CBC's Kim's Convenience is a big deal in Canada (and South Korea), and the show's most passionate fans are rallying in the hopes of saving the show. The 5th season of the hit sitcom is currently being broadcast on Canadian television and this week the producers made the surprise announcement that it was canceled, despite originally being greenlit for a 6th season.
As reported on the Toronto-based Blogo, fans are pushing the #SaveKimsConvenience hashtag on Twitter to create a groundswell of support in hopes of getting the show uncancelled. Even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tweeted that the show was "a source of unity and positivity", which indicates that he has watched it. This is the first time we learned that fans of the show are nicknamed "Kimbits". They have of course started a change.org petition, which has passed half of the 5,000 signatures it was seeking.
The fans want to see the reconciliation between Appa (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) and his eldest son Jung (Simu Liu) after their years-old estrangement that began even before the series began. That estrangement forms the backstory of the entire show and was actually the story of creator Ins Choi's original play Kim's Convenience from 2011, where Mr. Kim throw Jung out of the house for delinquent behavior, stealing from his father, getting a juvenile record and scandalizing the family. The series itself begins years later when Jung is in his 20s and has a steady job working at the local Handy car rental service but lives separately from the family, rooming with his best friend and co-worker Kimchee (Andrew Phung). His younger sister Janet (Andrea Bang) and mother (Janet Yoon) are still in regular contact with him. Jung runs into Appa from time to time and the two men are cordial with each other, but the vibe between them throughout the series is cordial at best and chilly at worst. For father and son to finally reconcile and the family to officially reunite would be the perfect final arc and ending for the show's final season, but alas this is not to be.
The fans campaigning to save the show are hoping for another streaming service with deep pockets such as Apple or Amazon Studios to pick it up, but they don't seem to realize that Netflix already has the worldwide streaming rights to the show. Each season of Kim's Convenience premieres worldwide on Netflix a week after it completes its broadcast on the CBC in Canada. It seems strange that the Kimbits haven't been imploring Netflix to pick it up. That might stop Apple or Amazon from being able to pick up the show. Rights, contracts, dates, and possibly Nondisclosure Agreements might be at play here.
The fans seem to have missed that the show's creators themselves, Ins Choi and Kevin White, have been radio silent ever since news of the cancellation broke. It was the producers who made the statement that the creators abruptly left the show and the decision was made to cancel it rather than find new writers to create the scripts for the 6th season. This suggests that the creators might have an ownership stake in the show and approval over any replacement writers. For the creators of a popular show to abruptly leave implies that they strongly disagreed with the direction the producers and/or the network wanted to take the show in, especially when they have not issued a statement explaining why. It is unusual and suspicious that the creators have not issued a statement thus far.
Kim's Convenience has been a major turning point in Asian representation in North American television and popular culture, so no wonder its sudden and premature cancellation would cause such anguish and turmoil amongst audiences. The show launched the careers of many of its cast, especially Simu Liu, whose international profile is set to rise with the upcoming release of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
As for Kim's Convenience, the creators may have the final say here. Their silence speaks volumes.