By: Lynn Desjardins
In a surprise announcement, the producers of the television series Kim’s Convenience have decided the show’s last episode will air on April 13, 2021. The award-winning show is based around a convenience or corner store owned by a Korean family of four in Toronto. It won hearts for its excellent storytelling, authenticity and diversity.
(Almost all Korean immigration to Canada has been from South Korea. The census of 2016 recorded 198,210 Canadians of Korean origin. Most of them are skilled workers or professionals or have businesses such as food stores, gas bars, restaurants, real estate and insurance agencies, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia)
An immigrant story of ‘struggle to build a life in a new country’
On Kim’s Convenience, Andrew Phung plays a friend and roommate of the family’s son, Jung who is estranged from his father. On Twitter, Phung said: “This truly Canadian show allowed people to see themselves on television…We saw Appa (father) and Umma (mother) and connected to their immigrant story and struggle to build a life in a new country. We saw Jung and Janet (the daughter) and watched second-generation Canadians grow into their own.”
Authenticity…at the centre of the success’
The series will have run only five of the six seasons that play on the public broadcaster, CBC’s platforms. In a statement, the show’s producers said they could not carry on with the series because co-creators Ins Choi and Kevin White wanted to to pursue other projects:
“Authenticity of storytelling is at the center of the success of Kim’s Convenience. At the end of production on Season 5, our two co-creators confirmed they were moving on to other projects. Given their departure from the series, we have come to the difficult conclusion that we cannot deliver another season of the same heart and quality that has made the show so special. Kim’s Convenience has meant so much to our cast, writers, crew, and audiences around the world.”
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee who plays the father and Phung each won a pair of Canadian Screen awards for their roles in Kim’s Convenience. Simu Liu who plays the son said he was heartbroken upon learning the series would end. He will go on to star in the upcoming Marvel movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.