Culture & Entertainment

Kim's Convenience: the new comedy makes its leap from theatre to television, starring an all-Asian cast

CBC's new show, Kim's Convenience

Culture & Entertainment

Kim's Convenience: the new comedy makes its leap from theatre to television, starring an all-Asian cast

Kim's Convenience is the brand-new television series based on the award-winning play by Ins Choi. After graduating from York University with an acting degree, Choi realized that when he looked around at the available acting roles, there weren't many that represented his community—so he decided to write one.

The play premiered at the Fringe Festival in 2011, where Choi both directed and starred in it. It won the Best New Play award, followed by other accolades, including a Dora nominee and several Toronto Theatre Critics' Association awards. It then had a successful run at the Soulpepper theatre and has been performed across the country, and will premiere on-stage next year in New York City. Following its success on the stage, the play has been adapted into a television series and it will make its primetime debut on CBC Television on October 11.

The heartfelt comedy settles on the Kims—a Korean-Canadian family who own a convenience store in Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood. Mr. Kim (played by award-winning actor and comedian Paul Sun-Hyung) would like one of his two twenty something kids, Jung and Janet to take over the store. However, Janet is studying photography and Jung has been estranged following an angst-filled fight when he was a teenager. The family continues to find humour in the day-to-day events of running a family business but always hoping for reconciliation.

Growing up in Toronto, Choi's uncle owned a convenience store and he also worked at several locations. Unknowingly, this hands-on working experience coupled with his parent's immigrant story was ripe breeding ground for this play-turned-television-series. And remarkably, this television series marks the first Canadian show starring an all-Asian cast.

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Kim's Convenience: the new comedy makes its leap from theatre to television, starring an all-Asian cast

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