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Superstore - Groundhog Day - Review

For an episode titled "Groundhog Day", this episode didn't have much to do with groundhogs, or the holiday in general. I'm okay with that.

The episode's only mention of the titular holiday occurred in the cold open, in which Amy (American Ferrera) almost kills a groundhog when she is caught off-guard after a guy asks her on a date. After the cold open, Amy's romantic ineptitude is brought to the forefront of the episode, as Mateo (Nico Santos) tries to set Amy up with one of his many cousins, and Amy finds out that most of her coworkers think she both needs to get back into the dating game, and yet isn't good date. (They think she's a little higher than a two on a scale of one to ten, which is kind of doesn't make sense. I mean, have you seen America Ferrera?)

Predictably, Amy tried to push back against her coworkers' idea of her. She asks a customer what he thinks of her, to predictably awkward results, and she fends off advances from Marcus (Jon Barinholtz), who, against my initial feelings for him, has been a consistent source of humor this season.

Amy frustrations culminate in her hooking up with Tate (Josh Lawson). She is initially embarrassed about the encounter and doesn't want to tell anyone about it. However, she later spills the beans to Cheyenne and Mateo in order to get them to stop looking down on her; Tate, by their metrics, is a ten, and Amy can't be a loser if she bagged a ten, right?

News later spreads around the store, leading to a stand-off in the middle of the store as Amy tries to set the story straight. The scene was great, easily the best part of the episode. I loved the interjections from all the side characters, who stood around to watch Amy deal with Tate and Marcus. I especially welcomed the fact that Jonah was there and looked a bit jealous. Though it's not one of my OTPs, I have to admit that the show felt a little bit weird when it went so long without acknowledging the Jonah/Amy relationship.

While it did provide some humor, I have to admit that I find the constant focus on "Amy's life is a mess" to be exhausting. Superstore is good at put-down comedy, but sometimes it gets boring. It especially gets boring when character is consistently the butt monkey, and for that character to be the lead is disheartening. Please, Superstore, you're good at this, now just learn to be good at giving characters some breathing room.

While Amy's plot was dripping with predictability, "Groundhog Day" went in a different direction with Dina (Lauren Ash). After getting an embryo implanted in her, Dina is forced to relax. While it is something she initially struggles with, Dina finally learns how to chill. It was really cool to see relaxed Dina.

It seemed like Dina and Garrett (Colton Dunn) switched places this episode. While Dina chilled, Garrett took her place as the store's assistant manager. Though he initially took her job so he could use her computer monitor room to play his video games, Garrett soon went into full boss mode, even yelling at Sandra (Kaliko Kauahi). It was an interesting development, and I really enjoyed seeing boss Garrett.

While Garrett was being the boss, Jonah (Ben Feldman) and Kelly (Kelly Stables) took over the store radio announcements. Jonah struggled to replicate Garrett's uncaring magic, so instead, he and Kelly turned the store PA into their own personal radio show. They even went so far as to interview Sandra and sing songs.
It was a fine idea for their characters. Not necessarily groundbreaking, not an awful idea. It showed me how alike they are and reminded me why they're a couple to begin with, but I couldn't help but miss the friendly antagonism of Jonah and Amy.

Overall the episode was several notches above okay, but nowhere near groundbreaking. Superstore's season is shaping up to be solid, and I'm going to miss watching it for the next few weeks.

What did you think of "Groundhog Day"? What would you rate Amy? How would you have approached the store announcer job? Share your answers in the comments below!

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