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Ben Feldman: People 'see themselves' in 'Superstore' staff

By Karen Butler
Ben Feldman: People 'see themselves' in 'Superstore' staff
Season 4 of "Superstore," starring America Ferrera and Ben Feldman (R), is to premiere Thursday. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 4 (UPI) -- In an era when former Cosby Show actor Geoffrey Owens made headlines for his humble job of bagging groceries at a Trader Joe's in New Jersey, Superstore is one of the few television series that focuses on the lives of working-class folk.

"The same people who were dissing him for his job, were the same people who loved that Roseanne was back and was showing the American worker," Ben Feldman, who plays Jonah on Superstore, told UPI in a recent interview. "So, there is a level of hypocrisy that is ridiculous in that case."

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The 38-year-old actor said he and the rest of his Superstore collaborators are frequently asked how they manage to authentically create characters so different from themselves.

"We're not approaching it as a different species of human," he said. "We are all the same. Some people wear vests and live in Missouri and some people wear tuxes and live in Hollywood. But we all talk about what's going on in the news. We have relationships. We make mistakes. We're all human and we're just reflecting that. I think it's comforting for people to see themselves."

Season 4 of Superstore, which debuts Thursday on NBC, picks up several months after Jonah and America Ferrera's character Amy unwittingly live-streamed their tryst in the Cloud 9 photo lab, earning themselves a summer suspension.

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The new season starts as the employees at the big box store brace for its chaotic back-to-school sales.

"It's also back to work for Amy and Jonah. There's a lot of weirdness and a lot of non-weirdness and then, suddenly, there is kind of a twist surprise thing that I can't speak of, that directly deals with that," Feldman said.

The Season 3 finale centered on a staff meeting broadcast to all of the chain's stores around the world. After the disastrous question-and-answer session between their co-workers and the company's CEO, Jonah and Amy surrender to their years-long attraction, even though Amy is pregnant with her ex-husband's child.

"The dynamic is significantly changed," Feldman said teased about of the sexual encounter between Jonah and Amy. "Dynamic change is always my favorite thing. As soon as I feel like I'm doing all of the same stuff over and over again, I'm bored and sad. And so is America -- the country and the actress."

The Mad Men and Silicon Valley alum remained mum about details pertaining to how serious his Superstore romance is or how long it will last, but an advance viewing of the Season 4 opener suggests fans, if not Jonah and Amy's co-workers, will know the relationship status of "Jamy" fairly soon.

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For now, Cloud 9 family members played by Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Mark McKinney, Nichole Bloom and Nic Santos will have to be content with endlessly teasing and offering advice that is neither helpful nor welcome to Jonah and Amy.

As for Owens: He is in the midst of a dynamic change himself. After his story went viral, he was hired for a guest spot on NCIS: New Orleans and landed a recurring role on Tyler Perry's series The Haves and the Have Nots. He no longer works at Trader Joe's.

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