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In this case study, “Survival of the Thickest” emerges as a promising series hindered by its own ambitions. Comedian Michelle Buteau takes center stage as Mavis Beaumont, a fashion stylist on a mission to empower women of all sizes.

"Survival of the Thickest": A Crowded Comic Journey that Begs for More Breathing Room

With great platonic chemistry among the cast, the show captures the essence of an upbeat sitcom set in vibrant Black New York. However, its eight-episode run leaves little time to fully explore the rich tapestry of subplots and character arcs, resulting in rushed developments and missed comedic opportunities.

"Survival of the Thickest": A Crowded Comic Journey that Begs for More Breathing Room

Co-created by Buteau and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, the series encapsulates Mavis’ personal and professional journey while delving into themes of love, friendship, and self-discovery. Guest appearances by Garcelle Beauvais, Peppermint, and Nicole Byer add delightful moments of banter and outrageous humor. Yet, the serialized nature of the show struggles to strike the perfect balance, squeezing in major shifts and character pairings within a limited runtime.

While “Survival of the Thickest” showcases the potential for a hangout sitcom in a contemporary Black New York setting, its brevity prevents it from fully capitalizing on the charismatic cast and immersive storytelling.

In an era where streaming giants favor shorter formats, the show’s ambition could have been better served with a slower burn, allowing for more time to savor the comedic brilliance of its ensemble.

"Survival of the Thickest": A Crowded Comic Journey that Begs for More Breathing Room

Stream all eight episodes of “Survival of the Thickest” now on Netflix, but be prepared for a fast-paced journey that leaves you yearning for more laughs and leisurely moments of camaraderie.

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