‘Kim’s Convenience’ still going strong after two seasons
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
I first heard of Kim’s Convenience when it opened as a play written by Ins Choi. I then forgot about it for a few years until I saw a commercial for a new show called Kim’s Convenience, which I found out was based on the play when I watched the show’s opening credits. The show went on to become one of my favourite shows and is currently the number one comedy in Canada.
Kim’s Convenience is about Mr. Kim (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee), an immigrant from South Korea who manages a typical convenience store in Toronto. Everyone in the neighbourhood likes him even though he upsets some people. There is his wife, Mrs. Kim (Jean Yoon), who puts warmth in the food that she makes and who tries to outsmart Mrs. Park, a fellow churchgoer at the Toronto East-West Presbyterian Church. You have their daughter, Janet (Burnaby’s Andrea Bang), who is learning photography and sometimes gets upset at her father. You also have his son, Jung (Simu Liu), who ran away when he was young and works in a car rental place called Handy Car and Truck Rental. You even have the rest of the staff in the car rental place, including Jung’s roommate Kimchee (Andrew Phung), his boss Shannon (Nicole Power), and Terence (Michael Musi), whom Kimchee really dislikes.
The show resonates with me because the Kims are an immigrant family, like my own. Also, the relationship between Mr. Kim and Janet shows their generational and cultural differences, a dynamic that is relatable for many Canadian families. The multiculturalism of Toronto is shown as well, and Mr. Kim’s regular customers include a variety of people from different backgrounds. If you’ve visited Toronto to see the vibrancy of the city, you will fully appreciate the show.
All the characters in Kim’s Convenience are likable people and seem like great people to talk to. You will probably not like Jung in the first two episodes because he ran away from his family and stole things. However, you will like him when you watch the third episode, when he helps Janet with something.
After two successful seasons, the show finally won Best Comedy in the Canadian Screen Awards this year, which I think they should have won last year as well. So far, Sun-Hyung Lee and Phung have received an award for every season that has aired. In my opinion, the Canadian Screen Awards should have given Best Actress in a Comedy to Yoon, because unlike in Schitt’s Creek, where Catherine O’Hara plays an unlikable person, Yoon plays a likable person. The show’s success is also made possible by its fan base, who are called Kimbits—a group that includes myself.
The season finale of this past season implies that Mr. Kim and Mrs. Kim prefer Janet over Jung. However, maybe something will happen next season that will cause them to change their feelings toward their children. After the show won Best Comedy, Sun-Hyung Lee and the rest of the gang announced on Twitter that it will be back next season, so we now have to wait to see if a lot of unanswered questions will finally be resolved.
Kim’s Convenience is available on DVD, iTunes, and Watch CBC through www.cbc.ca/watch. The first season is also available on Netflix.