Last week on Superstore, assistant manager Dina tried to get the employees to like her. But it wasn’t an easy road for the abrasive boss, who often shouts and hurls insults in order to get her point across. In a new article for Entertainment Weekly, Lauren Ash, the comedian and actor behind Dina, revealed the episode required her to study up on one of the canine training world’s most well-known experts, Cesar Millan.
As Ash wrote, she was new to the Dog Whisperer star but quickly became hooked, devoting more of her television viewing time to him than to other notable series of recent day.
“[S]ince Dina had to impersonate Cesar Millan’s training noises, I watched an episode of the show and immediately became hooked. To date, I’ve spent over $60 buying seasons of his shows on Amazon. I’ve never seen an episode of ‘The Wire’ or ‘Breaking Bad,’ but I’ve viewed over six seasons of ‘Dog Whisperer.'”
Another tidbit offered by Ash? She ruined an improvised bit by Michael Bunin, who plays the district manager Jeff, by laughing too hard. Bunin’s character, who came in to get the store back up and running after the employee walkout, apparently experienced a flood that only affected his hotel room – according to Bunin’s improvised dialogue that ended up on the cutting room floor.
Ash also gave shout-outs to her fellow castmates Jon Barinholtz, who plays Marcus, Dina’s rebound love – or Hoosier-watching partner – after Jonah’s rejection last season. Marcus lost a thumb in last week’s episode, and Ash wouldn’t reveal whether the Cloud 9 guacamole was enough to keep it alive. Kaliko Kauahi, who plays Sandra, the trained midwife and woman who is often too shy to stand up for herself, also got a mention from Ash.
“This woman endures take after take of me yelling horrifically mean things at her. She is as lovely as she is hilarious, and I am so glad she’s back this season for more of Dina’s abuse.”
As Ash was telling Entertainment Weekly about the funny Superstore cast, her co-star Ben Feldman, who plays Jonah, was telling E! Online he is the Debbie Downer of the group. Unlike his colleagues, he was reluctant to get too excited about Superstore‘s prospects after the initial pilot created some buzz last year.
“It’s a very optimistic cast. In fact, I’m probably the biggest pessimist in our entire cast.
“And then we got picked up and it was like, ‘Guys, wait till the numbers come in.’ I’m always that guy.
“Inevitably, now looking back, I in retrospect look like the jerk of the cast and everybody else got it and I didn’t.”
While Ash has a background in improv comedy, Feldman has appeared on shows such as Mad Men.
In Superstore‘s second season, Jonah and America Ferrera’s Amy have continued to try to advance the cause of the employees at the mega box store. After the season premiere, Ferrera said the producers have left the relationship between Jonah and Amy deliberately open, and even they don’t know what’s going to happen. While Jonah is the business school flunkie who landed at Cloud 9 after driving aimlessly, Amy is the long-tenured employee with a family to support. The characters have aligned interests, but different tactics and points of view. That was on display during the season opener when Amy and Jonah could not even agree as to whether the employees were on strike the first day.
According to Zap2It, last Thursday night’s Superstore episode had 4.39 million viewers overall, tying an episode of The Big Bang Theory in the 18-49 demographic. Grey’s Anatomy won the timeslot.
Superstore airs Thursday nights on NBC.
[Featured image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]