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Superstore - Christmas Eve - Review: "Crazy Amy"


Is it ironic to say that this episode review is super late because I, myself, got a seasonal retail job, had to work on Christmas Eve, and really did not want to even think about a retail comedy while I was slaving away at my own retail job? Is it funny that I'm posting a review for an episode titled "Christmas Eve" on Christmas Eve my time? No on both? You wanna get onward with the episode? Okay. Let's go.

The Cold Open: Dina (Lauren Ash) chastises Glenn (Mark McKinney) for setting up a nativity scene in the store. Glenn says that it's not a nativity scene, despite there being a very obvious Baby Jesus and Wise Men. Toying with Glenn, Dina drop-kicks several of the figurines, which causes Glenn an enormous amount of pain, and Dina wasn't even touching him!

Though the cold open didn't really connect with the rest of the episode, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a great callback to Glenn's hyper-religious nature (it can be so easy to forget that he has a personality when the most notable thing about him is his voice). Ash and McKinney work together very well, and I've always enjoyed seeing the dynamic between Dina and Glenn. Superstore has a very good idea of what its strengths are, and I'm glad to see it use them well.

A Christmas "Craymie":

As the employees look forward into the new year, Amy (America Ferrera) says that she's looking forward to turning over a new leaf and unleashing "Crazy Amy", or "Craymie", as she calls it. Terrible portmanteau aside, the episode's A-plot was a great source of character development and humor.

As expected, none of Amy's employees believe her. She argues that she can be "crazy", and that she was "crazy" during high school. She even tells them that she stole a car in the tenth grade. No one believes her, so she calls her husband, Adam (Ryan Gaul), to get him to vouch for her "craziness". However, when her husband picks up the phone, Amy is shocked to realize that there is a woman with him, and they seem to be dating.

Amy, drunk on hot chocolate (that she spiked) at this point, with some bad advice from Dina and Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom), decides to go to see Adam and his new girlfriend. However, they're all too drunk to drive, and it's too cold to walk, so the three women arrive at Adam's girlfriend's house on mall scooters. Once there, Amy realizes that it's a bad idea. However, she can't leave, because the mall scooters are out of battery, and she's already been seen. Thus, she proceeds to have the most awkward get-together ever. Amy, her coworkers, her ex-husband, and her ex-husband's new girlfriend are all sitting around a table, talking while the scooters charge up. Adam ends up explaining that Amy did steal a car, so it's a pyrrhic victory?

Eventually, the mall scooters recharge, and Amy, Cheyenne, and Dina ride back to the store, but not before wrecking some lawn ornaments first. Because Amy is "Craymie" now, and "Craymie" does what she wants. When she gets back to the store, Amy is able to prove once and for all that she can be crazy.

I liked seeing Amy go out of her comfort zone in the episode. It was really fun and surprising. I also liked how the narrative never explicitly called Amy "jealous" for wanting to check up on her husband and her husband's new girlfriend. Too often, shows do this storyline and create "jealously" between a couple that are obviously better apart to create some cheap drama. By not calling Amy "jealous", Superstore showed us that it expected its viewers to be smart enough to discern Amy's feelings on our own. I personally interpreted it as Amy being mad that Adam is able to move on with his life, while she is still stuck standing still. The story opened up some very interesting doors for Amy's character, and I'm interested to see where it goes.

It's the Most Passive-Aggressive Time of the Year: In Christmas Eve, the roommate antagonism between Garrett (Colton Dunn) and Jonah (Ben Feldman) comes to a head, as they engage in a war of passive-aggressiveness that I absolutely loved. While there wasn't much depth to the storyline, their increasing efforts to "win" the fight was funny. I especially loved seeing them ruining a child's Christmas after Garrett and Jonah were forced to dress up as the store Santa and Elf, respectively.
 Kelly: “You look a little bit like a disgruntled Keebler Elf trying to shoot up a tree house.”
On a less positive note, I wasn't a fan of how the plot was ultimately used as a vehicle to get Kelly (Kelly Stables) and Jonah together. Sure, I understand the need to a slow burn between Jonah and Amy, and a good way to achieve that slowburn is to create a midgame couple, but come on. Couldn't you at least make Kelly a little more interesting? She has so much potential! She even had a really good line this episode, but I'm really afraid that she's just going to become Jonah's Love InterestTM! Superstore writers, I trust you, but I trust my spidey senses more.

The Spirit of Christmastime:
In what is arguably the most predictable plot of the episode, Mateo (Nico Santos) expresses that he is "fine" with Christmas, and Glenn is determined to get Mateo to see Christmas the way he sees it. Everything he does, from serving hot cocoa to introducing Mateo to some random happy-looking customers fails. Glenn only succeeds when he manages to get store lights that previously seemed impossible lit. It's a Christmas miracle, and Mateo is turned into a believer.

I could tell, beat-by-beat, what was going to happen the moment Mateo said that he didn't like Christmas. While I would have preferred to be surprised, Superstore did fine. This plot even gave us the most socially relevant line of the episode:
Mateo: “Christmas is kind of disappointing and overhyped; it’s kind of like Star Wars.”
How great is this timing, with the new Star Wars movie coming out? Did the Superstore writers know about the reaction to the movie in advance, or what? (Just kidding! Maybe. Maybe not.)

Final Thoughts:
  • Why is everyone in the store letting Cheyenne drink? She's still a minor!
  • After surviving a Christmas Eve retail job of my own, I had to do a lot of disbelief spending this episode? Are we supposed to believe that the store is so empty that employees are just going to get drunk at work with little consequence? It's Christmas Eve! Where are the rabid people who forgot to get their mothers Christmas presents? Who are the millennials hanging out in the store because they just don't want to see their parents right now? So many questions!
  • Jerry, the boyfriend of Sandra (Kaliko Kauahi) is out of his coma! Yay! I have to say, I was a little more invested that I probably should have been about his well-being, so I'm very happy. The sight of her riding out of the store on the mall cart, on her way to the hospital to see him, was great!
  • I can't end this review without mentioning this gem from Dina:
“I think I’ve come up with my New Year’s resolutions. More sex, more birds, more Judo. And I think I’m gonna pepper ‘yas queen’ into conversation more — I think it’s time.
What did you think of this week's episode of Superstore? Are you a big fan of "Craymie"? Are you Team Garrett or Team Jonah in this roommate debate? What was your favorite line of the night? Share your answers in the comments below!


 
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