This week from HBO Home Entertainment is a look at life and the constant struggle to find love without being “Insecure: The Complete First Season.”
Issa (Issa Rae) and best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji) have known each other since college. Now they are out in the real working world Issa helps low income middle school students and is currently in a relationship with Lawrence (Jay Ellis).
On her 29th birthday, Issa wakes up to a birthday message from her ex-boyfriend which gets her to wondering. At Issa’s birthday dinner, girlfriend Molly has a low moment on why she can’t get a good man.
At work Issa gets herself into a little bit of trouble and ends up having to create a kids program that is different from what the non-profit is already doing. Later that night at a club, Issa makes her day worse by creating a rap called “Broken Pu**y” that ends up going viral. If that isn’t enough, Issa shows up at ex-Daniel (Y’lan Noel) and oh do things get complicated.
Trying to make things work with Lawrence, Issa is also trying to make things go well at work. One of her programs is a Beach Cleanup Day that has the potential to go horribly wrong. Molly is busy trying to find a descent date using a dating app which causes a little bit of mayhem and mix ups.
Continuing to look, Molly has another date with Michael, a doctor who fits almost all of Molly’s must-haves in a man. Lawrence isn’t getting the attention from Issa and when friend Tasha does, he thinks he’s found a friend.
Not working out with Michael, Molly has moved on to Chris and can’t wait to take him to Diane’s engagement party. Issa has decided to turn to Daniel to find a way to get her night of rapping off of YouTube before her co-workers see it! He helps and then helps himself as Issa is now swept up in it all.
Trying to keep her head above water, Issa makes Lawrence breakfast and suggests they have a date night. Lawrence also has a job interview and wants Issa to know how much he appreciates her support but it’s only making Issa feel worse.
Molly’s had enough of the dating app and can’t seem to find a man that isn’t going through is own craziness. She finds herself drawn to Jared (Langston Kerman) but when he tells her something private about himself it sends Molly reeling with what to do next.
Issa is putting everything into her We Got Ya’ll fundraiser with co-worker Frieda (Lisa Joyce) and is equally thrilled when Lawrence is offered a job. That’s before Lawrence tells her he wants to work on his own app. Already nervous, Daniel shows up at the fundraiser and Issa knows she has to set everything right. It is Lawrence who wants to know what’s going on and when there is silence between them he takes his keys and leaves.
When things seems to be going wrong for both Issa and Molly in the man department, there tension filled friendship might be the only thing that keeps them from going nuts. Having a girls night they try to work out their issues with a hot tub and a few drinks.
When Issa gets a call from Lawrence, they decide to talk and Issa heads back to their apartment with bff Molly at the wheel. What she finds is nothing short of a shock!
Rae as Issa is thoughtful, hilarious, confused, strong and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is when pushed from the thoughts that fly out her mouth. She made my jaw drop a few times but then it was followed by laughter most of the time. Watching this character try to find the best way to handle her life is relatable on so many levels and I appreciate the life Rae is attempting to share.
Orji as Molly is also strong, hilarious, smart and confident — most of the time — but Jared sends her center off kilter. I enjoy the relationship she has with her bff Issa and when the two don’t see eye-to-eye I know it isn’t going to last, it can’t last because they are awesome friends. I loved Orji’s performance and am looking forward to season two very much.
Ellis as Lawrence is a man who wants to be self-sufficient but that’s difficult when girlfriend Issa wants something else. The disconnect between Lawrence and Issa made me sad actually because it is a disconnect based on two people who don’t really know what they want themselves let alone from one another.
Noel as Daniel is the one person who could make Issa’s life easier. Their friendship is pushed in a direction that neither should be going yet Daniel seems the type of man who gets what he wants — charm and all.
Kerman as Jared is a great guy who is the one person who seems to be sure of where he is and what he wants for his life. Sharing that one secret put Molly in a bad place which begs the question, should the game “tell me one of your darkest secrets” ever be played?
Joyce as Freida is a young woman who truly does want to do what’s best for kids who don’t have the best chances at success. Befriending Issa takes give and take on both their parts and watching Joyce relax a little gives me hope that her character can be explored more in season two.
The series is written, created and executive produced by Issa Rea and is executive produced by Prentice Penny and Grammy winning director Melina Matsoukas.
“Insecure” has been nominated by the Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy and nominated by the NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Comedy, Outstanding Actress, Outstanding Supporting Actress, Outstanding Directing and Outstanding Writing.
The Blu-ray includes the episodes “Insecure as F*ck,” “Messy as F*ck,” “Racist as F*ck,” “Thirsty as F*ck,” “Shady as F*ck,” “Guilty as F*ck,” “Real as F*ck” and “Broken as F*ck.”
The bonus features of “Insecure: The Complete First Season” include “Conjugal Visits” — an extended look at the “Insecure” characters favorite reality show, plus two behind-the-scenes featurettes: “Insecure: In the Room” and “On the Insecure Set with Issa Rae.”
“Insecure” is a hilarious and even cutting look at stereotypes of black women in Los Angeles. What is even more interesting about this series is that there are situations that are relatable by most women. There are certainly situations that I could never imagine but even so this is a life we are all trying to get through so it’s nice to see how writer Issa Rae sees it playing out.
Gather up the girls and make it a pajama-popcorn-marathon night of laughs, love and the craziness of life with “Insecure: The Complete First Season” on Blu-ray now.
In the end — it isn’t easy being flawless!