Insecure (TV Series 2016– ) Poster

(2016– )

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Here's a review from a European English Guy - perhaps not the normal demographic for the show
azanti00296 April 2017
Well someone else from London gave this series an extremely unwarranted 1 of 10! 'So Girl, I'm gonna be correcting dat!' (Say that in Issa voice for full effect)

I probably need to state from the beginning, I have NOT seen any episodes of Awkward Black Girl, the web series upon which this is based, nor was I aware of the stand up comedy work of either Ms Rae or Ms Orji before this show. My reason for watching it simply came from wanting to see a good comedy show (I normally watch 2 or 3 before sleeping) and this had been recommended to me, so I came into it totally blind.

The premise of the show is relatively simple. Issa Rae plays Issa (Were no other character names available or was this just easier on set when asking for coffee?) a working black woman in LA, who has been employed as the token black woman run in a charity office run by a an all upper middle class, nearly all white people board of directors who seek to help disadvantaged children by primarily making them feel good about themselves, while also occasionally helping the kids. Issa is also in a steady relationship with Lawrence, (An excellent Jay Ellis) who has dreams but currently is unmotivated. Ex unrequited crush Daniel comes back on the scene and seems more motivated and the danger is of course appealing. Issa's best friend is Molly (Who is not named after the drug Xtasy, and a great performance from Yvonne Orji in her first leading series role) Molly is a lawyer, has a nicer apartment, is more financially stable but like so many people keeps playing the dating game of 'waiting for something better syndrome' and cannot find her ideal man. The friendship of these two affable women lies at the heart of the series and the energy that they have on screen together is key to show's success. Molly has an on/off relationship with mechanic Jared, while seeking love elsewhere with a man of more stable financial means and when she finds it is either too keen, or not keen enough.

So the scene is set for both girls to self sabotage their relationships and indeed their own friendship while looking for true love.

As a personal side story is that while I was on holiday in Florida during the playing of the Florida Classic Football game, a friend and I gave up our table for a black couple who could not sit down to eat, as we were close to finishing our meal, and they looked on the verge of leaving from frustration. Said couple then asked us to have drinks with them (Oh your English! Let's get you a drink!) became two of my best friends and a huge portion of both that and subsequent trips was spent with them and their families - something that was completely unheard of (They had no white friends and this only happened because I was English) so it gave me a real insight into just how divided, culturally American was. I mention this because I found several of the characters in the show Insecure, very close to Vikki & Anthony and their friends. So even though being from a different culture, race & country I found the show very accurate based on my own experiences of the time I spent with my friends family. (Hey, that plot line could make a funny episode, I could play the English guy!)

Regardless of this - I also need to add I found the show extremely well written with sharp performances (Though sometimes actor Neil Brown JR spoke so fast I needed subtitles and often watched his scenes twice to catch everything he said.) While in America I am sure this is perceived primarily as a 'Black' show by Executives, but (and please take note of this) the themes of friendship, love, insecurity and relationship choices were all aspects of life that in my view transcended race and indeed gender. While no doubt the setting might be more familiar to those living in LA from the neighbourhoods in which it was set, I found that had little relevance in my ability to enjoy the show. Amusing though it was for me as a man, to see a show where the male cast had their bums out as often as possible and the girls tactfully always kept their pants on during sex scenes (Strip club scene not included) so Female Producers = maximum male butt shots, but hey my other half wasn't complaining plus I am sure this will result in a large gay fanbase for the men! (Funny but true)

Special mention also needs to go to actress Natasha Rothwell (Also Executive Story Editor) who plays mutual single friend Kelli, the annoying friend you want to hate but cannot. A very familiar character. This again underscores the ability of the writers again, to have characters that transcend race and indeed continents. Not all of the writing is perfect and the show is not without its flaws but by episode four I thought it had found its feet well and had me fully engaged. I also saw the writers cleverly squeezed the occasional more serious debate. (Black male labels and sexuality) It would be good to see some Gay characters in season 2 and have them challenge stereotypes within the black community or those seen on other shows.

Issa Rae, I can see how hard she has worked to get this show made from nothing and Producers should take note that this is often where the raw talent comes from. Creatives frustrated with doors being unopened, find a way to open them, themselves.

The final episode of the show sets things up nicely for Season 2 and I will be watching it and I shall encourage many others to do the same.
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The show should be called "Immature"
Voice-OF-Reality14 August 2017
I really enjoyed the first season and I thought the show would go in the direction of being intelligent and insightful. I also thought it would make a statement about negative African American stereotypes. However, I find Season 2 is just playing into many of the stereotypes unfortunately.

