One of HBO’s newer original shows from the past year is Insecure, which has been extremely well received by critics. Just finishing its second season, this series follows the life and struggles of a modern black woman living in Inglewood. Seeing as the show is written and produced by Issa Rae (who also happens to be the star of this fresh new comedy), you can imagine that many of the story lines are ones based on real-life awkward situations and experiences. Rather, that’s what I personally like to imagine is the case.
In season one, you see Issa and her live-in boyfriend Lawrence (Jay Ellis) struggling in their relationship, stemming from Issa’s annoyance at Lawrence’s lack of job and ambition. This leads to a mess of other problems that really get to the core of what both ultimately want from the relationship. Meanwhile, Issa has her work life to worry about, as she feels undermined and at odds with her coworkers. I would also add that throwing her best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji) in the mix certainly makes the show more fun, because her tough love toward Issa wins you over fairly quickly; not to mention her unfiltered sass and independent mind. These three are the main characters of the show, which is mainly viewed through their perspectives.
Insecure brings a few surprises along the way, some pleasant and some that might give you a reality check on your own life. As the first season progresses, you see the downfall of a broken Issa, who ends up losing almost everything. However, going in to season 2 it is as if her whole attitude has changed (safe to say this is a defense mechanism), and she begins to act out in certain ways just to fill the void caused by the events of season 1. In a similar way, Molly, while still loud-mouthed and spirited, seems more relatable. You get a closer look in to her struggle to succeed in an uncomfortable and biased work environment, and at her attempt to make the right choices about relationships in spite of what is more appealing in the moment. Lawrence’s life also picks up a quicker pace, as he gets his ambition back and attacks a new life venture head first.
The thing I most enjoy about this show is the character development. There is a great deal of growth and moving on, but an equal amount of setbacks and slip-ups that, while disappointing, are very applicable. Issa is definitely the protagonist of the show, but her actions in the latter part of the series so far have caused me to root less for her and more for Molly, who arguably gives a more stand-out performance overall. Issa is great and obviously hilarious on the show, but Yvonne Orji’s depiction of Molly shows more layers in the long run. This show is one that I would not at all be surprised launches them both in to many new career opportunities. The chemistry between the characters, and the group dynamic as a whole is also pretty amusing. You are constantly intrigued by what will happen in this group of friends, and if they will learn their lessons in the end.
All in all, Insecure is a fun comedy that has some key moments you will not see in any other televised program. Those authentic moments, along with the well-drawn characters that Issa Rae has brought to life through the writing, are what make this show worth a watch. While it is not necessarily one I would binge watch over and over, it gets most of its points for the originality. That being said, it definitely still has me ready to see what crazy things this crew gets in to (or out of) next season.
Rating: 7 freestyle rap pep talks in the mirror out of 10 (70%)