Dr Ken: Ken and the CEO – The Weird Uncle and Wings (Review)

DAVE FOLEY, KEN JEONG, RHYS DARBY

Kiwi actor Rhys Darby guests as the happy CEO who cannot stand Pat in Dr. Ken “Ken and the CEO.”  He likens the Welltopia administrator to that “weird uncle” that no one likes and who turns out years later to not be a relative at all. D.K. manages to upset Molly’s applecart with an old Korean superstition about chicken wings and the end result is a spot of bother in “Xanadu.”

This storyline managed to tie some things up and show a certain amount of strength in a few of the characters. Clark dons his “Miss Marple” or Hercule Poirot, hat and investigates the sudden appearance of a zucchini muffin in Damona’s trash bin.

The zucchini muffin sets up one of the best laughs of the episode. Clark implores Allison to taste the muffin that he retrieved from the rubbish bin. She refuses “because I don’t eat trash” and later, after CEO Charles Evans leaves Dr. Ken’s office, Clark quickly asks him to taste the snack.

Evans takes a huge bite out of the muffin and declares that it is zucchini. Clark is convinced that Damona and Pat are now back together and spends most of the episode investigating this event.

In terms of romance, and character development, Pat is finally explored more fully. This episode shows that underneath that awkward exterior and somewhat superfluous manner lies the heart of a caring and romantic character. One highlight of the episode has Damona, despite her earlier decision to keep their getting back together a secret, telling all the Welltopia staff about being Pat’s girlfriend.

Once again, Dr. Ken takes a touch of pathos, or at the very least some uncomfortable moments, and turns the situation on its metaphorical head. The moment where Damona, Allison, Ken and Clark come to Pat’s rescue is touching. The pinnacle of the emotional moment is Damona’s declaration of love.

Meanwhile, back at the Park household, Jae and Molly have problems when he reveals that he will be going to Rhode Island for his art scholarship. Because of D.K.’s prediction that the chicken wings will make Jae “fly away” from her, Molly goes into freefall with her boyfriend.

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Dave Park (Albert Tsai)

The two have a fight, which they then settle in the Fro-Yo shop where Jae works. Dave polishes off the wings, that he earlier turned his nose up at, and D.K. actually comes to Molly’s aid after her initial meltdown.

(Amusingly, Jae’s grandmother also has a list of old Korean sayings like D.K. and it would not be surprising to see a possible romance turn up here… Although D.K. has shown a proclivity for younger women. He even expressed interest in “mad Megan” Pat’s ex.)

Rhys Darby is brilliantly funny as the CEO who literally loathes Pat, a man who really shares a lot of personality traits with the New Zealand company head. The interaction between Darby, Ken and Dave Foley was spot on and when the episode wraps up the conflict at the end, the chemistry made the payoff that bit better.

The second season of Dr. Ken continues to shine in terms of writing and performing. Each cast member manages to bring those moments of truth to their storyline and character. Ken Jeong and his brilliant ensemble keep the laughs coming and we love them and the show as a result.

KRISTA MARIE YU, DANA LEE
Molly and D.K. – Krista Marie Yu and Dana Lee.

On a sidenote: Dana Lee manages to accomplish huge amounts with a minimum amount of “effort” he and Krista Marie Yu continue to be a great double act, with Albert Tsai stepping in to add a punchline to spice up the proceedings.

Dr. Ken “Ken and the CEO” proves once again that this ABC show has the perfect cast, storylines and mix of comedy and poignancy.  May this series reign on Friday nights for a long time to come.

Cast:

Guest starring Rhys Darby

The X Files: Mulder and Scully Meet the Were Monster (Review)

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With an abbreviated “special event” sort of season, The X Files has accelerated its time line, putting in a Bad Blood type of episode with Mulder and Scully Meet the Were Monster. While not as intricate as the Vince Gilligan scripted tale where both the FBI agents had wildly differing versions of the same event, “Were Monster” is just as clever and well put together.

