It’s hard to believe that, after a very funny first season for Kim’s Convenience, the word around Season 2â€”returning Tuesday at 9 p.m. on CBCâ€”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 Awardsâ€”including a Best Performance trophy for Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Best Performance in a supporting role for Andrew Phungâ€”along the way. After a wildly successful run of the original play on Broadway earlier this yearâ€”Choi and co-creator, showrunner and fellow executive producer Kevin White developed that into the CBC comedyâ€”everyone is a little tired, but excited, about the sophomore run. And, in the case of Simu Liu, he’s jazzed with the way thatÂ 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,”Â 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.