It’s time to say “OK, see you” to a beloved Canadian show. Kim’s Convenience is “closing store” after five seasons, which was a shock to beloved fans. The star of the show, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee – who plays Mr. Sang-Il Kim – took the spotlight for Canadian prime-time television and won two Canadian Screen Awards for best actor.
Kim’s Convenience ended abruptly as the show’s creators, Ins Choi and Kevin White, decided to move on to other projects at the end of production of season five.
The show originally started as a play back in 2011, becoming a hit across Canada. Choi wanted to make the audience discover Korean culture and traditions and perhaps call out stereotypes as well.
The show centres around Korean immigrants Mr. and Mrs. Kim and their children, Janet and Jung, as the parents try to run their convenience store while dealing with a busy Toronto lifestyle.
Choi took a leap of faith at the multiculturalism of Toronto and the play was well-received to everyone’s surprise. The show is not only reserved for Korean-Canadian life, it also features an ensemble of characters from multiple ethnicities.
The one Caucasian main character is bashed by almost everyone on the show. It almost seems that he is the “minority” of the paraphernalia of cultures in it. Another aspect of the show that appeals to the viewer is the non-censorship of all the old characters. Mr. Kim seems to be a “woke wannabe.” He is quick-witted and always out-wits his daughter, Janet. She is the spitting image of the child who grew up with immigrant parents within a Western society. Janet always has to either stick to her origins or assimilate the popular culture, which is the dilemma faced by any child of an immigrant.
On a different note, there is drama, but not your typical season-long drama. It is more cordial, more innocent and more realistic by not overexaggerating the interactions between the characters. It paints a real picture of the Canadian lifestyle.
Now that the show won’t have another season, perhaps we will never see Mr. Kim and Jung reconcile or Janet finally knowing what she wants to do with her life. It seems that anyone can find themselves in some or all the characters of the show. It is also the essence of the show that everyone, no matter where they are from, comes together to make the pot-pourri of cultures.
The show is relatable to almost every Canadian immigrant. It portrays in vivid colour the struggle of leaving home, speaking a language that you never learned and reminiscing on stuff that can only be found in your home country. Kim’s Convenience calls out stereotypes that aren’t reserved to Koreans either. In Season 4, episode 3, Umma – Mr. Kim’s wife – is mistaken as a waitress whilst attending a photography show organized for her daughter. Another episode shows a Caucasian Canadian woman imitating a Chinese restaurant worker. It’s an all-rounder show that depicts the true nature of a multicultural, metropolitan Canadian megacity. It gives the reality of metropolitan Canada as a whole, a global village that mixes and matches everyone.
It is with a heavy heart that we say farewell to the show. The fans are demanding that a network pick up the show and continue the story of this little convenience store on 252 Queen street.