Entertainment

Critter’s Brutally Honest Review Of ‘Insecure’ And If It Deserves The Hype

Welcome to my review of the HBO series, “Insecure,” the show that has given the Black community visibility, and accurate lighting, for seasons and I recently came across it and I cannot get enough. Why did I wait so long to watch this highly-praised series? This series centers around Issa, a young modern-day Black woman living in Inglewood, Calif., just trying to get her sh*t together. She’s a little weird, but good-for-TV kind of weird.

Honestly, this is Issa Rae’s world and we’re all #blessed to be living in it, mis bebés.

Here’s a photo you can print at home to build your very own Issa shrine.

Credit: Insecure / HBO

La mía tiene those little succulents in a salsa “El Pato” can, but feel free to do you. 

So, let me lay down some Queen Issa backstory. Before she exploded with her hit series “Insecure,” she wrote and starred in her own web series called: “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.”

Credit: Issa Rae Presents / YouTube

I checked it out. It’s basically “Insecure,” pero sin HBO production dollars (click here for a link to the first episode). Despite being low budget, the web series caught the attention of Pharrell Williams, el hombre ese who looks like a 20-year-old muchacho que canta “Happy.” You know the song. They play it at every wedding and all your pinche tías se alocan and awkwardly try to reformat their salsa pasos to it.

“Because I’m happy… Clap along if you feel like…” Dale tía! Your dance moves no calan, pero no le hace!

Credit: Happy / Columbia Music

After Pharrell posted the second season of her series on his YouTube channel, the show took off, eventually getting the attention of HBO. That’s when “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” took on its final evolutionary form.

It morphed into “Insecure,” cabrones.

Creit: Pokémon

Now, let’s jump into the series. So I don’t spoil the show and dissect every single season (because y’all got tarantulas to trade on Animal Crossing), I’ll just speak to the main characters of the show. Y si los personajes les parecen “pipiris nice,” pues a huevo.  

Meet Issa: she likes to talk to mirrors and get freaky deaky.

Insecure / HBO

Earlier when I asked if y’all ever bought chones at Rite Aid, I wasn’t trying to be a cochino. I know you thought I was. But I wasn’t. In season one, Issa gets caught underwear shopping at Rite Aid. That’s a beautiful intro to Issa. The girl is struggling and she obviously isn’t trying to earn seduction points con sus chones baratos. 

She’s been in a five-year relationship with her unmotivated man. She works for a non-profit after-school program in Inglewood and she’s insecure af. The insecurity comes mostly from frustration out of not living the life she wants to live. She’s constantly talking with a different version of herself she sees in the mirror. Mirror Issa es una chingona. She raps. She doesn’t even care about anything and she’s ready to get it. 

Mirror Issa is all the things current Issa is not. But damn, the show gets so real. Issa (the real Issa) is not afraid to show how human flaws can bring out the cringe in people. In the show, you’ll see her character do questionable things, but the truth is we have all been there, fam. Issa’s vulnerability is what makes the show incredible. It’s a very true reflection of how we are.   

Meet Lawrence: Issa’s boo who is always a step behind.

Credit: Insecure / HBO

Lawrence (played by Jay Ellis), is Issa’s long-term love interest. Lawrence’s thing is, the dude is always a step behind. Your amá would refer to him as someone “que no se pone las pilas.” When his relationship is in trouble, Lawrence doesn’t act on it. When he gets a dope app-development job, he pitches an out-dated app idea called “Woot-Woot.” I don’t wanna spoil anything, so I’ll just say the dude siempre espera que las cosas le caigan en su mano. For the record, Lawrence isn’t necessarily a bad guy, but since he’s slow to realize things he ends up having to clean up a lot of messes he could’ve avoided if the menso had just acted a little sooner. As you continue to see more of his character, you’ll realize you can’t judge Lawrence too harshly because we’ve all been a little bit of a Lawrence at one time or another.

Meet Molly: Issa’s BFF who is bothered by everything.

