Friday, May 3, 2019

REVIEW: 'Superstore' - Amy and Glenn Clash Over Managerial Control of the Store in 'Cloud Green'

NBC's Superstore - Episode 4.18 "Cloud Green"

Despite Dina's protests, Amy lets Glenn's pastor host an Earth Day booth at the store, but things quickly unravel when Glenn won't recognize Amy's authority. Jonah spearheads Cloud 9's green initiative, but is met with apathy from his coworkers.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of NBC's Superstore.

"Cloud Green" was written by Jonathan Green & Gabe Miller and directed by Heather Jack

The show chose to focus mostly on how Amy becoming manager of the store changed up her life and her dynamics with the other characters. But it's also interesting to spend time with Glenn who has gone down to being just an ordinary worker. He believed he made the right decision to spend more time with his family. But he didn't think about what this loss of power would ultimately mean for his standing at the store. He is making less money now which also has an impact on his family. More importantly though, he is no longer making the decisions about what is and isn't allowed in the store. He was never all that good at making those decisions. He wanted to cater to everyone's needs and be open to anything even when corporate had strict rules outlawing it in the workplace. Dina frequently had to remind him that he couldn't talk openly about religion at the store. That was still a predominate part of his life though. It has informed so many of his beliefs even though he is frequently misinformed or speaking out of turn. He was still the man in charge. But now, he is creating a whole host of problems for Amy because he believes it's no big deal that his pastor comes into the store to sell his book. Amy believes it's nothing in the early going. It's just a man handing out plants on Earth Day. That's a service she sees the benefit in thanks to Jonah's constant talk about needing to protect the planet for the next generation. However, it's just the way to get him into the store to talk about the message of his church. It's absurd because he is making deals to entice customers to hear excerpts from his book while getting a bargain on other products. He certainly doesn't have the authority to do so. Glenn is simply too enraptured by him as well. He doesn't want to miss out on anything. He believes the spreading of the good word has to pause when he has to walk away for a conversation with Amy. He also doesn't understand why he can't just get away with whatever he wants in the store. Sure, this episode frames him as a petulant and rebellious child for the majority of the story. He lashes out at Amy when she eventually forces all of this to stop. She kicks the pastor out of the store because it's corporate policy not to feature religion or to have people selling their outside goods. She is still learning the basics of this job though. She is figuring out how to be stern but fair as a leader. She eventually has to yell at Glenn for refusing to understand exactly what he is allowed to do as an employee at Cloud 9. He thinks that's unfair because he has gone unchallenged for so long. He was used to Dina belittling and dismissing his ideas. But he still felt the freedom to do them because the rest of the employees appreciated his insights and views on the world. And now, he's seeing just how little they truly care. He is lashing out in an attempt to rationalize everything that is happening. Amy doesn't want to write him up for this behavior. She feels she has to though. Of course, that's the moment where Glenn presents as a reasonable and responsible adult again. He helps her navigate the forms that must be filed out and how complicated corporate's website can make it all feel. That presents as a true moment of bonding that may alleviate the tension moving forward. Sure, it makes Dina upset because she doesn't want to indulge in Glenn anymore as a person in this environment. She still will have to though. That proves that things won't be changing all that much in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, the subplot with Jonah being upset about how his co-workers don't take green initiatives all that seriously is fine. It lacks the depth apparent in the main plot though. It's mostly giving those characters something to do that feels relevant and topical.