Kim's Convenience is a Canadian television sitcom that premiered on CBC Television in October 2016.
It's a slow burner, similar to Schitt's Creek, except this show follows a Korean Canadian family who run a convenience store in Toronto.
The Kim family consist parents Appa (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) and Umma (Jean Yoon) – which is the Korean for dad and mom – along with their daughter Janet (Andrea Bang) and estranged son Jung (Simu Liu).
It's a fun, quirky show that highlights the generation and cultural gap between parents and children, all lovely yet struggling with their expectations of each other.
Janet is 18 and is first generation Canadian, in fact a few episodes in her lack of Korean knowledge is quite evident when her cousin comes to visit and she has to admit that she can't speak Korean.
Likewise for her older brother Jung, who works for a car hire company and shares an apartment with his best friend Kimchee.
Having fallen out with his parents a few years earlier, he hasn't spoken to his father since and re-building that relationship is proving tricky.
Mr and Mrs Kim, who run a convenience store, are always a laugh and are typical of parents who were raised in very different circumstances, trying to instil one culture in their kids and adapt to another with hilarious consequences.
Kims Convenience Official Trailer
Is Kim's Convenience Worth Watching?
Initially, I was unsure of Kim's Convenience and halfway through the first episode thought it was missing the mark.
However, I stuck with it and really grew to like it a lot. Clearly, the pilot had teething problems, but as the show settles in and you get to grips with the characters, it becomes much more enjoyable and makes for very easy viewing.
I have absolutely no idea if it fairly reflects Asian Canadians or the Korean culture, but either way, it quickly transcends that and becomes more relatable as a family sitcom that is well written and one I want to keep watching.
How Many Seasons Of Kim's Convenience?
In total, there are FIVE seasons of Kim's Convenience.
The first season, which introduced us to the Kim family, was filmed in 2016 at Showline Studios in Toronto. It was a big hit on Canadian tv and was quickly renewed.
The second season premiered in September 2017 and in July 2018, the series became available outside of Canada when it debuted internationally on Netflix.
With four seasons made, in March 2020, it was announced that the show had been renewed for two more seasons.
Those plans changed a year later when it was revealed that the show would end after the fifth season.
Why Did Kim's Convenience End?
Despite being renewed for a sixth season, Kim's Convenience actually ended after five seasons.
This was due to the departure of the show's two co-creators, Ins Choi
and Kevin White.
It was explained that Ins Choi was unsure of how to continue the story of the Korean Canadian family beyond the fifth season and despite attempts to persuade him to remain for the show's sixth and final season, he ultimately decided to depart the show.
It transpires that there were also production issues and a lack of diversity among behind-the-scenes staff with almost no Korean writers, which also contributed to the show's ending.
So much so that Jean Yoon tweeted the following:
“As an Asian Canadian woman, a Korean-Canadian woman w more experience and knowledge of the world of my characters, the lack of Asian female, especially Korean writers in the writers room of Kims made my life VERY DIFFICULT & the experience of working on the show painful.”
Where Can You Watch Kim's Convenience?
Worldwide, with a few exceptions, you can stream all five seasons of Kim's Convenience on Netflix.
Kim's Convenience Cast Members
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Mr. Sang-il Kim (“Appa”), the family patriarch who immigrated to Canada with his wife, where they now own and operate Kim's Convenience, a convenience store in Toronto.
Jean Yoon as Mrs. Yong-mi Kim (“Umma”), as the family matriarch who meddles in the lives of her family.
Andrea Bang as Janet Kim, Mr. and Mrs. Kim's daughter and Jung's younger sister.
Simu Liu as Jung Kim, Mr. and Mrs. Kim's son and Janet's brother. Jung works at Handy Car Rental
Andrew Phung as Arnold “Kimchee” Han, Jung's best friend since childhood, co-worker, roommate, and former partner in crime.
Nicole Power as Shannon Ross, the manager of Handy Car Rental, and Jung and Kimchee's boss.