Survival of the Thickest review: A simple, inspiring, and light watch

In Survival of the Thickest, the life of Mavis, a plus-sized Black woman, starts falling apart once her long-term relationship with her boyfriend ends. The series is now streaming on Netflix.


Mavis is a successful stylist who dreams of designing clothes for plus-sized women like her someday. Every project she works on is appreciated by her clients, which suggests that her dream is not so far away.

Mavis eventually gets an opportunity to become a lead stylist when her boyfriend, Jacque, recommends her to Sydney Dubois from Essence. However, she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her.

Mavis and Jacque had a long-term relationship. The breakup tears her apart. She shifts from Jacque’s luxurious apartment to a shabby one and is forced to walk out of the job at Essence, as she is required to join Jacque there.

All of a sudden, Mavis hits rock bottom. Furthermore, she also realizes that she doesn’t have much time to fulfill all of her dreams.

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Michelle Buteau as Mavis Beaumont is delightful to watch. Buteau leaves a first impression full of positivity that defines her character for the rest of the show.

Buteau is cute and lovely when her character is with Marouane Zotti’s Luca; inspiring when she is with Garcelle Beauvais’ Natasha; and downright crazy when she is with Tone Bell, who plays Khalil, and Tasha Smith, who plays Marley.

Buteau, Bell, and Smith carry the platonic friendship of their characters in a way that will make viewers crave such hangouts.

Garcelle Beauvais, as Natasha, is villainous and not that villainous at the same time once the viewers get to know her. Beauvais hits the right balance required for this role.


Survival of the Thickest touches on some sensitive topics, like representation, racism, and body image, in the most light-hearted manner.

The show acknowledges the issues the characters are facing without losing the ‘fun’ factor. The topic is discussed in depth, but the show then makes things comfortable for the viewer and gets back to doing what it does best. A viewer can easily expect eight episodes of laid-back watch that doesn’t try to be too emotional if not required.

Mavis Beaumont is quite a relatable character, and watching her fall down when she is at the peak of her career, make mistakes again, and still rise above is empowering in itself. Also, it doesn’t feel forced in any way. Her rise is not abrupt; it’s gradual.

Considering Survival of the Thickest has some of its sitcom tropes, for a change, it’s good to see the best friend not being the one that the lead character falls for.


The character of Marley is one of the great supporters of Mavis. However, the show seems to forget about her and rush her story in the end. How she starts getting attracted to women is a journey that could have been explored slowly.

There are certain factors the show mentions that may have stopped Marley from exploring this side of hers, and viewers could have enjoyed watching her gradually open up.


Survival of the Thickest is a simple, light-hearted watch that touches on some serious issues but primarily aims to have fun. It’s filled with positivity, and the empowering story of Mavis has its fair share of relatable real-world problems.

Survival of the Thickest
Survival of the Thickest review: A simple, inspiring, and light watch 1

Director: Linda Mendoza, Kim Nguyen, Amy Aniobi, Kimmy Gatewood

Date Created: 2023-07-13 12:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Survival of the Thickest summary and ending explained