When fans of Superstore tune in to the season 5 premiere on NBC, they’re surely in for a big surprise. The show has always been at the forefront of combining humor with a realistic examination of what’s happening in our country, and in the season four finale, Superstore took aim at the struggle of immigrants in this country as the gang’s beloved friend Mateo was captured and taken in by ICE right in the store. While chatting with America Ferrera, star and producer of the show, at NBC’s ‘Comedy Starts Here’ party on Sept 16th, she shared just how the new season kicks off and how the gut-punch of Mateo’s extraction is still being felt.
“We’re definitely going to come back and jump right into Mateo’s storyline,” America told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. ” Where he’s at and what his fate is going to be; That’s going to continue through the season.” Lauren Ash, who plays the hard-not-to-love manager Dina, expanded on that. “Season five picks up episode one, literally hours after season four ended. We’re getting right back into Mateo and ICE, that whole thing is addressed.”
“This is something that’s so huge in this country right now and of course all over the world, but specifically here,” Lauren added about the show’s take on immigration struggles in the USA. “I think that we’ve already established that this group lives in the same reality that everyone else living in this country is, currently. So, I feel like it would be disingenuous for us not to address the issues that are going on in the country. And, with a storyline like this, not everybody is personally touched by that kind of immigration idea and what’s happening to people. But, if somebody is able to watch our show and see a character that they’ve fallen in love with over four seasons go through that, maybe that will kind of make someone look at this in a different light… I think that it’s something that needs to be addressed. It’s something that obviously is ongoing, we can’t get complacent about and we can’t forget about, and so, again, if Superstore is opening someone’s eyes to that, I think that’s a really cool thing.”
While the team collectively deals with the fall out of Mateo’s capture, the characters of Dina and Amy have even more obstacles to contend with. “The store unionizing storyline will continue and be a really challenging thing for Amy,” America added, “as she is the manager. She’s also figuring out what she ultimately wants for her life. Last season, so much changed for her and the possibilities for what could happen for her, and her life changed. So, it’s changed her perspective a little, and it will present challenges while she tries to do what’s best for herself and her family, while also stay loyal to her coworkers and the people that she really cares about.” Could that be a hint about the future of Jonah and Amy?
As for Dina, Lauren admits she has some past trauma still to contend with. “There’s obviously still Dina’s birds,” Lauren explained, touching on last season’s huge twist where audiences finally got to meet the manager’s beloved pets, only to watch them literally fly away from her after co-worker Garrett accidentally let them free. “That loss is still very close to the surface for her,” Lauren added. “So, we’re going to address — oh gosh, we’re going to address that!”
Superstore premieres Thursday, September 26 at 8/7c on NBC.