America Ferrera keeps “Superstore” stocked with laughs

Superstore NBC Ryan Berenz

Superstore NBC

NBC’s new sitcom Superstore does for big-box retail store employees what The Office did for desk jockeys. America Ferrera (Ugly Betty) stars as Amy, a veteran Cloud 9 store “angel” who has accepted the monotony of her job and keeps her private life closely guarded. The monotony gets broken up when new employee Jonah (Ben Feldman, Mad Men) arrives and is eager to impress Amy.

Ferrera says researching her role at first consisted of going to superstores as a customer and observing employees. “I would sort of say, ‘Where can I find a coffeemaker?’ and then they would tell me, and then I would say, ‘So, how long have you been working here?’ and they would give me a very odd look,” she says.

Mark McKinney (The Kids in the Hall) delivers laughs as Glenn, the well-meaning but clueless Ned Flanders-type manager who’s at his funniest when attempting something out of his league, like trying to cater to same-sex couples in the store’s wedding sales event.

Superstore also has scene transitions with sight gags like children destroying merchandise or customers behaving oddly. “We have seven main characters, but we’re in a store where there’s a big world out there and anyone can walk into it,” Ferrera says.

NBC aired a sneak peek of the series in late November, and several of the episodes have aired before its official premiere on Jan. 4. Superstore airs Mondays at 8pm ET/PT.

Photo: © 2015 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

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Devotee of Star Wars. Builder of LEGO. Observer of televised sports. Member of the Television Critics Association. Graduate of the University of Wisconsin. Connoisseur of beer. Consumer of cheese. Father of two. Husband of one. Scourge of the Alaskan Bush People. Font of Simpsons knowledge. Son of a Stonecutter.