Netflix’s latest comedy series Survival of the Thickest (Season 1), is an 8-episode long series that follows the journey of Mavis (Michelle Buteau), a talented and determined stylist working in the cut-throat world of the fashion industry.

As she strives to make a name for herself, Mavis also deals with struggles that every woman faces, i.e., striking a balance between the personal and the professional life. After her boyfriend of 5 years cheats on her, Mavis’s perfect life crashes, and she must pull herself through the mess and build a new life for herself.

The Netflix series is witty, fast-paced, and incredibly engaging as the protagonist finds her voice despite others influencing her life decisions. The show explores a woman accepting herself in the truest form without compromising on her personal and professional growth and allowing herself the benefit of the doubt whenever facing a dilemma.

Survival of the Thickest (Season 1) also explores the world of drag and LGBTQ+ culture as Mavis finds herself getting inspired by their strength, perseverance, and self-expression, leading one to understand the themes of identity, acceptance, and the power of embracing one’s true self.

The show investigates the complex nature of relationships and love and how the importance of friendship and the right support system – with their encouragement, advice, and unconditional love; could lead one through thick and thin and truly uplift someone’s life.

Survival of the Thickest (Season 1) Recap:

The series begins with Mavis leading a dream-come-true life in the fashion industry with her steady photographer boyfriend. She is known for her talent and “getting things done” skills, and with the help of her beau, she is slowly connecting with big names in the industry. However, things take a turn for the worse when she catches her boyfriend, Jacque, cheating on her in their dream apartment with a size-zero model.

Shattered and heartbroken, Mavis decides to move out, and with the help of her dear friend Khalil and Mavey, she finds herself a cramped place in Brooklyn where she would have to share the space with another stranger. Determined not to be weighed down by recent developments in her once-upon-a-time steady and perfect life, Mavis receives 100% support from her friends, who offer her strength in every possible way.

During one of her low days, Mavis lets her intrusive thoughts win and gets into a fling to find happiness in those fleeting moments. In the meantime, she receives a life-changing phone call for an interview. Despite Khalil explaining how accepting the opportunity can instantly change her life, Mavis decides to decline it because she doesn’t want to work with the person who broke her heart, cheating with someone who is half her size.

How does Peppermint help Mavis realize her big break in her profession?

Consider this as one of those moments in Mavis’s life when another window full of opportunities opens for her. She finds herself landing a gig, all thanks to Peppermint, a drag queen she met at her favorite place. Peppermint connects Mavis with Natasha Karina, a famous supermodel who is yearning to stay relevant in the present time.

Natasha struggles with body image and low self-esteem because of it. Eventually, she agrees to work with Mavis under the condition that she can ditch restrictive corsets and embrace herself as she is. However, Mavis has no idea that the event she is styling is actually a funeral for Natasha’s ex-husband. Natasha wants to make a statement, and Mavis’s elegant styling choice for Natasha turns a lot of heads at the event. 

The unexpected surge of reaction, coupled with Peppermint’s genius social media tactics, propels Mavis into the spotlight, gaining her new followers on her account with a trending hashtag. Mavis realizes the potential she has created for herself by enabling Natasha’s journey and pursuing her own dreams. She understands how much it means to work with women who define strength and perseverance.

Mavis is on top of the world and takes inspiration from her recent big success as she delves deeper into the world of drag, styling the queens at various events. Using unique and innovative ways to style drag queens and expertly fix wardrobe malfunctions with a borrowed tie, Mavis knows how to get things done effortlessly and with attention to detail.

During one of these events, a man named Luca, whose tie Mavis borrowed, becomes immensely impressed with her skill set and bold approach. He asks her out to dinner, where the two connect with each other and maintain constant communication despite their long-distance relationship.

How does Mavis’ newfound success have an impact on her life?

A still from Survival of the Thickest (Season 1).
A still from Survival of the Thickest (Season 1).

