Nico Santos (‘Superstore’): ‘It’s been hard to say goodbye, it’s been my family for six years’ [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“I still can’t bring myself to re-watch the finale,” reveals Nico Santos about the emotional and uplifting final episode of NBC’s sixth and final season of “Superstore.” “We had all watched it as a cast, and obviously tears were flowing. I haven’t been able to re-visit it because it’s been hard to say goodbye, it’s been my family for six years,” he shares. Watch our exclusive video interview with Santos above.

SEE an overview of the comedy field this year

“Superstore” is a quintessential workplace comedy, which recently concluded its six season run on March 25. Created by Justin Spitzer, the series is set at the fictitious Cloud 9 big-box retail store in St. Louis, Missouri and stars Santos,  Ben Feldman (who also serves as a producer), Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Nichole Sakura, Mark McKinney and Kaliko Kauahi, with former star and co-executive producer America Ferrera departing the show after the sixth season premiere and returning as a guest for a final goodbye on its season finale.

Despite premiering under the radar in 2015, “Superstore” grew in popularity and acclaim over the years, with its swansong season garnering an impressive 92% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which notes the critical consensus for the season as “funny and poignant as ever, ‘Superstore’ closes up shop with a superb sixth season that solidifies its place as one of TVs greatest workplace comedies.”

Santos plays Cloud 9 employee Mateo, who after being revealed as an undocumented immigrant a couple of seasons ago, is arrested by ICE at the end of season four. He is later hired as assistant to the manager, the only job he can be hired for without corporate becoming involved. This season, with the store’s future in jeopardy as it is earmarked to be transformed into an online shopping fulfillment facility, his job security once again comes into question.

SEE Emmy predictions slugfest: Comedy Series lineup could be completely different than last year [WATCH]

Production for the season began in September 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and was one of the first series to be set during the pandemic, which gave the show additional material to mine. As a test for the studio and network, it was decided that the show would be set during the pandemic, and shortly thereafter the network decided that this season would be its last.

“There wasn’t really a question of whether or not we were going to do it,” Santos explains about the show putting the pandemic front and center on the show. “It was like, we are going to tackle the pandemic. Our show has never shied away from other topics or things that have been going on in the country or the world. We are playing essential workers and we had been playing these characters for five seasons and in the last season they had all of a sudden been transformed and been heralded as heroes, which they rightfully are. So for us, it wasn’t if we were going to handle the pandemic, but how we were going to handle the pandemic.”

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