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'Survivor's Remorse' cast talks LeBron James, spanking, and more

Survivor’s Remorse is back on Starz for another dose of comedy and debauchery, and the show’s stars were on hand to dish about the second season. Created by Glee’s Mike O’Malley and produced by NBA vet LeBron James, the boldly funny series centers on Cam Calloway, a rising basketball star trying to adjust to his newfound fame after signing a multimillion-dollar contract to play in Atlanta.

Calloway is backed by his brutally honest entourage, which includes his larger-than-life mother Cassie (played by Martin and Everybody Hates Chris alum Tichina Arnold), charmingly abrasive sister M-Chuck (played by Real Husbands of Hollywood‘s Erica Ash), outspoken uncle Julius (played by comedian Mike Epps), manager/cousin Reggie (played by Sister, Sister and Girlfriends alum RonReaco Lee), and prissy cousin-in-law Missy (played by Mad Men‘s Teyonah Parris).

Stars Usher, Lee, Ash and Parris took a page from the show’s authenticity, getting candid with the EW Community about what to expect this time around, and the journey their characters will take. We also delved into touchy subjects like black beauty standards for women, what it’s like to play an LGBT character, and the inspiration behind that infamous spanking episode.

from that one tax commercial

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY COMMUNITY: What should we expect in season two?

JESSIE USHER (Cam): This season takes place during an actual basketball season, so now you have Cam dealing with that aspect of it and trying to balance everyday life with the game. He’s having to deal with the post-game interviews and reporters and press. At the same time, you have Reggie, who has solidified the base of Cam’s business, and now he’s wanting to branch out, so there’s a lot of exploration on Reggie’s side of things. And you have the rest of the family, who’s just looking for things to do now that Cam is not at home all the time. And, finally, being able to see everyone in their own element.

RONREACO LEE (Reggie): A lot of the same crazy Calloways, and the Vaughns trying to keep the Calloways out of trouble. Reggie is in the process of still trying to solidify Cam’s legacy. You’ll see, with all the characters, that they all have these little journeys throughout the season.

ERICA ASH (M-Chuck): Shenanigans times 10, emotions times 10, crazy Calloway antics times 10, and entertainment times a thousand.

TEYONAH PARRIS (Missy): You watch Missy go through her own personal transition, when she decides to chop off all her hair and go natural. I think everybody is trying to grow.

What personal moments make it into the show?

JESSIE USHER (Cam): I should plead the fifth right now. Mike O’Malley and the writers, they’re real sneaky. They hear us talk amongst ourselves, where we’ll share stories about stuff that we’ve been doing, and it’ll kinda end up in the script … and it won’t be exact scenarios. But there’s a lot of times that we’ll be just talking about stuff around set or laughing about with Mike and he’ll slide it in there, like a little joke—or he might even put a whole scene in there.

RONREACO LEE (Reggie): Erica and I had some input with regard to episode 1.02 [the whooping episode]. I mentioned that I had gotten a whooping with a race track before, which was news to O’Malley and a few other people in the writers’ room at the time.

ERICA ASH (M-Chuck): I was never personally beaten with a Hot Wheels track, but I grew up in a spanking time. I brought up the church episode, about how the church would deal with the homosexual community. I have a cousin who really, really went through it because she was homosexual and her whole family was very, very strong Christians, and she had a really hard go of it until she passed away. So I sort of did that to pay homage to her. I definitely channeled some of my rage regarding her experience in that scene, because I do feel it was unfair for to her to have to live her entire life being misunderstood and not fully accepted for who she was. It’s hard to try to live authentically and be in your truth when everyone’s telling you that who you are is wrong, and who you love is a blasphemy. So I kind of did that for her, and I’m happy that I did. That was my personal dedication to my cousin.

TEYONAH PARRIS (Missy): They got the story of Missy’s big chop from my own experience. You think it’s just about chopping your hair, but it becomes a mental and emotional journey to begin to reject the typical Eurocentric ideals of beauty. You have to retrain your mind to believe and know that—even though I don’t see images of women with short hair and dark skin and wide noses respected in the media as beautiful—I still am beautiful. And I think it’s kind of ridiculous to say that after years and years of being bombarded with images of typical Eurocentric ideals of beauty, that doesn’t affect you and that doesn’t get in your mind. Some people have to retrain their minds. I’m not saying that’s for everybody, but that was the case for me, and that just so happens to be the story with Missy.

What’s it like having Tichina Arnold playing Cam’s mom?

JESSIE USHER (Cam): She’s very motherly by nature, so she’s kind of turned into a mother figure for me. Since I was very young, I’ve been watching her. Now it’s a good feeling to actually know her and know how great of a person she is in real life, and all she does for her community. She’s incredible, she’s really funny; she’s brutally honest, like a mother should be.

What was it like spending the day with LeBron James?

RONREACO Lee (Reggie): I quickly realized that Reggie is kind of a combination of a few different people in LeBron’s life. Being around the entourage and watching how they move, it’s different. There’s an energy that surrounds LeBron, from the moment he walks on set to the moment he leaves. It was very informative to watch how the people around him help him to manage his day. It’s not really just one person. You saw that it was a collective effort, from the woman who has been their driver since Miami who moved to Cleveland to continue to drive for him, to his trainer, who was also brought up from Miami to keep him on task. The other thing I was amazed about is that people weren’t there just to be there; everybody had a specific job.

Talk about going natural and beauty standards for black women.

FLOTUS Michelle Obama reminding us that black girls rock

TEYONAH PARRIS (Missy): I would say that hair isn’t essential for all black women. It is largely a big deal culturally, but I don’t want to say that it’s a big deal for all black women, because it’s not. And just like this big chop that Missy goes through, I do think that it’s important for people in general—particularly people of color—to see themselves respected in the media and in stories and things that they go through. I am very proud that Mike O’Malley and Starz decided that we could explore this topic of what it means to go natural.

Tell us about M-Chuck’s evolution in season two.

ERICA ASH (M-Chuck): You get to see more of her vulnerability. She’s a pretty tough character; she’s got this brick-wall attitude. You know, “You wanna come for me? I got something better for you.” But you get to see her a little bit more tender.

Does that mean she’s getting a girlfriend?

ERICA ASH (M-Chuck): She may have somebody that she’s a little interested in. You will see a little more action for her this season.

How is the fan response?

ERICA ASH (M-Chuck): The biggest thing is everybody is trying to find out if I’m gay in real life. The fact that I’m not and the daughter of two preachers makes me ever more proud to show the LGBT presence onscreen.

Survivor’s Remorse airs Saturdays at 9:30 p.m. on Starz.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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