Kim's Convenience

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Kim's Convenience TV Poster Image
Parents recommend
Smart, fun, diverse Canadian show addresses social issues.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 7 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Themes range from holding on to Korean traditions and values to broader social issues like racial profiling, bigotry, and discrimination. Family, friendship, adapting to changing world are also addressed. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Kims are doting parents. Mr. Kim is gruff, blunt, often difficult, but can also be thoughtful, kind, accepting. 

Violence

Yelling and slamming doors during arguments is frequent. Jung has a checkered juvenile past that includes theft. 

Sex

Men shown awkwardly in their underwear. In one episode an artistic image features images of bare bottoms. Conversations about getting married and having children are frequent. Sometimes words like "slut" and other comments that can be interpreted as innuendo are common. 

Language

"Pissed," occasional curses like "s--t," "f--k." 

Consumerism

Handy Car Rental featured. Pepsi, Hostess, Old Dutch, Dairy Milk, Coke, Pepsi, and other brands visible, but not in a commercial context. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some beer drinking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Kim's Convenience is a popular Canadian series that revolves around a Korean Canadian family and uses this premise to address issues like racial profiling, discrimination, and other contemporary social issues. There's some occasional strong language (including a few curse words), and some sexual innuendo. Conversations about getting married and having children are common, and in one episode bare bottoms are visible in an artistic photograph. Beer drinking is visible. This is a great show for families with teens to start conversations about diversity, the immigrant experience, and loving family. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLeslie BB. March 15, 2020

Great Show With Strong Language

This show does have a TV-MA rating on Netflix because it includes strong language such as f**k, sh*t, ass, damn, hell, b*tch, etc. Also some bad references like... Continue reading
Adult Written byChistyC March 13, 2020

Great show for families and tweens

It’s hilarious and diverse and I believe it deserves a 10 because it isn’t that inappropriate just a bit of language.
Teen, 13 years old Written bybellaeilish April 20, 2020

Good show but has some suggestive content

This show is pretty good if you give the first season a chance, because it starts out a bit slow. This is rated TV MA because of the curse words and it is stron... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bydizztmisslizzie May 19, 2020

Funny haha lol

It's pretttttyy prettttyy prettttty gooooood (Curb your enthusiasm reference) (also an immaculate show, better than Kim's Convenience)

What's the story?

Based on Ins Choi's 2011 stage play of the same name, KIM'S CONVENIENCE is a comedy series that centers on the daily life of a Korean Canadian convenience store owner in the diverse city of Toronto, Canada. Mr. Kim (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) lives above his store with his wife (played by Jean Soon) and their adult daughter, Janet (Andrea Bang), who's an aspiring photographer. Also close by is their estranged son, Jung (Simu Liu), who hasn't spoken to Appa (Korean for "father") since he was 16, but remains close to Umma ("mother") and his sister. The elder Kims work hard to maintain their Christian Korean values but consistently find themselves negotiating their customs and beliefs with the modern Canadian world, especially when it comes to their children, and at times, their customers. 

Is it any good?

This sharp, well-written series uses humor as a way of commenting on contemporary social issues, ranging from racial profiling and misconceptions about the LGBTQ community to coping with the assimilation of their children. Mr. Kim, as the family patriarch, plays a central part in this, bluntly offering often misguided perspectives. But his approach isn't cruel, and despite his gruff, outspoken ways, he's often a man who is simply unfamiliar with, but sincerely not opposed to, what's happening around him. 

While some may find the show somewhat stereotypical (especially when it comes to Appa and Umma's accents), the main characters are not caricatures. Instead, they are well-developed personages that both reflect and challenge multiple facets of the contemporary Korean Canadian experience. The punchlines aren't excessive, either. It's maybe because of this that Kim's Convenience lacks the edginess prevalent in popular U.S. comedies, especially those that address similar themes. Nonetheless, it's both entertaining and thoughtful.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the immigrant experience in Canada vs. in the United States. Are there differences between the way immigrants are received in Canada vs. the United States? In which country is it easier for people from other countries to assimilate? Why?

  • Does Kim’s Convenience reinforce generalizations, or does it defy them? If viewers with backgrounds or experiences similar to the show's characters can identify with them or their behavior, does this make it any less stereotypical

TV details

For kids who love diverse TV

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