Small Screen Crush on Aisle 5

Every fall a cascade of new shows try and make their way into our hearts. Of course, some do but that doesn’t mean networks will keep them around for long. That was the case in 2014 when NBC aired ‘A to Z.’ Only getting to the letter “M,” this adorable (and quite frankly educational) show was out and gone was Ben Feldman’s pretty face every week. Thankfully, already NBC’s eyesight, he was able to land another lead role not too long after on ‘Superstore,’ and that’s where this small screen crush gained momentum because while Andrew Lofland was cute, Jonah Simms was cute and a failure at adulthood and that, that’s what appealed to me in the long run. 

If you’ve never watched ‘Superstore’ first off, what’s wrong with you? Secondly, it’s a workplace comedy much like ‘The Office’ (will-they-won’t-they, an overbearing Dwight, a less-than qualified boss…) but it’s set in a Walmart-like store instead of a paper company. With that, there are so many hilarious, random shots of customers that give it a leg up on other sitcoms in the same realm. Anyways, while the store antics can mirror reality at times, the heart of the show is the cast of characters and while I love each of them in their own way, Jonah was the one I loved because he was the most relatable and thus a crush ensued. 

We first met Jonah in the pilot. He was in their superstore, Cloud 9, looking for a job. He got it and throughout the series we learned he went to business school but failed to finish. His life before Cloud 9 often led him to act a little bougie, which in turn would result in coworkers shitting on him, mostly lovingly…mostly. His back and forth with his supervisor, and later boss, Amy was just adorable, pure, and admirable. Although the moment they tried to play fans like those two weren’t endgame almost broke the last piece of hope I had in me. 

Everything about the way Jonah was, was sweet to me and I never ended an episode thinking – ugh, that guy. I was going to write this about Jim Halpert but after some 34 rewatches…you sort of realize that Jim is hot, Jim is a romantic, but Jim was also kind of a dick at times. So alas, here we are with Jonah. But it wasn’t just that Jim was a dick. This was also based on one episode in particular, “Prize Wheel.” 

‘Superstore’ was one of the few shows to take on COVID and make it work for them. So in this episode that’s where we’re at with a prize wheel to incentivize customers. Jonah’s mind is preoccupied though because his dad got him a job interview with a fancy company that he believes is his ticket out of big-box retail. Not the case as the interviewer reveals the interview was just a favor for Jonah’s dad, and that Jonah’s dropout history and a handful of years working at Cloud 9 were not getting him further than that chit-chat. 

That. Crushed. Me. 

In that moment I felt for Jonah so fucking much because it hurts when you know you’re the right fit for something, but because your resume doesn’t have fancy this and that, or because you didn’t do the exact job they think you’re useless. 100% relatable. It’s like, yeah, I’ve written for the past decade but people fail to realize the amount of organization, communication, and punctuality that goes into maintaining one’s self in a freelance realm. For so long I admired Jonah as the cutest at Cloud 9, the sweetest boyfriend to Amy, the best friend to Garrett, the kind coworker to many but that episode revealed a new layer of his reality that somehow made him a million times more attractive to me. 

Sadly, Jonah is no longer visible on my TV every week BUT I can and do hear him on Disney+’s ‘Monsters at Work.’ Which I will shamelessly plus right here because, unlike Jonah, Ben Feldman’s Tylor Tuskmon finished school BUT realizes his degree is useless as monsters don’t scare anymore. They use laughter. So, yet again…Ben Feldman’s workplace comedy character fucking gets on my level. 

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