Issa Rae’s long awaited show on HBO “Insecure” has finally begun, and I feel like I’m watching HBO for the first time.
I can only imagine the feeling I have right now is how white people felt when they saw “Girls,” “Entourage,” and “Sex and the City” for the first time. This must be what it’s like to watch TV and see truth in it without having to squint and turn your head sideways.
The main character, Issa, is a 29-year-old woman working at an out-of-touch L.A. nonprofit for youth. Within the first two minutes we get a good look at Issa’s life both from herself and from a class of typical kids who haven’t learned that some things don’t need to be said.
The first episode, “Awkard as F***” is a good introduction to Issa, her life situation, and her best friend Molly. Molly is set-up as a sort of best friend foil to Issa. She’s financially successful, a good dresser, and she can communicate and travel among many groups of people. But she’s also instantly shown to be insecure in the image she’s created and how men, specifically, interact with her. Molly and Issa are both at turning points in their lives and in their relationships and are probably going to be navigating this throughout the season.
What’s great about this show so far is Issa Rae and the type of production I expect of HBO. Her narrative voice is what makes this show. The characters all read true and familiar and unlike any I’ve seen on TV in this genre.
The music is perfect at every turn, and the locations are well chosen. It is a comedy so things are exaggerated, but it’s done in a way that’s appropriate. In hands other than Issa Rae’s and Larry Wilmore’s it could have easily become a parody rather than a comedy.
But I must tell you, that this show is personally a bit too close for comfort. I just had a very similar birthday to Issa, I also work at an inner-city nonprofit and am currently the only black woman there. I consistently question my choices and my life direction and …I’m not going into my relationships just yet. But I’ve had every feeling Issa has had in this first episode. I haven’t been this excited for a show since, well, before I saw the show.
I’m rooting for Issa and Molly, and I can’t wait for the next episode.