For the first time ever, NBC’s Superstore held a panel at San Diego Comic Con. The audience was buzzing with excitement cosplaying their best Cloud 9 uniforms. Moderated by Variety’s Senior Editor Michael Schneider, the panel included creator & executive producer Justin Spitzer, additional executive producers Jonathan Green and Gabe Miller, America Ferrera (Amy), Ben Feldman (Jonah), Mark McKinney (Glenn), Lauren Ash (Dina), Nico Santos (Mateo), Colton Dunn (Garrett), Nichole Bloom (Cheyenne), and Kaliko Kauahi (Sandra).
As you may recall, last season dealt with so many social issues from America’s character, Amy, coming back to work after giving birth to that shocking season finale where SPOILER ALERT Mateo was detained by ICE. Nico commented saying the finale was extremely personal to him. Having moved to the United States from the Philippines at 16, the storyline was very “personal, touching, and triggering.” But what does that mean for Mateo? “Well, I’m here… So that’s a good sign!” he jokes.
“We’ll be exploring what it’s like going through the deportation process,” Miller adds. “It can drag out to 3 – 4 seasons,” says America which then was followed by a roar from the crowd hoping that the show does continue on for much longer. Funny enough, Spitzer never intentionally wanted to teach a lesson by taking on so many real-life issues. “It just comes from a place of what’s real,” he comments.
Superstore is one of the most diverse cast on television today and the entire panel knows that. “I can’t take all that credit for it. It was just the best actor for the part,” says Spitzer. Because of this, we’re able to explore so many different but relatable characters in every episode. “The diversity of our cast allows us to throw any situation their way. It isn’t in spite of diversity, it’s because of the diversity we’re allowed to do what we do,” America chimes in.
This topic pops up again during the audience Q&A portion. One attendee notes Kaliko’s (who just got promoted to series regular this year) Hawaiian representation is a fresh of breath air considering the lack of representation in year’s past. Kaliko goes on to say when she first read the job description for Sandra, it literally said “sad sack, plain jane.” “I happened to be Hawaiian and [the crew] incorporated it,” says Kaliko proving to everyone she made that character who it is today.
Next season we’ll find our favorite characters dealing with the aftermath of Mateo’s storyline which Kaliko feels Sandra will be part of the team to get Mateo back. Cheyenne, on the other hand, will have a more uplifting moment where she’ll be celebrating the big 2-1 this season! Garrett will be seen wearing the same shoe every episode since Dina set his collection on fire last season (RIP). As for Dina? Ash just wants a spicy storyline for her character!
The panel ended with a quick Q&A with the audience where we learned that we’ll be seeing a lot more of Marcus (Jon Barinholtz) this season and we’ll learn more about his homelessness situation. We also learned that the superstore was very close to being called “Cloud 8, one step shy of heaven” but that was obviously not picked. Hilariously enough, the show itself was 100% supposed to be called The Greatest Love Story Ever Told and well, we all know how that turned out.