Why HBO’s Insecure is important
Sex and the City for the younger generation hits what the classic show missed
Warning: contains spoilers!
Insecure, a television series that streams on HBO, details the lives of Black women in contemporary society. The show is named Insecure to encompass the struggles of its two most prominent characters, Issa and Molly. Issa is awkward and insecure, whereas Molly, on the other hand, is head strong, anxious, and impulsive. The show was created by Issa Rae, who also stars in it. What makes HBO’s Insecure authentic and unique is the fact that it focuses on the mundanity of life. For once, as a Black girl, I can watch a show that is just about life and living it without the inclusion of trauma porn.
To have a fantastic show, you must have a killer costume designer. The characters of the show are seen wearing Gucci and Fendi among others. Insecure also celebrates Black designers, Black beauty, Black art and culture. The show features fashion from couture fashion houses such as Pyer Moss and Telfar.
Over the last two decades, HBO was known for its iconic show Sex and the City. Today, Insecure is carrying that torch by exploring similar themes, but bringing the representation Sex and the City never had.
In season one, Issa is dating Lawrence, her long-term boyfriend. She is the breadwinner. Lawrence has been looking for a job for quite some time but hasn’t had any luck unfortunately. This was a burden that was too difficult for Issa to bare and as a result, she seeks out company from someone else who she feels can give her what Lawrence can’t. Issa ends up cheating on Lawrence and when she confesses this to him, they break up as a result. Issa relies on her friends Molly, Kelli, and Tiffany to help her get through it.
By the second season, Issa is stuck at her dead-end job. She feels like she wants to quit, but is unsure what path she wants to be on. Molly, on the other hand, has been going on dates but is unlucky in love. All she wants is a partner for life, but her dates have ranged from narcissistic to commitment phobic. Towards the third season, Issa quits her job at a non-profit called We Got Y’all. She starts managing apartments on the side while she is figuring out what she wants to do next. Her friendship with Molly starts going downhill.
When Molly starts dating an Asian man, the show takes a moment to detail the reality of interracial relationships. Molly becomes serious with her boyfriend Andrew in season 4. Her life is going well until Issa decides that she wants to throw block parties and events in South LA. She aims to have Black caterers at her events and promote local talent. Issa needs a famous musician at her first event, so she asks Molly if she could speak to her boyfriend about asking the musician to perform since Molly’s boyfriend works at a record label. Molly says no. Somehow, Issa’s new friend Nathan pulls some strings and talks to Andrew about asking the musician to perform. After a long season of making sure everything comes together, Issa’s first event is a success.
By the fourth season, Issa and Molly’s friendship has gone sour and they aren’t speaking to each other. Then, Molly and Andrew break up; Issa gets back together with Lawrence, but they break up again after she finds out that he has a baby on the way with his last girlfriend.
One of the aspects that makes Insecure fantastic is that it explores the concept of right person, wrong time. Issa and Lawrence are in this exact predicament. Since the start of the show, Issa and Lawrence have been trying to make it work. The reality is that sometimes you just have to step away from the person and the situation before you can find your way back to each other. What and who is meant for you will never miss you. If it’s right, people always find their way back to each other, the same way Issa and Lawrence did. This time they are both more mature, communicate their needs, and are resilient and strong. Most importantly, they are vocal about what is important for a successful, honest relationship.
Insecure also highlights the importance of having genuine friends who are there for you. It’s hard being a woman, and it’s even harder being a Black woman. Therefore, it’s important to have your people – those who have your back no matter what. Throughout the ups and downs of life, Issa and Molly have always been there for each other. They are consistent in the roles they play in each other’s life. Issa and Molly are the pinnacle of friendship. When Molly is going through her mother’s stroke and family issues, Issa is there for her. When Issa is unsure about her feelings for Lawrence, Molly is there to offer some wisdom.
Insecure is an amazing show that deserves all the hype it is getting. Though many have criticized the costume choices of the show because Issa is wearing couture while going through financial difficulties, the reality is that when Carrie Bradshaw was wearing Vivienne Westwood and Manolo Blahnik shoes, nobody said anything because the show focused a lot on fashion. It’s important to have a show that features Black characters wearing designer pieces because it is about the representation. Insecure isn’t just about friendship – it’s also about fashion.
Issa and Molly started the first season as two insecure women just trying to do their best given their circumstances. As they grow and mature, they become secure. They become secure in what they want for their lives. They become secure in their self-esteem and worth. They become the women of their dreams. They become who they were always meant to be. Insecure is an amazing show because it celebrates growth, self-esteem, and security.