SUPERIOR DONUTS Review: “Wage Against the Machine”


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All things considered, this was a solid episode of . This show is never going to be great, or even good, but it’s capable of being entertaining. This week, Franco takes on a second as Fawz’s assistant, to make more money after he breaks his laptop. Arthur gets jealous of his protégé growing closer to a new mentor, while Randy and James compete to see who can write the most tickets.

This wouldn’t be Superior Donuts without some tired jokes. We get a reference to Precious that would have felt dated in 2009 as well as a joke about how everyone who attends Comic-Con is a virgin. I could have let that one slide if Randy hadn’t looked so proud of herself for telling it—Comic-Con is a mainstream event and has been for years now. The one thing I can say about the jokes on this show is that they’re easy to digest. This show requires absolutely no thinking from its audience.


There’s also the issue that we’re eleven episodes in and the haven’t figured out what to do with Maya. Maya sits in the background of almost every scene, occasionally popping in with some stereotypical millennial remark, but if she suddenly stopped being a part of this show, I honestly think it would take me a couple of episodes to notice. Her character adds nothing to the show. Tush’s character has no real purpose either except to share some outlandish about his latest “gig”, but he’s loud enough that I’d notice if he disappeared. Maya is forgettable.

But back to the episode at hand. Franco breaks his laptop because he’s walking with it while Skyping with his girl and gets distracted when she takes off her shirt. He can’t afford to buy a new one on his minimum wage salary—he currently has $9 in his bank account and rejects Arthur’s budget he draws up for him, even though Arthur tries really hard to sell the joys of frying up two pounds of ground beef on the weekends and eating that all week. So he takes Fawz up on his offer to be his part-time assistant at the dry cleaners.


Fawz has made it clear that he revels in being a “ruthless capitalist”, but he teaches Franco how to negotiate and pays him a higher salary than he gets at the donut shop. He says it’s because he came from nothing, so he makes sure to treat those who work for him now. It’s a sweet sentiment, but it goes against everything we know about Fawz’s character. Fawz and Franco bond, making Arthur jealous. Arthur brainstorms ways to save money around the donut shop so that he can pay Franco more.

Fawz asks Franco to accompany him to a meeting of a potential corporate client, promoting him to Vice President of Operations right before it begins. Franco’s bubble is burst when he realizes why Fawz promoted him—the people they’re meeting with are all black and Fawz hoped that Franco could serve as proof that he understands them. Franco returns to the donut shop, where Arthur thinks of a way to finally give him a raise.


All episode, Randy and James have been issuing tickets to win a contest, including multiple ones for Fawz’s parking. Arthur has a parking spot in the alley behind the shop. He was saving it for when he buys a motorcycle one day, but decides to rent it out to Fawz and give that money to Franco. All the subplots come together in a way that this show doesn’t normally attempt to do, which was a nice change of pace.


Season 1, Episode 11 (S01E11)
Superior Donuts airs Monday at 9PM on CBS

Read all of our reviews of Superior Donuts here. 
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Jennifer lives for two things: spreading the “Superstore” gospel and themed “Law & Order: SVU” marathons on USA.
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