Superstore is a breath of fresh air for major network TV. Led by America Ferrera, the pretend-Walmart cast features well-developed Asian, Black, and Latinx characters. The show does a great job of incorporating plotlines that explore issues that disproportionately affect minority communities; such as immigration, maternity leave, labor unions, sexual harassment, and workplace racism, without feeling corny or overreaching. The writers of this show know how to make jokes about these issues but never at the expense of their characters. Amy, Cheyenne, Garrett and Mateo all feel like genuine, nuanced representations of working-class Americans, which is reflective of actual reality rather than the white worlds most often on our screens.
Seeing a character like Stephanie Beatriz’s Rosa Diaz develop over seven seasons as stoic, firm, while tangibly empathetic and kind is a joy I can barely begin to describe without risking tears in public. And she’s only one in a cast of several beautifully written characters on (now) NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The show follows a group of New York City detectives who unabashedly love each other and support each other (when they’re not competing for their annual Halloween victory-title) in each episode. Performances from Terry Crews and Andre Braugher deepen the representation of Black men on TV to allow for softness and non-toxic masculinity.