Thursday, November 15, 2018

REVIEW: 'Superstore' - Jonah Tries to Maintain Some Crazy Lies When His Parents Visit in 'New Initiative'

NBC's Superstore - Episode 4.07 "New Initiative"

When a new Cloud 9 initiative forces employees to be friendlier to their customers, Amy ends up getting to know Jonah's parents - and learns he hasn't been completely truthful with them. The new policy also inspires Garrett and Dina to find out who can hold a smile longer.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of NBC's Superstore.

"New Initiative" was written by Ben Dougan and directed by Ken Whittingham

Jonah has always seen his job at Cloud 9 as temporary. That was the position he held at the start of the series. It's still the position he holds now. It was just something for him to do while earning money after he failed out of business school. No one at this story envisions this being a lasting job for them. It's just something done out of convenience with no better opportunities coming. Of course, the show itself has been very stable with its cast across four seasons. There have only been a small amount of recurring characters who have come and gone over the years. And so, the people who work here treat each other as family. Their lives have gotten increasingly complicated with one another. Jonah and Amy are dating now. That's a positive step for them in figuring out their lives. Sure, there is still the complication of Amy being a new mother and trying to figure all of that out while coming back to work so soon. But right now, she is also trying to maintain a lie when Jonah's parents come to the store. He didn't expect to run into them at work. He knew they were in town visiting but he had a convenient excuse not to be with them. He has led them to believe that he has been in medical school for the past three years. He has also made them believe that he is engaged to Natalie Portman. It's so ridiculous based on everything the audience knows about him. But his parents take him very seriously. That's the kind of life that they are expecting from their son. When the truth comes out, they are still trying to put him in a leadership position with this job. They expect him to be the manager of the store. That's not him though. He has never shown that ambition to be more than the kind of employee he currently is. This job still affords him a great deal of comfort and stability in his life. He is still constantly running into problems. This isn't a terrific job after all. Right now, corporate believes that they can stall the looming threat of online retail simply by asking the employees to engage in small talk with the customers. That's so ridiculous and isn't going to delay the inevitable at all. In fact, the marketing campaign for this initiative is so ridiculous. It doesn't make any sense. And so, it's a waste of valuable time and resources. It continues to show how corporate is completely out of touch with what's happening on the ground in its stores. Sure, it allows Amy to have a meaningful interaction with Jonah's parents before knowing who they are. She is then able to get a bunch of embarrassing stories about him. But she still wants to help him maintain this lie. She is willing to do that for him. It just ends up hurting Glenn in a physical way. He too feels betrayed upon learning that this is a temporary job for Jonah. He sees this store as a family. No one is ever allowed to leave and break up everything that is good. Of course, everything is not good. Jonah has the potential to leave if something more happens to occur in his life. Because he doesn't have that ambition just yet, he is still at Cloud 9. It's the position he wants to be in even though it's not a big deal whatsoever when he and Amy announce that they've been dating for a couple of months now to the rest of the staff.