Admittedly, I am late to the game on this one. I’m talking about a show that is 5 or 6 seasons old. But it’s new to me. We as a family just recently learned of it and starting watching a couple of weeks ago. What’s so special about Kim’s Convenience that it has rocketed to the top of my list of favourite T.V. Shows?
Finally, it’s ok to laugh again! It’s ok to poke fun at one’s race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality. Even the various English accents we all have are rolled into the humour of the show. It’s healthy to be able to laugh at ourselves. All of the oddities and differences that make up the human race are genuinely things to chuckle over if we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
We are currently entombed in a cancel culture that is slowly sucking the humour out of our very existence. We walk on eggshells, fearful of offending someone. At Kim’s Convenience Store, there are no such worries. The differences between white people and black people, Muslims and Christians, Koreans and Chinese, “The Gay” as Mr. Kim calls them and straight are all put on display. There is no difference left unexposed, no cultural, social, or ethnic uniqueness that isn’t made sport of. Somehow the makers of this show have helped us all to see again the great humour that comes with the blessing of human diversity.
My twelve-year-old son was trying out his Irish accent the other day. He was working on his rolled “R’s to the great delight of himself and his classmates, that is until a budding young “Cancel-er” told him to stop it because he was racist.
When another human, through his actions, attitudes, and words, communicates superiority based on race, that’s racism — that has to stop. Having a good laugh at the unique ways the English language can be stretched, pulled and manipulated as it exits a person’s mouth is not racism. It’s good clean fun.
After the show, we all run around the Wilkinson house with the Korean English accent on our tongues. “Stop!” I say to my kids, doing my best to sound exactly like Mr. Kim. “What you do?” Ask my kids of one another throughout the day. We all love it!
My son’s accents, our imitations of Mr. Kim and his family, and the hearty laughter that fills our living room every time we switch on the show are not the subtle evidence of perverse and systemic racism lying deep within. Not at all. Our laughter is the celebration song of Canada’s outstanding multicultural achievement. We can live together in harmony as one big, often dysfunctional, but entirely hilarious family despite our differences.
Well done, Mr. Kim, well done!