Dr. Ken, Season 1, Episode 6: “Ken Teaches Molly a Lesson”
Original airdate November 6, 2015.
Symptoms: Molly admits to having half a beer at a party. Ken’s response is to teach her a lesson by demonstrating for her the effects of alcohol on the body, but things quickly go awry. Allison takes Dave to a reading by the author of the book he’s reading (a biography of German chancellor Angela Merkel) in an effort to show Dave that she’s still a fun parent. Julie expresses disappointment that her colleagues at Welltopia are uninterested in her personal life.
Diagnosis: I need to disclose here that I’m pretty sure this episode was shot before the most recent few, and I’m trying to avoid letting that influence my review, but that’s still possible. I’m doing my best to receive it the way any other viewer would.
You could probably just skip this episode and not miss anything, but there are a few strong moments. For once, scenes in Welltopia work better than scenes at home, where everyone’s timing seems completely off. Ken and Damona have a funny guessing-game scene with Pat and Clark, and Julie has entertaining interactions with everyone. Clark is less cartoony, giving his character a chance (again) to be the voice of sympathy. Meanwhile, at home, Krista Marie Yu as Molly, who’s usually a bright spot, overacts in every scene where she has lines. She comes across as a thinking actress, which I always appreciate, but it looks here like she’s still looking for her character, something I haven’t noticed beyond the show’s first two episodes. Dave also seems to take a step back to an earlier persona that he’s since adjusted out of. Based on some positive development in the previous two episodes, I’m going to suggest that this is just a one-episode relapse: a largely forgettable episode with no real character development and a few laughs.
Prognosis: I was really concerned that I was now incapable of liking the Welltopia shenanigans, but I responded with genuine fondness for the characters there this week. Despite this being a weak episode, it gives me hope for this show’s finding a decent groove.
RX: The writing for the Welltopia scenes is interesting and sharp, and the acting is pretty good too, with blocking kind of like a stage play and the actors using the space thoughtfully. Julie’s Grey’s Anatomy monologue looks like the best-rehearsed scene in the entire episode, and it stands out as one of its few highlights. More like this, please!