Length: Six seasons, 113 x episodes (22 minutes each)
After 672 years of COVID-19 lockdowns of various severity, it seems that Australia may be on the road to recovery (fingers and all other digits crossed). And while we’re all excited to grab a few bevvies with mates again, there’s a serious problem you’re likely to be suffering from.
Over the last 12 months, we’ve watched all the bloody streaming content!
We watched all the high-falutin’ A-list shows, we watched all the guilty pleasure B-list shows, hell we even watched all of The Office a bunch, and we’d already seen that one! Twice!
Point is, we need a new show - light and charming and funny, preferably with a buttload of seasons - that we can flop on the couch and veg out in front of when we get back from the bar, cinema and/or ill-advised Tinder hook up.
Superstore on BINGE makes a very strong case to be that show.
Superstore is about a group of employees who work at Cloud 9, a fictional big-box store that’s clearly modelled on Wal-Mart and those other American joints that take up the surface area of a medium-sized suburb.
The show is populated with a cadre of charming characters. You’ve got Amelia “Amy” Sosa (America Ferrera) a Honduran American who is a bit standoffish but has a big heart, Jonah Simms (Ben Feldman) an unreasonably handsome college drop-out who struggles with retail but has the hots for Amelia, Dina Fox (Lauren Ash) a frankly terrifying (but hilarious) store manager and Garrett McNeil (Colton Dunn) who epitomises on the job snark, serving cutting one-liners with impressive alacrity from his wheelchair.
The style of comedy will be familiar to anyone who has watched The Office or Parks and Recreation (although without the pseudo documentary angle), with stories focusing on interpersonal relationships, work frustrations, and occasionally larger events.
Being that Superstore is set in the US, uniquely American problems are the bedrock for some of the drama and comedy. One of the show’s strongest episodes, “Black Friday”, showcases the utter absurdity of that sale, when the local shops look like a deleted scene from Mad Max: Fury Road.
That’s not to say every episode is a classic, mind you. Season one has a few duds and over six seasons (and 113 episodes!) you’re bound to run into a few that don’t quite hit the mark.
There are times when the writing tries to be sharp, making wry observations at the expense of consumerism and corporate culture, but they’re never quite the pointed barbs they could be, because Superstore is primarily there to entertain and amuse.
Still and all, while it never quite hits the heights of classic workplace comedies like The Office, Brooklyn Nine-Nine or Parks and Recreation, it’s a consistent little doer, with plenty of laughs and heart to recommend it.
Classic tropes like “will they or won’t they” are used to surprisingly strong effect, and after a few episodes you’ll find yourself oddly invested in this undemanding yarn about people working away in a store that’s probably large enough to see from orbit.
Superstore isn’t going to change your life or redefine the concept of light comedy telly, but it’s a charming viewing experience and perfect for those days when you can’t be stuffed watching anything heavy and just feel like a chuckle.
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