There’s no doubt about it, Kim’s Convenience is feeling the love. From Day 1 CBC viewers, to those who recently found the show after it landed on Netflix, it’s very clear that Kim’s Convenience is a hit with fans. Those same fans will be eager to see a Season 3, premiering Tuesday, January 8 at 8 p.m. ET on CBC, that dives further into the heartfelt story of the Kim family.
Appa (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) and Umma (Jean Yoon) continue to try and be good parents, as well as good partners to each other, as they navigate the unfamiliar waters of couples therapy and trying to spice up their love life this season. Meanwhile, Janet (Andrea Bang) tries to launch a career as a photographer with old flames and new roommates in tow. And Jung (Simu Liu) struggles after losing his job in his friendship with Shannon (Nicole Power) and awkwardly tries to mend fences with Appa.
To get a better idea of what lies ahead in Season 3, The TV Junkies recently caught up with Kim’s cast members Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Jean Yoon, Simu Liu and Andrew Phung. They discuss why they are so eager for their fans to see Season 3, as well as what each of their characters have to look forward to.
The TV Junkies: What does it feel like for you all heading into Season 3, coming off a successful first two seasons that were well received by fans and critics?
Simu Liu: The big thing for me personally, was that I really felt like I was hitting my stride. The first couple of seasons I was very anxious and nervous about not doing a bad job and messing things up for everyone else. In Season 3, I felt like I hit a level of comfort and confidence with my abilities as a performer. I felt more comfortable to play and to take greater risks. It’s a testament to how much we’ve gelled as a cast and crew.
Andrew Phung: I am hyped that people love it. I’m hyped that people watch it. I’m hyped that people talk about it. I cannot wait for them to see this season that I’m incredibly proud of and find so funny. I can’t wait to do many more seasons, hopefully.
Paul Sun-Hyung Lee: I was so excited to go back to work. It’s such a lovely world to be part of, and the excitement that keeps building on that world and expanding that world is palpable. I’m always a little bit grumpy that we only get 13 episodes. I’d love to do more episodes because we have so much fun on set creating this world. It’s like going to camp. You are with your friends and you play and then people watch your stuff, you get paid and they like what you do. That’s the dream!
Jean Yoon: I’m really excited to see it all come together. We had a lot of fun shooting it. I’m really excited that there are some storylines with some great pairings. Umma and Kimchee get a really great episode, Appa and Jung get some really great storylines, and Andrea Bang who plays Janet has more misadventures with her roommate, dating and the life of a single girl aspiring to be an artist.
TTVJ: Jung and Appa’s relationship ended on a pretty bad note last year. Where are they at this year and are they going to be able to work through those events at the graduation party?
PL: There is more interaction between the two of them, and the lovely thing about that is that you see why they don’t get along, and it’s because they are so alike. In Season 1 and 2 you hear about the backstory but they are never together, but in Season 3 you actually see them having to do things. They are cut from the same cloth and so they are like magnets where two positives repel each other. It’s a lovely thing to be able to explore.
JY: They are both so stubborn and so proud!
SL: It’s such a joy to be able to work with Paul. The reality of our storyline is that we’re so separate for 90 per cent of the shoot, so when I see a scene that is Jung and Appa I get so excited. I look forward to the scenes we get so then you put a lot of weight into them because you know how rare they are.
TTVJ: There’s so many great pairings on your show, including Appa and Umma’s marriage and the way she really gets affected by his struggles with Jung. It’s very realistic.
JY: Korean moms, in particular, have so much of their identity invested in their family and in their sons, actually. The fact that their son is estranged goes really deep. I really do enjoy the storylines with Umma and Appa though because we get to explore the push and pull of marriage, squabbles over divisions of labor, questions over ‘are we equal? Are we the same? Are we different and equal? How does that work?’ It’s also nice to see a marriage at that point where kids are gone and what does that mean for the two of them? It’s pretty fun.
TTVJ: Jung really seemed to be heading out of Season 2 on a high before the rug got pulled out from under him and he lost the new job. Will he try to get his old job back and what’s that mean for Kimchee who took his place?
SL: You’re describing a good first part of the season because that’s kind of exactly what happens. Jung was on this high for a lot of Season 2, coming in hot and comes down near the end of Season 2, and we are now going to see what happens. There’s a change in their relationship that we deal with very early.
AP: It’s very fun though and it was very fun playing it.
SL: It’s fun too because Jung is set up as this prodigal son and this strong, confident guy, but what we like to see with those guys is getting them taken down a peg. It’s really fun now playing someone who is the underdog. I just can’t wait for people to see this next season because I think we really take greater risks, delve deeper into the world and really flesh out the auxiliary characters.
TTVJ: Are there any new characters that we’ll meet this season that you’d like to highlight?
AP: In the Handy World, as the new assistant manager, Kimchee has hired a team of people that are really strong employees. You’ll meet them and they bring their own energy into Handy Car Rental this season.
TTVJ: Speaking of Handy Car Rental, do we get any movement in Jung’s relationship with Shannon this season?
SL: Oh, there will be movement. It just may not all be in one direction. Of course we explore that relationship more, especially because of how they left off. We’re going to see them together and dealing with the fallout from what happened at the end of Season 2.
TTVJ: What’s the response for you all been like since the show is now available on Netflix in the U.S.?
SL: It’s been just incredible. Netflix has afforded us a greater degree of accessibility. Before I know people were finding ways to watch us, but now it’s just easier than ever. We aren’t just in the States either, it’s in the U.K., Australia, Fiji, India and Taiwan. We’re just blown away by the response really because it wasn’t promoted on Netflix. They just kind of throw it up and see what happens, but we’re so fortunate that we have the most vocally supportive fans. I log on to Twitter and search the Kim’s Convenience hashtag and see hundreds of people discovering the show for the first time and being so vocal about how much they love it. It really feels like we are this grassroots underdog that could. It’s really because we have such amazing, amazing support.
Are you glad to have Kim’s Convenience back? Sound off below!
Kim’s Convenience airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBC and is available on CBC Gem.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.