Tag Archives: Thunderbird

CBC’s Kim’s Convenience is on a mission for more laughs in Season 2

It’s hard to believe that, after a very funny first season for Kim’s Convenience, the word around Season 2—returning Tuesday at 9 p.m. on CBC—is that it’s even better this year.

“We follow the comedy,” co-creator and co-executive producer Ins Choi said during production a few weeks ago in Toronto. “We have the best comedy writers in the country in our writers’ room pitching ideas, pitching stories. We know the characters, we know what works with these specific actors in these specific roles. We know what worked on-screen and we know what the audience loved. We know what we were drawn to, so it’s following what makes us laugh and what works.”

There’s no denying Season 1 worked. Kim’s Convenience was the No. 1 new Canadian comedy of last year and nabbed three Canadian Screen Awards—including a Best Performance trophy for Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Best Performance in a supporting role for Andrew Phung—along the way. After a wildly successful run of the original play on Broadway earlier this year—Choi and co-creator, showrunner and fellow executive producer Kevin White developed that into the CBC comedy—everyone is a little tired, but excited, about the sophomore run. And, in the case of Simu Liu, he’s jazzed with the way that Kim’s Convenience has been embraced.

“The most encouraging thing for me is that the feedback for the show does not revolve around the fact that it’s centred on a Korean family,” Liu says. “It is important and it is diverse, but it’s a funny show and it’s a Canadian show. Those are the things that, I hope, will make it succeed in the long-term.”

Tuesday’s return picks up right after the season finale, with Janet (Andrea Bang) desperately looking to find her own Toronto apartment. Umma (Jean Yoon) and Appa (Sun-Hyung Lee) are, understandably, reluctant to see her go, especially when they learn about some of the potential properties their daughter has investigated (Look for Bad Blood‘s Tony Nappo in a memorable guest role on Tuesday.). Shannon (Nicole Power) is still in a relationship with Alejandro (Marco Grazzini), leaving Jung (Liu) reeling, and Kimchee (Phung) is, well, Kimchee. Recurring characters Gerald (Benjamin Beauchemin), Terence (Michael Musi), Mr. Chin (John Ng) and Mr. Mehta (Sugith Varughese) all appear in Tuesday’s instalment; Choi says Pastor Nina (Amanda Brugel) is back for Season 2 too.

“Letting go is a lot easier said than done,” Sun-Hyung Lee says of Appa accepting Janet’s desire to move out. “And Janet goes through a lot. She’s going through the wringer, not only to sort of spread her wings but Umma and Appa to, literally, let go of her.” Janet will learn, he divulges, just how sheltered she was and how good she had it under her parents’ roof.

“We see Janet in the store, but we also see a lot of her outside the store,” Bang says. “There are also new characters that we meet. Last year, we were establishing our characters. Now we get to delve deeper into them and even explore relationships that we didn’t get to, like Janet and Kimchee or Janet and Jung.”

Kim’s Convenience airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.




APTN’s Wild Archaeology entertains and educates

Dr. Rudy Reimer of Simon Fraser University provides the context of APTN’s Wild Archaeology in the cold open. He is establishing a bridge of understanding between settler nation knowledge and traditional Indigenous knowledge.

Settlers, or mainstream society, demands scientific or documented proof in order for knowledge to have any value or basis. However,  knowledge in Indigenous culture is passed through oral history and storytelling.

Dr. Reimer immediately states, after he introduces himself in the traditional way, “Early on it struck me, what my grandfather and grandma told me in the stories they told me, that were passed down to them, they were actually true, because I saw the physical evidence through the artifacts, in the very locations in the mountains they were pointing to when they told me their stories.” He is taking the traditional knowledge and using it to find the scientific proof! And, we get to go along!

In the premiere episode, hosts Jacob Pratt and Jenifer Brousseau—along with Dr. Reimer—travel into the high country of Squamish Nation, B.C., 2,000 metres above sea level and far above the tree line. Dr. Reimer has learned from local Squamish Elders of a site he had yet to explore for ancient artifacts.

We follow their hike and experience the stunning scenery of Squamish Nation in their quest to find their physical proof and discover the pictograph of a Thunderbird drawn on the side of a mountain. With the aid of animation, Dr. Reimer shares the story of the Thunderbird as told to him by his grandparents. We learn, through the shared discussions, of the similarities between traditional stories despite vast geographical distances.

Their quest continues in search of the obsidian artifacts in connection to the stories of the Thunderbird. Dr. Reimer demonstrates a few archaeological techniques in their pursuit, and eventually Jenifer finds a significant artifact. The obsidian samples found date back more than 6,000 years.

I have to be honest, I was really surprised by Wild Archaeology. This was not at all what I was expecting in a docu-series. If every episode is as strong as this introductory one, this will be a fantastic mechanism to drive home the power Indigenous knowledge keepers have. The message is clear: there is a real need to engage young people today with the knowledge contained in oral histories. Wild Archaeology explores those connections, between traditional knowledge and science, something that is key to reconciliation between cultures.

As a teacher, I urge parents to sit down with your children and watch! You will learn about the rich history and geography Canada has to offer and all of you will be entertained!

Wild Archaeology airs Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. ET on APTN.


Production on Thunderbird’s Kim’s Convenience begins for CBC

From a media release:

Thunderbird, in association with Soulpepper, is pleased to announce that production is underway in Toronto on 13 episodes of new half-hour comedy KIM’S CONVENIENCE, based on the Soulpepper production of Ins Choi’s award-winning hit play. The series will premiere this fall on CBC.

KIM’S CONVENIENCE is the funny, heartfelt story of The Kims, a Korean-Canadian family who run a convenience store in downtown Toronto. The series centres around Mr. and Mrs. Kim (‘Appa’ and ‘Umma’), who immigrated to Toronto in the ’80s to set up shop near Regent Park, and their two grown kids, Jung and Janet. The world of KIM’S CONVENIENCE is real, colourful and urban – a diverse landscape of people and places – with the Kim family at its core, as they find humour in their everyday lives running the store.

Produced by Ivan Fecan and co-created by Ins Choi and Kevin White, the series stars Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (Shoot The Messenger, Degrassi: The Next Generation) as Appa, Jean Yoon (Orphan Black, The Expanse) as Umma, Simu Liu (Blood and Water, Taken) as Jung, Andrea Bang (Camp Death III: The Final Summer) as Janet, Andrew Phung (Adventures of a Pizza Guy) as Kimchee, and Nicole Power (Anne of Green Gables) as Shannon.

Executive Producers on KIM’S CONVENIENCE are Ivan Fecan, Tim Gamble, Alexandra Raffé, Leslie Lester, Albert Schultz, Ins Choi and Kevin White. Supervising Producers are Sandra Cunningham and Robin Cass.