With all the addictive, binge-worthy television out these days, those long gaps between seasons can be unbearably excruciating. But luckily, traditional networks have picked up on this newfangled invention called the internet and its bite-sized audiovisual offspring, the digital short, to keep the content flowing even over those six, eight, or even ten month breaks that leave die-hard fans jonesin’ for a hit.
For a perfect example of the potential behind this transmedia synergy, TV heads need look no further than NBC’s Superstore, which just last month threw fans a handful of audiovisual bones to tide them over during an extended holiday break. The series of eight two-minute “Superstore Training Videos” are built around a group effort to update Cloud 9’s hopelessly dated training videos, with each of the show’s beloved characters making their own unique contribution to the overhaul.
Of course, even with the talented, multicolored cast making up the staff at Superstore’s fictional big box franchise, most of us watch for our much-needed weekly dose of America’s sweetheart, America Ferrera. Though in her capsule “Amy’s Etiquette Advice”, Ferrera’s Amy is anything but sweet, and she uses her audiovisual platform to clown Jonah’s footwear fashion choices and predilection for artisanal pasta, accompanied by the passionate exhortation: “Don’t be annoying.”
A few videos on, our Filiprimo Mateo, played by Nico Santos, gets his own moment in the spotlight and uses it to give a sort of twisted diversity training involving crossdressing, blatant ethnic stereotypes, and an unlikely love story between a red-blooded Texan and an aging Chinese woman donning a purple wig. How could we expect anything else?
The rest of the team’s videos cover topics ranging from workplace efficiency to the cash register, with a very special VR zombie apocalypse to close out the short video series. So take 16 minutes and catch up on your underpaid corporate compliance hustle with the whole Superstore family. Watch all eight digital shorts here.