HBO did us all a solid and released Issa Rae’s highly anticipated Insecure weeks before its October 9th premiere. So naturally, I’ve pretty much memorized the first episode. Let me tell y’all, the show exceeded my expectations. Admittedly, and unfairly, they were ridiculously high just because I was so excited about a TV show of a black woman who is awkward AF. But that ended up not being an issue cause the show became an instant favorite. (Hello, relatable television, I love you so much! Never leave me!) The only downside of the early launch is waiting till October 16th for the second episode.
In the meantime, I’ll just binge on the web-series that started it all and share the best and most relatable moments from the show’s first episode so I can keep reliving it.
It’s a tale as old as time. Trying to pinpoint how you want to spend most of your waking hours pretty much defines your 20s (and 30s and 40s these days). In the first episode, Issa turns 29, causing her to re-evaluate her entire life, including her career. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve changed the direction of my career. A few years ago, I never imagined wanting to be a writer, and yet here I am. And who knows where I will be a few years from now? It is a bit stressful and anxiety producing to not have a clear path set out for you, but to me, I find it keeps life interesting and engaging. There are so many jobs and opportunities out in the world that I would have never dreamed of. Why limit ourselves to just one path?
Some of my favorite moments in the show feature Issa talking or rapping to herself in the mirror. I have zero musical talent but talking to the mirror, either to hype myself up or play out potential boy crush scenarios, is something I am very, very familiar with.
The best thing about getting older is eventually realizing *no one* knows what they are doing and that we are all just trying to get through this thing called life. So why stress? Easier said than done, I know, but when you remind yourself that we are all in this together, giving less fu*cks comes quite naturally.
Now we are getting to some of the relatable issues from the show that as a woman of color, we rarely get to experience. In the show, Rae works for a nonprofit called, “We Got Y’all,” which helps kids of color in low-income communities succeed in school. Rae is the only person of color that works for the nonprofit started by a white woman.
When you’re brown and work in the field of helping others, coming across clueless but well-meaning white people is the name of the game. The White Savior complex in philanthropy is real, and as a human rights advocate, I’ve spent most of my professional life witnessing it first hand.
While it’s so easy to mock White Saviors, Rae adds an extra layer in the issue by claiming her class privilege and how it plays out in the field. (see the hilarious first few minutes of the episode) There’s a lot of complicated issues that arise from people making a profession out of helping others. I am really excited the show is addressing the subtle nuances, all while making me cringe-laugh.
This is going to be so much fun. Since Rae works with all White Saviors, she’s treated as the token black woman in the office. To cope, Rae plays some fun mind games with her co-workers. Like when they ask silly questions such as, “What’s on fleek?,” she pretends to not know what they are talking about. (Try Google next time!)
For those that participate in committed relationships, there comes a time in a girl’s life when she starts asking, “Is this what I want?” This can happen once or 50 times, it all depends on how you do you, but it’s something most of us go through. Trying to answer that question may prove to be one of the hardest things you do in your life, but it can also end up being one of the best things you do in your life. For me, that question came pretty early in my 20’s and while answering it was painful, it was one of the best decisions of my life.
In the first episode, we are introduced to the soulmate level friendship of Issa and Molly. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the friendship these two share, but there are few things I love more than strong, positive, diverse woman friendships portrayed on television. To add icing on the cake, Molly and Issa rock Prince and Michael Jackson shirts and if you are a fan of either, that extra little touch of each representing one of the ’80s pop stars, makes you giddy (or it could just be me totally reading into it, but either way, it makes my heart very happy).