Let’s talk about race, baby. That’s easy. In fact, there are over half a dozen top TV shows willing to tackle the subject of race and racism. Whether they put their actors in Black Lives Matter T-shirts or craft a not-so-subtle, racially charged police brutality narrative in an episode, talking about race has become easy. It’s in vogue to talk about race.
But race has a neglected little stepsister called colorism, and that’s where it gets tricky. Perhaps it’s because colorism is as much a mirror as it is a lens to see others. Whether we’re talking the general upset around Zoe Saldana taking on the role of Nina Simone, or Lil’ Kim’s ever-changing hue, colorism is the black community’s open secret. It’s a very complex conversation, but in “The Photoshoot,” the Starz network’s Survivor’s Remorse goes there.
Written by Ali LeRoi (Are We There Yet?, Everybody Hates Chris) and directed by Victoria Mahoney (Yelling to the Sky, Queen Sugar), the episode interestingly explores both sides of a dialogue that’s usually pretty one-sided. Nuanced in every beat, this is the episode that made me a fan of Survivor’s Remorse.