Issa Rae is no new kid on the block when it comes to comedy series, as her new show, Insecure, is actually a remake of sorts from her original YouTube phenomenon, Awkward Black Girl. With hilariously catchy and explicit episode titles, this comedy stands out as something completely different than the rest.
Issa stars as a fictional version of herself, as she did in the original, only this time she is in Los Angeles instead of New York City. Working as the only African-American at a non-profit, she goes through the same trials and tribulations that all of us face in our late-20s – questioning her career, questioning her love life, questioning life in general, only to find that she is the only one she can really depend on for any answers or comfort.
Yvonne Orji co-stars as Issa’s BFF, Molly, who has her fair share of the same troubles, the two ladies navigate their circumstances with as much grace as they possibly can while remaining true to themselves at heart. Jay Ellis plays her boyfriend, Lawrence, and when it comes to love, Issa is anything but certain. The couple display the usual friction and magnetism that would be expected at that age. Larry Wilmore took notice of Awkward Black Girl and worked with Issa on the pilot in 2013. The team worked hard to get it picked up by HBO back in 2015. Prentice Penny joined the team as the showrunner and Melina Matsoukas jumped on board as Executive Producer. The production support for this new series only exonerates its likelihood for great success.
Metacritic has captured more than 30 reviews of #Insecure, rounding out at a very high score of 84, and Rotten Tomatoes rates it at a solid 100%. Critics cannot get enough of this show, and nearly every review has been resoundingly positive, in favor of every nuance from the outstanding hip-hop soundtrack to the calculatedly smart choice in Los Angeles locations. These are career gals, and when they go out on the town they visit places that are well within the norm for their age and lifestyle. In contrast to a show like Sex and the City, where magically all the ladies had money to burn on every material item and luxury they could desire. This show remains real to Issa’s original vision, to portray life as an insecure, young, African-American woman just trying to figure herself out.
Viewer ratings are slightly lower, with IMDb coming in at only 6.7 out of 10, and Metacritic’s user score at 7.1. To sum up the one negative comment, the viewer felt that @Insecure excludes all positive aspects of white males and, in the commenter’s opinion, the show negates all potential of being part of the solution to the tense pressing issue of racism and sexism in America.
That is what makes #Insecure so amazing for most viewers though, the fact that it is one of the only TV portrayals of average life as a black female in a major metro city in America. Issa deals with all of the pressing issues that shape her into the beautiful person she is, regardless of skin tone or what she has between her legs. At the same time, the show takes all the liberties to confront some of the very problems that aim to separate anyone peoples from another in a refreshingly hilarious manner.
HBO sneak previewed the series’ pilot on September 23, 2016, online on HBO Now and HBO Go to see what the response would be. While there are no official numbers for that sneak, the assumption is that it was well received. @Insecure debuted with a 0.11 demo rating and 371,000 viewers. While some may think that is pretty low for an HBO premiere, that isn’t so bad for something so completely original and unique in format. The second episode climbed up to a 0.15 rating with 458,000 viewers; clearly, people read the praise from critics and decided to check it out. The show should really take-off in the coming weeks as more and more people catch wind of its awesomeness.
There haven’t been any announcements from HBO about a season renewal yet, but with this being one of the only new show’s that critics are saying is a must-watch this season, a renewal is highly likely.
Check out this new series if you haven’t already and judge for yourself! Insecure airs Sunday nights at 10:30pm ET on HBO Prime.
What did you think of Insecure? Did you ever watch Awkward Black Girl on YouTube? Will Issa and Molly ever figure out
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