Everyone knows at least one person who is currently, or has worked in retail. If you want a better idea of what it’s like to work in that field, then do we have a show for you. With its series finale recently aired, we are going to be talking about the whole series. You can currently watch this series on the NBC App, Peacock, or Hulu (for now…).
As always, this critique will talk about the series based on three categories: Story, Acting, and Overall. So let’s begin.
The writers of this show clearly wanted to poke fun at the life within retail employment. They masterfully created a show for the blue-collar employees that have to endure the field. As the show covers a try-hard white boy who is just looking for a job to hold him over while he finds himself and a corporate job which only is made amazing by the characters who fill the coworkers in his journey. The show progresses and grows though, and we start to not focus only on one character and start to experience more of the store’s character and their journeys.
As the show entered its last two seasons the fantasy world of the show became all too realistic and grounded in reality. The series covers such topics as Mateo, played by Nico Santos, becoming a victim of the Dreamer changes, corporate treatment of retail employees, and the shift to online retail. Also, this year has shown us how we should appreciate more the retail workers who have put themselves in danger so we can get our food and small purchases. At the same time, some shows have had to choose to acknowledge or ignore the pandemic. Superstore specifically decided what better a show tackle the real-world consequences and frustration of working as expendable employees during the disaster which was COVID-19.
It’s been some of the best views of the everyday things workers have had to endure. They didn’t delve to deeply into the deadly aspect of the pandemic, because they clearly didn’t want to get that heavy, but it’s their fearlessness to cover these topics that in my opinion make this show stand out and become a must-watch.
I know that my opinion as a male might affect and color my opinions, but I found myself getting a little tired at how much Jonah, played by Ben Feldman, became a punching bag for white guilt. Of all the characters he honestly tries the hardest, and sometimes it could feel like he couldn’t catch his breath or overcome the fact that he was just “the cis white male.” When the show started to cover the other characters more, and their journeys it did help, especially when they started focusing on the amazingly charismatic Amy, played by America Ferrera. However as the show grew, we were pushed back into following Jonah’s story.
I will say Feldman does a great job playing the role, and thanks to the amazing work of the rest of the cast: Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Nico Santos, Nichole Sakura, Kaliko Kauahi, and Mark McKinney, there is always a story to watch that is interesting and engaging.
The characters have growth, and leave the show at the end well rounded, and having learned from their time in retail. It’s not so perfect in the real world. Retail jobs are not a stepping stone to “real jobs” as some people in power like to say, they are sometimes a job people will have for life. If this show does anything, it should show us to respect our retail brothers and sisters and be nicer to them when we have to head into what little stores will be left to shop in in the future.
Conner’s Final Thought(s):
I’ll be honest, all the stories of the show could suck (they don’t…), the characters could be wooden (they are not…), and the series could be detached from reality (okay… maybe it is a bit), but I would still love this series if only for the small cuts of customer actions throughout the store. Every one of them is believable. Things that I’ve either seen or for the most part have heard about from friends who still work in retail.
If you’ve ever worked in retail, you owe it to yourself to watch this show for the customer scenes alone.