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Series / Dr. Ken

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Dr. Ken is a sitcom starring Ken Jeong that ran for two seasons (2015–17) on ABC.

Dr. Ken Park is a physician trying to balance his work and home life, complicated by the fact that he considers his patients to be idiots, his coworkers to be annoying, and because he's terrified of his children growing up.


This program provides examples of:

  • Always Someone Better: Kevin O'Connell, Allison's ex who shows up in the episode named after him. Ken expects a pasty Irish guy due to the name. It turns out he's "The Korean Channing Tatum" who was adopted by Irish parents. Not only is he a way nicer and way more good-looking guy than Ken (which his wife, kids, and co-workers point out endlessly); he's also used his skills as a plastic surgeon for humanitarian benefit in Haiti, which of course Ken doesn't know about when he sets out to destroy the guy via stand-up comedy routine.
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  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Ken occasionally speaks what most people would consider to be Korean, but Korean speakers just hear a bunch of mumbled gibberish.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Molly isn't as badly behaved as most examples, but the plots of a few episodes are kicked off by her doing something without her parents' permission or trying to con them into buying her something.
  • Camp Gay: Clark has his moments.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Dave turned out a bit weird, to say the least.
  • Cringe Comedy: The show doesn't inhabit this zone by default, but it can get this way when Ken takes the humor too far in a situation where he doesn't realize he's being insensitive.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Julie has a comedically high-pitched voice that gets even higher when she lies. But if the lie gets too big, her voice comes around the other side and drops an octave to a more normal pitch (aka Katie Simses's real voice).
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  • Dangerously Short Skirt: After being told she can't leave the house wearing one of these, Molly goes through Allison's old clothes and finds an even shorter one to wear to Dave's basketball game, which gets cheers from the teenage boys present. Allison then informs her it's actually a headband.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Personal injury lawyer Ross Kirkland (played by Ken Jeong's Community co-star Joel McHale), is introduced as a Sitcom Arch-Nemesis to Ken. Naturally, it isn't until after the two exchange Volleying Insults that Ken realizes Emma, the girl who Dave is infatuated with, is Ross's daughter. Then just to add insult to injury, Molly falls for Ross's son.
  • Dr. Jerk: Ken is prickly, to say the least, with his coworkers and patients. He's sent to sensitivity training because of it, and finds himself in the company of doctors who are even worse.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: Averted in "Thanksgiving Culture Clash", when Ken's Korean culture and Allison's Japanese culture are at odds with each other - though this only becomes a conflict due to Ken's pettiness, of course.
  • It Will Never Catch On: In the first season finale, Ken does a stand-up routine, gets an offer from an agent, and starts to consider doing comedy full-time. His family dismisses this with much laughter, making remarks like, "Maybe you'll star in a movie!" or "Maybe you'll get your own TV show!"
  • Never Live It Down: In-universe: Later in season one, Damona can't seem to make it for a single episode without someone bringing up the fact that she and Pat "boned a bunch of times".
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Allison spent years thinking that Ken's parents didn't like her. Turns out that they like her just fine (and even think that she's too good for their son) but neither side had never made a real effort at opening up to each other.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: Pat makes precisely zero attempt to hide this. He constantly belittles his employees and delights in their suffering. Ken can be this to his nurses, too, though it's generally not intentional.
  • "Stuck at the Airport" Plot: "Delayed in Honolulu". Pretty much all we see of the Parks' Hawaiian vacation is them being stranded at the airport, waiting for their flight back to Los Angeles.
  • The Topic of Cancer: "Allison Finds A Lump" tackles the topic when Allison discovers a lump on her breast while in the shower and the waiting time between doctors and diagnosis sends the family into deep anxiety. The lump is benign.
  • Too Much Information: Pat feels absolutely no shame about disclosing the details of his divorce and subsequent dating life to his co-workers... especially when he's sleeping with one of them.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: Ken Jeong was (and still is) a doctor in real life. Like his character, he went to Duke and worked in private practice. Beyond that, his family and typical plots from the show aren't intended to mirror his actual life.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Ken and his dad have a heart-to-heart where Ken's dad admits that he is proud of him, after being at odds for most of the episode over all of the things Ken's dad accomplishes around the house that Ken has been putting off, which Ken feels makes him look back in front of his family.
  • Women Are Wiser: Allison's shown to be more level-headed and generally the one in the right whenever she and Ken have a conflict. She has her embarrassing moments when her pride gets the best of her, but it's usually in subplots that don't involve Ken.
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