes the episode work so well, at both  home  and work, are the nods to realism. Despite “forgetting that Hector had issues with Ken the week before notwithstanding, the end result of Ken and Pat meeting about the Saturday shift ended as it would have in the real world.

Dr. Ken loses but, ultimately,  also gains. He cannot get the new shift taken away so instead decides to join his “friends with less money” to show support, thus regaining the affection and respect of his staff.  At home, the punchline is given to Mrs. Park who tells her husband that she does not mind the new nickname and then goes to ask Molly to get the thing taken care of.

KATE SIMSES, JONATHAN SLAVIN, TISHA CAMPBELL MARTIN, KEN JEONG

After a 32 year hiatus from American sitcoms this reviewer was dismayed at the sameness on offer from other shows. Then Dr. Ken popped up on the radar and proved that the US sitcom is not dead at all. Kudos to Ken Jeong and the rest of his talented co-stars for a job well done and for proving that the second episode was no fluke.

Dr Ken airs Fridays on ABC, tune in if you like to laugh.

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