Winter is fast approaching, which means those pesky seasonal blues are also around the corner — that tough time of year when it gets dark super early and the cold causes you to hibernate in your home. To make things even worse, your favorite TV shows are on their midseason breaks and you have run out of things to binge watch (yes, it's possible!).
What a perfect time to combat those gloomy nights and have a few laughs with NBC's comedy #Superstore! Here's why you should give it a chance, if you haven't already.
1. The Retail Setting
Anyone who has ever worked in retail can attest to the fact that each day can be unpredictable. The same obviously goes for the employees at Cloud 9. Throw in some offbeat corporate rules and some oddball customers, and you have yourself a viable setting for a comedy.
#TheOffice had the workplace setting while #ParksandRecreation spent a lot of its time in the city's park department; Superstore takes place almost entirely in the workplace. Cloud 9 would just be another ordinary sitcom setting if not for its interesting characters from the back stockroom to management.
2. The Quirky Coworkers
Also similar to its NBC comedy predecessors, Superstore brings on a vastly diverse cast of characters. Not to say the actors involved in these shows aren't successful on their own, but the sum is greater than its parts. Superstore is no different with its wonderfully absurd cast of characters:
- Amy Dubanowski (America Ferrera): A longtime employee who has worked her way up from sales associate to assistant store manager. At a young age she married her high school sweetheart, whom she has a daughter with. Although Amy is moving up the ranks among management, she is starting to regret not attending college. She butts heads with newcomer Jonah, and is known to wear a different name tag each episode to protect her identity from customers.
- Glenn Sturgis (Mark McKinney): Cloud 9's socially awkward and overly positive store manager. Sometimes he brings his religious views into the workplace to the dismay of some employees, but overall he looks out for their best interest, even if that means putting his job on the line. Glenn constantly clashes with one of the other managers, Dina.
- Dina Fox (Lauren Ash): Another one of Cloud 9's managers who sticks to the guidelines and doesn't have a personal connection to most of her coworkers. If anything, she only has a connection to her pet birds. She gives up her manager role in order to pursue a workplace romance.
- Jonah (Ben Feldman): One of Cloud 9's newest sales associates, who doesn't get off to a great start due to his first impression with Amy. He flunked out of school and needs the retail job to pay off his immense debt. Jonah's character comes off as pompous until he starts to mesh with his coworkers.
- Mateo (Nico Santos): Another sales associate who gets hired on the same day as Jonah. Openly gay and not quiet about his competitive nature, especially when it involves moving up the ranks within the store. Since day one of being hired, Jonah remains his in-store rival.
- Garrett (Colton Dunn): A sales associate who doesn't hide the fact that working there is not ideal. He often runs the PA system, making the store's announcements, or spends his day wasting time by pranking other employees. Garrett is also paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair.
- Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom): One of the youngest Cloud 9's employees at 17, she also happens to be pregnant. Cheyenne's pregnancy and engagement to her aspiring-rapper boyfriend become the focus for a few episodes. She certainly is not portrayed as the most intelligent employee, but she happens to be the gossip tracker among her peers.
3. The Employee Antics
Working in retail can sometimes be frustrating, resulting in the need to blow off some steam. Usually employees wait until they leave work to do so, but not the employees at Cloud 9! The staff often finds themselves in prank wars or using competitive ways to complete menial tasks.
But it is not all fun and games as the show also tackles more serious issues such as forming unions, employee benefits and gun control — but all with a comedic spin, of course. A highlight includes the revelation that the man who portrays the corporate mascot is a serial killer who eats human flesh. Talk about a scandal...
4. The Themed Episodes
The first season of Superstore premiered after the holiday TV season last year, but with a larger second season, they had the opportunity to take part in some key dates. Some of the best episodes for comedy shows center around holidays and Superstore took advantage of those themes this time around. They tackled Halloween, Election Day and the most important day for retail, Black Friday. There was also a special Olympic-themed episode that premiered during the Rio games and guest-starred SNL cast member Cecily Strong, plus a list of past Olympic athletes.
5. It's Getting Better With Age
Don't be fooled by some of the critics' reviews, as they were based on the first few episodes of the series. The writing was not the strong point in the beginning, as the crazy cast of characters did not seem to be used to their potential.
As with most comedies with a large cast, the characters began to click and the chemistry among them grew. There is no doubt the show feels more confident in its second season and hopefully it has a chance to continue to grow. I am just not sure how they will be able to top an episode with all the employees suffering through food poisoning while working on Black Friday.
NBC obviously has high expectations by putting Superstore in the kickoff slot for Thursday night primetime. With runtimes at a half hour, it is very easy to catch up on if you feel like giving it a shot. Most recent episodes can usually be found on demand or on #Hulu. The NBC website should also have all episodes available.
Speaking of Hulu, #TheMindyProject takes place in the same universe as Superstore as Mindy Lahiri visited a Cloud 9 Texas store location in one of her episodes. With that in mind, you never know who could show up!
Superstore returns Thursday, January 5th at 8 p.m. on NBC!
Are you a Superstore fan? Comment below and tell us why!