Season 2 lacks maturity, intelligence and purpose. The characters all come off as immature people who never left high school mentally even long after becoming working professionals. Also, none of the characters seem intelligent at all. Especially Issa and Lawrence. Those two always have a permanent confused/surprised look on their faces like the lights are on but nobody's home.

Hopefully, the story line will lead somewhere interesting and not just be 30 minutes of stereotypes every Sunday. There is not a single character on the show that isn't a black stereotype to some degree. Sigh...
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Remember your insecure times...
Jharnden119 October 2016
I'm talking remember your transition from your twenties to thirties. Do you remember? If you don't you should not be very old to begin with, since you probably aren't out of your twenties. For the rest of you, come on! This may be from a perspective other than your own, but it is good and funny and lighthearted and serious show. It may seem to me an oxymoron, but it is not. This is a show for people who don't get offended easily and seek truth wherever it is found. If that is not you, if you get offended by real world language, real world situations, real world relationships, or real world people, no matter what their background or culture, this show is not for you. Go and watch "Leave it to Beaver" and never watch any other show and you will love your life. This is a show for open minded people who are not nostalgic, but recognize the universality of growing up and reaching the grave. This show made me remember what it was like to be dating, and in my twenties while nearing thirty (which happened after dating), and reminded me of how crazy life can be for women, since I am a man. This is a solid show and it should have a higher rating than it does on IMDb.
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Excellent new show that promises to continue being good
kabulls27 September 2016
I just watched the first episode of this wonderful new show. It was a sneak peak free stream from HBO on demand, and I will tell you that it sets up what should be a great series. Our female lead is both beautiful and funny. The show has style and substance and really hit the ground running. This felt like episode six of season three. I have very high expectations for this series. We have two very engaging female leads, we are capturing Los Angeles (a city I lived in for four years while I was the same age as the women on the show), we have an underrepresented pov on display. I will be counting the days until I can watch the next episode. I am just so impressed with the writing, the acting, and the overall feel of the show. We are living in a golden age of television. Movies can no longer compete!
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penelope-351 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
INSECURE is not quite what I expected. I was ready for a whole lot of Issa Rae but instead I feel as though the "Molly" character is crammed into the story and grabbing important development aspects that rightfully belong to the main character. This unfortunate decision has really narrowed the impact of what should have been a groundbreaking prestige series for HBO.

In Awkward Black Girl ("ABG"), Issa Rae's breakthrough online series, the story was narrated n part through Voice Over which is traditionally frowned upon even though it worked well in successful programs like Sex in the City and frankly worked fantastically in ABG. So in order to tell her story in the conventionally "acceptable" fashion the Powers That Be had to cram another Black female, Molly into the story to be her sounding board and foil character. If all the issues in the current plot line were happening to the same person it would be a much more compelling show. But here, the issues are divided between two characters which diminishes their impact. Whose character development are we supposed to be following?

There are some implausible moments from the very beginning. Why would an "insecure" person jump up on stage singing about anyone's "pussy". It felt forced and unnatural. And for the sake of all that is holy - Why Is There So Much Cursing? Two intelligent, educated black women sit in a restaurant for lunch having a loud expletive laden conversation that professional black women certainly have in private but NEVER in public. Why would Molly care about someone in her office getting married? Issa's character would be more concerned with that as she has been living with a man who has not been able to get his act together to take that next step. Molly doesn't even have a steady beau, yet. So it seems highly unlikely that someone getting engaged would even resonate with her. Her strong reactions would only seem valid if her office mate was getting engaged to a man that Molly had dated seriously. It makes me very uncomfortable seeing the same angry black woman who can't get a date, who complains about the variety of black men who are in the dating pool; or the black woman who has the disappointing boyfriend, who slacks off at work, who has to be chided by white people as to how to be a concerned employee and involved black person.That scene was extremely condescending. And further, the "fill in the blank - 'As *beep*'" episode titles are puerile and make it difficult to reference them in water- cooler discussions.