Credit: Insecure / HBO

Molly is a mess. Guuurrll, let me tell you. On the outside, this comadre is hella-put-together: she’s a lawyer, has a fancy apartment, she’s got a super precioso French Bulldog, you guys, no mames, es un pinche tamalito de cuteness.

Pero por dentro la doña Molly se está pudriéndo, guey. Molly’s biggest issue throughout the series is her tendency to sabotage all her relationships. Why? Because everything bothers her. 

This is my theory on Molly: she’s got a perfect set up. You can tell she put up a vision board of her dream life as a kid and she made it all happen. She probably got good grades, worked hard, y a huevo todo le salió bien. Osea, she’s kind of a chingona. BUT, I think Molly assumes acquiring the perfect man works the same way. But no. It 👏 does 👏 not 👏 work 👏 that 👏 way 👏. Although you can work your butt off and one day buy your dream car, you can’t just work your butt off and buy yourself the perfect man. Imagine walking into the tianguis and perfect men are being sold a tres por 10.” My wife would be there now making it rain $10 bills and asking if they come in extra tall and handsome. 

If you want a perfect relationship, you need to find that person willing to work to build a perfect relationship with yourself. Molly dismisses guy after guy because none of them come standard with all her preferences and ideals of a perfect man. Sorry, Molly. If you want perfection, go get you some Gucci, but don’t count on no man being everything you ever wanted right out of the box.  

Meet Kelli: my personal favorite character.

Insecure / HBO

I’ve put y’all through enough reading today, but just know that if you watch the show, Kelli is a cochina y una loca and she’s gonna make you pee yourself. She has some of the funniest moments in the show — especially the Coachella episode in season 3. Kelli is also a ride or die friend and every group of friends has a Kelli. If you don’t got a Kelli, go get yourself a Kelli.

Speaking of friendship, friendship is one of the strongest themes of the show. Besides all the pedos and drama Issa faces in the series, her girl squad is the only thing that is a constant in her life. And this is refreshing to see because we need more stories with people of color sticking together. Even though Molly goes through men as fast as I go through Flaming Hot Cheetos, and Issa has drama with her own man and work, and Kelli and Tiffany (who I did not mention in this review…but, you’ll totally understand why when you watch the series and meet Tiffany) have their own thing going, the girls always come together. The episodes where they have girls-only getaways are the realest. They unpack all their issues, and they call each other out on their issues, sin tantita pena. This show will definitely make you call up your girls to thank them…and then ask them if they’re still going out con ese sin vergüenza. 

To sum everything up nicely, should you watch “Insecure”?

Mmm-hmm. The show speaks to a generation of young people trying to grow past their own flaws and insecurities, and very few shows do this in a relatable way let alone featuring stories of people of color. Even though you’ll feel seen from the most embarrassing aspects, “Insecure” te va ser cagar de la riza. 

Oh and I almost forgot to mention the music on the show is 🔥! Click this link for the Spotify playlist. Tus nalgas me lo van a agradecer.

Enjoy the show and keep it spicy, fam. And binge it on HBO NOW while you can get a 7-day free trial.

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Issa Rae Has Been Appointed To Serve On Television Academy’s Executive Committee

Fierce

Issa Rae Has Been Appointed To Serve On Television Academy’s Executive Committee

Frazer Harrison / Getty

Throughout her career as an actress and producer, Issa Rae has established herself as a woman with great entrepreneurial mindsets. Focused on telling stories about real women Rae has garnered attention for her YouTube web series “Awkward Black Girl” and contributed to the expansion of content created by people of color. Because of her, the television sphere has become a whole heck of a lot more colorful and no doubt more WOC are receiving more approval and acclaim for their work.

Her HBO television series “Insecure” has been nominated for multiple Golden Globes Awards and Primetime Emmy Awards and in 2015 her memoir, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl became a New York Times best-seller. Now, Rae is bringing her experience and viewpoint to the Television Academy.

Recently, The Television Academy revealed that Rae is now a member of the Executive Committee.

