Superstore review

Move over, The Office! A new show is here to take over NBC’s center stage, and it’s just like The Office! They’re both by the same creator, they both feature average-level jobs, and they’re both on the same network. Did I mention it’s just like The Office? I don’t think the actors and producers mentioned that enough, so here are a couple more times to help you remember; this show is just like The Office! This show is just like The Office! This show. Is just like. The Office!

Introducing Superstore, NBC’s latest and greatest in comedies. This, of course, disregards the fact that the show isn’t even listed when you search “NBC shows” on Google. Maybe it’s just so popular that it broke out of the lineup of shows? Probably.

Either way, Justin Spitzer’s Superstore breathes new life into comedy by pulling out jokes we’ve all seen again, and again, and again, and again by performing CPR and bringing them back from the dead over and over until you too will be dying… from laughter! One special fact adds a personal touch to the show for all of us at West. Superstore is set in St. Louis, and let me just say… it’s absolutely spot on.

Superstore quickly ushers you into the wild world of retail, greeting you with a friendly selection of bovine St. Louis customers, grazing slowly through the spanning aisles of everything from cereal to trash cans in the fictional Cloud 9 store. Just as the show portrays, St. Louis customers are, in fact, mindless bison with no real character beyond presenting themselves as a nuisance to those who work in the store. I can confirm, as someone who lives in St. Louis, that each time I step into a store, I too rid myself of all personality traits except for my innermost, deepest level of stupidity.

And the show certainly stays true to its setting. “The Kirkwood store” is mentioned what seems to be at least once per episode, which is actually the only store that us here in St. Louis shop at! Whenever we need to buy anything, we skip the nearby stores and instead beeline directly to the Kirkwood store, which is also the only store that any of us know the name of. Color me impressed, Superstore producers, you really know your stuff. Only experts would mention Kirkwood so often, so it’s pretty obvious that the writers are professional St. Louis fact-knowers. I bet they researched on Wikipedia for, like, a solid 20 minutes. And maybe they even saw St. Louis on the news once or twice. Again, experts.

The marketing team even went to the effort of putting up a billboard for the show on Manchester. “Just like where you shop, St. Louis, but funnier!”

Haha! So true, marketing team, so true.

But the depth of the characters by no means stops at the customers; the retail workers, the focus of the entire show, are just like stars. I mean, their personalities don’t shine, their humor isn’t too bright, but they kinda remind me of a paper star that a kindergartener might cut out and give to their parent. Sure, they’re rough around the edges, weak, rather pathetic-looking and any mistakes have simply been scribbled over with more green crayon rather than fixed, but hey! The kindergartener is still learning how to be artistic, even if that kindergartener is a multi-million dollar broadcasting company named NBC. That beautiful work deserves to go up on the fridge.

America Ferrera, starring as female lead and 10-year store employee Amy, at one point during the pilot even tells Ben Feldman, playing business school dropout and new hire Jonah, “Okay, I get it. You’re the fun guy. I’m the stick in the mud.” Wow, way to pay attention to watchers who may not be able to interpret characters themselves! I’m really glad Superstore’s writers are out-right stating the cliches of their characters so that anyone who may not immediately recognize the heartfelt emotions written into each member of the cast can easily observe them written cleanly on their chests… and in their dialogue!

Interactions between each of these intricately woven characters is refreshingly new: consider the show’s main romantic subplot between Amy and Jonah! Painted in the light of innocent in-work encounters, there is absolutely no reason that the show’s two main characters should not have been together from the first moment they met. I mean, Amy only has a marriage she’s said she’s not unhappy with and a daughter she really cares about. I love shows that encourage characters to be unfaithful and portray it as being normal!

My dear, dear St. Louisans, this show is not something you can miss by any mean. If you’ve been searching high and low for a show that accurately captures the elegant balance of obtusity combined with a dulling sense of plainness that makes you actually want to pass out right then and there, then you’ve found exactly what you’ve been waiting for. I implore you to dedicate every shred of your time to watching this incredible piece of well-developed, well-researched art.