Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Lauren Ash on clocking out of Superstore for the last time

Lauren Ash in the Superstore series finale
Lauren Ash in Superstore
Photo: Tyler Golden/NBC

Here’s what’s happening in the world of television for Thursday, March 25. All times are Eastern. 

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Superstore (NBC, 8 p.m., back-to-back episodes, series finale): Tonight, the team at Superstore punches in for one last shift. We’re sad to say goodbye to the Cloud Niners (including America Ferrera’s Amy, who’s back for the big farewell), but we suspect they’ll be going out on a high note. Read on for Saloni Gajjar’s interview with the great Lauren Ash, and watch for her recap of tonight’s two-episode farewell to Cloud 9.

The A.V. Club: What will you miss the most about being in Dina’s shoes?

Lauren Ash: So much! My goal from the beginning for Dina was that I didn’t want her to be a sociopath but a three-dimensional character. In my consequent pushing for that, it allowed for a lot of cool stories and growth for her over six years. I was excited how she physically presented this season as well, because it had been five years of the same outfit, but her new manager’s look reflected her maturity. The other big topic of conversation I’ve been having on TikTok is how Dina is one of the best plus-size representations on TV. I’m excited because I love that she was never portrayed with the caveat that she is sexy for her size. She has confidence. I’m proud of that, and it’s more revolutionary than I would think. Normally when we see people of my size, we see them struggling to find confidence to be hot. But it also made me sad that I am one of few plus-size representations when I’m not technically plus-sized. I’m a 12-14. I don’t think “plus size” is a shameful term at all, I just feel that it’s important to label me properly as to not send incorrect messaging about my size. There’s work that needs to be done there.

AVC: How much did you get to help with where Dina’s story ends up and in shaping her personality?

LA: Quite a bit, to be honest. From the pilot, we improvised a lot, and it set the tone for the series. Throughout the six seasons, we would always get scripts and the writers are great, but there was always room for improv. There was an open-door policy to talk about my input, ideas, and opinions. I got to write the season three episode “Gender Reveal.” It’s been a creatively collaborative process.

AVC: How do you think fans will react to the series finale?

LA: We were under a lot of restraint, because the news that we weren’t continuing came when we were well into shooting the season. Our episode order got cut so there was not a lot of real estate. That being said, I really think the way the finale goes out is lovely. It’s for the fans. So many people are invested in these characters and want them to be okay. Our voyeuristic view into their lives is ending, but we want to believe they’ll continue and their story will go on. The finale achieves that in a way that is heartfelt but not forced or cheesy. I was sobbing while filming every scene. I don’t even know if what they got of me was usable. I couldn’t even get through the last scene between Dina and Glenn [Mark McKinney] at the table read. It’s a testament to how connected we felt to the characters and to each other on set.

AVC: Do you think Superstore joins the legacy of NBC’s workplace comedies?

LA: There’s always this talk about joining the legacy of shows like The Office, Parks And Rec, Brooklyn 99. Now that we’re coming to an end and are exploding on Netflix in places outside the U.S., we have solidified our place with these other shows, which is amazing and an honor. It’s human to want to compare things we know to lay on something we are familiar with. It gives comfort. To be in the same universe is a compliment because I haven’t even processed that the show is ending. I probably won’t until March 25! When you’re doing a pilot, you don’t know where it will end up, and then you’re being put up with the best of the best.


John Wayne Gacy: Devil In Disguise (Peacock, 3:01 a.m., complete limited series): Sound the true-crime klaxon, and keep an eye out for Katie Rife’s review of this nightmare fuel docuseries.

Regular coverage

From Film Club

Violation (Shudder, 3:01 a.m.): “Watching a movie like Violation, you get the discomfiting feeling that the filmmaker is simultaneously confessing their darkest secrets and condemning you for listening. It’s a very Lars von Trier emotion to impose on the audience, albeit coming this time from a misandrist place rather than a misogynistic one. And like a von Trier film, Violation is shot with a heightened, almost operatic sense of style that initially comes across as overwrought, although the film’s content does eventually rise to match its ostentatious form. Beware, all those sensitive to graphic violence and animal cruelty, though the end credits do insist that ‘no animals were harmed’ in the making of the film. Does that include human animals? This movie is savage enough to make you wonder.” Read the rest of Katie Rife’s review from the Toronto International Film Festival.

Wild cards

The Runaway Bunny (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m., premiere): Tracee Ellis Ross narrates this animated adaptation of Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd’s beloved picture book. It also features musical performances from Rosanne Cash, Kimya Dawson, Michael Kiwanuka, Ziggy Marley, Kelly Rowland, Rufus Wainwright, and Mariah Carey, who soundtracks this extremely adorable trailer.

Baroness Von Sketch Show (IFC, midnight, series finale): Farewell, ye Canadian comediennes! We’ll miss you heartily.

Baketopia (HBO Max, 3:01 a.m., series premiere): YouTuber 
Rosanna Pansino hosts this baking competition, which is very sparkly but also looks extremely stressful? Don’t drop your cake, y’all!

Miracle Fishing: Kidnapped Abroad (Discovery+, 3:01 a.m., premiere): Here’s a true-crime documentary of a different story. Its subject is the 1994 kidnapping of filmmaker Miles Hargrove’s father in Colombia, and its footage comes from a Video8 diary Hargrove kept at the time.