Prior to discussing the storyline and all its random “Alice in Wonderland” type of oddities, a word about guest stars in this latest visit to Chris Carter’s verse. As in prior episodes a well-known face, or two, appears in this episode.

First and foremost, Tyler Labine (Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Monsters U) appears in the opening moments as a “stoner” sniffing gold spray paint from a bag as a “were creature” dashes past him, and his girlfriend.

Alex Diakun is another familiar face from the world of science fiction and horror, the Canadian actor has worked since 1971 in a variety of television and film projects, including Dead Zone and The X Files: I want to Believe and has worked on the series before, notably on episode’s written by “Were Monster” director Darin Morgan.

The X Files takes the legend of the werewolf and turns in on its head and changes the type of creature into a were-lizard. All during the episode, Fox Mulder is having a crisis of faith. Doubting his own mission in life along with his beliefs. As the one who “Wants to believe” Mulder suddenly turns into a male, and sarcastic, version of his more level headed partner.

This transition is not the only one that takes place throughout the episode. Many characters in the show, met by the agents, are in a phase of change, or are not what they appear. The transgender hooker, the animal control officer, the psychiatrist and, of course, Guy Mann (Rhys Darby).

Mulder and Scully Meet the Were Monster has its fair share of humor, a’la How the Ghosts Who Stole Christmas (voted one of the best episodes out of the first multi season run of The X Files). From Mulder’s telling Dana that the creature “shot blood ‘out’ its eyes” to the malfunctioning camera app, there are comic moments.

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“Shoots blood out its eyes…”

In fact the entire story deals not only with transitions and points of view, it brings up self-doubt and a mix of warped humor with more sophisticated views on life. (The entire exercise in monster hunting by Fox (as doubting Thomas) and Scully who plays Devil’s Advocate, has a twist on the  Pogo punchline: We have met the enemy (monster) and it is us [sic].)

As the two agents track down the “were monster” (which is another “monster of the week” plot scenario devoid of any long running storyline connection) a number of homages, or just plain X File references, appear. At one point Fox’s phone rings and it is The X Files theme that floats out from his cell.

The outfit that Guy Mann wears, when he is not the were-lizard, screams Carl Kolchak aka Darren McGavin (from The Night Stalker) who appeared in an episode of the original X Files in 1999 as Agent Arthur Dales in two episodes.

Sidenote: Darby kills it as Guy Mann, full stop. 

There are other less apparent gestures to things outside the verse. The green bottles are evocative of the Absinthe bottles back in the time of werewolf legends for example. Others are more of an insider nod and wink, like the headstone for former X Files producer Kim Manners at the cemetery.

Some of the scenes play out like some comic sketch, the doctor and Mulders conversation about the monster (and the show’s clearest Pogo reference) and the tale that Mann relates to Fox also feels like an oddball comedy expository gag.

Apart from the monster of the week plot, Mulder admits to feeling old, “middle-aged,” and out of it. On a sidenote, Gillian Anderson actually looks younger in this show than she did in all of Hannibal… His crisis of faith in his own mission statement makes the viewer uneasy and this never quite leaves even as the tale winds down.

The X Files: Mulder and Scully Meet the Were Monster is not only a long and well done “Shaggy Dog” story, but is also a long punch line to the “man bites dog” gag (or in this instance “man bites lizard-man”).

Before the end of the episode, Fox has a long scene with Mann and the two indulge in a comedic double act to die for. The entire episode is full of Easter eggs for fans of the long running series check out the article over on Vulture where Keith Uhlich goes through a number, including the Daggoo reference, the other tombstone, and a number of fan favorite moments or plot devices.

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10,000 years…

The X Files Shaggy Lizard story ends with Mulder regaining his faith, and enthusiasm, for the hunt. Fox airs this return to Chis Carter land on Mondays. Tune in for some nostalgic enjoyment and to see where Mulder and Scully will head next.