8 Asians

Dr. Ken, Season 1, Episode 3: “Ken Helps Pat”
Original airdate October 16, 2015.

DAVE FOLEY, KEN JEONGSymptoms: Pat informs Ken’s staff that it needs to work on Saturdays. At Allison’s urging, Ken goes to bat for his people, accepting an invitation from Pat to have dinner on Pat’s yacht. Dave has a new nickname at school; Allison and Ken disagree about how he should best deal with the situation.

Diagnosis: It’s a pleasant episode. Ken and Allison’s healthy relationship continues to anchor the show. The office characters are beginning to get some flesh, but the interactions still feel awkward. There are some good laughs, the best coming from conversations between Ken and Allison. I’m a bit baffled by the Park family’s always wearing shoes in the house. Where I come from, no Asian families do this, most removing them before even stepping across the threshold. Are Los Angeles families different this way?

ALBERT TSAI, SUZY NAKAMURAPrognosis: There’s a huge difference between this episode and the series premiere. The laughs are less predictable and not as cheap, and the difference in Ken’s roles at work and home is getting interesting. I like that it’s difficult to tell which role Ken likes better, and I like that he seems genuinely to be valued in both settings, in completely different ways. The show is trending smarter, as is its main character.

Rx: I am surprised by how much less annoying I find the Pat character, up ’til now my least favorite in the show, but it reinforces something I’ve felt from the beginning: that the show should build its relationships as a first priority, and that it should take its time in doing so. The one-on-one time Ken and Pat have on the yacht is just one scene, but it does so much more for developing Ken’s relationship with Pat than the entire episode last week did for building his relationship with Clark.

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