Superstore: Super Hot Store – Dina, Garrett and Sex (Review)

Superstore - Season 2

After last week’s romantic episode, that ended in a sexual harassment case for Amy and Glenn, Superstore heads straight to the sex part in “Super Hot Store.” Despite the sub-zero temperatures outside the building, the Cloud 9 establishment is sweltering inside.

Glenn calls corporate and complains only to be told that the computer says that things are a cool 64 degrees. Tempers are frayed as the heat increases in the store and as the episode continues a newly promoted Marcus and Amy butt heads.

Glenn puts the air conditioner on in his office and Garrett decides to stay in the room while the manager goes up on the roof to fix the heating problem. Cheyenne accompanies Glenn. He manages to change the setting language but nothing else.

He and the new mother do bond over their mutual love of travel and later, after the problem is sorted by corporate, Cheyenne extricates herself from Glenn with a few white lies.

Dina enters Glenn’s office and finds Garrett camped out there. She stays in the cool room with him and the two share uncomfortable silence until Dina says, “sex?” Garrett responds favorably and they have sex at least three times behind closed doors.

Marcus is asked by Amy to clean up a leaking pallet of yoghurt and he responds vaguely. Later, after she discovers the mess is still in the floor, Amy gets angry. She and Jonah go to confront the new man running the warehouse.

Jonah works to mediate the confrontation but Marcus blows it when he tells Amy to smile. She reacts angrily and fires him. Jonah tries to save to situation but Marcus once again puts his foot in it and Jonah seconds Amy’s firing.

In sympathy the entire warehouse team walks out with Marcus. The rest of Cloud 9 try to unload the latest shipment and apart from Sandra becoming trapped behind boxes and breaking the scanner, Amy takes a fall after scooting down the rollers.

Marcus returns and apologizes to Amy and Jonah and is “re-hired” (it is unclear whether Amy actually had the power to fire anyone) and the temperature is lowered by corporate .

Dina and Garrett agree to dislike each other but still have sex and Jonah praises Amy on her toughness and being able to take a fall.

One of the highlights of the episode was Dina’s impression of Glenn when corporate, who had kept Glenn on hold for the entire episode, got back to the manager to say it was the computer after all.

While Dina’s aping of Glenn was not perfect the voice on the other end of the line never noticed it was not the manger at all. Even funnier was the admission that Glenn was right all along about who’s fault it was but he was not there to hear it.

The awkward pairing of Dina and Garrett continues to be one of the funnier aspects of the show. Both of them swear that they cannot stand the other and yet they are apparently sexually compatible.  This odd couple get together is just brilliant.

Lauren Ash and Colton Dun are running a close second to America Ferrera and Ben Feldman as “couple of the year” but for entirely different reasons. Granted, Amy and Jonah are not a couple yet but we believe it will not be too much longer before cupid strikes hard.

Nichole Bloom and Mark McKinney were spot on together on the Cloud 9 roof. The storyline, where this week Glenn realizes that his ancestors were slave traders, was priceless.

Superstore continues to be one of the funniest things on NBC right now. Tune in and see what you think.

Cast:

Superstore: Halloween Theft – Hey Man, Boobs! (Review)

Superstore - Season 2

How can anyone not love a show that gives us “Hey man, it’s boobs” in the same episode that another character dresses up as “Brexit?” Superstore manages to hit comedic heights that other’s veer away from. “Halloween Theft” features Dina as a dominatrix cop who “runs” the store in search of an “ugly” fruit thief.

The last few episodes have left out the little customer vignettes where we see the weird and wonderful things going on in the periphery of Cloud 9.  This week they were back with the oldest store employee being courted by the Grim Reaper.

Later in the episode a customer appears wearing the old Cloud 9 spokesman outfit complete with fake blood spilled down the front.  (That particular episode was a season two highpoint in terms of laughs per minute.)

“Halloween Theft” shows Dina being bullied into wearing a Halloween costume when Sandra comes dressed as the assistant manager.  Dina choses a cop outfit; a leather skirt and  low cut blouse that shows more of her boobs than Garrett needs to see.

As Dina interrogates the entire store, Garrett tries to ignore the boobs in his eye line, Jonah swaps gossip with Pickachu Cheyenne and Amy leads Glenn and Mateo to another store to buy ugly fruit.

Superstore - Season 2
“Susie has bugs up her butt…”

Jonah also learns that everyone thinks he wears an wig and has a crush on Amy.  Dina questions everyone about the stolen ugly fruit and promises that no one will go home until the thief is found.

Garrett actually crumples under those semi-exposed boobs and confesses to taking the produce. Just as he starts to sign the confession, Amy, Glenn and Mateo storm in with their replacement fruit.

