Dr. Ken: A Foul-Mouthed Family Sitcom?

Written by PTC | Published September 13, 2015

drKen1 Dr. Ken is a traditional family comedy…with unfortunate laspses into inappropriateness. At the medical office, general practitioner Dr. Ken Park is snarky, abrasive, and often obnoxious to his patients and co-workers, administrator Pat and nurses Damona and Clark. But at home, Ken is an exasperated yet loving dad, baffled by his teenage daughter Molly and young son Dave. Luckily, his therapist wife Allison is there to keep the family – and Ken – on an even keel. Dr. Ken presents a study in contrasts. For the overwhelming majority of the first episode, the program is a solid situation comedy appropriate for the entire family, covering such typical comedy tropes as father Ken’s overprotectiveness when Molly gets her driver’s license, and his horror when little Dave plans a mime act for the school talent show. Unfortunately, the first minutes of the episode involved Ken performing an examination of a patient’s anal cavity, and unleashing an explosion of explicit language referencing the patient “with his head up his ass” being a “whiny bitch,” then demanding his wife perform therapy “with her top off.” Thus, the first thing the viewer is exposed to is a wave of foul language on an allegedly “family” program. A few other moments pepper the episode, with administrator Pat threatening to “fire [Ken’s] tiny Asian ass,” and Ken’s frantic explanation to Allison that his “daughter tracker” phone app actually tracks prostitutes. In a Paley Center panel, star Ken Jeong was adamant that he wanted to create a “very traditional, classic-style sitcom…I wanted a family comedy with a lot of heart,” the actor said. In this, he has largely – but only largely – succeeded. It is a sad indictment of today’s entertainment industry that even a comedy specifically intended for a broad family audience must contain scatalogical language and profanity it its first five minutes. Family audiences may consider tuning in; but if they do, they should be aware that at any moment they may be confronted with language inappropriate for children. Dr. Ken premieres Friday, October 2nd at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

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