What Happened To Nico Kim’s Promise?

Image via ABC

Will he ever become more than Jake Borelli’s on-screen boyfriend?

Two years ago, we were excited to share the news of a gay male surgeon on long-running medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. With several seasons of LGBTQ characters popping up on the show and lesbian and/or bi surgeons rocking the main cast, we were elated to see a gay male character join their ranks. Then, we were excited to see that he would be getting a romance storyline.

Unfortunately, though, we then found out that the rug had been pulled out beneath us. It turned out, Alex Landi’s Dr. Nico Kim was created so that Jake Borelli’s Dr. Levi Schmitt could have a coming out storyline. In the season and a half that has followed, we have seen Jake Borelli and Dr. Schmitt continue to get a bigger role, main cast billing, and more lines. Meanwhile, Dr. Kim has primarily stayed on the sidelines. Frankly, LGBTQ fans and Grey’s Anatomy fans are disappointed in the unfulfilled promise that is Dr. Nico Kim.

Jake Borelli (left) and Alex Landi as Dr. Levi Schmitt and Dr. Nico Kim / Image via ABC

What’s Wrong With Nico?

Most fans can agree that there’s just something wrong with Dr. Nico Kim. Some believe the reason is Alex Landi’s acting. For instance, one Reddit user explained being put off by the actor’s stilted performance.

“I don’t mean to disrespect or insult the actor but his acting really just ruins whatever scene he is in for me,” wrote the Redditor. “He feels like he has no personality, like he’s just a cardboard cut out of a muscley sexy guy.”

That said, some responded that it’s not all on the actor. Part of the fault lies on the writers for giving Landi very few lines.

“Well yeah he isn’t Meryl Streep, but the writers have given him zero depth so that doesn’t help either,” one commenter responded. 

“My problem with Nico isn’t the acting, per se,” another Grey’s fan wrote, “but the fact that all we know about him is that he’s hot, a fellow, and into Levi. It would be nice if he were an actual character. I can’t tell if it’s the acting or the writing, but I prefer to blame the writing until proven otherwise. He’s not been given much.”

This argument is also true. Outside of Landi’s delivery, the character has been given almost nothing to work with. First, he typically gets only 3-5 lines for every episode that he appears in. Part of that’s understandable. After all, the show is crowded already with too many main and supporting cast members. But that’s not all, the only storyline he’s been given is in relation to Dr. Levi Schmitt.

The one time his personality was explored was in a two-to-three-episode arc in which the doctor negatively dealt with losing a patient due to error. At the time, viewers may have thought, “Ok. Where are we going with this? Is Dr. Kim getting a personality? Is he abusive? Overly self-critical? Leaving the show?” Turns out, he had a brief dark period and then went back to having the personality of being Dr. Schmitt’s boyfriend.

Dr. Levi Schmitt & Dr. Nico Kim / Image via ABC

Dr. Nico Kim

Ultimately, Grey’s Anatomy fans have wised up to the Nico Kim situation. Last year, I wrote that the gay male romance between Schmitt and Kim was worth the 15 season wait. But as time has gone by, my opinion has waned. Like many Grey’s Anatomy fans before me, I just can’t help feeling disappointed in Nico Kim. The character that never really got a chance.

What do you think?