Plenty of funny business in Superstore S3
Comedy is funniest when you can identify with the characters. And who among us cannot identify with people who are overworked and under-appreciated, like the workers at the St Louis Cloud 9 superstore?
The Office made workplace comedy a thing, using the reactions of ordinary folk when they come up against some truly horrific and extraordinary characters in their day-to-day lives to hilarious effect. Superstore is a worthy successor in the genre, and it features one of the finest ensemble cast of characters currently in the game.
Cleaning up in aisle nine
America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) is the most recognisable face, playing floor manager Amy. The show kicks off with the first day of Jonah, a business-school drop-out who’s hiding out from his failures in a minimum wage at Cloud 9. Much of the humour in the show comes from the long-running will-they, won’t-they between straightlaced Amy and often-irritating Jonah.
But it’s the supporting characters who really make Superstore worth watching. Glenn, the store manager with an impossibly squeaky always has his staff’s best interests at heart, but most of what he does goes catastrophically wrong.
Mateo, the Filipino staff member who secretly/not secretly in love with the district manager, has some of the best lines in the show. (“If we’re talking about truth bombs, well, take shelter, ’cause I’m about to make it rain” and “It’s just like my mom always said, if you don’t work hard, baby Jesus will cry.”)
Garrett, the wheelchair-bound store announcer, somehow manages to insult everyone and offend no one. And Dina, the assistant manager, pulls exactly zero punches with her opinions of her co-workers. (“I’m just saying what I feel and people do not like what they’re hearing. I am a strong cup of coffee.”) In fact, she sometimes pulls literal punches. A strong cup of coffee indeed.
When no one is watching
One of the best parts of the show are the little vignettes that happen in between scenes, showing off the crazy (and probably) true things that people get up to when no one is looking. The woman taking a bite out of a deliciously scented candle. A mom stashing her baby’s dirty nappy behind the goods on a shelf. Two people getting into a fistfight over who has the right of way with their trolleys. It’s all bizarrely believable.
(Re)building on season 2
In season 3, Cloud 9 is reopening after a tornado destroyed the store at the end of season 2. Typically, Glenn got the date of the store opening wrong, leaving the staff with just a few hours to restock an entire warehouse. That gives Amy and Jonah little time to deal with the other storm that’s brewing – the one between them.
The season goes off on a few delightful tangents – the Halloween episode when they finally discover what really happened to their creepiest employee, Sal, who disappeared months before, is a highlight – but the main story keeps chugging along nicely, building to a VERY dramatic conclusion that will leave you hanging out for season 4.
Catch Superstore on Showmax.