What a time. It still seems unreal, but HBO’s Insecure is actually coming to an end with the series finale airing December 26. No one's prayer worked. The more the show winds down (or Wine’s down 😉), I’m realizing exactly why it’s my favourite show. It’s really been more than a show, it’s had shows within the show (hi Kandi and Ray-J, and co); Insecure is zeitgeist, it’s a symbol of Issa Rae’s journey, it’s our Black Twitter time to connect, and we are really gonna miss it.
What I love about Insecure is that it’s unapologetically itself, and fearless in dealing with any topic; with the same energy in everything Issa touches. They weren’t exaggerating when they said the show was going to be about growth this season–it's also about what happens when you grow. Growth is never linear, it’s often messy. And all of the characters have grown, but the standouts are definitely Issa, Kelli, and (I'm cringing cause I hate being wrong) Lawrence.
Tiffany and Derek continue their (im)perfect relationship, giving us peeks into postpartum realness last season and the true delusion involved in us believing Tiffany only masturbates to Derek this season. The real life Tiffany, Amanda Seales, had the actor who plays Derek, Wade Allain-Marcus, on her podcast and they dropped more gems in an episode called Side Effects of DuBois Love.
Tiffany and Derek are moving across the country, and the girls are facing yet another challenge in their group that they will overcome, like they did with earlier obstacles with both pairs of bffs. One of my favourite parts of Tiffany’s storyline were the moments that highlighted her close friendship with Kelli, ‘cause what’s it gonna be, the fact she’s the one who actually brought Condola onto the scene? Both Kelli, the character, and actress Natasha Rothwell have enjoyed a beautiful journey on the show. More on Rothwell’s journey in this awesome LA Times profile. She has directed and written episodes of Insecure, so she contributes behind the scenes, and in front of the camera, Kelli has more than held her own, stealing almost every scene she’s in, and becoming the face of the series’ central theme:
Molly (Yvonne Orji) is finally growing into herself which results in her finding a man that actually understands her – so growth does pay off. Leonard Robinson (who plays Taurean) joined Issa and showrunner Prentice Penny in last week’s Wine Down to talk about the effect Taurean has had on Molly. They talk about how the characters got a spark going by seeing each other in a different light, and I like the fact that Molly’s new vulnerability (and legit family emergency) is giving her an opportunity to accept help from people. I never liked Taurean, and I never liked Molly so it works! People who get enough A type personalities in real life understand the lack of enthusiasm seeing them spotlighted (as always!) on television but I understand why Molly’s character exists. To me, it just makes legitimately messy and sometimes disastrous Issa look even cooler and more laidback no matter what decisions she makes or phase she’s in.
Issa is really wrapping up our favourite show on a high note and giving exactly what she should be giving, and what she prepared us for. Whether it’s a fantasy sequence, her talking to the mirror or trying to figure out if any of these filler dudes can fit into Lawrence’s shoes, we can relate to her. And I’m just gonna say it: Issa and Lawrence belong together. We have been with them since Best Buy, since Tasha (played by Dominique Perry) who he should have stayed with, and loud, annoying Aparna from work he couldn’t leave soon enough (played by Jasmine Kaur). She was one of those cool girlfriends. Any women in this climate still being “cool” to men? Go away.
Lawrence has grown even more than Issa as a character, and had some serious missteps along the way, including parenting ones now. I loved that the writers gave a nod to the exhausting stereotype of a father being rewarded for doing anything, even if it’s wrong. Lawrence had to move back to LA because you can’t actively parent a newborn baby who’s five hours or a short flight away. I appreciated his humility and ability to keep it moving. He does it at work, he does it with Condola, and he’s gonna do it with Issa when they get back together–I hope! At the end of last Sunday’s episode, he decided to step to the always- sleepy- yet- ready -for anything Nathan (Kendrick Sampson) so I think we are headed down that road. Some people said he is now “fighting for Issa” but I don’t care about all that. Issa is the one who cheated initially and he had a baby, a huge life change. Why would he be fighting for Issa during such a chaotic time?
And it’s also interesting how the show gave him one great best friend, and a horrible one. Stable and amazing Derek has shared with Lawrence some seriously great life tips, and Chad (played by Neil Brown Jr.) is a useless mess. His life is a mess and so is his advice. I cut a dude off a couple years ago for calling that character a good friend. Where?
Most importantly though, Insecure means so much to Black women; we have gotten to see ourselves reflected on the screen, realistically and layered, and Insecure didn’t start a conversation about “diversity on television,” it just did it. I’ve written about the show numerous times, and some of Issa’s other big projects like the amazing Black Lady Sketch Show. The side of Los Angeles that Issa highlighted on the show is the one she grew up in. There is no need for the show to explain why all the main characters are Black, but she’s explained that too.
Issa cares, she does the work, she networked across not up, she truly roots for everyone Black, and inspiration doesn’t not even come close to describing the mark she has made on television. For Insecure, we got another Girlfriends but on HBO, where there’s more creative freedom – and Issa took full advantage, and also paid respects. The show referenced Girlfriends when Issa sang the theme song to Molly in season 1, who bears a striking resemblance to Jill Marie Jones, who played Toni. This moment was completed for my obsessed ass when the two linked up and posed for pictures together, Yvonne Orji captioning it #WhenMollyMeetsToni Episode 1: The Holiday House Party. In 2016, she told The Breakfast Club that she got a lot of comments regarding the comparison between the two.
So what’s next? The upcoming documentary, Insecure: The End streaming on HBO Max after the last episode drops Sunday. What are we gonna do when it’s over? It’s giving despair, Okay?