Dr. Ken is our pick for funny Friday Nights this fall
The new fall season of our favorite shows is so close that we can feel it.
This week’s focus is on our favorite Friday scripted comedy, returning from 2015, “Dr. Ken.” The show follows lead-in series “Last Man Standing,” starring Tim Allen and Nancy Travis.
If you enjoyed the classic family sitcoms that made ABC the place we grew up with on Friday nights, watching TV with family and friends, then you’ll be happy to know you’re not alone. Dr. Ken averages 6.5 million viewers every week and stars the always funny and genuinely nice Ken Jeong as Dr. Ken Park, along with some faces you’ll remember from your favorite shows and movies, with some new ones you won’t soon forget.
Suzy Nakamura plays his wife, Allison. She played Yolanda on the NBC series “Go On,” a show that NBC completely missed-the-mark promoting and should have given the chance to grow an audience. Thankfully, she’s right at home with Dr. Ken. Tisha Campbell-Martin plays Damona, one of Dr. Ken’s co-workers and love interest of Pat, played by Dave Foley (Kids In the Hall), who happens to be the acerbic boss, completely out of touch, regardless his best attempts to associate.
Kate Simses plays Julie, the somewhat naive, yet outspoken co-worker and Jonathan Slavin plays Clark, who provides some of the best office laughs in his dialogue with Damona. Damona and Clark both found love in the first season, further developing their characters and the audience’s chance at seeing deeper into the lives of Dr. Ken’s co-workers.
Dr. Ken’s family wouldn’t be complete without two of the funniest kids on Friday nights, Krista Marie Yu (Molly) and Albert Tsai (Dave), who play the Park children. Tsai you’ll remember from “Fresh Off the Boat” as Phillip Goldstein, the sarcastic and sneaky know-it-all. Molly is your typical teenage daughter, discovering dating, popularity and spending time with her friends, while keeping balance with her family. Dave is a laugh-a-minute and steals nearly every scene he’s in. In a few years, Tsai is going to be a household name when it comes to comedy. He’s got incredible comic timing.
— Albert Tsai (@AlbertTsai) August 16, 2016
While critics slammed the show before it even aired, fans rallied behind the series while it found its footing and developed characters we simply needed time to get to know. The cast took to Twitter to engage with the audience, live tweeting every episode and developing a rapport and relationship that became as important off-camera as on. Dr. Ken easily won its time slot for comedy on Friday nights and ABC’s gamble paid off, in spite of critics – who frankly hate situation comedies, regardless the premise.
Instead of beating the audience into an understanding of diversity, it embraces the audience with welcome arms.
But Dr. Ken isn’t just another family comedy,
it’s an opportunity for an audience to see that the stereotypical Asian American family that we’ve seen on television for years is not the norm. Remember all of those shows where the poor, broken-English speaking Asian character would be completely disconnected from the cast and culturally odd and insignificant? ABC has destroyed that myth with “Fresh Off the Boat” on Tuesday nights and “Dr. Ken” on Fridays. Now, if only the rest of Hollywood would get the idea!
The creative freedom ABC has given to Ken Jeong to eliminate the preconceived notions that have been pounded into our cultural mindset, along with storylines that engage and
educate, while keeping us entertained, doesn’t come across as ‘preachy,’ but rather enlightening and fun. Instead of beating the audience into an understanding of diversity, it embraces the audience with welcome arms.
Let’s be honest for a second, one of the best things about Ken Jeong is that he knows everyone in showbiz after working on “Community,” Hangover,” Ride Along II,” “MADtv” and voicing characters for a dozen animated movies and shows. Therefore, it’s only fitting that we get guest stars like Joel McHale, Jim Rash, Danny Pudi, Dana Lee, Margaret Cho, Randall Park, Jeffrey Ross, George Wyner…you get the picture. With the guests we saw early on, we’re hoping for more of the same in the upcoming season.
— Ken Jeong (@kenjeong) May 13, 2016
If ever a cast deserved success, this one does. Dr. Ken returns to Friday nights this September 23, 2016 8:30/7:30c.