Amy is crushed to learn that her daughter Emma would rather go to a friend’s house than trick or treat with her. Jeff stops by  to see Mateo and asks him out on a last minute date.

Glenn, who learns that the other Cloud 9 manager has an assistant who does as he asks, grows a pair and orders Dina to drop her interrogation.  This is a complete turnaround from his flustered experience with Dina earlier which is the comic highlight of the episode.

By the end of the episode, Jeff has picked up Mateo and Amy, as well as Dina, agree to go see Nosferatu with Jonah and Garrett.  Jonah gets the final line when he grumbles that no one asked what his costume meant.

It was a return of sorts for Superstore to  go back to business as usual. There were no political messages, i.e. gun control, planned parenthood, et al. It was back to basics, the quirky customers and the hilarious antics of the staff and shoppers.

Outside of Glenn’s hotdog outfit and trying to sit in that chair and Garrett’s unwanted obsession with Dina’s boobs, the best sight gag was the Grim Reaper and Cloud 9’s oldest employee.

Superstore - Season 2

Superstore airs Thursdays on NBC. Tune in next week for their election special.

Cast:

Superstore: All-Nighter – Party Signs (Review)

This week in Superstore: All-Nighter, a party breaks out when Glenn the store manager has a major meltdown after “corporate” locks all the Cloud 9 employee in while they are putting up the new signs.

Superstore - Season 1

This week in Superstore:  All-Nighter, a party breaks out when Glenn the store manager has a major meltdown after “corporate” locks all the Cloud 9 employee in while they are putting up the new signs.  After the varying degrees of reactions by all, only Glenn maintains his usual demeanor until a “gripe session” run by Jonah.

The episode opens with a customer who refuses to leave the store, despite it being past closing time. Everyone attempts to get the “d*ck” to leave and only Mateo manages to push the man out with a floor mop.

Just as the obstinate customer is shoved out, Glenn comes in to announce that they all need to stay late to replace the old Cloud 9 signs with new ones. As the disgruntled associates and supervisors begin reluctantly replacing the signs, the lights go off and the exit doors all lock.

Glenn explains that all the store’s lights and exits are controlled by “corporate.” Amy is panicking because she has to study for a mid-term, Cheyenne needs to attend her senior dance recital and everyone is annoyed. Ben tries to make the best of the situation and taking a leaf from “Madagascar” suggests that all the trapped employees join him in the “fun zone” where they can do what they want.

Superstore - Season 1
Mateo to the rescue

Later Ben starts an “encounter” session where they can all talk about what they regret.  When it is Glenn’s turn, he starts out denying that he regrets anything and then loses his usual calm.

After the store manager begins talking about life before Cloud 9 he suffers a meltdown where  he reveals how he really feels about the store chain.  While spouting angrily about everything he hates, Glenn rips off his tie and shirt before running off.  The employees are bemused:

Amy: “What just happened?”

Garrett: “I think we broke Glenn.”

The store manager “damages” a number of liquor bottles and starts a party. As the drinks flow, games commence; one of which is “Never Have I Ever.”  Later, while searching for the codes that will unlock the store, Dina learns that supervisors are no longer “not allowed” to date subordinates, just “strongly discouraged” from doing so.

The associates all party down, staging competitions, using the children’s toy section merchandise, and put on a fashion show.

After Dina discovers this relaxing of rules, the lovesick supervisor firmly sets her sights on seducing Ben in the “bang room,” aka the Photo Lab, and gets Mateo to help her with a makeover.  Meanwhile Cheyenne performs an interpretive dance as Dina makes her move on Jonah.

Superstore - Season 1
Garrett and Amy admire Cheyenne’s pre “Baby Got Back” dance…

This episode manages to address the Dina crush on Jonah and the tantalizing relationship between “Amy” and Jonah as well.  It also lets Glenn show his true feelings behind his iron-clad control of “Mr Nice Guy.”

Standout Moments:

Glenn, and the entire store, trusting a stranger to bring them the code card from the manager’s locked car. The man,  after learning where the key is hidden, steals the car instead.

Cheyenne’s recital performance starting with “True Colors” and then,  as her co-workers express admiration for her beautiful movements, segways into “Baby Got Back” aka “I Like Big Butts.”

Mateo clearly implying that he has eaten human flesh in the “Never Have I Ever” game.

The entire Dina and Jonah moment in the Photo Lab wins the award for most cringeworthy moment in a TV show since The Office.

Superstore - Season 1
Doggy Glenn…

The fashion show and Amy’s spot on announcements, particularly the one for Glenn’s doggy outfit:

“…and now we have Glenn, rocking the ‘Don’t Let Him Near Your Children Collection.’  Oh, shake what the good lord gave you, Glenn…”

Honorable Mentions:

Myrtle and her hysterectomy story preamble, “It was 1953…” and the bicycle tire entrance during the fashion show.

