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Superstore - Lady Boss - Review: The Octagon is Always a Safe Space



Welcome back everyone! After a long winter hiatus the Cloud Niners are back, still smarting over the union failure (sorry Jonah, the union isn't just "napping," it's dead) while also being worried about their new corporate overlords and what the sale of Cloud 9 to tech company Zephra might mean for their jobs.

The episode starts out with Amy trying to tamp down the rumors circulating about the new owners, things like buyouts and closings and moving the store to China. She's not very successful, mostly because the only thing being communicated by Zephra is that the future will be "exciting." As someone who works at a 9 to 5 job, the last thing I want is for my company to be exciting. Give me boring monotony any day if that means my check clears every two weeks.

Amy is also dealing with a boyfriend who is trying to compensate for the union not happening with other do-gooder projects. Jonah wants to plant trees and kidnap dogs to feel like he's contributing to the betterment of the world, and Amy is sick of him. I have to give Amy credit here: she lives and works with Jonah, who for 22 minutes out of every week can seem really annoying at times. She must really love that guy a lot to put up with him as much as she does.

Jonah sees another potential project when a bunch of pro-women shirts are delivered and put up for display, with slogans like "feminism" and "lady boss." Jonah is all in for empowering women and enhances the display by giving the mannequins aspirational jobs and backgrounds like scientists and woman with a computer. Dina cools his excitement by remarking that this is just t-shirt activism that exploits a fad all while ignoring the pink-tax where clothes, toiletries and other items marketed for women are more expensive than the versions for men. Way to kill the mood there, Dina.

Disillusioned, Jonah packs up all his hard work, not wanting to be a corporate shill, but Marcus comes by to give him some props. The men of the store have been talking and they're all glad that Jonah is standing up against the menace that is feminism by getting rid of the pro-woman display. For Pete's sake, the #1 and #2 people at the store are women, and Zephra has a She-E-O! What's the world coming to if men aren't in charge of everything everywhere anymore? The men are fed up and de facto strike.

What happens next are some gags about women's rights, feminism, the marginalization of men and economic insecurity. I know that the show wants to make a statement about equality or fairness or something, but the message is muddled and not up to its usual standard of subtle but insightful social commentary. The resolution is a cop out, with Amy making Glenn the floor manager and tricking the men into thinking that she's putting one of them in charge when she'd wanted Glenn in the position the entire episode. Was it really necessary for Amy to appease a group led by a man sitting in his underwear in public? Yelling and firing a couple of them would have gotten across a much clearer, meaner message: Stop whining and do your jobs.



In other store happenings Sandra has mailed out her wedding invites and Carol wonders why she hasn't received hers yet. It's because she isn't invited, a very sound decision on Sandra's part, but Sandra can't quite muster the courage to tell Carol this. So she asks best man Garrett to break the news to Carol, which he does, but then Carol quickly dismisses him. So Garrett gets Dina, as maid of honor, to disinvite Carol, which she does, but then Carol quickly dismisses her.

Carol uses her mind-tricks to get Sandra to make her the co-maid of honor and everyone involved knows this is a very, very bad idea. When Carol creepily says that she'd rather die than miss the wedding the other characters and us the viewers know that she has sinister intentions. At this point, I'm a little worried about how the show will resolved this storyline. They've built up Carol's seemingly change of personality as a front for her evil plans so much that they've got to end with something big for it all to pay off. Fingers crossed that the show can pull this off.

Odds and ends:

Favorite quote: "What do men have to complain about? Their beauty standards are way lower, their clothes designed for comfort and they never had to watch "Sex in the City." - And that's why Dina uses dog shampoo.

Favorite blink and you'll miss it moment: Glen the Robot is back, part of the man posse!


Another reason Carol is a monster: She prefers Whitney Houston as an actress rather than a singer. Blasphemy!


Any fantasy casting for who should play the She-E-O of Zephra? Comments and thoughts go below!



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