TV Review: “Kim’s Convenience” – Fun, Fresh Comedy

Written by Danielle Sing November 20, 2016

kim's convenience

CBC is flooding their network with new Canadian television series,  with “Kim’s Convenience” being called the first of its kind. The first Canadian television show featuring an Asian family and is based on Ins Cho’s award winning play of the same name. “Kim’s Convenience” is a fresh comedy that’s simple yet endearing, and makes light of racial stereotypes. The show is fun and relatable, but also features untold stories.

In the Regent Park neighbourhood of Toronto is a convenience store owned by Mr. and Mrs. Kim (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Jean Yoon who both reprise their roles from the stage play), and their Canadian born daughter, Janet (Andrea Bang). The Korean immigrants show their life through the diverse Toronto community while Janet tries to find some independence. Their estranged son, Jung (Simu Liu), lives with his friend, Kimchee (Andrew Phung), while working at a car rental company. Life at the convenience store presents comedic and emotional moments for the Kim family.

“There is no such thing as a cool, Christian, Korean boy. If they are cool and Christian, they’re not Korean. And if they are cool and Korean, they’re not Christian. And if they are cool, Christian and Korean, they’re girls.”

“Kim’s Convenience” has a few plot lines per episode and doesn’t complicate the plot with unnecessary drama for the purpose of comedic situations. “Kim’s Convenience” is simple and that’s a good thing. The comedy comes naturally whether it be clever conversations or quick one liners, or just situations that arise in their daily lives. It writing feels like “Corner Gas”, so it’s no surprise that Kevin White has written for both shows. The simple plots allow for clean and complete writing and give the audience the time to fully immersive themselves in a story that is not commonly told on television.

kim's convenience

“Kim’s Convenience” has an excellent combination of being both a story you have heard before and one that you have not. “Kim’s Convenience” is broad enough that many families would be able to relate to it but is specific to the Asian immigrant experience. The family dynamic is endearing by merging comedy and emotion, featuring situations such as child discipline which many families could relate to. There are also situations catered to the Asian immigrant experience where Janet struggles with her identity as a Canadian-born Korean or Jung has difficultly explaining Korean jokes to Canadian friends. “Kim’s Convenience” makes light of Asian stereotypes in media by trying to break away from them. Jung did not complete high school and Janet is a photography student, far from the overachieving Asian children typically seen on our screens. There are mentions of the Kim’s being ‘boat people’ and refugees, which removes their immigrants experience by inserting someone else’s (Vietnamese refugees). This happens to be a common occurrence through immigrant stereotypes in media. “Kim’s Convenience” is smart by combining these two factors and it makes the series quite fresh.

“It’s just a quick little poke in the bum that Korean guys do to each other, like at church. I am not explaining this right…”

“Kim’s Convenience” is the first Canadian television series to feature an Asian family, bringing untold stories to television that are happening in real life every day. While untold, they are relatable to many families and present these stories simply and in a fun, fresh way. If CBC keeps creating new shows like “Kim’s Convenience”, I’m sure many Canadians – old and new – will be able see themselves represented on television.

My Rating: 8.5/10

kim's convenience

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

About Danielle Sing

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

There are currently no comments on TV Review: “Kim’s Convenience” – Fun, Fresh Comedy. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

Leave a Comment