Her appointment to the Television Academy comes at a time when the organization is refocusing its attention on increasing diversity in the entertainment industry. While an increase in representation of actors of color has occurred in recent years, diversity among television executives has remained lackluster. In 20202, UCLA’s Hollywood Diversity Report revealed that “women hold only 32.0% of studio chair and CEO jobs; minorities just 8.0%.”

In a statement about her new role the Academy explained “We are thrilled to be able to leverage the collective expertise of this talented group of Television innovators as we navigate this extraordinary time in the history of our industry… Their leadership provides invaluable insight that will allow the Academy to play an integral role in shaping the evolution of the medium.”

Award-winning writer, producer, director, and actress Gloria Calderón Kellett also joins the ranks of Television Academy executives.

Calderón Kellett is an award-winning writer, producer, director, and actress who served as the executive producer, co-creator, co-showrunner, director and actress on the sitcom “One Day at a Time.” According to the Emmy website, Calderón Kellett “spent her early years as a writer/producer on numerous shows including Devious Maids, Rules of Engagement, and How I Met Your Mother; has directed episodes of Mr. Iglesias, Merry Happy Whatever, United We Fall, and the Mad About You revival; and recently sold her first feature film, We Were There Too.”

News of Rae’s new role as an executive is proving to be just another milestone of accomplishment for the actress. In October, Rae revealed that she was launching a new production company called Hoorae.

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CBS Pledges to Make the Casts of ‘Survivor’ and ‘Big Brother’ 50% People of Color

Entertainment

CBS Pledges to Make the Casts of ‘Survivor’ and ‘Big Brother’ 50% People of Color

Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

CBS just announced that it is committing to making at least 50% of the casts of their unscripted shows Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC). CBS also announced that they are devoting 25% of their unscripted budget to BIPOC creators. The changes are expected to take effect in the 2021-2022 season.

“The reality TV genre is an area that’s especially underrepresented, and needs to be more inclusive across development, casting, production and all phases of storytelling,” said CBS CEO George Cheeks. “As we strive to improve all of these creative aspects, the commitments announced today are important first steps in sourcing new voices to create content and further expanding the diversity in our unscripted programming, as well as on our Network.”

CBS’s unscripted TV shows include fan-favorite staples like “Survivor”, “The Amazing Race”, “Big Brother”, and “Love Island”. The network has regularly come under fire for failing to cast diverse talent in both their scripted and unscripted programs. Unlike other broadcast networks like ABC (Grey’s Anatomy, literally any other Shondaland show) or NBC (This Is Us, Superstore), CBS has a reputation for white-washing its programming.

Last year, a former CBS Diversity & Inclusion executive wrote an op-ed in Variety accusing the company of having a “white problem”.

“While CBS proudly touts its diversity programs, a close look beneath the surface reveals that the company is unconcerned about creating space for minorities,” wrote Whitney Davis, who is a Black woman. “CBS continues to promote its diversity initiatives in public, while internally minorities are practically invisible.” 

In June of this year, a group of Black “Survivor” alumni created a petition demanding that the stalwart show make 30% of its cast BIPOC. They also asked that BIPOC are given “equitable screen time and opportunities to participate in marketing and promotional events.” The show’s Black alumni alleged that they were ostracized, gaslighted, and short-shrifted while they were contestants on the show. The petition received almost 8,000 signatures to-date.

As is expected, fan reactions have been mixed. Some people are happy that CBS is making the effort to fix the structural problems of their company. But others feel that the commitment is forced and will result in BIPOC cast members being treated as tokens.

This person is confident that CBS’s unscripted shows will simply improve by including more people of color on their cast lists.

If anything, this decision will add some much-needed change to their tired formulas.

This person was ready to submit their application.

Now that people know the playing field is more even, we’re sure that CBS will receive a more diverse pool of applications.

This person has doubts as to how CBS will approach choosing and casting POC.

It’s one thing to talk about diversity, but it’s another thing to actually choose people who represent a range of diverse cultures.

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