Dr. Ken, Season 2, Episode 21: “Clark’s Big Surprise”
Original airdate March 24, 2017.
He’s a smooth operator
Clark and Connor have invited all their friends to their vegan barbecue, intending to surprise everyone with a surprise wedding. Somehow finding something better to do than go to a vegan barbecue, all the Welltopia people (plus the rest of the Park family) have other plans. But then Ken finds out what’s going on, and in convincing Damona, and Pat to change their plans, he gives them the impression that the event is really a renewal of vows by Ken and Allison. Of course, Damona then lets the renewal thing slip so Allison will change her family’s plans, and now Allison is super excited.
I’m going to put it right up front that I really, really dislike sitcom wedding episodes. In fact, I’m not big on weddings IRL either lately. It hasn’t always been this way. There was a time when weddings always made me cry, but that was half my life ago, and I’ve seen too many things I can’t unsee. I guard against cynicism (which I hate) by keeping wedding things at armslength, and by not getting caught up in other people’s romances, no matter how romantic I think they are. This definitely affects my ability to review this episode well.
I groaned. Multiple times at just far too much syrupiness. There’s just a lot. Of cuteness. Bleah.
But then I watched the episode four times (my minimum before writing a review is three), and while I didn’t groan fewer times with subsequent viewings, I found more things to appreciate.
Jonathan Slavin’s acting is excellent, as it has been all season.
The structure of this episode is really strong. Ken finds himself the center of things by circumstance, not by forcing himself into the middle. At least three times. Because of this show’s consistent and pretty-good character development over two seasons, it’s one of the truest plot elements here. And I’m not yet tired of saying that Ken Jeong’s best acting emerges when the other characters are the stars.
Damona’s and Pat’s profession of love at the end of the episode is blessedly understated and underplayed. Nicely done.
“Growing up as a gay kid, I never thought this moment would be possible. And here we are.”
This episode could really have done without the guest appearance by Train. And I like Train. But then it still has its moments. And I hate wedding episodes. So, you know. All things considered, it could have been a lot worse. I’m giving it a half-point bump to compensate for my unreasonable biases. 3 ice cream dishes in the sink out of 5.