INSECURE Review: “Hella LA”

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Ya’ll, INSECURE is such a relatable and well written show that I’ve been hearing about people being genuinely upset with the actors on the show for things their characters did. Let’s all remember: these are fictional characters in a fictional story! No need to get all pressed just because you’ve got unsolved relationship trauma that you’re projecting onto these characters.

This week’s episode “Hella LA” was exactly as the title implies: complete with day parties, irritating Bike Races, terrible traffic, and… threesomes (?).

Issa, Molly, and Kelli are excited to head to a day party, Kiss ‘n Grind, where Issa’s planning on meeting up with a new potential bed buddy that she met on a dating app. Issa expresses that Single Issa is out and about, ready to get laid with anyone and everybody at the event. Even though Issa’s ready to get down with as many people as possible, what she doesn’t anticipate is Daniel being there. Dun dun dun!

Lawrence’s own storyline started off strange and unfortunate. On his way to a party with Chad, Lawrence gets pulled over by the cops for an illegal U-Turn. Then, at a grocery store, Lawrence dies of embarrassment after realizing he’s lost his debit card. Lawrence’s luck changes after two girls behind him in line pay for his stuff, clearly hitting on him. After they approach him in the parking lot, he decides to ditch Chad and hang out with the ladies.

Meanwhile back at the party, Issa finally runs into Felix (her social media hookup), who’s definitely not the shining armor dude she thought he was. He’s a trifling jerk (to put it lightly)– commenting on her hair AND her voice, ditching her after about 3 seconds of meeting her. Hphm, he wasn’t really a catch himself so it’s HIS LOSS!!

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Molly runs into Dro (Dro’s the one that made her second guess the dude she almost dated from last episode) and spends the majority of the party with him. They both go back down memory lane, and end up re-living their favorite past time – dancing. When “Slow Motion” came on I already knew some foolery was about to go down, especially considering Dro is married to Candice. Before going too far, Molly stops, feeling uncomfortable about being a little too flirtatious. Dro lets her know that he and Candice are in an open marriage and if Molly’s down for the get down, so is he. While this initially freaks Molly out, it’s clear that she has feelings for him and is actually considering taking on his proposition.

We catch up with Lawrence in some random apartment with the girls, smoking weed, and enjoying the attention he’s getting from them. They go into the bedroom for a threesome…. that fails. Lawrence isn’t able to keep it up long enough to please both of them, irritating the two women who complain that complain that they’ve been with “other black guys” that could keep going. Ugh.

After recounting everything that happened to Chad, Chad insists that Lawrence scored the jackpot, although it’s clear that Lawrence seems to feel a little regretful of his actions. His storyline ends with the reveal that he’s sitting outside of Issa’s apartment building, staring longingly before pulling off into the night full of longing

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After the party, Kelli takes the girls to a restaurant, where — you guessed it — Daniel also happens to be. Issa tries to ignore him, but after Kelli starts getting pleasured by a dude under the table RIGHT NEXT to her, she makes her way over to Daniel for “help.”

We leave the episode wondering what’ll happen now that Issa and Daniel have reconnected, and ultimately who’s feelings are going to be hurt when this is all said and done.

As ya’ll can tell, I’ve been in love with every episode this season, but this was the first episode of the show’s run where I truly wished the show was longer than 30 minutes. In my humble opinion, Insecure is a prime example of the idea that less is more. The show is only thirty minutes long, which means we only have 120 more minutes left to figure out what the heck is going to happen with Issa/Lawrence and if Molly’s soul mate is actually a married dude in an open marriage.

But seriously, while this episode was pretty chill, it packed a punch for a mid season finale by setting up the main drama for the second half of the season. Right now, we’re left knowing that Lawrence is getting a little tired of sowing his wild oats and beginning to feel the emptiness that sometimes comes with pointless hookups with people you sort of hate. Considering he ended his threesome by parking outside of Issa’s house, it’s safe to say that she’s on his mind and he might be slowly making his way back into her life.

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If it were any other show, I feel like the audience would be left with the hope that Issa and Lawrence are destined to come back together. What this show does so well is  realism and it’s really able to encompass the hard truth about relationships, which is simply, ish might not work out. So while they showed that Lawrence clearly  still has feeling for Issa, they also showed Issa rekindling her relationship with Daniel. Just as dating in your mid-late 20s is an emotional rollercoaster, so is this show.

I guess that’s why people are truly affected by this show. It’s so real that viewers truly see themselves in each of Insecure’s characters, which is why people have developed a true hate for some of these characters. Heck, I read an article somewhere that talked about people tweeting at the actress that plays Tasha and calling her a “homewrecker.” Yes it’s pitiful that people can’t distinguish art from reality, but when art imitates reality so well…

My favorite scene of this episode (besides Issa staring in horror as Kelli gets pleasured one foot away from her), was Lawrence’s car scene. While on his way to a pregame with Chad, Lawrence gets caught up in infamous LA traffic and decides to follow other people and make an illegal U-Turn. He gets the bad luck and is pulled over by a cop. The scene starts off as an experience common when driving while black – complete with the cop asking if his car belonged to him, and being screamed at to keep his hands on the wheel.. The scene takes a surprising turn when the cop lets him go, laughing with him and bonding over his alma mater. It was a twist on what I’d expect of a “black dude gets pulled over in LA” scene, and I was pleasantly surprised at the conclusion of the scene. To me, it’s so smart on two levels: 1) It subverts the viewers (or at least mine) expectations of a black character’s encounter with the police, and 2) even though the scene ended positively, it was still able to illicit a shared trauma/experience of many POC when we’re pulled over, without having to end in violence.

Finally, I’ve been wondering what’s going on with Molly, but I certainly didn’t see this coming. While the whole “open marriage” thing certainly was unexpected, the conversation was handled very openly and with no judgements. While I’ve never thought much about open-marriages, I thought that the show’s representation of it seems to be inclusive and mature.

All right, so Daniel’s back in the picture and Issa might’ve really gotten her grove back. Who knows what’s to happen next, but if it’s anything like real life – it’ll be a hot hot mess, ya’ll.
TB-TV-Grade-ASeason 2, Episode 4 (S02E04)
Insecure airs Sundays at 1030PM on  

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Writer based in LA. Just trying to write good stuff while deep conditioning my hair.
Keep up with all of Vanessa’s reviews here.

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