Sparks Magazine Online
Dr. Ken – Fresh Take On The Asian-American Family in “The Seminar”

Dr. Ken – Fresh Take On The Asian-American Family in “The Seminar”

This week’s episode was a big improvement for “Dr. Ken.” It starts with Ken offending a patient, again – seemingly resulting in his third complaint, which means he has to go to sensitivity training. 

Unlike the last episode, where the jokes felt forced and the awareness of the family’s cultural background just wasn’t there, this episode felt like a fresh take on the Asian-American family sitcom. These are the types of jokes that I would like to see more of. The relationship between Allison and Ken is more fleshed out.

The second episode consists of a patient running all her medical advice by a guy at Whole Foods, who tells her to stop taking the medicine she was prescribed, then Ken makes fun of her awful muffins. When Ken’s nurse finally gets his RN designation, Ken waves him off then invites his parents over for dinner, which his wife Allison (Suzy Nakamura) is dreading, since they seem to not like her and push around the food she cooked on their plates. Ken calls this “Korean Food Rearrangement” – a sign of respect. At the same time, his parents are coming to visit – and they won’t talk to his wife directly, resulting in some very funny awkwardness. Like “Korean Mount Rushmore” – they sit stone faced asking Molly (Krista Marie Yu) “How’s school?” and “You like a boy?”

Of course, the next time Ken sees the patient, he unloads all of his frustrations on them – only to find out that it was his nurse who reported him, because he feels unappreciated. This forces them to work with different people and Ken has to go to sensitivity training again.

This time his parents are also invited over for dinner, because he felt bad about not being there the first time. Molly tries to engage her grandparents by asking questions, only to get short, clipped responses. Finally, Allison breaks and asks Ken’s parents why they don’t like her – only to be surprised when they say that they believe Allison is too good for Ken. Allison and the kids then bond with Ken’s parents over making fun of Ken and his tendency to start every sentence with “As a doctor…” Still, this doesn’t mean that they like Allison’s cooking.

This episode balanced the jokes between Ken’s work and family well. Last episode the jokes at Ken’s work weren’t really funny at all and this time there were some great ones. (The one about the promotion from nurse to registered nurse being like going from street walker to escort was a favorite.) This week, “Dr. Ken” proved itself as an exceptional sitcom and became funnier because it wasn’t trying to be every other show that’s already been done, making this series more desirable for whats to come next.

*Feature image courtesy of Dr. Ken’s official Facebook.