Ten thousand years ago (or at the end of February), you may remember me mentioning I was watching Superstore. I blazed through its 11 bite-sized episodes in less than 11 days, thinking I would do a wrap-up post at the end, only to find I was so overwhelmed by love that I didn't know where to start. Working 24/7 quickly snowed me under, and then I forgot about it until I went to check the renew-cancel index and remembered I have a season 2 to look forward to.
(of decidedly inferior quality because as much as I loved it, I'm not ready to rewatch lest I break the spell)
Upfronts impression: if it makes me laugh, I could see enjoying this
Verdict: the happiest a comedy has made me since The Middle
I think the reason I love this show is that it is LITERALLY "The Office in Wal-Mart." You can match up almost every character either directly or in a combination, and frequently in the same type of jobs. Let me show you!
Glenn, Manager: the muppet-voiced version of Kevin Malone, but on the slightly higher intelligence/aptitude plane of Michael Scott.
Dina, Assistant Manager: Female Dwight. Literally what I assume Dwight and Angela's daughter would grow up to be.
Jonah: Jim, of course, with just a touch of Ryan's swagger
Amy: Pam (and she even comes with a Roy! Of course, this time she's married and has his kid)
Pregnant Teen Cheyenne: Kelly Kapoor
Mateo: Ryan, but way less attractive and even more cutthroat
Sad Sack Sandra (recurring): Phyllis, before she got sassy
Balding Sexual Harasser Sal (recurring): probably how Toby looks to Michael
Ancient Myrtle (recurring): female Creed, but even less aware
The only ones I think are really unique are Cheyenne's white-rapper boyfriend -- no one on The Office is quite that much of a dope; he seems to have no actual awareness either past or present and okay never mind I am describing Erin Hannon -- and Garret, because no one on The Office has ever been as effortlessly cool as Garrett.
And the thing is, it's better than The Office because I have a ship, but it is not yet a life-or-death ship. More importantly, I've got minor annoyances (Glenn, Mateo, most of the recurring characters), but no one I outright DESPISE the way I loathed Michael and Kevin. Which means I can focus on the humor. This show made me laugh a lot -- it is pretty off the walls -- but it also has a lot of sentiment, and it finds the balance between the two so very well.
I've never worked retail, so I can't directly identify with anything, but this is not a common setting for TV shows so I'm really intrigued by it, with the added bonus of making me more aware of how I shop in big-box stores. I also watched it not long after reading Where The Heart Is, so considering life as a retail employee was fresh on my mind.
Besides Obvious Winners Jonah and Amy, my faves are Garrett and Dina. Garrett is basically too beautiful for this world, too pure, and his humor enhances every scene he's in. Meanwhile, Dina is just off-the-walls bonkers and I love it. She is a rampaging store dictator, yet weak to the force of Ben Feldman's Fetching Countenance, which is the one thing about her I do strongly identify with. A storyline about her stalker crush that normally would have me cringeing instead had me cracking up that it only went on so long because once he finally became aware of it, he was too polite to directly address it in a way that would hurt her feelings. Which just serves to make him more attractive.
And that's all I can concentrate on for general impressions because something else is pinging wildly in the background and demanding to be heard.
ALL RIGHT, SHIP RADAR, GO
Yes it's true, I am a fireball of Jonah/Amy shipping, and her marriage is not getting in my way at all, because her husband is a doofus.
That's a lie. He's her high school sweetheart doofus and he's not ugly, which means I can't fault him, I can't wish convenient death upon him, her outgrowing him/asking for a divorce would make me upset on principle, and basically I will probably sulk if my ship never gets anywhere, yet will ALSO sulk if this ends in any way other than Amy leaving her husband for cheating on her, which would itself make me upset.
Unless it doesn't end?
Yeah, that's the kind of loophole place I'm in. Instead of breaking up her daughter's home, what if we just took Jonah at fling value and tried out stolen storage room kisses. Not that I'm too proud for hookups, but I'd really like to play on the romance of stolen kisses where no one wants to tear down a marriage, and no one's ready to talk long term, but there's an undeniable charge from being together, and on top of being friends, that's hard to repress when one's home life is so uninspiring/empty, respectively. And then it can peter out quietly someday, and nobody gets hurt and just remembering you've had an And / when you're back to Or / makes the Or mean more / than it did before. (x)
...I'm back in that Morally Grey['s Anatomy] Adultery place and I don't like it.
But no, no, I am better than this. I can wrestle this fireball back into its original box, tape it shut, and settle for a focus on friendshipping. It is totally a friend thing to decorate the entire ceiling of a store with glow-in-the-dark stars just to make someone you've just met smile.
Ugh I am incorrigible.
Let's try this again.
FRIENDSHIP RADAR, PINGBACK!
I love the way they met, that she is the seasoned store employee and he is a bumbling idiot who spends most of his first shifts trying to unlearn his privilege and recalibrate to the fact this colleagues are mostly not college educated and that it's not a big deal. They have the most amazing chemistry, so much so that I like to think I would be very OK if this show tried to teach us all a lesson about how attractive young straight people of opposite sexes can Just Be Friends.
I give up I can't be coherent about this, as evidenced by the fact that this is the point where I gave up and started writng fanfic.
tl;dr they are absolutely wonderful together on screen, I would theoretically be happy to watch at least six seasons of them going nowhere fast (Jeff-and-Annie-of-Community style) -- I found an interview where the showrunner was like, "it's a will they/won't they situation, but unlike usual where you know they eventually will, this time we actually don't know!" -- and this Tumblr post I reblogged pretty much visually sums up why they are so great together while my tags concisely summarize the remaining feelings.