St. Louis’ own ‘Superstore’


Trae Patton/NBC

SUPERSTORE -- "Pilot" -- Pictured: (l-r) Colton Dunn as Garrett, Ben Feldman as Jonah, America Ferrera as Amy, Nichole Bloom as Cheyenne -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Chicago has “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Chicago P.D.” and the “Oprah Winfrey Show.” Los Angeles has “New Girl,” “Modern Family” and the “O.C”. And of course, New York City famously hosts “Friends, “How I Met Your Mother” and “Sex and The City.”

Growing up watching these movies and shows, I would always long to see my city, St. Louis, featured on the big screen. There’s a certain thrill with seeing characters frequent a location that is right in your hometown. It seems that I have finally got my wish with “Superstore”, airing Monday nights at 7 p.m.on NBC.

“Superstore” is a half-hour comedy about the daily lives of employees at Cloud Nine, a Walmart-type supercenter located in St. Louis.

In the first episode, we meet Jonah, a 20 something who is overly enthusiastic about his new job at Cloud Nine. Throughout the episode, we slowly meet his new co-workers: Cheyenne, a ditsy, pregnant high school student; Dina, an intense supervisor; Garret, a man in a wheelchair who delivers the best one-liners; and of course, Amy, the veteran employee who is totally fed-up with everything.

This show depicts working in retail almost perfectly. For anyone who has ever had a customer service position, the situations presented in the show will definitely hit home. For example, shoplifters, long lines and annoying customers all make up major plot lines.

The first thing I noticed about “Superstore” was that the characters have amazing chemistry, especially Jonah and Amy. Ben Feldman, famous for his roles in “Mad Men” and “Drop Dead Diva,” plays Jonah.  He manages to give Jonah the perfect geeky edge—no one should want to work that hard at a store like Cloud Nine. The audience instantly feels that Jonah has something to prove.

America Ferrara, who stars as Amy, is most famously known for her roles in “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” and “Ugly Betty.” She plays Amy with eye-rolls, long sighs and plenty of sarcastic comments.

Viewers are on the edge of their seats to find out how someone so bright and young has been working at Cloud Nine for an excruciating ten years.

In the first episode, it’s easy to see that eventually there will probably be some kind of romantic relationship between Amy and Jonah.

It’s easy to compare them to Jim and Pam from “The Office.” In fact, it’s easy to compare this whole show to “The Office.” The creator of “Superstore,” Justin Spitzer, was one of the man writers for “The Office.”

The comparisons do not stop with the creator. Both shows revolve around employees in their place of work. They both aired on NBC. I would even venture as far to say that “Superstore” has its own Dwight in Dina, whose antics and seriousness about the job always prove for cringe-inducing moments.

So far, the show has been hit or miss. Some episodes are stand-outs, such as episode six, “Secret Shopper.” The employees are worried because a secret shopper is supposed to observe the store, so they need to be on their best behavior.

Dina goes crazy trying to find the secret shopper, which is hilarious, as she continually pins down the most unlikely shoppers. Meanwhile, Jonah and Amy have a major breakthrough in their relationship, so the show still provides us with character drama, so it does not seem too silly.

Other episodes, such as episode four, “Mannequin,” seem a little too ridiculous and far-fetched. In this episode, practically no one does their job and instead hides mannequins in risqué positions around the store. One of the best parts about “The Office” was that the characters were always seen doing their job and still being hilarious, which made the show seem highly realistic.

Despite the sometimes too outrageous comedy, I still think the show is pretty good. Sometimes, the smallest moments are the best. Between scenes, the audience often gets a look at the going-ons of the customers at Cloud Nine.

We’ve seen little kids riding around in toy cars, people sleeping on furniture and even a toddler using a toilet in the middle of an aisle. These moments are truly some of my favorite, because it makes the show more real.

So far, the employees have not ventured out of Cloud Nine, so time can only tell if any scenes will take place at other locations in St. Louis. Look out for name-drops such as

“Kirkwood” and “Richmond Heights.” If you look closely, there is also a large photo of the arch in the background of the store.

“Superstore’s” outlandish humor sometimes gets in the way, but the zany characters and small, hidden moments within the episodes are worth giving the new comedy a try.

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