SUPERSTORE Post-Mortem: Justin Spitzer on the Premiere Reveal - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SUPERSTORE Post-Mortem: Justin Spitzer on the Premiere Reveal

October 4, 2018 by  

Superstore premiere

SUPERSTORE — “Back to School” Episode 401 — Pictured: (l-r) America Ferrera as Amy, Ben Feldman as Jonah — (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

[This post contains spoilers for the season 4 premiere of SUPERSTORE.]

Surprise! Though SUPERSTORE’s Amy (America Ferrera) acknowledged early in the premiere a pregnancy was not the best time to start a relationship, the final scene of the episode revealed the truth: she and Jonah are officially together.

The duo didn’t tip their hands as their colleagues pressed them for details about their relationship and their accidental sex tape. Instead, viewers only learned the truth when Jonah approached Amy after they finished their first shift back, he asked her his own question: “Mexican or Italian?”

Amy told Jonah she wanted Mexican—“We had Italian last night”—and he sweetly kissed her…though she was initially concerned that someone could see them.

So what comes next for the new couple? SUPERSTORE creator Justin Spitzer teases why the time was right for the duo now, how secret the relationship will be, and more…

At the end of last season, it seemed like it was still up in the air about whether Amy and Jonah would become a couple after their hookup. What made the timing right now?
I think we knew we were going to get them together in season 4. And we started to ask ourselves, yes, she’s pregnant, but that clearly didn’t stop them from having sex in the finale. So, what happened the next day and the next week? Yes, they were suspended. Why wouldn’t they continue to be together? Yes, she is pregnant with someone else’s baby, but that’s wasn’t an obstacle to stop them from hooking up for that one night.

And we decided it was false now if we don’t get them together; it’s all an artificial stall. So let’s just get them together and see how that plays out.

They’re very clearly comfortable with each other, but how committed are they? Are they exclusive, are they open with their friends and family outside of work, have they said “I love you?” etc.?
They’ve definitely never said “I love you”—we’ve never seen it. [Joking.] I’m going to see if we can finish the show without having anyone ever say “I love you.” [Seriously.] When we come into the season, they’re still figuring it out—what are we? I don’t think it’s spoiling anything to say that discussion starts happening when she’s giving birth. It brings up a lot of questions of, “What is the role of the guy you’re kind of, maybe, seeing? Is the guy you’re casually dating going to be there when you’re giving birth to someone else’s child?” And like any relationship, it’s baby steps forward.

Literally and figuratively in this case! Amy is notoriously private about her personal life—and she even brought her name tag trick over to her temporary diner gig. What steps are they taking to keep this out of work?
Fairly early on, there’s an episode where they start to wonder are people starting to suspect they’re together; are they being too nice to each other? They’re caught driving into work in the morning and they have to say they’re just carpooling. That episode is at least partially increasingly the lengths they go to in order to throw people off the scent, like arguing more.

It’s kind of funny, because it’s not that much of a challenge to keep this a secret. Don’t tell people you work with, and it’s a secret unless people are stupidly in your private life. I think it’s a secret, and for them, it makes things kind of more fun and exciting. But I wouldn’t say it as we’re keeping it from a huge sneaky thing, where if [their coworkers] find out, they’re going to be fired or separated.

Are Jonah and Garrett living together?
No! We talked a lot about that early on. I don’t know if we address it head on, but in our minds, Jonah found his own place.

That would certainly help them keep it a secret, at least. Given how much you and the writers built up the Jonah and Amy friendship over the seasons, what differences, if any, did you find when it came time to write them as a couple?
We realized early on the way to write them was exactly like we’ve always written them. You just don’t want to see them being super sweet with each other. And they’ve never hated each other, but they have a bickering back and forth. He drives her a little crazy, and they each call each other out on their shit. And just like two people who do get together, the fundamental way they interact stays the same. And yes, maybe they’re going home and having sex, but that part is staying out of the workplace. I don’t want to see them making out in the break room when people aren’t around. They aren’t teenagers.

And certainly given the live-stream, they’d be cautious about PDA no matter what.
Good point. If anything, they make more of an effort to keep their distance.

What was the discussion like in the writers’ room about how to best handle the gender discussion/reaction post-sex tape?
None of the Kavanaugh stuff was happening when we were breaking it. Not that society is in such a different place now than it was then, but at least those specifics weren’t in our minds at all.

We talked about the way people would treat Jonah vs. the way they would treat Amy. We didn’t want it to play out like some after-school special where the guy is bragging as he gets patted on the back while the woman gets slut-shamed by the mean-girls. We asked ourselves what the reality of it was. We figured that a few of the guys (like Marcus and Isaac) might be congratulating Jonah, but that he would hate that, not relish it. For Amy, we thought that rather than people outright trying to make her feel bad, they would just be overly-cautious not to mention it at all. And that it would be almost worse that people don’t want to talk about it in front of her because it means they think she would be ashamed of what she did. In its own way, it feels like a more subtle version of slut-shaming. And so if the traditional story trope is that the guy wants to brag about having had sex and the girl doesn’t want to talk about it, we’d have it basically reversed: Jonah hates that people are talking about the sex in front of him, and Amy hates that people AREN’T talking about it in front of her.

SUPERSTORE, Thursdays, 8/7c, NBC


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