Thursday, December 13, 2018

REVIEW: 'Superstore' - Glenn Is Happy to Train Amy as a New Cloud 9 Manager in 'Shadowing Glenn'

NBC's Superstore - Episode 4.09 "Shadowing Glenn"

Glenn drives Amy crazy with a new, over the top training system. Cheyenne and Mateo brainstorm a new business. Dina recruits Jonah to help her when she starts second-guessing her own future.

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.

"Shadowing Glenn" was written by Matt Lawton and directed by Geeta V. Patel

This episode features a familiar comedic plot of someone trying to cover up a massive mistake they made before they get into trouble. However, the execution of that story livens up the material to the point that it's so outrageous and ridiculous that it absolutely works. In fact, most of the credit can go to Marcus. First, it's funny because he claims that he's good at hiding things only for all of the ice pops to be blatantly visible to anyone who happens to be in the parking lot. That's a strong reveal. And second, it becomes even better once the uncertainty of what happened to all of the boxes goes away when a car drives straight through a gigantic picture that is designed to block them from view. That's just a fantastic visual joke. It's so broad and crazy. But it completely works as well. Plus, there is still a fair amount of heart and understanding to this story. It's vital that Amy is already putting in the work to become a manager within Cloud 9. This is the direction for her career that she has decided for the future. She got that clarity from Jonah in the previous episode. And now, she is completely committed to it. Glenn is happy that she is showing an interest in advancing within the company as well. He has long seen the employees as a family. This action proves that they love it just as much as he does. That really isn't true at all. They mock the new training video that he impulsively makes. This is just a way for Amy to move up in life without being solely defined as the woman working a low-level job because of the circumstances of her life. Sure, it's crazy that Glenn demands that Amy check something seven times before sending it to the appropriate people. And yet, all of this still proves that he is an effective manager who knows how to lead this store. Sure, he can be the butt of the joke a lot of the time. However, there are reasons for his peculiar ways of doing business. Amy wants to ensure that she doesn't disappoint Glenn should he discover the error she made. She wants a letter of recommendation from him after all. She places so much hope in the manager training program being a better tool as well. Knowing this corporate entity though, that seems very unlikely. But Amy remains optimistic. She still gets that letter of recommendation as well because Glenn can relate to her mistakes. He's made plenty of them as well. They may be even more embarrassing than Amy's too. Plus, he has all of the information collected in his book to get the delivery guy to take back the unwanted ice pops. Sure, that's such a dark moment that proves just how invasive and cruel Glenn can be. And yet, he hopes to dismiss it all because he still delivers it with a smile. That's chilling while still being pretty amusing as well. Meanwhile, everyone in the store happens to be looking at their futures and figuring out what they want. Of course, Amy is the only employee who has clarity in that regard. She is chasing her new dream here. But Dina and Jonah are struck by the idea that their current positions at Cloud 9 can't be a sustainable life for them. Sure, all of this may create more complications for the show in order to explain how everyone still works at the store for the run of the series. It may mean that there is a shakeup coming. Dina and Jonah know that they aspire for more. Right now, Cloud 9 is just the safety net to keep them from falling even further into the unknown. Meanwhile, Mateo and Cheyenne are perfectly happy where they are while dreaming of something more. They know that their plans never materialize into reality. They have fun operating with that clarity. They don't need to have their lives figured out any more than they do right now either. They still have time for that. It's Jonah and Dina who feel the clock counting down for them to figure out something bigger and better to do with their lives.