America Ferrera talks the complexity (and subversive depth) of Superstore on EW's Best of Shows podcast
NBC's splendid workplace comedy Superstore is in the midst of a fantastic fourth season. The big-box satire has never been funnier — and it continues to explore the real-world struggles of the denizens of Cloud 9. That's especially true when it comes to Amy, the veteran employee played by America Ferrera, who started the season experiencing the economic crisis of modern pregnancy (she had to go back to work when her baby was two days old!), before beginning a surreal journey towards the possibility of a management position.
Ferrera guests on this week's EW's Best of Shows podcast, and describes how the whole foundation of Superstore demanded a sharp examination of everyday American striving. "The premise of the show was: People are paid minimum wage in a massive corporate structure that ultimately doesn't care about them as individuals," she says. "I don't know that audiences today would be able to relate to that if we pretended that was a happy-go-lucky world, and this is just about people finding love and friendship."
Still, Superstore is frequently laugh-out-loud funny, especially in the show's break-room scenes. Ferrera credits creator Justin Spitzer for developing every individual character — and points to the show's inclusive ensemble. "I think that what people are responding to [in the break-room scenes] is how different and unique and fully committed each character is to their perspective," she says. "And that only happens with diversity of perspective, diversity of character. When we talk about diversity, we talk about it as the right thing to do. But I think our show is proof that it's just better storytelling. When you have more perspectives, you get to be more complex."
Elsewhere on this week's Best of Shows, Kristen Baldwin and I talk about the troubling second season of Killing Eve, the even-more-troubling new Twilight Zone, and the return of HBO's Veep. Listen to the full episode below, or via Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Radio.com, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes are available every Monday morning. Tweet counterarguments to @KristenGBaldwin or @DarrenFranich. <iframe src="https://player.megaphone.fm/DGT1850965839?" width="100%" height="200" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" class="" allowfullscreen="" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe>