Dr. Ken, Season 1, Episode 10: “The Master Scheduler”
Original airdate December 11, 2015.
Symptoms: Ken and Allison are excited about their upcoming vacation to Hawaii, but Ken has failed to request vacation time from Welltopia. In an effort to correct this oversight (and placate a furious Allison), Ken seeks to convince “the master scheduler” to give him the time off, despite the very short notice.
Diagnosis: I like episodes where the main plot and subplot are tied together, and this isn’t a bad story. Ken has already established himself as something of a scatterbrain when it comes to taking care of his familial responsibilities, so it’s no wonder that Allison has given him only one task in the planning of this vacation. Neither is it a surprise that she would be as angry as she is. The Welltopia characters are beginning to click, so while this is not a terrific episode, it feels like some strong character development, and some of it is really quite charming, especially lines by Julie. In fact, the trio of Damona, Julie, and Clark is turning into something genuinely sweet. You can throw very different people together in a high-stress workplace, and if they’re all as convincingly sweet as these three, they’re going to gel.
Prognosis: I also appreciate that we finally get a good story for Damona, who until how hasn’t had a plot line that revolves around her. Damona’s reason for not telling anyone her secret feels manipulative and thin, kind of an unearned shortcut to painting her as covertly nice. It makes all kinds of sense, just by the nature of the job, that she would be able to do it better if nobody knows. She’s already seen as direct, organized, and practical, which explains her secret just fine. The secretly nice thing is weak. Pat continues to be a cartoon character, but it surprises me that Julie and Clark are taking hold in a non-annoying way. Honestly, I can’t tell if the show’s getting better or if I’m just getting used to it. It’s something I need to think about.
Rx: Molly’s going to need some redirection; she’s emerging in the last few episodes as a spoiled whiner. It’s fine for her to be flawed, but nobody likes a whiner. Something is also going to have to be done about Pat. I’m convinced now that Dave Foley can act, but this character is dragging the show down, in a way I haven’t seen since Craig Ferguson’s role as Drew Carey’s boss.
Don’t forget to check out this week’s Post Show and Tell with Joz Wang. Joz interviews Suzy Nakamura and Albert Tsai about “The Master Scheduler” right on the Dr. Ken set.