The Gem that is HBO's Insecure by Nomalanga Mashava


I will admit that I am one of those people who lives in my world or under a rock as some would say. I had never heard about Issa Rae or The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. My friend, the series guru, recommended Insecure to me. She said it was going to be a good watch. I took her advice because she is not usually wrong about these things. Well except Scandal but no one expected that to become the train wreck that it is.

When I watched the first episode of Insecure I was thoroughly impressed by everything. The clothes, the story, Issa and Molly’s wardrobe and the music. I actually watched the pilot twice because it was just that good. I have actually watched the season 1 too many times to count. It became my pick me up series when I was feeling sad.

I think what I appreciate about Insecure is that it showed life of modern young Black women. I related a lot to it. I related to being overlooked at work and the ignorance of white people. It’s shocking some of the things you are asked or experience. I completely understood the concept of code switching. I didn't know that was what it was called. I felt bad for Dada because I do think she got fired but at the same time Molly did warn her. I mean hell I was warned by my line manager who was also Black about how unpredictable my boss can be. I think some may take it as being offensive but at times it’s a good heads up.

I was also blown away when Molly ran into her friend and the concept of mental health and asking for help came into the conversation. As someone who has gone to therapy and have friends who suffer from mental illness I was in awe about the way they tackled this topic. An important topic to me and giving an insight that going to therapy can be a sign of growth and trying to figure yourself out. It’s unfortunate that the Black community looks at therapy as a source of weakness or don’t see how helpful it can be.

Another topic that I had actually never thought about was the whole Jared messing around with a guy when he was younger. I thought it was such an interesting topic and Molly could have handled it better. I also saw the double standards of it all. How come in society women can experiment but as soon as a man does the same he is automatically called gay! It was crazy because I had also made those statements. Personally, I would not feel comfortable with dating a guy that had experimented with another guy but maybe that is the way I have been socialized.  It was great that the writers brought this up and really made me think.

Insecure is a complex and nuanced show in showing the struggles and triumphs of being Black in America but it also shows us the complications of  modern dating , long term relationships and friendship among Black people. I think the relationship challenges are what got a lot of attention. The #LawrenceHive is alive and well. To be honest I am not mad at them and their anger is understandable. Issa and Molly’s behavior throughout the season was deeply selfish and they were terribly unlikable. They judged each other actions as friends tend to do. They were at times terrible to the men they dated. Molly treated Jared  terribly on multiple occasions . The way she blew him off for “guys on her level” was realistic and appalling. I must confess I have also done that but not as rude. Molly came off desperate at times and way too high maintenance. It was actually sad to see and infuriating at the same time.

Issa on the other hand is no better than Molly. Her relationship with Lawrence was stagnant and it really did suck that he forgot her birthday. It did not mean she should’ve half broken up with him, lost faith in him and the relationship, and the kicker, cheated on him especially after the Best Buy situation. I must admit the cheating situation was hilarious because Black men took it so badly. I read the tweets and men were livid. It was great to see how the writers’ flipped it. As I said the #LawrenceHive is alive and well. I commend the writers’ room for exploring this. What I found interesting about this reaction is again we see the double standards in society that men can cheat but if a women does it “Lord have mercy”. I had never actually thought about that. Additionally, women are supposed to put up with cheating because of that tired statement that men use to justify cheating is that is in our nature to cheat. Total nonsense and alternative facts.

Insecure is an amazing show that tackles race relations in society and the perils of relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed the first season. Everything came together well the direction, costumes, settings and music. The Insecure soundtrack was so bomb. I cannot even deal. I think what truly makes it a good show to me is how relatable it is especially at where I am in my life. Insecure is like a Black millennial handbook and I think that is pretty awesome to see. Representation matters so much on television. It is great that we are being blessed in seeing being Black in so many different ways with shows like Insecure, Greenleaf, Queen Sugar, Dear White People, Black-ish and many more.

I am excited to see what topics Issa and her team will tackle this season and what dope-ass music will be played in the show. I am also excited to getting to know the characters better and other characters getting more screen time and being fleshed out more. What I am really curious about what is single life going to be for Lawrence and Issa. Cannot wait for Sunday!!!