The first episode in the fourth season of HBO’s Insecure premiered last week on April 12th. Over the last two weeks, this show has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s funny, it’s dramatic, and it’s relatable, even though I am far from the age of the main characters.
Insecure had been on my mental “need to watch” list for months, with those 3 seasons initially scaring me off. I remember everyone talking about it years ago, back in 2016, so maybe it was just too late to get all caught up.
However, the 35-minute episodes and short 8 episode seasons make the show perfectly binge-friendly. I finally had the time to sit down and watch it, and it became one of the best shows I’ve watched in a minute. Along the way, I connected with the large cast of characters in different ways, and the show frequently discussed subjects that I feel like aren’t talked about enough in the black community.
Most importantly, I loved how the show was created by black people for other black people. After each new episode, I look forward to all the twitter buzz unpacking each aspect of the episode, and I’m reminded of why black twitter is one of the best places on the internet.
Insecure follows the story of Issa Dee and her best friend Molly Carter, black Stanford graduates navigating their career and relationship struggles in Los Angeles.
Issa works at a nonprofit focused on helping low-income students of color, yet she is the only black person at her job, which often leads to hilariously awkward moments. Molly is a big-time lawyer, who often has trouble finding the right relationship for her.
The supporting characters are all interesting as well, Lawrence, Issa’s long time boyfriend who can’t get his app idea to work out, Daniel, Issa’s old high school crush, Kelli and Tiffany to round out Issa and Molly’s group of close friends.
What I love most is that the show isn’t all about being black. It’s refreshing to see black characters who are more than just their race, shows that aren’t purely about how hard it can be to be black. It’s not as if the show doesn’t touch on important issues, though– dating preferences, gentrification, workplace tokenism, to name a few– but the show also simply displays black people being successful, falling in love, and having fun.
Representation in the Writing Room
I know I write a lot about the importance of diversity on screen– which Insecure clearly has– but it’s also incredibly important to have black stories created by black people. There’s an unmistakable sense of realness in the dialogue, in the way the characters interact with each other. The show was created by Issa Rae and Larry Willmore and has been critically acclaimed since the beginning– once again proof that black stories can captivate an audience.
And now, to what I believe is the most underrated aspect of the show– the soundtrack. A running joke throughout Insecure is the main character, Issa, rapping to herself in the mirror whenever life goes wrong. Outside of rare moments, she never displays these raps to anyone, because they typically show her crazy inner dialogue, opposite to how she reacts to whatever situation she’s in. Nevertheless, music remains an important force in Issa’s life, and the show’s soundtrack reflects that.
Each song perfectly captures all of the awkward, romantic, and heartbreaking feelings expressed by the characters in any scene. It features music from more well-known artists like SZA, Tyler the Creator, and Miguel, but also has led me to new music I never would have found on my own.
Finally, if you’re still not convinced…
Just start by watching this.