I’ll admit it, last episode I was too lazy to pinpoint a quote of the week. I messed up. However, during this week’s episode of INSECURE, “Shady as F**k”, I heard this little gem: “…. Stupid, smart as f**k, researching ass kids.” I love it, because that’s probably how us Millennials are going to insult the next generation of kids. They’re going to be the masters of collecting receipts.
Before I begin though, can we find out where Issa got her Red Lobster, hot sauce, and Formation Beyoncé shirt? Matter of fact, a few episodes ago there was a Nicki Minaj pillow on Issa’s couch that I couldn’t stop staring at. Who are the set and costume designers on Insecure?? Will they be opening a store so they can take all my money??
I have a lot to praise, so I’ll get right to it.
Issa learns that her class is still going nuts over the Broken P***y video, and she fears that if it doesn’t stop her job could be in jeopardy. Molly concedes to hitting up Jared (the sweet guy she ditched for The League) to see if he has any insights on who posted the video. Jared agrees to help out and it’s clear that the two still have an undeniable chemistry.
Meanwhile, Issa reaches out to Daniel to investigate the video. Although the two initially don’t find anything, he invites her back to his recording studio to listen to some wack rapper lay down some wack track. The recording studio is dark, sensual, and the type of place an f-boy would take you right before he ruins your life. After the session, Daniel asks her to stay for a drink and Issa, knowing she should take her ass home, stays. Sexy, non-diegetic RnB music begins playing, and we all know that something is about to go down.
Molly and Jidenna (I mean, Chris), wake up after their first date. Molly invites Chris to her co-worker, Diane’s, engagement party, completely ignoring the signs that Chris isn’t really trying to make her a wife.
At the engagement party, Chris introduces himself as Molly’s new boyfriend. When Molly asks about it, Chris admits he only said that because he didn’t want to embarrass her. He confronts her about how she desperate she seems for a man – I mean, she asks him to leave clothes at her house after their first date. Furious, Molly demands Chris leaves, and learns the lesson of not asking questions you don’t want the answers to. Later, a drunk Molly ends up at Jared’s place who, bless his heart, lets her messy ass crash on his couch.
While Lawrence is on the job, our friend Tasha finally makes her move. She “finds” Lawrence at Best Buy, cleavage popping, and coyly asks him on a date. America waits for Lawrence’s decison with baited breath, grateful when Lawrence curves her. YES LAWRENCE BE A GOOD MAN! Then there’s Issa…
Issa and Daniel chill afterhours in the sultry recording studio, reminiscing on old times, and why they’ve never hooked up. Issa admits that she was disappointed in the past when Daniel didn’t admit his feelings for her. Daniel tells Issa that while he wasn’t ready then, he’s ready now. They begin to kiss, and then y’all…the clothes come off. Issa finally gets what she’s been waiting for. She later faces herself in the mirror, remembering Lawrence, and feels what looks like to be regret.
I’m very rarely disappointed with a main character — I tend to reserve my disappointment for real people– but I was thoroughly done with Issa. After watching the scene of her and Daniel having sex, I had to pause the episode because I was for real upset with my girl. What I’m really trying to say here is, the writers have gotten me truly invested in the story.
During last week’s episode, we were given hints that although both Issa and Lawrence are dedicated to fixing the relationship, they both crave something in their partner that they aren’t able to express. We also learned that there are outside forces (Tasha and Daniel), who threaten to break the two apart. Issa cheating with Daniel feels completely justified being that we’ve gotten glimpses of Issa’s sexual frustration, even after she and Lawrence made up. I think it’s 100% real that Issa finds herself in this situation, and looking at her from a lens of a “normal person” vs a television character, I think that her choice was relatable.
Relatability and realness are what Insecure does extremely well. When I watch Insecure, I don’t feel like I’m necessarily watching a show. Rather, it feels like I’m watching a sequence of events that both my loved ones and I have gone through. We’re not watching self-actualized heroes; we’re watching real people. The imperfectness of Issa and Molly highlight how well Insecure handles writing authentic stories.
Speaking of imperfections, although Molly slipped from first place on my favorite characters list, I think the way the writers have been revealing her issues with men has been done really well. During my first review, I talked about my fear of Molly’s entire storyline being about men not wanting her because she’s a black woman, and I hoped there would be another layer to that story. There is. She’s too possessive too fast, and the light touches of her saying things like, “you can leave a suit here” after the first date is genius – and thirsty.
This MAY be a stretch ya’ll so bare with me, but I like how Insecure subverted the relationship infidelity story. I like that we’re dealing with the girlfriend being the shady one and Lawrence being the ride or die. Score one for equality. I know I shouldn’t say that, but I said it anyway.
Insecure has a way of starting conversation. It presents these flawed ass characters without comment, leaving the audience to choose sides. Was it understandable that Issa cheated on Lawrence? I mean, she is young and he’s not living up to her needs. Is Molly right in being upfront and kind of pushy about what she wants from a relationship? I mean, don’t nobody got time to play games. Whether it’s sex, relationship, jobs, or race, Insecure brings us a myriad of topics to fight or agree on. Just as things aren’t black and white in real life, Insecure lets it’s characters play in a grey area, where we audience have the opportunity to see ourselves (or people we know) reflected right back to us.
Season 1, Episode 5 (S01E05)
Insecure airs Sundays at 1030PM on HBO
Writer based in LA. Just trying to write good stuff while deep conditioning my hair.
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Vanessa Jay | Contributor