America Ferrera returns to television in 'Superstore,' hilarious working-class comedy
Written by Jesus Figueroa
A comedy set inside a big-box store seems so simple, but the outstanding comedy cast takes the jokes to a new level of comedy.
The cast led by the talented America Ferrera, who plays floor supervisor Amy, is nothing short of phenomenal as a simplistic working-class comedy with a diverse cast.
"First and foremost, it's Justin's writing and his execution of this world. It's funny, it's smart, it's relevant. And so, first and foremost, it was that," Ferrera said. "You know, I think a TV shows lives or dies by its creator and the integrity of that vision. And, secondly, when I saw how Justin was casting this show, it was a huge draw for me. None of the characters were written specifically any race or ethnicity. The only one was Nico's character, who was written Mexican, and they cast a Filipino."
The voice which creator and executive producer Justin Spitzer gave to the working class comedy was funny and resonates with the world today.
The comedy is over-the-top but still delivers strong socio-conscious messages within the storyline.
"I grew up on working‑class comedies. And I felt like now is a great, great time to give voice to the American working class," Ferrera said.
With the ensemble coming together Spitzer said he had to do rewriting and making the changes as actors were cast and he began to see what the characters would be like.
The show developed more of the personality of each character as each cast member influenced what their character would be like, with each distinct personality.
"I think a lot of the fun of a first‑season show is really learning what that ensemble is, and how they fit together," Spitzer said. "So much of that has come from these amazing actors and what they bring to the roles."
Actress Lauren Ash, who plays store supervisor Dina, is a hilarious character who contributes to the comedy of every episode and every scene she is in.
"I think that the really good thing about an ensemble is that you all work together, because somebody else getting a laugh feels as good as getting one yourself," Ash said. "So I feel like it's ‑‑ I don't know. I just don't feel like we're fighting to be the funniest in the scene, I think we're just trying to make the funniest scenes."
The lead character Amy can be what most people who watch the show will connect with because she's satirical and still fun.
"What I really love about Amy is I really do feel like she is the every‑man. The working‑class American, surviving, not feeling like a victim, but not expecting beautiful things in life to happen," Ferrera said. "She's just doing her job."
Actor Colton Dunn, who plays Garrett, find the liberty to improv lines helps keep the spirit of the show fresh and make each comedic moment better.
"(Dunn) spent a whole episode, a whole scene making fun of my real‑life wedding, in an improv," actor Ben Feldman said.
Feldman plays new employee of Cloud 9 Jonah.
Jonah is one of the funniest characters because of the awkward behavior he has when he says something that may offend the other employees.
Dunn described a wedding in a barn, which Dunn knew was the real-life wedding of Feldman, during a scene where they talked about the worst idea for a wedding.
"I yell, 'Cut,' and (Feldman) goes, 'Hey, man, that's my wedding," Dunn said.
Actor Mark McKinney, who plays store manager Glenn, said the cast unselfishly goes through the scenes trying to make the entire show better.
Actress Nichole Bloom, who plays pregnant store employee Cheyenne, said that they tend to suggest lines and jokes to one another all the time.
"We help each other out," Bloom said.
Actor Nico Santos gives praise to Spitzer for delivering scripts which week-after-week have him laughing in his bedroom as he reads them.
The show is a fantastic comedy which isn't centered or focused on one race or group of people.
There are many elements which viewers will be able to relate to and find funny because they have gone through a similar situation or even heard of it happening in an actual store.
"I think everybody that watches this in some way is going to feel like, oh, this is like my show. This is like, like, I get that somebody would like the show. But this is, like, specifically, like, I'm going to call my friends and be, like, this is so me," Feldman said. "But I feel like it's going to be like that for everybody, every type of class, shape, color, size. Every kind of person, I think this will speak to them."
A special sneak peek of "Superstore" will air on Nov. 30 after "The Voice" on NBC. Regular premiere will be on Jan. 4 at 8 p.m. on NBC.