Issa Rae is one of my icons. She's beautiful, and also has beautiful teeth.
She's witty, extremely talented, and ambitious. She's created so many projects that I love and it seems like she is either always doing something dope, or working on something dope. I really admire people who use their art to create conversations and start dialogue for very real (and culturally specific) issues. She does this and more, all while making us laugh. I can go on and on, but I won't. The main point is, as a Black woman, I FEEL SEEN and I love that this show is so authentic to my experience, because:
Since the very first episode, this show has made me think of my own friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances that resemble characters on the show as well as made me think of similar situations and shenanigans I've encountered while trying to navigate through life. Season 4 so far (even though we're only two episodes deep) has had a focus on all the mini lessons most of us learn in our mid/late 20's and into our 30's. It's during this time that most people start to asses their friends, relationships, career goals, and passions and whether or not these things or people still serve and align with who they are.
As the adage goes, each person we encounter is either in our lives for a "season, a reason, or a lifetime.” Insecure has demonstrated this beautifully thus far. Walk with me as I break down my interpretation of each character's role from Season 4.
ISSA “The Student”: I guess I should start with the lead character and series creator (it's only right!) Issa is letting her experiences be her teacher. She is intentionally spending her time to learn, grow, and sharpen her skills. She's focusing on self care and adopting a "'good vibes only” mentality by making better choices and taking steps in the right direction by being open to criticism and accountability, as well as being clear in how she communicates with others. Does she have life figured out? Fuck no. But sis is doing her part, and I can't be mad at that.
TSA BAE “The Test”: On the lowest of keys, I stanned & appreciated TSA Bae for being Issa's hype man, event promoter, and personal security guard. He fulfilled Issa’s needs with regular doses of Vitamin D (see what I did there?) and was comfortable enough with himself to express his own needs. TSA Bae mirrored some of the types of men I entertained before my priorities changed (aka, before I started using common black-ass sense.) No matter how bomb the sex or the situation-ship may be, you know how this story ends and just want to opt out, because you know that continuing on with this path will only lead to bad decisions. I feel like sometimes, these occurrences are tests to see if you're ready to go to the next level.
MOLLY “The Crossroads”: Speaking of tests, Issa & Molly are in a space that many of us have been in: when a close and meaningful friendship of several years transitions and the dynamics of that friendship change. Sometimes this shift happens naturally, but sometimes it's the result of one friend having unresolved feelings about them growing in different directions. Their behavior may suggest that they have a difficult time showing up for and celebrating other's success, if they aren't also experiencing wins in their life. (Not considering they may be blocking their own blessings by avoiding very necessary internal work, but we'll save that conversation for another time.) Simply put, so far this season, Molly has been bringing both hateration AND holleration up in this dancerie, and I'm over it. But I also feel like their friendship is authentic enough to make it through this, even if it changes from what it was before. Such is life.
KELLY “The Wild Card”: On a more positive note, there's Kelly. I LOVE her because she’s HILARIOUS, unpredictable, and lives life on her terms. She's type of friend you can call at random for the most ridiculous shit, and she would still be down for whatever. In my experience,
we need people like this to remind us that life can be beautifully chaotic.
We cherish our erratic friends, even though hanging out with them may mean a brawl at BEYchella that ends up with said friend getting tazed and LITERALLY pissing her pants. THESE are the memories and experiences that make the best stories that only get better and funnier with time.
TIFFANY “The Illusionist”: Tiffany makes me think of people during the course of my life that I may have considered a friend at some point, but time and a few experiences with them have only revealed that their purpose was only for a season. Tiffany's behavior suggests she cares WAY too much about how others perceive her. This is a person who will consistently fake the funk (“it’s fine, everything is fine”) to avoid having difficult conversations or be held accountable. These are people who may constantly disappoint you by not having your back like you'd expect them to, as a friend.
However, time and experience also teaches us that it's futile to expect someone to keep it real with you, when they can't even keep it real with themselves.
I will FOREVER side-eye Tiffany for failing to tell Issa about Lawrence and Condola's date from the jump as well as letting Lawrence's previous boo Apurna (Season 2) pull up to an intimate dinner party unannounced right after his split with Issa. Tiffany, her husband, and his ex girlfriend that he still misses in Dallas can ALL GO! (But in real life, Amanda Seales can stay.)
LAWRENCE"The Fresh Start": Much like the familiarity of having friendship dynamics change, I can also relate to navigating the very weird space of having an ex date someone new within our immediate network of friends/acquaintances. Even if you two are completely over one another, it can absolutely be awkward as fuck. One thing I respect about the Lawrence-Condola-Issa situation is that all three individuals are taking a mature and logical approach to interacting with one another and appear to be committed to co-existing together in peace. However, I know how Issa Rae likes to play games with her viewers. She'll be having us thinking shit is sweet and all is well, only to end Season 4 with Lawrence giving Issa back-shots on her couch. We just gon' have to wait and see exactly HOW Isaa will be collecting our edges.
CONDOLA "The Example": Ok so the thing is, I REALLY like this character... she’s cute. She’s smart. She’s creative. She's successful and ambitious. She’s helpful. And she cares about people outside of herself.
...but I doubt we will see her next season.
I call her "the example" because she represents the cultured, professional, well-rounded woman we all know and adore (even if she happens to be dating your ex-boyfriend.) Within a few interactions of knowing them coupled with their achievements and how they carry themselves, you think to yourself: “Okay, I get it. She's dope.” However, I feel like her presence is merely a fixture in the Insecure universe to hold space for Issa and Lawrence to each get their shit together INDIVIDUALLY so that they can eventually come back together with their shit, stronger than before.