Why HBO's Insecure Is For Us!
Last night was the premiere of HBO’s new show Insecure, created and executive produced by Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore. If you are like me, you have been impatiently waiting for Issa Rae to bring a show to television ever since her web series The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl broke the internet in 2011. Insecure was worth the wait, the first episode, entitled “Insecure As F*ck” brought me so much joy to watch and begin to get to know three very different, dynamic and relatable black characters; Issa Dee, Molly and Lawrence. They are diverse black voices, none of which are trying to be "the" black voice, yet demonstrate layers of our culture. I plan to tune in weekly and get better acquainted, but there is so much I already love about Issa, Molly and Lawrence.
Played by Issa Rae herself, Issa Dee is a 29 year old black women looking for more in her career and love life than what it seems like she is settling for. She asks herself, "what if I actually went for what I wanted". Issa is in a stagnant relationship with Lawrence who she has thus far given all of her 20s to. With one more year left in this decade, she decides she needs to make some changes.
Issa also still works the non profit job she landed after college, where her coworkers constantly ask her to be the voice for all black people (Raise your hand if you relate!) and explain complex African American matters, like what does “on fleek” mean.
I am sure you know someone who seems to have it all together, who everyone loves, who is doing the damn thing when it comes to their profession, but can’t seem to figure out this whole love thing. Molly is gorgeous, smart and successful, however, can’t figure out why a nigga goes from calling everyday, to just texting, to calling things off with her. Molly brings us to the age old question, can we have it all?
She is also best friend to Issa. Two black women that are genuinely best friends. They laugh together, give real advice and tell each other to STFU when need be. At the end of the episode when Issa walks into Molly's home singing the theme song to Girlfriends, I almost lost my edges. Not many shows since Girlfriends have displayed black women who love each other. As a black women, my friendships look more like Toni, Joan, Maya and Lynn's than the girls on Love and Hip Hop or Real Housewives. Issa and Molly are not in competition, they do not want each other's men and their argument in the first episode did not consist of any drink throwing. #reallifefriendships.
Issa’s bae played by Jay Ellis, appears to be battling depression, because believe it or not, black people deal with depression. He spends his days on their couch doing what he describes as “getting his shit together”. But according to Issa he has been doing this for four years. His lack of success affects his relationship with her. He flaked on a date with Issa on her birthday because he bombed a job interview. He wears pajamas all day, eats cereal and is oblivious to the fact that his woman is not happy. Dealing with his own insecurities and fear of failure causes him to not really try. While some will just write Lawrence off as a loser, I am interested to see his character develop. I think he will make viewers think about whether you can truly date and be there for someone when you have so much of your own life to figure out.
Insecure is everything my weekly show lineup was missing. From the music which include Issa's bars, to the characters, to cultural references like every episode title including "AF", are all things that make watching Insecure a fun and enjoyable experience. I have been following Issa Rae's career with admiration and can't wait to see what is next. I am sure it will be many more seasons, many more shows and much more black girl magic!