Friday, October 27, 2017

Now on HBO: Insecure, Season 2 (2017)

Insecure, Season 2 (2017) - Created by Issa Rae, Larry Wilmore; Starring Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis, Lisa Joyce.

By Kenny Howell

The strength of Issa Rae's Insecure, which started as a web series called Awkward Black Girl, and has been adapted to two very good seasons on HBO, was that she never sacrificed character.

There are many instances where she could have gone for the easy laugh, or really big laugh, which there isn't many (that's not a problem), but she is more concerned with telling a story, essentially, about three people.

The first is obviously Issa herself. In season 2, we see Issa trying to pick up the pieces after her breakup from Lawrence. She tries dating, but has a lot of trouble getting back out there. She also is having trouble at work, as a educational initiative at an underperforming school is having difficulty getting off the ground because of kids disinterest and an unhelpful administration.

Lawrence is trying to get things going as well. He has a new job, and also trying to get himself back out there. But Issa is still in the back of his mind, despite how much she betrayed him.

Molly is trying to climb the corporate ladder at work, but is feeling underappreciated, so she considers a move. She also has relationship problems of her own, which include a married man in an open relationship.

Obviously, the balance of getting ahead in your professional life and trying to make any sense of your personal life is very important for Insecure. There is also being an African-American (and woman for two), in the modern world. Each character handles it differently, and Rae rounds out those characters well. She could veer into a world of setup-punchline, but instead she spends her time getting you invested in the characters. The series is all the better for it.

The first two seasons of Insecure are now streaming on HBO Go and HBO Now.

Rating: ***

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