NBC’s “Superstore” is offering fans – and Emmy voters – a sneak peek into what it takes to craft a successful sitcom, thanks to a video highlighting the writing process for the delightful comedy set in a Midwestern retail hypermarket (combination grocery store and discount market, a la Target, WalMart, etc.)
Starring America Ferrera and Ben Feldman, the sitcom created by Justin Spitzer is currently airing its fourth season and has found a nexus for its ensemble comedy in the intersection of capitalism and pressing social issues.
In the IndieWire exclusive video below, executive producer and writer Jonathan Green says, “We don’t set out to say, ‘Let’s tackle this social issue.’ We try to approach things as we can find comedy in them.” But the series, already renewed for a fifth season, manages to find humor in some of the most trying aspects of American life.
This season alone, the show has tackled matters of sexism and sexual harassment, health insurance, maternity leave, sexual harassment, nepotism, labor organizing, and immigration, and done so in hilarious fashion, seamlessly blending emotion and absurdity into something entirely unique.
Executive producer, writer, and director Jackie Clarke specifically recalls a rant delivered by Ferrera’s character Amy upon being forced back to work a mere two days after giving birth. “The huge piece of comedy for me is when Amy gets to tell Glenn [her boss, played by Mark McKinney] off. [It’s] what I would have wanted to say if I was in that position.”
During the speech itself, Amy goes into excruciating detail about what a woman’s body experiences in the immediate aftermath of giving birth, complete with bleeped profanity, which only serves to make her meltdown in the middle of a crowded store that much funnier. But the reality of the matter is that plenty of women find themselves in similar situations as the character, forced back to work before they’re ready in order to maintain job security and provide for their families.
For more on the writing process that lays the foundation for one of television’s most entertaining and topical comedies, check out the video below.
“Superstore” airs Thursdays on NBC at 8:00 and 8:30 p.m. Previous episodes can be found on Hulu.