After ‘Kim’s Convenience’ — 6 More Shows Featuring Stories of People of Color

Kim's Convenience
Kim's Convenience (Credit: Netflix)

The sudden cancellation of hit Canadian sitcom Kim’s Convenience broke many hearts (mine included). The show turned a spotlight on the trials and tribulations, family relationships and experiences of a first-generation Korean-Canadian immigrant family. Fans and critics alike welcomed the show’s sensibility; it received multiple award nominations, winning for Best Comedy Series at the 6th Canadian Screen Awards in 2018.  

The quick cancellation did not go quietly for both fans and the series’ actors, and some controversy ensued. Simu Liu (Jung) has been particularly vocal: When it was announced that Nicole Power’s Shannon — one of the few regular characters from the series not a person of color (POC) — was getting a spin-off, Liu made it clear that he would refuse to reprise his role in that show. More recently, Liu and actor Jean Yoon (Umma) have spoken up about the racism and lack of diversity on the production side of the show. Liu claimed that the actors were both underpaid and not given a voice within the writing process, adding that the production and writing team lacked any Asian workers that could give cultural accuracy. Yoon backed Liu up in a series of tweets detailing “overtly racist” scenes and writing in the initial season five scripts which co-creator Kevin White spearheaded.  

If you’re looking for another series that features POC representation and multifaceted plotlines to fill the Kim’s Convenience gap, check out these six current shows.  

Kim’s Convenience, Seasons 1-5, Streaming Now, Netflix

Karrie Martin, Carlos Santos, Joseph-Julian Soria in Gentefied

Gentefied (Netflix)

Gentefied is a bilingual comedy-drama that centers around the issue of gentrification that currently plagues many low-income neighborhoods. In the series, three Mexican-American cousins try to chase the “American Dream” while also fighting to save their family taco shop from skyrocketing rent prices as the neighborhood they have known their whole lives begins to transform into a trendy hotspot unfamiliar to them. Complex topics regarding race and displacement are thrown into the mix as well, which made for an engrossing first season. The show was created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez who are first-generation children of undocumented immigrants. 

Robin Thede in A Black Lady Sketch Show - Season 2

A Black Lady Sketch Show (HBO Max)

For a more lighthearted watch, check out this comedy sketch show led by Robin Thede. The series features an all Black and female cast and writers room, creating a space for necessary and vital voices in the entertainment industry. The star-studded list of guestwho have come aboard for episodes includes Angela Bassett, Laverne Cox and Tia Mowry. Thede and her crew strive to tell elevated stories of “Black girl joy” and Black contemporary culture that will leave you wheezing and laughing with each sketch. 

never have i ever maitreyi ramakrishnan

Never Have I Ever (Netflix)

This comedic coming-of-age story was cocreated by Mindy Kaling and is partly based on her childhood. In the series, Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) is a first-generation Indian-American high school sophomore who begins a journey of trying to elevate her social status and life. At times, Devi seems selfish in pursuit of her desires, but you’ll empathize with the mounting pressures she receives from her mother and herself regarding college and living a “successful” life. There’s also an engrossing subplot featuring Devi’s cousin Kamala, who struggles with independence and a looming arranged marriage — still a widespread practice in India.

Snowfall - Season 4 - Damson Idris
Ray Mickshaw/FX

Snowfall (FX/Hulu)

A crime drama about the beginnings of the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles in the 1980s does more than just follow the history of its deadly inception. Viewers see how the epidemic transforms a community, ravaging neighborhoods and the individuals who live in them. It’s a compelling journey, watching protagonist Franklin Saint (Damson Idris) get dragged by the initial promise of a better life into the drug trade, which takes a dramatic toll on his life. 

Ramy Season 2 Hulu Review
Craig Blankenhorn/Hulu

Ramy (Hulu)

Ramy Hassan (Golden Globe winner Ramy Youssef) is a first-generation Egyptian-American living in New Jersey juggling his Muslim faith and morality with life as a more carefree Millennial. This witty drama was applauded for its much more positive representation of American Muslims.  

On My Block - Diego Tinoco, Sierra Capri, Brett Gray, Jason Genao
John O Flexor/Netflix

On My Block (Netflix)

Following a group of young Latinx teenagers as they navigate the ins and outs of high school, you’ll love this series for its focus on the complexities of interpersonal relationships set against the backdrop of an inner city of South Central Los Angeles. The teens deal with love, loss, danger, gangs, death and more as they try their best to find themselves and support one another. The show can be heart-wrenching at times, but the connection and love the characters have for one another will leave you wanting more of this group of lifelong friends.