I believe that Issa Rae is a brilliant writer and really good actress, and I am praying that her very unique voice does not get drowned out by industry-insider conventionalism that has to this point marginalized the ability to bring non-stereotypical and reality-based People of Color to the big and small screens.
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nuccinfutz20 October 2016
Just the everyday life of a lady who runs into everyday issues while black. Love the show, funny, accurate, and just awesome. Loving this spin off can't wait to see more. I am very interested with the focus placed on Issa's thoughts, this truly makes her and the show instantly lovable. The co star molly also brings a very true and accurate representation on professionally accomplished women who in-turn almost surely are considered over qualified for meaningful relationships. I am hoping this will change the dynamics of how African women are perceived both personally and professionally. The perspective of insecure is spot on and there is no doubt it truly mirrors a few of the struggles of A.A. Women today. I am glad to see some of the characters from the YouTube series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl they are faces I recognize. Though their characters have changed they truly make the transition from the YouTube series to the HBO series very familiar yet fresh at the same time. So far I have enjoyed laughing and relating to the characters and I am looking forward to future episodes.
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geraldmossgm31 July 2017
"Insecure' is exactly what the title means a show full of insignificant or irrelevant relationships or lack of finding a true love. This acting is getting boring because the typical everyday life of both women Issa and Molly. No way this show speaks on behalf of all black women because it seems to be an atypical versus untypical show. In other words, the show just appears to go in circles. I keep trying to get into the show even reviewing Episodes from Season One and newest scenes from Season Two but nothing has changed. Its the same scenes like going to night clubs, brunch, or stalking an ex-boyfriend's girlfriend. For Season Two, it seems that the producers changed the scene to display a bar-b-que, but please create something that is uncommon. Soo far it's the same scenario a black woman is still roaming around searching for Mr. Right being Issa and Molly still is an executive. It would be nice if this show could advance on opening doors for other characters like new neighbors. I will watch the new episode that airs Sunday.
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Well-written and acted series that's worth your attention
sirenebern21 November 2017
Issa Rae has done a wonderful job writing and playing the lead character in "Insecure." I think this is a very well-written show with an engaging ensemble cast. The characters feel real and relatable, even though they are all much younger and hipper than me! I am 48 and live on the opposite coast, yet I felt that I had experienced many of the same things that Issa, Molly and their friends have in this series: the confusing romantic and sexual connections, the frustrating career experiences, the self-doubt and, most importantly, the benefit of good friendships. I caught "Insecure" one night on HBO and was instantly engaged. It's entertaining and stylishly produced as well. I really like the way the show has expanded to explore Molly's and Lawrence's characters in depth along with Issa's complex experiences and character development.

Confession: I struggled to get through a couple of seasons of HBO's "Girls" because it was always being praised in the media, and I hated it. "Insecure" is vastly superior. I can't wait for the new season.
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Love this show entirely!...but sometimes the sex scenes are SO extra
krisboogie18 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I loved awkward black girl when it was on youtube and I sincerely love this show, the acting, the exploration of LA, the comedy, the drama, the soundtrack, the depiction of black culture and aspects of black culture that aren't normally shown etc. etc. etc.....

BUT there are gratuitous amounts of sex FOR NO REASON sometimes. Like I get it, it's HBO...half their shows are essentially soft-core porn so it's not like I'm expecting it to be some squeaky clean family friendly show. HOWEVER, I feel like sex scenes, especially when they're super explicit, should have purpose and not just be added for shock value. Sure there are some points where a long sex scene makes sense because something is being explored between the characters, like this is the first time or there's going to be an awkward moment or an argument or something adding value to the general storyline that requires more from the scene than usual. But most of the time, the audience can get the point without a whole 60 seconds of bouncing boobs and grinding especially when it's between a main character and someone who doesn't even matter in the grand scheme of things.

Like the latest episode (for season 3) had a Lawrence flashback so we could kind of see what he's been up to since the last convo with Issa, and literally the first 3-4 mins of the episode was just super explicit sex scenes of him with diff women. And on the one hand, I get that they were trying to show him in his hoe lifestyle and it definitely had a stronger affect than if they wouldve only shown him talking to a bunch of different girls in a bar for example. However, there were other ways to have that same effect without almost 4mins of a 30min show being strictly dedicated to him in diff sex positions on a couch grinding against women with their boobs out. For example scenes of them kissing, or closing a door behind them, or leaving a bar etc. would show us the same thing, "Lawrence is now a hoe" without me feeling like I'm just watching porn. And even if your down with explicit sex scenes, when they take up so much of the show it just feels like a waste the very limited minutes of the show on scenes with no real value (when we could be getting into some of the other drama I'm actually interested in).

