NBC broke some serious ground on the premiere of season 2 of the sitcom, “Superstore.” Mateo, a gay character from the Philippines, discovers that he is an undocumented immigrant. The episode titled “Olympics,” had 10.9 million viewers, and depicted a series of storylines that were related to the Olympic games. The episode begins when Glenn, a manager of a big box store, gives Mateo a hard time about his Philippines lapel pin, suggesting that he should be loyal to the United States during the Olympic games.
Produced by America Ferrera, who is no stranger to using undocumented story lines, “Superstore” features the first Asian undocumented network TV character in a sitcom. His discovery is one that parallels the story of Jose Antonio Vargas, who did not know about his immigration status until a DMV clerk suggested that his papers were not legitimate.
In humorous form, his manager Glenn accepts him as “American” without really acknowledging what Mateo is telling him about his immigration status. This possibly sets up future episodes for Mateo to not only deal with this reality, but also explain and communicate to Glenn the complexities of our broken immigration system.