Glenn’s line to Dina after she requests to be demoted and leaves the store while still wearing her Jonah seduction outfit:

“Why are you dressed like my mother?”

Verdict:

Superstore still manages to entertain almost effortlessly. America FerraraBen Feldman, Lauren Ash, Mark McKinney,Colton Dunn and Nichole Bloom all deliver every week, with Linda Porter (as Myrtle) stepping up to join Nico Santos and Kaliko Kauahi as another “regular” Cloud 9 associate. 

This series airs Mondays on NBC. Tune in and enjoy the awkwardness and the hilarity of Superstore.

Superstore: Secret Shopper – Forklift Mayhem and Bonding

Superstore has officially left “The Office” territory and in Secret Shopper the show heads into blissful comedic mayhem as Amy and Jonah (Ace) bond over a forklift in the warehouse.

Superstore - Season 1

Superstore has officially left “The Office” territory and in Secret Shopper the show heads into blissful comedic mayhem as Amy and Jonah (Ace) bond over a forklift in the warehouse. Of course there is still a slight “remnant” of awkward colleagues who belong in the Gervais creation; Mateo (Nico Santos) and Dina (Lauren Ash) both fit “The Office” bill by regularly providing “cringe-worthy” moments. 

In Superstore, these two “associates” class easily as “work-mates” from hell. The kind one would go to great lengths to avoid. Jonah (Ben Feldman) is a “Sesame Street” associate, as in “one of these things is not like the others” but he is, at least, amusing and attempts to get on with everyone else when not butting heads with Amy (America Ferrera).

While this episode was principally about the bane of every retail business’s existence; the secret shopper, Amy and Jonah take over this storyline with their episode long feud. The escalation of hostilities begins with the news that Jonah “aced” the company test.  This immediately gets the new employee the nickname of Ace, and a name badge to match, along with his picture on the wall with “top scorer” under it.

Amy’s reaction speaks volumes about how she feels about the whole thing:

“You know you’re just asking someone to draw a penis on your face, right?”

Later a familiar looking hand is caught drawing something (tastefully pixelated) on Jonah’s picture in the hallway.

After the floor supervisor’s somewhat derisory reaction to the news that Jonah scored 100 percent on the test, the two begin to argue…about everything.  Amy asks “Ace” to stock up the charcoal briquettes in “Patio” and he tells his boss that they are meant to be in “Grocery” per new Cloud 9 guidelines.

Amy then explains why they need to be in Patio and to put them there. Jonah goes over her head, speaking to store manager Glenn (Mark McKinney) escalating the mini feud.  All the while Dina interrogates all the customers she believes to be the secret shopper and Mateo works hard to kiss Jonah’s a** believing that “Ace” is a Cloud 9 undercover employee secret shopper. 

By the end of the episode Amy and Jonah have actually bonded, a bit anyway, and Mateo, along with Dina, manage to sully the store’s secret shopper results.

Superstore - Season 1
Lauren Ash as Dina

Standout Moments:

The “Blade Runner” reference at the start of the episode.

Mateo stomping all over Garrett’s attempt to help the gorgeous female customer looking for a man’s hat.

The public address argument between Amy and Jonah.

Amy and Jonah, again, with their entire forklift/warehouse scene.

That suspiciously familiar hand (Amy’s) drawing what is obviously a penis on Jonah’s picture.

Dina accosting the old lady looking for a hidden camera.

Garrett identifying the secret shopper, who is the same one as “last year,” while eating the meatballs Mateo brought for Jonah.

Overall Thoughts:

It has to be said that the comedic highlights of this Superstore episode were the two big scenes between Amy (Ferrera) and Jonah (Feldman). Both  were hysterically funny. The “married couple” fight over the PA was tear inducing, as in “laughing till tears rolled.”

Amy, finishing up the public (See what we did there?) argument by swearing and then meekly telling a shocked customer to “Have a heavenly day,” was priceless.

The pinnacle of funny in Secret Shopper was the forklift being welded by both Amy and Jonah. (Both the PA fight and the forklift chaos was funny enough to be mentioned twice.) The two destroy the warehouse stocking system to the sounds of Onyx’ “Slam.” Sheer brilliance, followed by a moment of “getting to know you” revelations.  “Ace” flunked out of his business course and Amy is taking college classes.

The moment ends with Jonah suggesting that they leave and blame the chaos on the shelving system. Amy agrees and as they leave, he sets off the forklift again and the machine heads onto the shop floor.

Superstore - Season 1
Jonah, Garrett and Mateo watch their Secret Shopper results.

