Creator/writer/star Issa Rae brings her fresh voice to HBO with this painfully funny new comedy series, which follows best friends Issa (Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) as they navigate the tricky professional and personal terrain of Los Angeles, while facing the challenges of being two black women who defy all stereotypes. Insecure explores the black female experience in a subtle, witty and authentic way, as Issa and Molly stumble their way towards pulling their lives together, while trying their hardest to never settle for less. Heralded by critics as "the year's best new comedy… engrossing, deeply relatable, hugely funny" (Buzzfeed), Insecure: The Complete First Season is not to be missed.
The series, written, created, and executive produced by Issa Rea, one of the "23 Funniest People in America" (Rolling Stone), is also executive produced by show runner Prentice Penny, and Grammy-winning director Melina Matsoukas, who helms three episodes of Insecure, as well as Michael Rotenberg, Dave Becky and Jonathan Berry . Along with Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji, series regulars include Jay Ellis (Lawrence) and Lisa Joyce (Frieda).
Issa Rae started off her career on YouTube with a successful web series called Awkward Black Girl, where Rae showed a satirical, hilarious, and very real and raw take on her life and the life of her friends in our current political, social, and racial culture. It was meant with tons of rave reviews. HBO wanted a new and original voice and found Rae and her show and made a deal to give her a show based off this web series, which is now entitled Insecure.
As Rae plays this version of herself, she is a successful black woman who works at a non-profit company that helps middle school children with ethnic backgrounds get ahead in life. Her best friend since college Molly (Yvonne Orji) is a very successful attorney as well, as the two talk, eat, and spend a lot of time together in this modern society where race plays an important role. Rae, however, throws a lot of the racial issues on the back-burner in a certain way that these two women (Rae and Molly) are hard-working, successful women trying to be happy in life with dating, sex, and their careers.
Molly is single and trying to date around, where Rae has been in a long, yet stale relationship with Lawrence (Jay Ellis). The two women talk out their problems for better or worse while trying to navigate the racial culture of today's world, which usually ends up with funny yet disastrous results. TV personality Larry Wilmore is co-creator of this series with Rae, and you can see his brand of humor evident in each episode. Wilmore also produces the hit family show Black-ish, which has a ton of similarities here with Insecure, but Wilmore and Rae have much more wiggle room with content and not having to appeal to the masses, which is very welcome.
Issa Rae is just solid gold on screen. She is not afraid to speak her mind, use the F-word in every sentence, and make us laugh. She also has a good heart, but is trying to find her right path in regards to dating, sex, and career decisions, all of which makes her Insecure. It's a joy to watch, which HBO has given the show a second season which will premiere in the summer of 2017.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Insecure Season One comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc from HBO and is Region A Locked. All episodes and extras are on this one disc. There is an insert for a digital download here too. The disc is housed in an eco-friendly, hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve.
Insecure: Season One comes with a 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This HBO comedy show looks very good, however, it is filtered in a blue hue through most of the series. There are instances where the color is more natural when in exterior locations or not in the office, but it's rare. Detail is sharp and vivid throughout with good closeups that reveal facial pores, individual hairs and single threads in the business suits.
Wider shots capture the mundane office space details and imperfections as well nicely, but the blue hues soften detail up a tiny bit. Colors pop when color are natural, however, most of the show is saturated in blue, giving the picture and feel of the show a foggy feel. Black levels are mostly deep and inky, but there was some evidence of crush. Skin tones are natural in well-lit scenes. This is a good video presentation, but due to the source and style of the show, it doesn't quite pop off screen.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and sounds good for a very dialogue driven series. There isn't a lot to this audio mix, but the surrounds do pour sound in certain moments, including when out in crowded restaurants and when music enters the scene.
Ambient noises such as people chattering and other city sounds are full and robust, which sprinkle in from time to time, but for most of the time, the sound is front and center with straight on dialogue from one person. With this, HBO has done a great job with this audio presentation.
Conjugal Visits (HD, 4 Mins.) - Fun clips from the prison show the characters watch in the series.
Insecure: In the Room (HD, 4 Mins.) - Very brief interviews with the crew of the show and Issa Rae about working on the series and how much fun it was.
On the Insecure Set with Issa Rae (HD, 5 Mins.) - Here we have the lead actress guide us through the sets and locations of the show and what it takes to make one episode.
Insecure Season One is a great first season for a TV series that features two great characters who are not afraid to say anything to anyone. There are no zombies, big explosions, or people who ride dragons here, which is a nice break from fantasy. Issa Rae brings it back to Earth with raw, smart, and funny dialogue that we can all related to no matter what sex, color, or religion we are. The show is fun to watch for sure. The video and audio presentations are both good, but the extras are very brief and don't offer a ton of insight. Still, this is Worth a Look.