Internet star and comedian Issa Rae’s long-awaited comedy series Insecure is coming to HBO this fall, and you absolutely must see it.
My one-sided love affair with Issa Rae began in 2012, when I first discovered the web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl — which to this day remains one of the best scripted online series I’ve ever come across.
Issa Rae created and starred in the two-season workplace comedy, which followed lead character J as she navigated life and love through the lens of her self-defined primary qualities: She was awkward, and she was black.
Awkward Black Girl was uncompromising in its premise; absolutely hilarious and exceptionally cringe-worthy (the awkwardness of J’s encounters are much, much too real). Issa Rae as J was relatable, likeable, funny, and exactly the type of character we need many more of in our lives and on our screens.
I noted at the time that ABG was one of the web series that proved the Internet had advanced far beyond network television, and it was therefore hugely exciting to see HBO actually recognizing Rae’s talents, announcing in late 2015 that her scripted comedy series Insecure had been ordered to series.
Insecure, the half-hour starring Rae and Yvonne Orji, is set to debut on HBO in the fall of 2016, with an initial eight-episode order. The diverse supporting cast includes Rae’s Awkward Black Girl co-star Sujata Day (CeCe).
The series “looks at the friendship of two black women and their uncomfortable experiences and racy tribulations,” and also stars Jay Ellis and Lisa Joyce. Issa Rae serves as executive producer, with Prentice Penny, Melina Matsoukas, Michael Rotenberg, Dave Becky and Jonathan Berry set to co-produce. Seasoned comedian Larry Wilmore will serve as consultant on the series.
If Insecure is even a fraction of what Awkward Black Girl was, it will be worth your attention. But with HBO’s support and such a talented team behind her, I think it’s safe to assume that it will, in fact, be even better.
Issa Rae has been named one of Rolling Stone’s 23 funniest people in America, and was included on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list last year. At a time where we’re calling for more media diversity, seeing a talented, genuinely funny artist like Issa Rae get the mainstream attention she deserves is incredibly heartening.
It is also worth noting that Rae’s Insecure is in fact the only of HBO’s four new series (the others being Westworld, Divorce and fellow web series adaptation High Maintenance) to feature POC lead characters.
We have no exact premiere date for Insecure yet, but we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I urge you to check out Awkward Black Girl for a taste of Issa Rae’s talent.
You can also check out her book, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, available via Amazon and other retailers.