It’s been six years since Ken Jeong jumped out of the trunk of a car and into our hearts. Specifically, he jumped out of the trunk of a car — naked, raving — and laid a non sequitur beatdown onto Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Helms. That’s a hell of an introduction. And it was only a few months after The Hangover that he started playing Ben Chang on Community. Chang was actually about four different characters during Community’s run — a weirdo, a villain, a goof, and, finally a shockingly poignant three-dimensional character. While the show lasted, Jeong became one of Hollywood’s favorite scene-stealing crazies. (How many other people have worked for Dan Harmon, Ryan Murphy, and Michael Bay?)
Before all that happened, though, Ken Jeong was a doctor. And so now we have Dr. Ken, a family/workplace/whatever sitcom starring Jeong as a doctor who terrorizes his patients and his family. But don’t worry: Deep down he’s a good doctor and a good father, sigh. Dr. Ken would like to be an old-fashioned multicam sitcom, but Friday’s pilot has that too-busy feeling of a potentially fun show noted to death. Ken has wacky sidekicks at the office and his wacky family at home. The pilot starts with a gag about hemorrhoids, and then things trend downward.
Wacky Sidekick #5: “There’s an app for that. An app to track your daughter.”
Dr. Ken: “What’s it called?”
Wacky Sidekick #5: “Daughter Tracker!”
The studio audience laughs. You won’t. The show briefly comes to almost-life when Dave Foley swings by. Foley is playing Pat, essentially the show’s incarnation of Paul Reiser’s Heartless ’80s Corporate Guy. There’s a ghost of a good idea in pairing him off against Dr. Ken — and Foley and Jeong have a couple sparks. But Dr. Ken is too manic, and too simple, to find its one good idea. Get this: Dr. Ken’s daughter is named Molly, and when he follows her to a club, he keeps asking for Molly, Molly, where’s the Molly!?!?! Because Molly sounds like “Molly,” ho ho ho, get it? We all deserve better. PREMIERE GRADE: D+