The Ending of Kim’s Convenience

Kai Wetterau, Staff Writer

The popular Canadian TV show on Netflix, Kim’s Convenience, has fairly recently finished airing its fifth and final season. This officially ended the longstanding 2016 show, despite protests from the cast who didn’t appreciate its ending, which was without a clear and conclusive finale. The Thunderbird Entertainment Group and the Soulpepper Theatre Company later released a joint statement confirming the end. Broadcast company CBC confirmed in March 2021 that the fifth season would be its final one.

 “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,” CBC explained in their statement. 

The broadcasting company clarified that when the show’s original two showrunners, Ins Choi and Kevin White, left after Season 5, the authenticity of the show felt that much harder to replicate. This is exemplified through much of the cast explaining that Season 5 was terrible and so was much different from before. An example of this is how the Kim family was supposed to be made to look like fools who didn’t understand anything (The family would act ignorantly, while also providing comic relief at the expense of their dignity and image as an Asian American family). 

Many concepts of episodes like these were then set to be filmed while the pandemic raged, furthering any sort of negative idea against Asian Americans when the show should have been preventing it. Producer Ivan Fecan was left with many options to choose from after learning about the creator’s departure, and eventually communicated to higher ups to help shut down the project. Cast and crew took this opportunity to comment on the racist overtones of the last season.

Actress Yoon, Jean, (@jean_yoon), “The cast received drafts of all Season 5 scripts in advance of shooting because of Covid, at which we discovered were storylines that were overtly racist and so extremely culturally inaccurate that the cast came together and expressed concerns collectively.”  6 June, 2021, 1:17 P.M. Tweet. 

In her eyes, White gave the green light for this, heading up a majority white writing staff, while Choi was able to prevent a lot of the offensiveness from reaching audiences. With this in mind, she expressed sadness for the ending of the show but used it as an opportunity to showcase the problems behind the scenes.

In a similar light, co-star Simu Liu, who starred in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, also opened up about the lack of female and Asian American writing and consulting regarding what should be kept in as storylines. He railed against the producers and how the actors and actresses in their entirety were paid “an absolute horsepoop rate,” explaining that executives were trying to divide the people instead of unite them. This led to actors not banding together for any sort of pay raise, even when the show became successful. However, Liu still praised the cast for working so hard. 

“I’m so incredibly saddened that we never get to watch these characters grow…but I am still touched by the volume and the voracity of our fans, and I still believe in what the show once stood for; a shining example of what can happen when the gates come down and minorities are given a chance to shine,” said Liu.

Liu reflected on his past anger in a now deleted Facebook post, expressing his sadness about the show’s ending.

I’m so incredibly saddened that we will never get to watch these characters grow, but I am still touched by the volume and the voracity of our fans.” Simu Liu uses this opportunity to cover how he feels in regards to the audience losing such an impactful show. “I still believe in what the show once stood for; a shining example of what can happen when the gates come down and minorities are given a chance to shine.”

Fans, in contrast, were sad to see the show go. 

“It could have been so fun to watch,” explained Arcadia High School (AHS) freshman Nathan Grief. “A possible Season 6 could have made people learn about the true immigrant experience.”

“I just wish there was a way for fans to put in their input, showing how they wanted things to go on,” said freshman Isabelle Zhao. “If people were allowed to vote, I’m sure the outcome of this disaster would have been very different.”

Kim’s Convenience didn’t end with a bang, but with a whimper of negativity. With the cast finally showing how they really felt and the creators moving on, this show concluded with the ending many hoped wouldn’t be true.