Sunday, August 23, 2015

Survivor's Remorse: Great Television The ReCap

Tonight, Season 2 of famed Starz Channel show Survivor's Remorse aired.  It was outstanding and the preview to what we have to look forward to for a great season.

Season 2
Starz, Saturday 9pm. est.

Created and Executive Produced by Mike O'Malley and LeBron James--in case you've been living under a television boulder--Survivor's Remorse is about an under-rated basketball player who soars to the top of the most coveted league in the world, the NBA.  Cam makes sure he grabs a few family members along for the platinum meteoric ride to stardom.  To the dismay of the league, Cam includes his savvy business smart cousin Reggie, who is far from the caricature the league could only hope for.  Reggie doubles as Cam's manager and does an amazing job of keeping all moving parts working.  However, Cam Calloway doesn't sit at the top without a hefty dose of guilt about having "made it" from the unrelenting streets of Boston.

LeBron James with the cast of Survivor's Remorse
But that's not what makes this clever, coming of age dramedy a hit.  What makes this show so solid is the intelligent dialogue, concepts and unabashed story-telling. Lucille Ball once described the shift in modern-day television and I paraphrase [When we made television we imitated life.  It seems now television strives to imitate television].   Survivor's Remorse displays heart.

I suspect that the Calloways are a glimpse into the modern-day all American family displaying love, support, togetherness, intelligence and economic prowess.  By far the Calloways are not perfect and maintain their individual and collective quirks.  However not unlike the Huxtables, Pritchetts, Dunphys, Jefferson's, Evanses, Bundys and any other successful units in family displayed in an unconventional way, the Calloways find a way out of no way, find a way to make it work and come together as one in every end.

The show is funny, poignant and topical all at the same time. If you're not watching, I suggest you do.  You won't regret having spent a half-hour of being intelligently and wholly culturally entertained.

The Recap:

The season 2 opener premieres with the Calloways having moved to the exclusive suburb of Buckhead in Atlanta Georgia.  The mansion is palatial, resplendent even notwithstanding the "Darky" Jockey statute left behind from the previous owners in the front yard.  After Uncle Julius shoots a Buck five times and claims it for dinner, Missy destroys the "Darky" statue amply corrected by Mama Cassie, "It's a jockey!"

The Calloways head back inside Calloway Castle to disburse for their day when Reggie (Cam's cousin and manager) reminds Cam that he has an off-court obligation to fulfill.  For an hour, Cam is to appear at a company bowling function held for a few lucky fans and major box owners.  After convincing, Cam begrudgingly attends only to be bombarded by drunken fans who accuse him of fat shaming and instructing their kids not to regurgitate while Cam holds the kid up for a picture.  The ultimate alcohol on the burn comes when the owner summons Cam by waving two fingers.  The owner wants to introduce Cam to some really important people.  Incensed, Cam has had enough and in fame, pomp and circumstance blows the owner off by exiting the building.  The owner is beyond peeved and Reggie attempts to smooth things out by going against their reevaluated mission statement, not to lie.  Reggie lies.  Reggie sends a text to the owner explaining that Cam had the runs.

Next up, Cam is set to sign no less than a hundred basketballs for charity after practice. Overwhelmed with the season starting next week, Cam is fed up with his off-court obligations, refuses to sign the required amount of basketballs, signing his last from the "Indentured Servant."

The owner is really peeved and proceeds to take Cam's parking space from him by making it handicap.  Reggie attempts to smooth things between the owner and Cam to no avail.  So much so, that Cam now refuses to attend the Nelson Mandela tribute sponsored by the team.

The owner shows up at Calloway Castle and Cam and the owner Flaherty perform a magnificent dance.  The dialogue during this scene from both characters is riveting and convincing to the point, I can't choose with whom to side.  It's magical.

Cam ultimately shows up for the tribute that's less than perfect but perfect.  And we get a glimpse of what it means to operate in the world we aspire to conquer, one bouncing ball at a time.

Catch Survivor's Remorse on Starz, Saturday 9pm est.  Check local listings for additional times and days.  Catch Season 1 on StarzPlay.  Hint: My favorite episode Season 1 is episode #4 The Decisions. I'm still holding my gut.  

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