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TV Review: Hella Strong Second Season of “Insecure”

Martha Trydahl Martha Trydahl TV Review: Hella Strong Second Season of “Insecure”Photo via IMDb.
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HBO’s Insecure just wrapped up it’s second season, and it’s no sophomore slump.

While the first season seemed slow until the rush of action in the last few episodes, show creator/producer/star Issa Rae is killing it this season with new cast members, more trash raps, and all the male nudity you can handle (Seriously. Lots of clenching butt cheeks).

In this season, as much as Issa keeps messing up, her ex Lawrence (Jay Ellis) is getting his act together. He has a great new job, is training for a marathon with his cool new co-workers, and is getting hit on left and right.

Whether you’re #TeamIssa or #TeamLawrence, we can all agree that the compelling performances from Rae and Ellis are what make us so invested. Although Rae admits that she wrote this show without men in mind, both men and women are definitely watching and they are most certainly tweeting about it.

Issa is a little desperate this season, and she’s trying to build the roster for her “ho-tation.” Most of the hookups are hilariously awkward, but her sharper, wittier single-girl attitude sure is fun.

While Issa wants to keep it casual, her ex Daniel (Y’lan Noel) is always circling. He even saves the day by rescuing Issa after her dick pic-induced car accident.

Another great aspect of the show is the friendship between Issa and Molly (Yvonne Orji). They keep each other grounded, stick up for each other, and fight like real friends. It’s relatable and authentic, which is great when Insecure puts so much stake in “keeping it real.” My favorite moment is when Molly emerges from a restaurant bathroom after a quickie, and Issa is there to put her back together, sans judgment.

Other friends like Kelli (Natasha Rothwell) and Chad (Neil Brown, Jr.) are the highlights of the show with their smart comedic relief.

This season had fewer mirror self-talks from Issa, and more “what if” sequences, which I thought were handled really well. I especially liked them because they usually involved a cunning rap from Issa.

While all of this is going on, Insecure is also touching on some hot topics. For example, Issa notices her neighborhood of Inglewood is going through some gentrification, Molly is fighting for equal pay at work, and Issa is dealing with interminority racism in a school. These topics are all handled honestly and tactfully.

The season finale took a turn, and in 45 minutes, did a series of vignettes, following 30 days with Lawrence, Molly and Issa. The result was okay…but the highlight was a tearful, cathartic closure between Issa and Lawrence. It was heartbreaking to watch, but a very adult conversation, fitting for a serious, five-year relationship.

Insecure has many “newbies” on the show: Issa just hopped over from YouTube (“Awkward Black Girl”), Melinda Matsoukas is a first-time television producer, etc. Still, the show is tight and on point. And with a smooth soundtrack and primo costuming to boot, this show is hella on fire.

Grade: A-


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