“Superstore” NBC sitcom not political with its salute to the working class

America Ferrera (all photos courtesy of NBC)

America Ferrera, star and producer of NBC’s Superstore, said her sitcom offers a place “where people can be so different from each other and believe different things, and still treat each other with decency.” And it’s not political!

So thank goodness that Superstore is back on the air during these divisive times. One of the most critically acclaimed comedies on television today, the super-funny series has returned to salute the working class which has always kept America great. It joined the NBC lineup for the second half of Season 4 on March 7, and airs on Thursday nights.

 The show follows the unique family of employees at a supersized megastore called “Cloud 9” in St. Louis. And each week the stories continue to celebrate the hardworking diverse staff as they do their best to keep shoppers happy, while also managing issues such as workers’ rights, health insurance, immigration, gender equality, and many other topical subjects.

The hardworking stars of NBC’s “Superstore” include (l-r) Mark McKinney as Glenn, Colton Dunn as Garrett, Lauren Ash as Dina, Ben Feldman as Jonah, America Ferrera as Amy, Nichole Bloom as Cheyenne, Nico Santos as Mateo. (Photo by: Matthias Clamer/NBC)

 What makes the show work so well is the incredible cast and their relatable characters. America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) plays Amy, the store’s most dependable employee who is the glue that holds the whole place together when things get crazy. Ben Feldman (Mad Men) is Jonah, a dreamer determined to prove work doesn’t have to be boring. Their co-workers include the sardonic Garrett (Colton Dunn, Key & Peele), sweet teenager Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom, Shameless), and the ambitious Mateo (Nico Santos, Crazy Rich Asians), who has recently learned he is undocumented. Overseeing the store is Glenn (Mark McKinney, The Kids in the Hall), the store’s likable but clueless store manager; and Dina (Lauren Ash, Super Fun Night), the assistant manager who enforces Cloud 9 policy with gusto.

 It’s a day to day grind for everyone earning a paycheck, and together co-workers deal with bargain hunters, sales riots, and nap-worthy training sessions. It’s just like real life for those who clock-in and clock-out of the workplace.

 Superstore’s cast and creative team promoted their Universal Television production at the recent Television Critics Association’s winter 2019 press tour. On hand for an NBC panel were creator and executive producer Justin Spitzer; producer and star America Ferrera; and cast-mates Ben Feldman, Mark McKinney, Colton Dunn, Lauren Ash, Nico Santos, and Nichole Bloom.

 For a show that tackles so many important social issues, America Ferrera is quick to point out that, although she likens Superstore to classic Norman Lear comedies that ring true, the show is really not political. “I think Justin (Spitzer) and the rest of our writers, so masterfully, are able to address those things without it feeling like they’re picking a side or saying who’s wrong or who’s right.”

Ferrera reported, “One of the nicest things I’ve heard from people about our show is that it’s the type of world they want to live in— a world where people can be so different from each other and believe different things, and still treat each other with decency. That’s something we’re not seeing a lot of in our society, and it’s something that you can find on our show.”

 Ferrera explained, “We have a realistic depiction of a workplace with everyday, working-class people barely getting by on minimum wage. We can’t ignore those things that are impacting their lives on this show. We talk about these issues, but we make you laugh. And we also restore your faith in humanity.”

 Superstore airs Thursday nights at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.