I discovered Superstore the week I moved out of my childhood home for the final time. I had the house to myself and was packing up my belongings in the living room when I stumbled across an episode on ITV2 (Manager’s Conference). Within a couple of minutes, I was hooked, and suddenly I wanted to watch more and fill in the gaps. That was back in 2019. For the following 3 months, I lived in a rented room, in a sketchy neighbourhood, in quite honestly the most uncomfortable bed I’ve ever slept on in my life. I probably cried every day. But keeping me afloat (aside from some lovely friends replying to my desperate messages) was Superstore. I watched two episodes a night and these people became my new family. Yes, they lived in a TV, but they were reliable, dependable. No matter what happened, at the end of the episode, I had a smile on my face.
After 6 seasons, Superstore ended this year. It had a mini resurgence back in February when season 1-5 arrived on Netflix UK and the show was discovered by more than ever before. ITV has been airing an episode of season 6 daily, with the finale airing last weekend. I waited a week to watch it, as I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
We live in the golden era of TV – or so everyone keeps saying. We have wonderful, intense prestige dramas, with the finest actors and the smartest writers. But we also live in chaotic and challenging times, none more so than the last 15 months. It’s for this reason that a bonkers little show, about a supermarket, became one of the most important shows to me of the last 5 years.
The brilliance of Superstore is in the banal. It’s just as I said before – reliable, comforting, dependable. Yes, on the surface many of the episodes are the same, but what sitcom doesn’t feel like that after the 50 episode mark? What Superstore shows us, right from the first episode down to the final scene in the final episode, is that finding the moments of beauty in the every day is the very act of living and loving life.
Creator Justin Spitzer is one of many illustrious sitcom superstars to come out of The Office (US), where he worked as a producer and writer for many years. With his own creation Superstore, he takes the very best parts of The Office and softens the edges. We see Jonah learn to listen, Amy learn to open up, and we literally see Cheyenne grow up. It’s the perfect sitcom formula of being able to dip in and just watch one episode and never feel confused, but also gives the audience enough to want to come back for more, and rewards long-time fans with little nods (especially the severed foot nod in the final episode!).
Just as I cried for many nights during my dark times when I first discovered Superstore, I cried tonight watching the ending. But this time I cried because the future can be exciting. Change can be rewarding. Growth and age are unstoppable, but with the wisdom of hindsight, they are magical.
Thank you for letting me shop at Cloud 9 for the last 6 seasons. I can’t wait to revisit Glenn and his team again.