HBO's INSECURE: one season down
If you've been looking for a new TV show to keep you quality entertained for a few days, Insecure might be the right one for you. HBO has brought to the stage a new comedic jam with an indie vibe, this time starring Issa Rae, a woman who is ready to insightfully break down stereotypes and offer a peep into the lives of two black women who on one hand have it all, but on the other, they don't really know how to handle themselves and the real flow of life.
As the show has just wrapped its first season, we though it would be a good time to throw this recommendation out there, especially now that two of our favourite shows have ended a season (I'm talking, of course, about Better Things and High Maintenance). Of course, there's still Westworld, New Girl, Last Man on Earth and Brooklyn Nine-Nine too keep you warm, but still.
"Small-scale sitcoms based on the lives of their creators have long been a mainstay of TV—Louie, Better Things, Girls, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Maron. Mostly, these semi-autobiographical shows are character-driven and have an acidic, self-deprecating way of examining their stars. HBO’s Insecure is different. Tasked with scaling up her hit webseries Awkward Black Girl for HBO, Issa Rae has elected to take a positive and insightful approach, and the result is a rare TV treasure. But Insecure also feels fresh—it’s a relationship comedy that manages to find new angles on storylines that would otherwise feel hopelessly played out.
The show’s primary strength is its confidence. Insecure’s pilot episode focuses on two women, Issa (Rae, playing a fictionalized version of herself) and her best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji), and their relatively low-key relationship foibles. There’s no huge twist or major trauma to work through; Rae and her co-creator Larry Wilmore are hoping that their focus on deep characterization, and Issa’s delightful, witty internal monologue, will be enough to hook viewers. They’re right. Insecure is a lived-in, frequently hilarious gem, one that manages to offer a different entry point into the conversations about sexuality, race, and culture that TV is constantly trying to have." (The Atlantic)
"There’s something quite remarkable about HBO’s long-gestating comedy Insecure. It’s the first pilot this season that comes close to perfection, the sort of show that leaves you feeling giddy, eager to tell all of your friends about it. [...]
The voice might seem so fresh because there are so few shows centered on black females, especially ones that are not made in the Shonda Rhimes mold. However, I think that not only politicizes a show that isn’t looking to be political but also belittles what Rae is accomplishing. Yes, there are moments that are very insightful about race or specific to the black experience, particularly in the workplace (Issa worries that her coworkers are sending “secret white emails” about her, and Molly is sent to deal with a new colleague who acts a little too “hood”) but they are ancillary to the characters’ universal experience as people.
Insecure is a great show. It’s not a great show about black people or a great show about women, but it is absolutely richer and more distinctive because of those things. It is just damn good, and Rae should be very secure about the future for her show." (The Guardian)
Take a look:
"As Issa Dee, Rae spends significant moments of alone time staring at herself in any reflective glass she can find — in her home, at a school, at the office or after hooking up. But Issa isn’t checking her hair or looking for flaws. She’s building her confidence any way she can. Be it by rapping (an old passion slowly rising from dormancy), shouting or imagining future conversations, Issa is trying to figure out who she wants to be, by seeing what side of herself she likes best.
These moments bring out the best in “Insecure” because they’re the most courageous aspects of the young series. Cut into scenes like abrupt flashbacks and traditionally incorporated as bookends to events in real-time, we get to see inside Issa’s mind and glimpse the passion, drive and personality only sporadically apparent in the rest of the show." (Indiewire)
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