This may be an unpopular opinion, maybe people are actually into gratuitous amounts of useless sex scenes, but for me it makes the show an 8 when it has the potential to be a 10.
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I loved the first episode, but now I hate it.
meweathersby11 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The first episode was really funny and promising, but the story now drags. This girl has been dealing with the exact same issue for like 5 episodes now. She has a boring job and a boring boyfriend and a boring best friend who can't find a man up to her high standards who will instantly marry her. So she goes back and forth wanting to cheat with her crush from high school. I thought the characters would be a little more mature or at least if not more mature, less mopey, but they're not. This show is exactly that, mopey AF. Watching this show is depressing, not at all enjoyable and funny like the first episode was. It makes me feel slimy.
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Fresh, funny and unique to 21st Century TV
epicintron5 November 2016
Love this character! She's real, refreshing, constantly evolving and like no other currently on television. I am eager to see what else she gets into. The scenarios are endless because this character has so much unmined territory. I only hope the network and the viewing public give her the chance. So far she has dealt with the complexities of male/female relationships for millennials from the educated black female perspective, how "girlfriends" (platonic female friends) keep you sane, and trying to remain true to oneself in a hostile work environment. Unlike "Girlfriends", a comedy about four black women that aired for eight seasons beginning in 2000, "Insecure" breaks it (real life) down. We are allowed inside Issa's head and can feel her insecurities, the doubts that make her second guess herself and act, often, foolishly. We also see how she shakes the foolishness off and finds a way of working it out. The language and situations are often raw--in your face, but that is an aspect of its realness. "Insecure" brings "Girlfriends" all the way into the 21st century void of the restrictions, mediation and second-guessing that the Tracee Ellis Ross sit-com was subject to. Hopefully, America's viewing public is finally ready for it.
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Loved episode one but not episode two.
mudwhore77717 October 2016
I was hoping I had a new series to watch but it looks like that won't be the case. The first episode was extremely well written and acted. Great story line too. But unfortunately the second episode was ruined by too many remarks about peoples color. It gets very boring very quickly because of that. For once I would love to watch a program that didn't have to constantly remind you what a persons color was. I mean hey, guess what, I can see what color everyone is already. It just seems so cheesy to have the reminders. Or is that all the show is going to be about. Seems limiting. You can feel the change between episode one and episode two.

But I have to say I think the acting is fantastic, especially Issa Rae who is also the creator. And I love that it's set in Los Angeles. You know, the real Los Angeles.
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What a disappointment
jonnithomas4 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this having read some very favourable reviews about how funny and insightful it is.

I was, however, very disappointed at the standard of the show. It portrays black Americans being primarily stupid, rude and entertained by trash.

an example being how the two female characters go out for a drink and one gets approached by a guy, when the second tries to be a part of the conversation they both snub her leaving her feeling rejected and embarrassed. she then goes up to the open mic and raps a 'song ?' which she calls 'bad pussy'. these two words are repeated monotonously by the whole crowd who waive their bodies in approval as though 'bad pussy' is a wonderful and amusing expression.

her 'friend' takes this as a major insult and rows with the 'bad pussy' chanter about it. they then drive home and the singer (who should have been staying the night) asks if she is still staying and is told no.

then there is a scene at work where someone has been asked to marry. a whole crowd of people (primarily male) gather around expectantly hanging on every word of what the proposer said and how it was done. when interrupted a man says 'no, no go on' as though this is fascinating and exciting news.

so if these two scenes excite you with awe and wonder then perhaps it is for you. however, it certainly isn't for me as I don't watch drivel.

