The characters on Insecure, the new HBO comedy from The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl creator Issa Rae, might seem to have little in common with such strong TV African-American female characters as Olivia Pope and Annalise Keating. After all, the show is called Insecure.
There is a “notion that there’s a universal way to be black,” Rae said at today’s TCA show panel. “It’s been portrayed throughout media and has been accepted by mainstream media, [but] what does that mean if you’re not ‘black enough?’ Does that mean that I don’t fit into this box? I always find the humor in that because you can’t escape being black – it’s who you are.”
Insecure follows Issa (played by Rae) and her best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji), who may not always exude confidence, as they deal with their flaws while navigating various worlds and coping with an endless series of uncomfortable experiences and emotional tribulations. Insecure debuts Sunday, October 9, at 10:30 PM ET/PT.
Rae, sharing the panel with EP Prentice Penny and EP/Director Melina Matsoukas, addressed the topic of diversity both in life and on screen. “I think [the show] is helpful in the way that when you watch it, you see the most basic thing which is black people are human! And have the same experiences as everybody else. With this show, it’s an opportunity to take your mind off of things, and realize at the end of the day we are all the same.”
Insecure is set in South Los Angles, and the series’ creator says she hopes to dispel any preconceived notions. “It’s an area that in classic TV and film has been portrayed as gang-ridden and violent.” Rae added that she wanted to feature South LA in the same Entourage did with Hollywood. “[South LA] is rich with culture and extremely diverse, and it’s something that we wanted to put in the best light,” she said.
Insecure was created by Rae and Larry Wilmore; executive produced by Rae, Prentice Penny, Melina Matsoukas, Michael Rotenberg, Dave Becky and Jonathan Berry. Wilmore serves as a consultant.