We here at TVWriter™ believe it is and have said so for years. Here’s another look at the concept:
by Shannon Liao
In its current form, the HBO comedy Insecure often looks and feels like a lush, feminist rap video that pays tribute to black excellence and corporate success. The show is centered around two black women in their late 20s who live in LA. It’s also insanely awkward, channeling the same humor creator Issa Rae used on her YouTube series The F Word, I Hate LA Dudes, and Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. Although HBO executives have said Insecure isn’t a direct adaptation of Rae’s other series, Rae’s writing has a unique, authentic voice that shines through across all platforms. The show was renewed for a third season in August.
Episode 1 of the original Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl show, posted in 2011, begins with a few piano chords and an illustration of Issa in a magenta shirt that says “ABG.” It shows Rae as “J,” looking washed-out in a car under the glaring sun. The camerawork is shaky, and the scene cuts make the three-minute video feel like a Vine. The plot is simple: Issa raps along to the radio enthusiastically in her car, then has an embarrassing run-in with her co-worker. Awkward Black Girl’s production quality is rough, but its reception on YouTube was enthusiastic. Commenters marveled that Rae had tapped into something in the public psyche, and identified a strand of humor the world needed more of. They posted responses like, “It is so good and so relevant to who I am. Much love to Issa Rae,” and “Bitch, this is what should be on Netflix! Eight stars!”