SPOILERS AHEAD! I review the new NBC show Superstore, and try come up with reasons why it might live past season 1.
It’s been two days since I’ve seen the episodes, so we’ll see what I remember. Please correct me in the comments if I get it all wrong.
Superstore premiered on Monday Nov, 30, 2015 on NBC with two episodes; 1. Pilot (Naturally, nothing too crazy with that title) and 2. Magazine Profile.
Episode 1: Pilot
I liked… parts of the pilot, is the best way to start the review. It had funny moments, like most every scene with Lauren Ash as head of security Dina. Her character for me, is the breakout of the show, which is a shame because I know that I’m supposed to be most engaged with star America Fererra’s character, Amy.
Maybe it’s because we didn’t get to know anything about Amy in the pilot except that she’s supposed to be the no nonsense boss? Kind of? Her interactions with Ben Feldman’s Jonah had me longing for the slow paced romance of Pam and Jim from Superstore creator Justin Spitzer’s previous job, The Office.
Everything in this episode happens so quickly; like Jonah being interviewed and starting work within minutes, and they made that day so crammed pack, that it was like they were trying to say “Hey, this is not like actually working at Wal-Mart, it’s funnier, and more exciting!”
The problem is that at the end of the episode the only one I kind of knew was the pregnant girls boyfriend. Why did they spend so much of that Pilot on him, and not on Amy?
I didn’t have time to think about the pilot long, because NBC wisely went straight into episode two.
Episode 2: Magazine Profile
So maybe in Magazine Profile we’ll get more of Amy, they’ll shift the focus to be about her with the others around her like NBC did with Parks and Recreation.
Nope. Instead we get an odd episode about the store manager, who I feel should be full tilt religious crazy. He’s very bland and I can’t tell if he’s supposed to be like Michael from The Office, sad but lovable? Basically the A plot is that a woman from the stores internal magazine is coming to write a store profile, and she ends up interviewing Jonah and then making out with him because he’s so adorable, don’t we all just love him and his boyish ways already? Don’t get me wrong, he’s fine, but I can’t figure out why they want us to believe that these two should be the couple of the show.
The B Plot is with Colton Dunn’s, Garrett, trying to avoid the photographer who wants to get a picture of him just to promote the diversity the store has by employing a man in a wheelchair. They have a few scenes where he hides from the photographer and even raises both middle fingers to a customer to ensure the photo can’t be used, in a scene that falls hard. In the end, he takes a photo with store manager, Glenn, because Glenn wants to be on the cover so badly. It’s the little wins that matter, but a moment that should’ve felt like a win felt like just a way to force like-ability from these characters. We have had no meaningful interaction between these two up to this point.
The C Plot inexplicably gives too much time to the boyfriend of Nichole Bloom’s Cheyenne, as he tries to come up with a jingle for the store to earn money because now they are engaged and she is going to be a teen mom soon. Okay.
There are two nice moments in this episode. The first being the very funny scene where Dina tells everyone that Jonah was taken advantage of by the magazine reporter, and shows the video proof; and the second was when we find out that Amy has been there for 10 years. Finally, we get to something that we can all relate to! I have no idea how old she is, because we know nothing about her, but I assume she’s 26ish.
Episode 1 had 7.2 million viewers
Episode 2 had 5.3 million viewers
I think the show could be good if they refocused on Amy and made us care about her more. I understand we’re only two episodes in, but the show should have more heart than they’ve given it so far. I really want to identify with these characters, and I think a lot of us who have worked retail should’ve been able to feel some emotional connection right away. There should’ve have been more resistance to that retail world that they all inhabit. Or some context as to how they ended up there.
Will it make it past the first season of 11 episodes? Based on the show losing 2 million viewers between 1 and 2, probably not. By the time it comes back on January 4, 2016, I think most people who wanted to see it will have seen one, or all of the first three episodes, and decided to not stick with it. I can’t imagine people seeing ads for it and deciding to tune in for the first time in January either. Maybe NBC will do a marathon of the first three to get people back into it.
There is a third episode on NBC.com if you want to watch more, and I’m going to check it out because three is a nice number to sample, and I really want to like a new show that America Fererra is in. Thanks for reading, and leave me any comments about the show below!