11 REASONS WHY I'M GOING TO RE-WATCH ISSA RAE'S INSECURE
Addicted as F*ck!
This show has my edges growin' and side-eye glowin’, therefore, I will be spending majority of my spare time, re-watching season 1 of Issa Rae's, Insecure. Not only does this show speak to the very essence of who I am but, Issa is that non-conforming Blk gal-pal I always wanted growing-up.
It was my husband that first introduced me to her a few years back, via her web series, "The Misadventures of A Awkward Black Girl" on Youtube. The show was centered around Issa's character, “Jay” who was stuck in a dead end job, trying to navigate the murky dating pool, all while confiding in her bff, Cici.
The show was super refreshing, as it touched on an array of topics like interracial relationships, microaggressions in the office, adulting after university and the ups/downs of Black women who don't conform to the typical Black girl narrative. If you haven't already, you need to check it out... ASAP!
So you can only imagine my delight, when I found out HBO was set to drop "Insecure". Every episode either had me at the edge of my seat or having warm "that's my girl" feelings in the pit of my belly. I couldn't get enough! Without giving away any spoilers, check out why I will continue to re-watch season 1, until season 2 drops this fall.
How often do we get to see two Black gal pals, manifest into characters, playing their authentic selves on a major Television network? Not often. So watching both Issa and Molly, navigate life, with relatable Black characters is amazing. So much of their experiences, resonate with me... DAILY! Seeing myself and my bff’s in these characters, reinforces the need for representation and that it truly matters.
"What if" guy
This is for my ladies. Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about. We all have that one person that may creep into our daydreams and press rewind on the "past" button. Before you know it, we're in full blown "what-if life" mode, picturing what y'all kids would've looked like...Where y'all would be living and the like. These mini episodes can have us feeling nostalgic. I on the other hand, end up feeling annoyed and frustrated. However, I'm sure for most, it's lead to actions with irreparable consequences.
Keep it Locked, until I get that Rock
Yvonne Orji, play's Issa's career-driven, sexually-free, witty yet messy, bff. During a recent interview at the Breakfast Club, Yvonne revealed she was a virgin and waiting until marriage to “pop her cherry”. Now let me tell you, what she be doing in some scenes, looks as if she has loads of experience and knows what she's doing....well. So this in itself is a testament to the quality acting you will witness during the season. Note: s/o to her and everyone else taking control of their sexuality. Whether it be to remain abstinent or "explore", if it's what you want, do you boo-boo.
Bars on Bars on Bars
Similar to the web-series, Issa's character raps out her frustrations in the mirror. This coping mechanism helps her to either gain confidence or work her way through tough situations. Her expressive tone and in-your- face lyrics, are witty and catchy to say the least. After the first episode, "Broken Pussy" will be in your head for at LEAST 24 hours.
The wildly talented Debra Cartwright (if you don't know who she is, you better get to googling) was commissioned to illustrate a scene from each episode. She has done work with McDonald's ....to name a few. Not only do her pieces make you relive the exact scene but her light, pastel, elegant creations make you want to screenshot the image, print it out, frame it and put it on your wall.
Issa has always cited her mom as a major inspiration and staple in her life. What better way to say thank you, while simultaneously, including her on your creative journey, than giving her a cameo on the show? I won't say which episode but, the resemblance between the two of them is uncanny.
OK, so if you have never heard about this, let me explain. "Build -A-Man" refers to men who are trying, have heart and good intentions but can't seem to get it together in the adulting arena. He may have great ideas and vision regarding passion projects and entrepreneurial endeavours but, his execution is all wrong. This being one of Insecure's main themes, highlights the strain it can place on a relationships. Now let's not get confused. I'm not saying that holding down your man during his "come up" is a no-no. I'm simply referring to the stress-induced scenario, where your man is still tryna figure out his shit in his early to mid-30’s but, your hopes, dreams, aspirations and bills are real. In addition, reconciling what you perceived your life was going to be vs. what it really is, is not easy.
"We Got you"
It was super refreshing to see, right away in the first episodes, some familiar faces from the "Awkward Black Girl" series. Blood gang member, “Thug Yoda”, played by, Tristan Winger and opportunist co-worker, Sarah, played by, Sujata Day, just a few who make appearances during the show. It seems pretty clear that Issa tries to spread the wealth by providing opportunities to her past cast mates. As she grows and becomes a bigger household name, she's taking her peeps along, to join in on television domination.
This is HUGE! I'll admit that this term is new to me and I'm still trying to fully understand and grasp. Coming from the Black community, most of us know a few people that can sometimes be quite rigid, closed and colossally ignorant towards the LGBTQ community. Opening this up for dialogue, is a great way for viewers to challenge and think critically about our own biases and beliefs.
Changed the Narrative of A Black Television Show
For so long, we either saw all star Black casts as the wholesome and happy home or complete opposite, twerking, booty shaking, brawling, loud Black folk. Insecure provides a space to let Black people lead regular lives with common ups and downs and no exaggerated story lines. The characters are super relatable, where it's easy to get caught up in discussions about certain scenes, with whoever you're watching with.
As the episodes progress, you can't help but take notice of the musical score. You will actually hear music you know or wanna know! It was refreshing to not have the same ol' Pretty Little Liar / One Tree Hill / Urban Outfitters indie rock/folk music setting the tone. Sometimes, it just doesn't cut it. Sometimes only Young Paris or The Internet can speak to your soul and really drive the theme home. During a Facebook LIVE interview, Issa referenced putting a lot of emphasis on the music, while simultaneously, telling a story. I see you girl!
Did I miss something? Comment below.
Mel is an occasional grill-totin', lifestyle writer. She scouts movers, doers and everything in between.