Superstore: Secret Shopper is easily the funniest episode yet and has slammed this NBC comedy treat into the zone of clear favorites.  America Ferrera and Ben Feldman are the dynamic duo of comedy in this show and not to be missed. The series airs Mondays on NBC.  Delightful comedy like this is hard to find, miss it and miss out.

 

Superstore: The Office with America Ferrera

The fact that the new NBC comedy Superstore is basically The Office, but with America Ferrera and set in a “big box” outlet is not surprising.

Superstore - Season 1

The fact that the new NBC comedy Superstore is basically The Office, but with America Ferrera and set in a “big box” outlet is not surprising. The show’s creator Justin Spritzer worked on the 2005 American version of Ricky Gervais’ awkward comedic show as story editor and producer.  The Gervais original was brilliant at those awkward interactions between the weird and wonderful colleagues in that workplace environment.

According to all reports the American The Office was equally adept at provoking those “cringe-worthy” moments that Gervais did so well.  While Superstore is not quite as unique, it is funny.  Not looking through your fingers while laughing guiltily, and more than a bit hysterically funny, but close.

Having missed the beginning of the series, a brief spot of binge watching was required to catch up on the Superstore.  Each of the half-hour episodes were chuckle-worthy, even without a live audience, or thankfully a laugh-track, and by the fourth one the series was outright hysterical.

Episode four also had that first “cringe” moment. When Justin buys a sex-doll that he thinks looks like Amy.

Superstore - Season Pilot
Mannequin Justin and the real Justin (Ben Feldman)

America Ferrera proves that she does not need “Ugly Betty” to be funny.  She stars as floor supervisor Amy who new employee Justin (Ben Feldman) manages to annoy on his very first day.  These two have a great chemistry together with the series immediately putting them into a “will they/won’t they” dynamic.

Later in the fourth episode, disabled employee Garrett (Colton Dunn), aka the “cool one” points out that Amy is having a “work flirt” with Justin, and when she believes that Justin has worked this out, she gets flustered. 

Essentially The Office set in the world of K-Mart, WalMart, Target, et al, the “shenanigans” of a discount shopping store, aka Superstore do not really match up to the intricacies of the white collar comedy set up by Gervais originally, and then adapted for the American market later.

However…

Superstore is funny, despite relying a bit too much on stereotypes. Example: Store manager is a social inept and overly religious buffoon – Glenn (played with toe-curling sincerity by Mark McKinney) , another floor supervisor with an immediate crush on Justin, Dina (brought to brilliant life by the superb Lauren Ash) and the other new employee, Mateo; an annoying sycophant wannabe (played annoyingly by Nico Santos).

Superstore - Season 1
Justin and Dina (Ben Feldman and Lauren Ash)

Superstore is, if anything, more applicable to a wider audience demographic. While The Office did pander to office white collar workers the world over, this version, set in the “big box store” world that many have passed through as employees, or indeed customers, should tickle even more funny bones.

Each episode thus far has managed to look at the minefield that makes up the workplace of the new millennium.  Ben Feldman is brilliant as the new guy who just does not quite fit. His Justin already realizes that he can have fun, check out the trolley (shopping cart) race with the manager Glenn and Garrett, and that he really likes Amy, but he misses on the group dynamic.

It may well be that Superstore does use stereotypes a great deal, as did The Office, but both shows do so go great comedic effect.  So far, at four episodes in, Ferrera is proving that comedy is her forte and that she and Feldman have a great give and take as Amy and Justin.

This new comedy does have an “almost” ensemble feel, with a core set of characters; the pregnant teen, the Latina floor supervisor, the ineffectual outlet manager, the two new employees, one a nebbish yes man and the other the good looking younger man and the store “crush.”  Not to  forget the cool employee Garrett.

Superstore does  utilize stereotypes, but there has been an attempt to give a little depth to the characters. Ferrera’s “responsible” supervisor takes off her wedding ring when at work and was a teen mother.  In one episode Amy  speaks about the sameness of her days; 10 year’s worth, while looking at glow-in-the-dark sticky stars. Justin, in an attempt to prove his “American Beauty” quote, placed them on the ceiling.

The payoff comes when the very pregnant Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom) is serenaded by her “thug” boyfriend and Dina turns off the store’s lights.  A little gem, hidden in the comedic offering of Spritzer and co. 

Superstore - Season 1
America Ferrera, Mark McKinney and Nico Santos

Superstore airs Mondays on NBC and is splendid comedy of the “more normal” absurd. A world populated with mannequins that look like employees and a store manager who is not above racing his employees in a shopping cart. Tune in and marvel at the comedic talents of the cast and have a giggle at the storylines and gags.