ohh, btw, it's not funny, the characters are unbelievable and the scenarios are lame. it's basically cheap rubbish which is only fit for children as it bears no relation to adult behaviour but may imitate some playground activity.
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one of the best comedic shows of 2017
mendezkayra2 August 2017
The humor of this show is so relatable the bond between Issa and Molly is so relatable to many female friendships, you almost seem to believe you are taking part in all their little schemes. One major thing that is amazing and great about this show is their SOUNDTRACK. Some of the best songs and artist bring life to the show. I completely recommend this show to anyone, hands down one of the best comedic shows of 2017 so far.
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Very Interesting
Mike_Panno11 September 2018
As a white male senior citizen I'm not the target demographic but I enjoy the show. Assuming the depictions are relatively accurate the writing, casting, music are very good. The talent on display impressed the heck out of me.
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rogerthatrodger-0573623 March 2018
Pretty awesome show! Based in LA. I love the rap music in every episode, I'm glad they gave Issa this show!
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Absolutely loved this show!!
nanishtechnical10 October 2017
i tried to be descriptive, framing words for how i felt watching this but i cant!! but let me put it this way. i watched the first episode, then the second, and the third, forth, fifth and sixth, looked at the time, it was 5am.. rushed off to work. kept on thinking what the hell was going on with some characters in the show.. got home, plunked my bag down, switched the show on, went through season 1, then started on the second till i FINISHED it, at the end of the second season, i just kept watching the credits roll cus i just hoped the show wont end... they got me good... LOVE INSECURE TO DEATH!! amazing show!!
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Good gone to porn
avis-0835314 August 2018
At first this show had a good premise, now all it is just porn. I will never look at it again.
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Loving Issa's journey
graphicgyrl15 August 2018
Loving this show. Sorely needed. Exciting seeing the everyday struggles and triumphs of black singles in La. Reminds me of sex in the city - a show that sorely missed the mark in totally ignoring black and brown New Yorkers. Thank you.
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Author Avatars are Bad, When Will We Learn?
dollypeppers10 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
So I really wanted to like Insecure, it was recommended to me as this ultra-progressive look at the modern experience of black women who honestly do not get to tell their own stories enough in media and I was told it was funny. It's not really funny and not especially progressive but it could have still been likable but for one thing. Issa. Do I mean the character Issa Dee or the actress/writer Issa Rae you ask? Yes.

Issa Dee is super trashy and immature. She cheats on her man because she's having relationship problems, instead of doing something useful like going to couples counseling or just breaking up and she has very little regard for how her actions affect Molly, seriously who raps about their friend's intimate life to strangers and pretends that's okay? All Issa Dee cares about is sex. All Issa Rae cares about is propping up Issa Dee's continually bad decisions. Flawed characters are great but when you're blatantly author avataring like Issa is it just seems like you're out to justify your own misdeeds. There is very little more obnoxious than someone behaving like garbage then still expecting sympathy.

Molly is such a much more sympathetic character and way more interesting but Issa hogs a bunch of screentime because she's basically the creator's avatar and cannot be ignored. You can't watch the show if Issa annoys you because she is the show. Instead of Insecure someone should change the title to Issacure. I couldn't stand her by episode 4 of season 1 and tapped out a little before midway through the second season because she just never improved. Maybe it gets better but I doubt it as long as Issa prioritizes herself and her issues over everything. Do I mean the character or the actress/writer there? Again, yes.

And apparently Issa(actress/writer) is also abrasive to her fans as well from what I've heard. If her fictional avatar is anything to go by that wouldn't surprise me.
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Real and funny.
jockbartlett3 December 2019
Love this humorous insight into life as a black woman in LA. Living here in the UK we are force fed images of gang violence, crack dealing and gun crime, while these issues are not ignored they are not part of Issas life and we are not given these stereotypes of LA inner city life, just the real human struggles with a funny slant.
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OMG I'm so upset!!! Its turning into a drama or soap opera.
mscathyscott1 October 2018
I watch VERY very very few tv series, and this is the only one I am currently watching. I only recently found out about Awkward Black Girl and found the episodes online and watched them all. Everytime I find a tv series that I like, it's usually a comedy series that ends up turning into a drama or soap opera.

The last 3 episodes have been a lot less comical and a lot more stressful, to me. That's literally, why I stopped watching Black-ish, awhile ago (my last tv series). I knew this was going to happen. :-(

Ps... way too much with the sex scenes !!!
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Love it
amyflyone22 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I started this series with hesitation, because most shows are unrealistic and provide nothing I can relate to, nor are they funny enough to stick with. I enjoyed Insecure from the beginning, and it got better as it progressed. I'm looking forward to a second season. I'm a white 30's something female, and I can relate more with Molly than I ever could with Sex and The City or Girls (both unrealistic in my opinion). It's refreshing to see a TV series that is not all white, with intelligent humor, and drama that is perfect; I can't stand 'over the top' drama. I can't speak for others, but as a female I can relate to the many issues that Molly and her friend have. I think awards should be given to writing, directing, and acting. Bravo on a great new TV series.
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rob_413 September 2018
Another disgusting portrayal! Disappointing in acting and script! Can't believe it was renewed! Nobody in this cast or crew deserves to have a show!
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A great, smart, innovative original !
BigDaddyG117 March 2020
After waiting much too long this awesome series is baaaccckkk !!!
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