‘Dr. Ken’ Episode Review: “D.K.’s Korean Ghost Story”

Dr. Ken, Season 2, Episode 5: “D.K.’s Korean Ghost Story”
Original airdate October 21, 2016.

dr_ken_s02e05-10Open up and say aaaah.
Allison is heartbroken because Dave seems to be in a rush to grow up.  No longer his mother’s little boy, he eschews trick-or-treating on Halloween, and he insists he’s too old to be frightened by spooky stories anymore.  D.K. tells Dave and Ken a scary Korean ghost story, which Ken chickens out on before its conclusion.  Molly has thirty minutes to find something to wear to a costume party.

Here goes his funny bone.
There are several chuckles near the beginning, but most of this episode is really unfunny.  Dave gets a meaty plot for the first time this season, and although he has a strong start, his exaggerated, cartoonish fear at the end doesn’t play to Albert Tsai’s strengths.  There was a way here for D.K.’s silly story to put some believable Dave-specific fear into him, the kind that his mother could have been a real comfort for, and it could still have been kid-safe and fun.  Dave could have been unaffected by the intended spookiness but found something fearsome in some other level, thereby keeping the story from veering off into wacky land while developing Dave’s character and strengthening his relationships with Allison and D.K.  What he does instead is horribly unconvincing, which then makes Allison’s response unconvincing.

dr_ken_s02e05-24Doctor, doctor, is this love I’m feeling?
I admit I like the old plot device of having the characters in the show perform the in-show narrated story.  It may be old, but it’s not yet tired.

The beginning of the story-in-the-story, with Allison playing the Korean mom and Ken playing the young boy, is the episode’s best moment.  D.K. has his strongest episode this season, and if his contribution to the show is to inject some old-culture Koreanness like this once in a while, his being added to the main cast could work after all.  And darn it if I also didn’t like Pat’s extremely weird, pathetic loserness in both the main story and the ghost story.  No idea why.

Every week, I resist commenting on the actors’ physical appearances because Joz doesn’t like it and because it’s just tricky terrain with landmines everywhere, but can I be forgiven for saying that Suzy Nakamura looks great in her witch costume?  Because wow.

Not very funny doesn’t always mean bad.  And this isn’t bad.  2.5 thermometers out of 5.

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About Mitchell K. Dwyer

@scrivener likes movies.
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