I feel like this shouldn’t have to be news to anyone, but Insecure featured a mini-Lost reunion this week. L. Scott Caldwell aka Rose Nadler played Molly’s mother CeeCee, who is still giving the best side-eye.
And Molly’s youngest, and clearly less favored, brother Jerome was played by an all-grown-up version of Walt in Malcolm David Kelley.
Reminder: Grown-up Walt is in the band MKTO. You probably recognize this song:
All of which is just an excuse to talk about Insecure since we haven’t been doing nearly enough of that. Everybody is watching it, yes? Because it’s phenomenal. I refuse to be Kitty enough to pretend to know that it’s an accurate look at the lives of early 30s, professional black women living in L.A., but I will say it’s one of the most honest shows I’ve seen when it comes to dealing with the topics I am guessing affect professional women in their early 30s living in L.A. Also those topics that most affect women in general. And also men somehow. It’s got a lot going on is what I’m saying.
But, luckily for the viewer, the various plotlines never feel shortchanged or inorganic. Sex, love and relationships are presented in ways that feel authentic because they’re treated as things that happen to people on a daily basis. Racism is dealt with in explicit terms both because of the character Issa’s job, and because I assume Issa the writer/creator has had some experience with all varieties of racism. You’ve got your old-school blatant racism, your new-school white savior racism, your sexualized racism, and your more questionable black-on-Latino racism. Which qualifies as racism, right? But maybe not if it’s being called out by a “helpful” white person? But maybe still even if a black person doesn’t agree? And only if it fits within the definition’s requirement of a power imbalance? I don’t know, man. It’s tricky, and seriously, there’s a lot going on.
I feel the need to point out that between this and black-ish, Larry Wilmore has a clear gift for producing shows that can deal with race and racism without making it into a “very special episode.” If HBO is insisting on continuing with this Confederacy nonsense, they might want to bring him on board.
At its core though, Insecure is successful because it is invested in its characters, warts and all, and their relationships. Issa and Molly feel both like real people and like real friends. The show doesn’t rely on them talking about what great friends they are because it’s too busy showing them actually being close. Also, Any Show That Wants To Show Friends Having A Good Time, this is how you let characters laugh at each other’s jokes. I don’t know why you make it always feel so inauthentic, but it almost never works.
Seriously, watch the show. It’s amazing. And hysterical. And if you can’t relate to at least a few of the job/friendship/love moments, maybe actually don’t watch the show, and get out of the house instead. Things have really changed since Lost.