Compelling AF: A Review of Insecure Season 1


HBO’s Insecure is a show about the everywoman–more specifically the black female millennial trying to find her way to the land where Black Girl Magic resides. The show comes from the brilliant mind of Issa Rae, creator of the web series Awkward Black Girl and New York Times bestselling author of the Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl. The series has garnered so much praise that it has been picked up by HBO for a second season.

The show is centered on Issa and Molly, two best friends who are dealing with the everyday struggles of life such as love, work, and being a black woman. What makes the show stand out is that for the first time since Girlfriends, audiences are able to get a glimpse of what black women, go through on a daily basis. Insecure takes it a step further than Girlfriends by exploring topics such as dealing with micro-aggressions at work as a person of color.

In the third episode “Racist as F***,” Issa deals with the pressures of planning a fun and productive trip for the underprivileged youth she works with at her job. Her white co-workers (save her ally Frieda ) doubt the success of the school trip to the beach. While it does pan out well for Issa and the kids, one white coworker asks, “why don’t they swim?” Issa quips back by saying “slavery.”

Insecure also focuses on the double standards of sexual fluidity for men–specifically those in the black community. After Molly runs into an awkward juncture with a guy she’s seeing that gives her reservations, Issa questions her best friend’s reticence by asking, “why can’t black men explore their sexuality without being labeled gay or bisexual?”

Other episodes cover topics such as code switching at work, therapy and mental health and black elitism. While the writers do an excellent job exposing the experiences people of color deal with on a daily they still write story lines for Issa and Molly that are relatable to anyone no matter gender, race, sexual preference or income level.

The season finale left the audience with unanswered questions as most freshman shows often do. Issa began the season unsure of how she felt about her boyfriend Lawrence of 5 years and disenchanted with her job at her non-profit. By the end of the season she is blossoming at work while her relationship is simultaneously fading. Molly is still left wondering if she’s doomed for the single life while she flirts with prospect of going to therapy after battling with a slew of failed relationships. The most powerful aspect of the seasons last episode is that despite the uncertainties these women face in their lives, they are facing them together.

Insecure is simply a show about two women just trying to get through life one good or bad choice at a time.

Asha Atkins