A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Superstore is a workplace comedy about employees of a big-box store. On the good side, the cast boasts extensive diversity and the show takes pains to make points about class and race; on the bad side, it's just not that funny. There's some cursing: "What the hell?" and "What the f--k?" (bleeped) and some flirting and mild references to sex. Brands are frequently visible on store shelves where employees work. Cartoonish violence occasionally rises to alarming levels: A man pretends to hold up the store by gunpoint and threatens to kill as a proposal stunt; the store's employees laugh it off and seem to view it as romantic.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Created by one of the producer of The Office, SUPERSTORE is a workplace comedy about the employees at a big-box store. They're all doing time in blue vests: naive new hire Jonah (Ben Feldman of Mad Men), jaded veteran Amy (America Ferrera), clueless supervisor Glenn (Mark McKinney), and overeager manager Dina (Laura Ash). The customers may be cranky and weird, the store policies inexplicable, the many trainings nap-inducing. But when all's said and done, the superstore is like a kind of home and the people who work in it a reluctant kind of family -- or as annoying and ever-present as family, anyway.
Is it any good?
It's depressing to see actors this good wasted on material that strains for the heights of better workplace comedies (itself hardly a fresh genre) yet reaches only clichéd, supposed-to-be-funny levels. Ben Feldman is adorable and can land a comic line with ease. So why does this show have him trying to get laughs by knocking over giant pyramids of toilet paper? America Ferrara is so charming and relatable -- why must we see her answering questions about stool softeners and refereeing a frantic tag sale? It feels as if Superstore is trying to be The Office, right down to the meeting scenes attended by dead-eyed employees and presided over by a quixotic manager. But The Office won us over by wringing laughs out of dreary day-to-day office work, something most viewers can relate to. Here, the antics aren't fresh enough to be funny, and the characters aren't real and relatable enough for us to enjoy watching them placed in absurd situations. Instead, you have comic beats without comedy. It's all the more irritating when you have such good actors that they occasionally raise a half smile, if not a laugh.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why workplace comedies are such a staple on television. What is it that's funny about a group of people who must be together for hours a day but wouldn't otherwise be friends?
Superstore was created by a producer of NBC comedy The Office. How is it like that show? How is it different?
Is the viewer supposed to feel the same way about all the characters on Superstore? Are some supposed to be relatable and some absurd? Which characters are which, and how can you tell?
For kids who love comedy
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.