While Mavis sees herself thriving with every step she takes, she unexpectedly runs into Jacque at one of her shoots. While Mavis is brilliant at creating a distraction, she can’t stop herself from having feelings for Jacque. Jacque tries to explain that he is a changed man and wants to get back together because their past testifies to their connection. Mavis, who is otherwise quite headstrong, struggles to keep her emotions intact.

However, she doesn’t let this setback bog her down and chooses her new life over a fresh start with Jacque, who is nothing more than a mere past experience in her life. She continues to stay focused on her newfound success in the industry. However, pushing herself to achieve professional highs comes at a cost to her health. Endless hours of work and lack of sleep not only affect her well-being but also strain her relationship with Luca.

To help her recover from her current circumstances and take a break, Luca decides to gift her a flight ticket to Italy. Mavis is overwhelmed by this and begins to reconsider everything she has worked so hard to leave behind. On the other hand, Natasha offers Mavis a lucrative deal worth $10,000 per month to overcome her sense of loneliness and abandonment issues. Mavis realizes she would need to prioritize herself above all else to keep her dreams blooming. In the midst of all this, she suffers a panic attack that brings Jacque back into her life during one of her low moments.

Why does Mavis say yes to Jacque’s marriage proposal?

Jacque understands that he and Mavis have very little time to spend together, so he makes his best effort. Mavis, in the meantime, tries to understand her emotions as her parents come to be on her side. They tell her that Jacque asked them to marry her, and they agreed to it. Under pressure from all sides, Jacque, paralyzed with emotional baggage and unavoidable circumstances, says yes to Jacque.

However, she soon realizes that she has let others influence her life’s decisions, which will ultimately have a negative impact on her desires and aspirations. At this point in the series, we see Mavis at a crossroads where she must understand the choices she is making and how her emotional and professional journey will be affected. Will she make the right decision that will set her free from everyone’s influence and embrace herself entirely?

What does Mavis decide about her personal and professional life?

Mavis feels a sense of incompleteness as Luca continues to occupy her mind. When Luca calls Mavis, Jacque overhears their conversation, and Mavis becomes awkward upon realizing that he knows about Luca. While deciding whether to repair or upgrade a product at a store, Mavis realizes that fixing her relationship with Jacque would not change her feelings toward what she truly wants in life.

Mavis confronts Jacque about this and tells him that they are not meant to be a couple. While Jacque is clearly hurt and decides to leave, Mavis experiences an instant rush of liberation. She gets back to doing what she loves, styling drag queens, and throws a memorable prom party at the drag club.

Embracing the challenges and uncertainties of life and understanding that taking risks can solidify her life’s decisions, Mavis embraces her new life. She reconciles with Natasha, who understands and supports her unconditionally; further deepening Mavis’s gratitude for having such wonderful people around her.

Survival of the Thickest (Season 1) Netflix Ending Explained:

What happens between Mavis and Luca in the end?

After realizing that everything is falling into place for the first time in her life, Mavis feels that one final piece is missing to make everything perfect. She reaches out to Luca, who is initially disappointed with her decision to marry Jacque. However, Mavis explains to him that she has allowed others to make decisions for her for far too long and relied on their opinions.

She emphasizes that Luca’s understanding of her situation is the only thing that truly matters to her now. Mavis confesses her true feelings for him and expresses her strong desire to be with him. Luca, understanding her perspective, asks for a little time to process everything, which makes Mavis grateful for his consideration.

At the end of “Survival of the Thickest” Season 1, Luca opens the door only to find Mavis standing there, having used the tickets he sent her earlier. Luca realizes Mavis’ commitment to giving their relationship another try as we see the two kissing one another, concluding the final episode of the series. 

Read More: The Perfect Find (2023) ‘Netflix’ Movie Review: A Dated Love Story that Unfurls at the Backdrop of Fashion, Glitz, and ‘Black Nepotism’

Survival of the Thickest (Season 1) Netflix Trailer

Survival of the Thickest (Season 1) Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Survival of the Thickest (Season 1) Cast: Michelle Buteau, Tone Bell, Marouane Zotti, Anissa Felix
Where to watch Survival of the Thickest

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