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  • Angela Allyn

KIM’S CONVENIENCE aims to please.

KIM’S CONVENIENCE is a Netflix comedy that wildly surpassed its humble beginning as a storefront theater production in 2011. Now Ins Choi’s beloved characters are completing a five-season run, achieving worldwide fame for the cast and creative team.

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Jean Yoon, who starred in the original play, anchor the series as Appa and Umma, the husband-and-wife team that own and run the store. Their backgrounds as Korean immigrants who came to Canada early in life provide much of the humor of the early seasons.

Their daughter Janet (Andrea Bang) and estranged son Jung (Simu Liu) add complementary layers of comedy and tension, and Liu brings his highly effective sexual energy as well. In the first seasons, Jung works for Handy Car Rental, along with his best friend Kimchee (Andrew Phung) and their boss Shannon (Nicole Power) who becomes romantically involved with Jung.

As season 5 begins, Janet, an aspiring photographer, has returned from a trip to Tanzania, and Jung has gone off to California to complete his schooling. Thus, the Shannon and Jung relationship is a less central to the follies of the remaining family and other store regulars.

At times Appa can be as obstinate and outrageous as Archie Bunker, as when he attempts to take advantage of Pride Week, or insists on reading Janet’s journals surreptitiously. And Umma can be charming and conniving, and her recent diagnosis of MS is a pivotal plot point in season five.

The writing is always sharp in the 30-minue episodes, and you get a great glimpse of Toronto’'s many distinct vistas as the various scenes change.

These characters will immediately charm you, and as time wears on, you too will want to be a regular at KIM'S CONVENIENCE.

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