Pilot Perception: Dr. Ken

Welcome to Pilot Perception, our feature in which we break down the first episode of each new show in order to help you decide whether it’s worth your time.

The Show: Dr. Ken, ABC in the U.S. and Canada, Fridays at 8:30/7:30c

The Pedigree: The show was created and written by star Ken Jeong and Jared Stern (The Internship), who executive produce with John Davis (The Blacklist), John Fox (The Blacklist), and Mike Sikowitz (Rules of Engagement).

The Cast & How You Know Them: Dr. Ken stars Ken Jeong (Community), Suzy Nakamura (Go On), Tisha Campbell-Martin (My Wife and Kids), Dave Foley (Hot in Cleveland), Jonathan Slavin (Better Off Ted), Albert Tsai (Trophy Wife), Krista Marie Yu (The Thundermans), and Kate Simses (Mixology).

The Premise: Real-life doctor (as they keep reminding us) Ken Jeong plays, supposedly, a brilliant doctor with no bedside manner, but really he’s just doing his usual character (Chang, etc.). And we see his remarkably sane family and office staff and patients try to deal with him.

A Taste:


What Works: The supporting cast here is very good — especially Suzy Nakamura and Albert Tsai — and I’d happily watch another episode if Jeong himself were not involved. There were some cute family moments. And as the daughter of a doctor, I appreciated the moment when a bouncer stopped mid-conversation to ask the doctor to diagnose him, because that kind of thing happens all the time.

What Doesn’t: Ken Jeong is playing his usual kind of character, and I find that for me, at least that only works in very small doses. This was way too much. And both the Ken character and the show in general were pretty unfunny, to the point that this whole thing was just a wildly unpleasant viewing experience.

Our Favorite Line: “If it seems like I’m not happy, it’s only because I’m not.”

You Might Like This if you really, really like Ken Jeong’s character type from Community and The Hangover.

If You’re Interested: Catch the pilot on demand or on the ABC site, then set your DVR for Friday at 8:30/7:30c.

(Photo courtesy of ABC.)

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