The hit HBO show, chronicling the life of Issa Dee, played by star and creator Issa Rae, and her friends has become something of a television phenomenon. For hours on Sunday night as the show unfolds.
Twitter is filled with hot shots and reactions to plots, pranks, and outfits. The next day, the websites are crammed with recaps – everyone from podcasters to their favorite group chat curates the events of the episode, and even Michelle Obama keeps up with the shenanigans. (HBO and CNN are part of WarnerMedia). And the fan base is notoriously dedicated. Actor Jay Ellis, who plays Lawrence, Issa’s on-and-off love interest, told Essence in 2018 that he was cursed, chased, and physically beaten by fans for the events of the show.
In the saturated world of television and streaming, “Insecure” has cut through the noise, transcending levels of cultural sensationalism. And on Sunday, after a five-season run, the show will come to an end. At its core, “Insecure” is about a group of black millennials trying to figure out life: their love lives, their friendships, their careers, things that any young adult can relate to. The beauty of the show is, in part, its worldliness. They are normal people who take care of normal things. We feel like we’re seeing our friends,” said writer Luvvie Ajayi Jones.
Of course, “Insecure” is not the first of its kind. “Julia,” a 1968 NBC sitcom, stands out as the first show to center a black woman in an entire role, and around the same time shows like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” focus on the life of a bachelor. woman trying to work on her career. Though not a sitcom, “Insecure,” at its core of a group of black friends, is part of those bloodlines, said Naeemah Clark, a professor of film and television at Elon University. But what made “Insecure” so interesting? Clark said, is that it shows the deepest
Most holistic connections between black women. Rae and the team behind the show don’t shy away from showing how Molly (played by Yvonne Orji) felt used at her White’s law firm, or how Issa felt symbolic and disillusioned at work. There’s this understanding of knowledge and support that you don’t necessarily get from white friends. No matter how ‘aroused’ the white friends are, it’s the other black women and women of color who understand that navigation,” Clark explained. “And I think ‘Insecure’ did really well.
It was based on the same structure and tropes from the shows from the 60s, 70s and 80s, but there is this element of the world today, where black women are culturally. These moments are peppered throughout the show’s five seasons. When Lawrence is stopped by a police officer. When the Issa neighborhood becomes more and more gentrified. When Molly discovers that her white coworkers are earning more than her. Issa said in the writers room at one point, ‘When you’re white, racism is a period. Like,’ This is wrong, this has to stop, period.