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Superstore: The Sitcom That Gets Real About Retail

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

When you think workplace sitcom, the first one that comes to mind is usually The Office. Then after that, Parks and Recreation or possibly even Brooklyn Nine Nine. But over winter break, I discovered a new workplace sitcom that’s quickly moved up in my list of favorites. NBC’s Superstore follows the lives of the employees working at Cloud 9, a fictional big box chain reminiscent of Walmart and Target. It was created in 2015 by Justin Spitzer, a recurring writer on The Office. Once you start watching, it’s easy to see certain similarities between the two projects. They both have a diverse ensemble of characters, an adorable workplace romance, and a long-running mystery arc revolving around a murderer on the loose. But that’s where the resemblance ends. During its six season run from 2015 to 2021, Superstore tackled many real-world issues like immigration, healthcare, and systemic racism. The Office, while always a good laugh, never tried to deal with anything beyond its characters’ complicated personal lives. And as we all know, its humor did not age well in the slightest.

Superstore is one of those hidden gems that makes something as boring and mundane as a job in retail seem actually fun. But it also doesn’t mince words when it comes to the daily struggle of being just another cog in the machine. As someone who has spent several years in this industry, I felt seen from the very first episode, when America Ferrera’s character Amy admits to her needlessly optimistic coworker Jonah, “It’s a good job. But tomorrow is gonna be just like today, and I know that because today is just like yesterday.” By the end of the series, however, viewers can see that she’s certainly changed her tune.

Plus, since the show wrapped just last year, the final season actually takes place during the pandemic! Usually, I would shy away from media that’s just a repetition of our new normal, due to the need for escapism and all that. But Superstore is so well written that it’s actually very refreshing to see its take on these last two years.

At the end of the day, most jobs suck. No matter what you’re going into, no matter how passionate you are about it, at some point it’s still going to feel like work. But a show like Superstore is a great reminder that you don’t have to necessarily go far to find something extraordinary. Moments of beauty exist all around us.

You can watch Superstore now on Hulu, Peacock, and fuboTV.

Heraa Arshad

Buffalo '23

Heraa is a junior psychology major who loves to write book and film reviews! She also runs a Tiktok account (@heraa_reads) where she posts more bookish opinions and tries to convince everyone to read her favorite titles.
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