Kim's Convenience

Photograph: Netflix
Rating 8.4
Streamer Netflix
Seasons 5
Episodes 65 x 20 mins

Like with Schitt’s Creek, this sitcom went from a little-known but much-loved series to a smash hit show with a huge fan base, all thanks to being added to Netflix’s library.

And we are grateful for ready access to this absolute gem. It follows Mr and Mrs Kim (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Jean Yoon), a Canadian-Korean married couple, who run a convenience store with the help of their adult children, Janet (Andrea Bang) and Jung (Simu Liu). In bite-sized, twenty minute episodes we get a snapshot of their everyday lives, exploring their immigrant identity, faith and family dramas. And the latter come thick and fast with this lot – we’ve got the bumbling Mr Kim offset by his sassy and sarcastic wife, rebellious Jung who has a difficult relationship with his dad after spending his teenage years committing petty crimes, and well-behaved Janet, who spends most of her time trying to make up for her brother’s misdemeanours.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to check out another sleeper hit – Schitt’s Creek

This is properly warm, cheering telly, the perfect watch after a long or difficult day, when you just want to put your feet up, switch your brain off and have a chuckle. That’s because this show deals with its themes with emotional intelligence and lightness, making it funny and entertaining for all viewers. So, we’ve got nothing but love for the show’s brilliant writing from its creator Ins Choi, who was inspired by his own upbringing in Canada.

And his down-to-earth, honest portrayal of an Asian family has won him praise from viewers and critics alike. The Guardian’s Annie Hariharan loves this “charming, wholesome and understated” comedy, saying “the most loveable part of this series, for me, is that it shows Asian slackers and goofballs on western TV… Too often, Asian characters are shown as one-dimensional high achievers.” For this The New York Times’s Priya Krishna calls the show “quietly revolutionary,” saying that by “not prioritizing people who have not heard of kimbap or kimchi jjigae, Kim’s Convenience makes its story lines and characters feel more universal.”

It’s understandable, then, that fans of the show are sad to hear that this latest fifth season will be the last, with The New Yorker’s Hua Hsu saying, “It’s a caricature, but, in its best moments, you forget who is laughing at whom.”

First shown July 2018. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.

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