Sex. Sexy time. Sexy parties. It’s amazing how much sex we see on TV, and how little we see of all the real-life awkwardness and actual gross stuff that comes along with it. Survivor’s Remorse decides to go there in the way that only Survivor’s Remorse can, with “M.V.P.”
What’s refreshing about this series is that, at this point, we’ve seen just about everyone get it on in some ways shape or form, but Cam Calloway—the one in the [seemingly] most obvious position to do so. In last night’s episode it was all about Tichina Arnold’s Cassie, who has a new boo, but more importantly, a new lease on life. After spending her morning having sexy sex time (instead of making Cam’s cheat day french toast), she tells Cam that she’s having some surgery and it’s related to a “ladies” thing, and well—we all get it. Except Cam (being her son, and basically immune to such thoughts) doesn’t get it, and assumes his mom has cancer (but hopefully the “good cancer” as M-Chuck suggests). Turns out her vagina could use some rejuvenation, and it’s at this point that Survivor’s Remorse boldly goes where probably no TV show has gone before. We watch as Cassie explains to the ladies how and why she’s come to the conclusion that this surgery is the logical next step for her. She’s very convincing, and it seems like, well, she deserves this.
“M.V.P.” consists of two other side plots—one in which Julius lit’rally kills the neighbor’s dog, and another more interesting storyline where Reggie attempts to branch out and find more to do with Cam’s money. RonReaco Lee continues to deliver the best performance of this cast, and I’m very curious to see what else is in store for his character. Reggie has a great scene with Ira Irwin (played by Gotham’s Richard Kind), and it’s all kinds of weird and strange and there’s a mermaid game that’s meant to be a metaphor for capitalism, but also maybe a metaphor for sex, because “money is a lubricant.” It’s a very different kind of comedy from the foul-mouthed raunchy humor we see popping off between M-Chuck and Cassie, but it’s a great moment that tells us the Survivor’s Remorse writers can switch it up stylistically, and still entertain. I’m hoping and assuming we see more of Kind’s oddball character, since Reggie never got to finish that book (also due in part to some sexy sex time with Missy).
The best scene of the night comes at the end of the episode during the most awkward intervention of all time. Cam attempts to thwart his mother’s plans for the surgery with a collection of flash cards (I think they were pink…) with the names of each possible side effect. Cassie’s gloves come off (granted, she’s never really wearing them), and she says the kinds of things we hope our mothers will never say to us—things about the way that part of her body has changed, and the emotional and physical sacrifices she made as a young mother. And even though most of us watching will, likely, never have such a surgery, it was easy to identify with her lamentation and it felt very cathartic to hear Cassie go off on her presumptuous son—reminding him that now that he’s all grown up, she gets to be a woman again.
And then that sick, twisted hoodie thing happened (and it happened again, with the bear in the hospital). And I thanked the TV gods that Survivor’s Remorse was renewed for Season Three.
Shannon M. Houston is Assistant TV Editor & a film critic at Paste, and a writer for Salon, Pink is the New Blog and Heart&Soul. This New York-based freelancer probably has more babies than you, but that’s okay; you can still be friends. She welcomes almost all follows on Twitter.