Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Michelle Buteau’s positivity shines through in Survival of the Thickest

After years of supporting work, comedian Michelle Buteau takes center stage in Survival of the Thickest from Netflix. Taking inspiration from Buteau s same titled essay series, the eight-episode sitcom centers on Mavis Beaumont (Buteau), a newly single Black plus-size stylist who put her dreams on hold to cater to her leach of a boyfriend. After catching her beau stepping, Mavis moves out, finds a new roommate, and begins to rebuild her life.

Helping her out on her journey are besties Khalil (Tone Bell) and Marely (Tasha Smith). The Big Apple isn’t for the weak, but Mavis is determined to survive and thrive with her chosen family’s support, a body-positive attitude, and a cute V-neck with some lip gloss. Following a successful stand-up special, a supporting role in Always Be My Maybe, and hosting one of their cooking reality, Michelle Buteau has built a successful business with streaming giant Netflix.

Instead of throwing her in a half-hearted comedic film, Netflix wisely gives Buteau a sitcom that plays on her strengths. One of the things I commend the show for is the refusal to fall into clichéd and tired tropes. No one in Mavis’s circle is a health nut constantly nagging her, nor are they any jokes that show rely on Mavis having a love for food.

Survival of the Thickest relies on Buteau’s natural glow and comedic timing to make the show work. There are moments when Mavis finds herself in a pickle, but her quick wit allows her to respond promptly. I also liked the supporting work of Bell and Smith, as both of their characters have solid supporting arcs.

Quickly paced and filled with heart, Survival of The Thickest is harmless fun.

Final Grade: B+

Survival of The Thickest is available to stream now on Netflix.



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