Life is a roller­coaster of fun, love, drama and dat­ing on web­series-turned-hit com­edy In­se­cure.

TV Plus (South Africa) - - IN THIS ISSUE -

When YouTube star and as­pir­ing tele­vi­sion direc­tor Issa Rae started her on­line com­edy videos The MisAd­ven­tures Of An Awk­ward Black Girl (2011-2013), she didn’t think that they’d go vi­ral. But they did! And that gave her the foun­da­tions to de­velop In­se­cure (2016- cur­rent), a com­edy cen­tred on Issa’s confused, all- over-the­p­lace 20-some­thing-year-old char­ac­ter Issa Dee. Se­ries pro­tag­o­nist Issa tells her story in third per­son as she strug­gles to jug­gle her job, so­cial life and re­la­tion­ship with her boyfriend (Jay El­lis). “It is loosely based on my life and ex­pe­ri­ences,” says Issa the show creator. “I wanted to cre­ate some­thing that shows that black peo­ple are re­lat­able to the world and that we ex­pe­ri­ence the same things that ev­ery­one else does.

And just like the ma­jor­ity of so­ci­ety, Issa the char­ac­ter is bot­tling up anger. From feel­ing stag­na­tion with her love life to fig­ur­ing out who she is, Issa is fight­ing to keep her head above wa­ter. “Peo­ple think that at 20, you should have your life sorted. It’s not al­ways the case and while you might be do­ing adult stuff like pay­ing bills and liv­ing on your own, it’s hard and this show touches on it,” adds Issa Rae.


While Issa’s char­ac­ter plays a big part in telling the or­di­nary black woman’s nar­ra­tive, the show also zooms in on Issa’s lawyer bestie Molly ( Yvonne Orji). Un­like Issa, Molly thinks that she has her life un­der con­trol: she works with at­tor­neys who put the bad guys be­hind bars and she doesn’t have to an­swer to a live-in boyfriend.

“It’s a huge com­pli­ment when or­di­nary peo­ple take these char­ac­ters per­son­ally. See­ing peo­ple emo­tion­ally in­vested in the show is great,” ex­plains Issa. And like view­ers, Molly and Issa re­late to each other as the char­ac­ters are will­ing to risk ev­ery­thing that they’ve worked hard for in or­der to find their “one true love”. Plus, they’re strug­gling to be them­selves at their male-dom­i­nated jobs. Although Issa and Molly are al­ways there to com­fort each other dur­ing their rocky times, their advice doesn’t al­ways solve their is­sues. Issa adds that “it’s not about twists and turns. It’s about or­di­nary peo­ple and how they deal with their prob­lems”.


The two besties self- de­struct, have petty fights with each other and end up get­ting in their own heads about their re­la­tion­ships. But that thank­fully brings about some ther­apy for Issa: she raps to her­self in the mir­ror, or­der­ing her­self to have better thoughts so that she can go out and take charge of the world. “Rap­ping and singing is her way to get the frus­tra­tion out,” re­veals Issa Rae. “I don’t rap in real life, but it is a way for my char­ac­ter to get things off her chest out loud.”

With ev­ery episode, Issa and Molly face and fix their pasts be­fore mov­ing for­ward – and that in­cludes things like get­ting over their exes and building on their self- con­fi­dence both in their pri­vate and pro­fes­sional worlds. The se­ries is in­spired by com­edy Girl­friends (2000-2008), which fol­lowed a group of African-Amer­i­can women try­ing to grow in dif­fer­ent ca­reers, their love lives and their com­mu­ni­ties. Issa Rae adds that “Girl­friends def­i­nitely paved a way for our show. It was amaz­ing!”


1 In episode 2, Issa moves out of her shared apart­ment with Lawrence af­ter he for­gets her birth­day. Out search­ing for her, Lawrence later spots Issa buy­ing throw-away undies at a low-bud­get phar­macy – guess that means she’s not plan­ning to move out of Molly’s guest room any­time soon…

2 In episode 4, Molly is called into her boss’s of­fice for a quick chat. Ap­par­ently her “ghetto” be­hav­iour has an­noyed an anony­mous new­comer who’s com­plained to HR.

3 And in episode 6, Issa has flash­backs while in bed with Lawrence of hook­ing up with her ex. She surely isn’t go­ing to call him “Daniel”, is she?

Issa with her French bull­dog Fla­vor Flav.


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