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This Prime Video hidden gem is one of the most delightful, feel-good shows on TV

Published Apr 30th, 2024 9:35PM EDT
Jinny's Kitchen on Prime Video
Image: Prime Video

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Some of the biggest shows on Prime Video right now have obvious traits in common. They’re often loud, action-packed, and generally riotous affairs, whether we’re talking about the over-the-top violence of The Boys; the bone-crushing fight scenes in Reacher; or the super-violent and stylized world of Prime Video’s apocalypse series, Fallout.

If you’re like me, though, sometimes you just want something feel-good and relaxing to watch. Especially at the end of a long and particularly draining day.

On that score, Prime Video also offers a delightful, Zen-inducing series that’s honestly one of the most feel-good shows I’ve watched in a long time. Jinny’s Kitchen is basically a reality show in which Korean celebs set up and run an actual restaurant — and it also, by the way, marks Prime Video’s first presentation of a Korean variety show.

I can’t quite explain it, but there’s just something so calming about watching these (mostly) actors who are no doubt used to the high life all coming together to do all the grunt work and thankless tasks involved in operating a restaurant. Greeting guests with a smile, answering questions about the menu, scrubbing dishes, counting up their earnings over the course of a day; they’re the kind of things that I know sound pretty boring on paper. But there’s such an upbeat, happy vibe throughout, to the point that I dare say this little hidden gem on Prime Video might even spark a little wanderlust among some viewers.

There are two seasons available to stream right now. The older of the two seasons, set in Spain, is actually called Youn’s Kitchen, on account of actress Youn Yuh-jung being in charge of everyone that season (she’s the actress who plays the grandmother in Minari; Apple TV+ subscribers will also recognize her from Pachinko).

For the season after that, the setting moves to Bacalar, a beautiful little town in Mexico near the Mexico-Belize border. This time, actor Lee Seo-jin is put in charge of things, so the name of the show changes to Jinny’s Kitchen (complete with Seo-jin’s smiling face on the restaurant’s signage). Working for him at this Korean street food restaurant in Bacalar are popular South Korean actor Park Seo-joon (who’s basically the Tom Cruise of K-dramas on Netflix), Kim Tae-hyung (aka V) of BTS, actress Jung Yu-mi, and actor Choi Woo-sik (who played Ki-woo in Parasite). 

Their restaurant is designed in an open-air style, is set along a quiet, picturesque street, and it offers Korean staples like gimbap and tteokbokki. 

It’s especially nice watching these big-time celebrities peeking out from the kitchen, spying on ordinary customers to see whether they like the taste of what the employees have just prepared. Similarly, there’s such a refreshing, pleasant feeling you get while watching patrons from around the world in this cosmopolitan-yet-small Mexican town walk up the steps to the restaurant, peruse the menu, and take their seats in anticipation.

All in all, Jinny’s Kitchen is the perfect show to de-stress and unwind to. And, with filming for a new season under way in Iceland, more episodes of this Prime Video gem are apparently coming soon — from an all new swoon-inducing locale.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.