As a former lover and fan of Awkward Black Girl, you could imagine my excitement when I saw Issa Rae on a major network like HBO. I had a bit of an internal party and tingle of enjoyment – I had literally watched her rise to the top as a producer, writer, actress, and now Golden Globe nominee. Suddenly hashtags like #weMADEit and #BlackGirlMagic felt like a necessity. Her new series Insecure left pop culture in a frenzy as we watched the most relatable storyline play out on television every week for 30 minutes. Putting a satirical spin on what it’s like being black in America from a friendship, relationship, and professional perspective, Issa initiated some of the craziest amount of chatter proceeding a television episode social media probably has ever seen.
The finale not only left viewers on the edge of their seats, but if you were like me in awe. Though I honestly wasn’t surprised at the outcome, I secretly was wishing I wasn’t going to be right. Each character is someone we know, and in some cases could be ourselves. Molly the self-destructor who needs a good reality check, to Issa and Lawerence who clearly have a relationship we’ve all seen play out at some point.
“Tell your dad Black women aren’t bitter, they’re just tired of being expected to settle for less”
When Issa so eloquently responds to a student who said her dad told her nobody is checking for bitter Black women, I pretty much knew the whole storyline. This wasn’t just a story of who’s right or wrong in the cheating game. I think this first season was also a chance to prove the point black women do have options. Though Issa and Molly are pure examples of how a woman can get in her own way, and in some of the messiest and most savage ways possible at that. There are men, better yet good men checking for the black woman.
It’s actually a side to dating that we often don’t see. It’s so stereotypical that the man is portrayed to be the player and the dog. Issa takes a stab at showing the harsh reality that woman can get their hands dirty too. I found it easy to sympathize for “Jobless” Lawrence who is so in love with Issa he wants to do the right thing, and “rent-a-car” Jared who Molly treats as a pawn only when it suits her, and “In The Dark” Daniel, who Issa runs to when her relationship is at odds and then quickly without explanation dismisses.
Then there is the crux of the show, what caused the most confliction between viewers. The tremendous amounts of micro-cheating, and just straight up infidelity. It’s a testament to all of the trials those in a relationship must face and go through in this day and age. Social media is of course the beginning of the infidelity, because we all know how it goes down in the DM’s.
Insecure takes real scenarios that we all understand and shows somewhat of a decision tree of steps to the bitter consequences. I won’t say whether I’m #TeamIssa or #TeamLawerence, but I think both played their role, just as Molly, Jared, and Daniel did as well. How we decide to manage our lives and relationships with others, ultimately will lead to our fate.