Kim's Convenience official poster

Adventures in Binging: ‘Kim’s Convenience’

A while back, I finished binge-watched the Canadian show, Kim’s Convenience on Netflix and loved it. I first found this show not long after Crazy Rich Asians came out through an article. In it, they urged people to watch it if they liked the movie. After that, I had the name in the back of my head but I didn’t go and search for it afterward.

A few weeks passed and I opened up Netflix and there it was. In my recommendations list no less. So, with Kim’s Convenience right there in front of me and the faint memory of that article, I pressed play. And I definitely didn’t regret it.

The Kim Family

Umma (played by Jean Yoon), Appa (played by Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) and Janet (played by Andrea Bang)

Kim’s Convenience is a Canadian sitcom about the Kim family: Appa and Umma (AKA Dad and Mom), Janet, and Jung. The family owns a convenience store (hence the name) and the show is essentially about their lives and their relationships. Within that, there’s a great intermingling of Korean culture. Throughout the series (so far), we become privy to the Kim family dynamic. There seems to be somewhat of a divide because Umma, Appa, and Janet have a stereotypical parent-daughter relationship. Umma, Janet, and Jung have a pretty great relationship as well.

But Appa and Jung don’t really talk anymore for multiple reasons. Jung gets arrested for (what I think is) petty theft as a teenager, which apparently caused this big fight between the two. It’s unclear if Jung moved out afterward or if Appa kicked him out, but either way, it’s caused a lot of strife between the two. But, at the end of season 2, they reconcile. At least momentarily. But then, something happens. The whole family reunites to celebrate Jung getting his GED and Jung snaps at his Appa for trying to cheer him up. Kind of a dick move, but I also get that he was annoyed at his Appa after what happened. Which I will get to in a minute.

Jung and Shannon

(from left) Shannon (played by Nicole Power) and Jung (played by Simu Liu)

We learn early on that Jung’s boss, Shannon, has a huge crush on him. That is until is she gets a new boyfriend, Alejandro. Jung doesn’t realize he feels the same way until right before Shannon starts dating Alejandro. Which sucks, and not just because they’re adorable together. Jung is, unfortunately, the stereotypical guy who doesn’t realize what he’s missing until he can’t have it.

But, at the end of season two, which is where this post ends (as of the time I’m writing this) they finally kiss! It also just so happens to be the thing that happens at Jung’s party. But it’s confusing because Shannon’s still dating Alejandro and wants to stay with him while Jung wants them to get together. So, understandably, Jung’s a little distracted and confused after that kiss, which is why he snaps at his Appa. So, unfortunately, it seems like Jung’s relationship with Shannon will be awkward (at least for a while) once season three starts. And his relationship with Appa may just revert back to where it was before.

Final Thoughts

(from left) Jung (played by Simu Liu), Umma (played by Jean Yoon), Appa (played by Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) and Janet (played by Andrea Bang)

Kim’s Convenience is a sitcom at its core. There are some episodes where a lot happens but some focus more on the comedic aspects. But it’s great: funny at times but really sweet other times. The awkwardness of Shannon is adorably funny, and I think everyone would want a boss as easygoing as her. Janet’s conflicts that come from moving out of her parent’s house are very relatable. And Jung’s rocky relationship with his Appa is understandable. Overall, we get to see the ins and out of being in a Korean family.

It reminds me a little bit of Fresh Off the Boat but with this show centering around a Korean-Canadian family as opposed to a Chinese-American one. The difference in ethnicity makes each show completely different from the other. And the great thing about both is that it avoids stereotypes. At least ones that have been repeatedly perpetuated before. Either way, I am so happy that there’s another show representing Asians on TV because representation matters. Overall, I love watching this show recommend it. And I can’t wait for season three!

So let me know if you decide to watch the show or if you already have prior to this post. What do you think of the show? Let me know by commenting below or tweet me @mzsnguyenthai. I personally loved it and I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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