“Superstore” Is The Funniest Show You’ve Never Heard Of

“Superstore” Is The Funniest Show You’ve Never Heard Of

“Superstore” is a hidden gem you need to see



I was out with the flu for most of a week, and my days consisted of scrolling through Netflix in search of something passably entertaining to watch. On an impulse, I clicked on Superstore with minimal knowledge of the show—other than it was a workplace American sitcom and therefore probably sparingly funny at best. It ran for six years on NBC (and now picked up by Netflix) until 2021. And since I’ve never heard of it, I had deduced it was probably bad. The premise was original enough: the daily misadventures of the oddball and bumbling employees of Cloud 9, a supersized megastore somewhere in middle America. I soon realized that my conclusions about this show were way off. Superstore is one of the funniest things I've seen this year. 



Superstore details the lives of the offbeat employees of Cloud 9, a fictional version of Target or Walmart somewhere on the outskirts of St. Louis, Missouri. Aside from being a hilarious workplace comedy, Superstore is “woke,” whether intentionally or not. The show features the real blue-collar daily struggles of American workers, including the lack of paid maternity leave for low level staff in large corporations and the inadequate—even exploitative, health care benefits of the average retail laborer in middle America. The show has significant LGBTQ+ representation, too. But whether presenting social issues or not, Superstore is always funny. 


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The show is among the most well-cast affairs I've come across in recent memory, joining the ranks of White Lotus S2 and Silicon Valley. There’s Amy (America Ferrera), the Honduran-American floor supervisor; Jonah (Ben Feldman), the Jewish liberal business school dropout; Glen (Mark McKinney), the goofy but devout middle-aged store manager; Cheyanne (Nichole Sakura) and Bo (Johnny Pemberton), an eccentric, working class white couple trying to make ends meet for their baby; and Mateo Liwanag (Nico Santos), an undocumented and snarky Filipino. The last, of course, will be of particular interest for Filipino viewers as his character's “Filipino-ness” is frequently brought up by the show’s writers, whether in an anti-Duterte protest outside the store, with Mateo and Matt (a white colleague) getting into a heated argument in Tagalog or with Mateo’s aunt coming to the store to drop off some chicken adobo and being greeted as “tita”—followed by the “mano po” gesture by Mateo’s American co-workers. The show’s inclusivity and diversity is admirable. 



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The series often gets compared to the US version of The Office, but hasn’t quite achieved the same critical success. Though I can attest: it’s just as funny. The writing is tight and regularly sharp, the cast showing off their comic chops each episode, delivering their laugh-out-loud funny lines with amazing precision. The gags are original, creative and offbeat. The story arcs are hilarious but also surprisingly tender at times. 

I breezed through five of the six seasons during my illness. Now I’m on the final season, feeling somewhat down that the end is near. But regardless, I’m happy I made a new discovery while I was sick. Silver linings. Now I’m mostly better because laughter is, after all, the best medicine. Thank you, Superstore.    



Words Art Vandelay

Art Matthew Ian Fetalver

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