Issa Rae’s critically acclaimed HBO Max series, “Insecure”, aired it’s fifth and final season on Oct. 24, 2021. Rae starred in the show loosely based on her life and web series “Awkward Black Girl” as the series main protagonist, Issa Dee.
When we first meet Issa in season one, she recites hastily written raps into the mirror to pump herself up with a bit of confidence. We can tell why she’s insecure… she’s working a soul-sucking job at the cringe-worthy non-profit “We Got Y’all” and her long-term boyfriend, Lawrence (Jay Ellis), has very little motivation to find a job.
Fast forward to the final season and Issa finds herself deciding between choices she didn’t know were in front of her the entire show. Instead of raps, she’s now having discussions with her mirror-self, thinking critically about her life. As she steps into her power we watch her navigate how to build her company The BLOCC using the resources and wisdom she has. Final season Issa is a far cry from first season Issa who doubted herself and her abilities. But no matter the season it’s easy to root for Issa, she’s genuine, has dope style and is just awkward enough to make you feel comfortable and probably giggle.
Insecure is a true love letter to the city of Los Angeles; all of its palm trees and possibilities that draw the most ambitious to its streets. Issa, who lives in Inglewood, hosts The BLOCC’s events at Leimert Park. Worldwide Tacos becomes her mainstay eatout. Even her apartment, The Dunes, has become a cultural landmark for fans of the show who travel to take pictures in front of it. Insecure’s outliers, like Thug Yoda (Tristen J. Winger), one of Issa’s old neighbors who pronounces his C’s as B’s, humanizes the typical tropes of Black characters who make up the City of Angels.
And the music! Who could forget the music. Do yourself a favor and run over to the Insecure Spotify playlist because it has all the bangers and bops (this is not an ad). The soundtrack to each episode expertly tells the story of its geography. During season two’s episode “Hella LA,” LA-based artist Syd, DJ’s at a party. In “Reunited, Okay?” Kamayiah and Too Short rep for the Bay Area when the crew links at their Alma Mater, Stanford, for the final season.
Throughout the seasons, we get an intimate look at Issa’s friendship with Molly (Yvonne Orji), a blooming lawyer who finds her way in law and in love. We watch her sickenly bougie friend Tiffany (Amanda Seales), find her humility and learn to trust her friends. Kelli, expertly played by Natasha Rothwell, adds a natural comic-relief that we all could use more of. (Kelli spin-off anyone? HBO we’re looking at you)! The foundation of sisterhood is a thread throughout the show whom those who have chosen their family can relate to.
Over the last five seasons Issa grows as a person, a friend and a lover. “Insecure’s” relatability is found in that growth. We can relate to Issa’s friend break-ups and make-ups. We can relate to Molly begrudgingly going to therapy. We can relate to Lawrence taking responsibility for his actions. We can relate to the mistakes they make, the lessons they learn and how they apply them.
“Insecure” is iconic, period. It’s a revolution in art that is outstandingly Black. From it’s cast to it’s crew, “Insecure” is rooted in real and authentic stories of the Black diaspora. The series finale doesn’t feel rushed or unfinished, yet there is a bittersweetness in the normalcy of it all: all good things must come to an end.
Even though the series is over, you can binge-watch the entire show on HBO Max. There is also an after-show following each episode, podcasts related to the show and a special film documenting the final season.