HBO

The American comedy-drama TV series, Insecure, starring Issa Rae, is all the rage now on HBO, and the reasons are many!Estimated at a value of around $717 billion, the US Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry comprises diverse segments, including motion pictures, TV series, streaming content, music, theaters and galleries, radio, book publishing, videogames, and associated products and services. However, in this vast industry, the share of minority lead actors in American movies was only 27.6% in 2019.

Insecure was released on HBO in October 2016 and introduced diverse African American talent to small screens in the US. It paved the path for a higher representation of dark-skinned people on television (particularly African American women as romantic characters). Also, several deserving Black creatives got the long-awaited opportunity to showcase their talent in Hollywood.


Getting Creative

A fashion industry gem, Shiona Turini, designed the costumes for the show, which included edgy graphic tees, trendy athleisure, and top designer fits. The chic accessories and clothing were mostly from Black-owned businesses and connected the present and age-old fashion of African American people. For instance, the costumes used in the 1997 comedy film, B.A.P.S. inspired Kelli’s Halloween look in Season 4.

The music is also at its best. It’s a collaboration of Rae, supervisor Kier Lehman and composer Raphael Saadiq. The music features a mix of hits from BJ the Chicago Kid, Rico Nasty, SZA and several other young artists.

The Main Attraction

The prime thing that endeared the series to many is that the show made the lives of Black people so much more relatable. Against the backdrop of the aesthetically pleasing, glossy visuals of Los Angeles, the everyday life of the characters is as messy, dramatic, and funny as of anyone! This made the characters in the show look as beautiful in their regular selves as was humanly possible.

Like so many millennials out there, the characters deal with the problems of adulthood, unsatisfied relationships and worry about marriage and the uncertainty of long-term relationships. Thus, Insecure provides a realistic portrayal of African American lives in the country. Meanwhile, the series also shows their plight. One has a degree and still struggles to get a job. Issa drives a Lyft to afford an apartment. She and Molly talk about their challenges in a majority White workplace.

It is to protect this true depiction of colored life that Insecure chose African American creatives behind the scenes too. This is true not only for the music and costumes departments, but also for the choice of writers. Some of the previous top shows casting colored people were written by White people. However, Insecure has a team of mainly African American writers, including Issa.

Thus, in so many powerful ways, Insecure changes the landscape of television for good, and inspires a host of new shows on the lives of colored women, such as Run the World.

In the second quarter of 2021, HBO and HBO Max have already gained a total of 2.85 million domestic subscribers. The long-awaited final season of Insecure started on October 24 on HBO, and the count of subscribers is only expected to go higher from here!

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