i began watching insecure in the early months of the pandemic, sometime in between handmaid’s tale and avatar. up until that point, i only kind of recognized issa rae and had never heard of Awkward Black Girl, so clicking play didn’t have any true context behind it. just like i like it.
within minutes that turned to hours, i, the notorious anti-binge watcher of the friend group, was in it.
no shade to offred or sokka, but it was a particular type of experience to spend time with a character like issa dee when the world shut down. characters became our friends in ways they never have before. i watched issa and molly’s friendship redefine itself. i made better excuses for lawrence than even he did, and went from rationalizing, to regretting, dro’s character arc. kelli’s evolution felt like watching an always brill friend finally take center stage. issa’s path wasn’t relatable for wild reasons, but for a simple one: she awkwardly can’t help being herself.
during the first months of the pandemic, storytelling wasn’t simply a distraction, it was our way of growing, processing, and moving in a time where all content had an asterisk of fear. one of my closest friends and i used it as an excuse for a facetime date during quarantine. now we’re roommates, and sunday scaries are constantly fought with wine downs.
a new insecure episode came out when Black Lives Matter movements were happening across the street, and around the world. today’s finale is, somewhat fittingly, playing as holiday noise gets an early mute from yet another surge in new covid cases. intentionally or not, the show was a standing date of solace during an unpredictable two years.
when telling stories, i’ve always believed in the phrase that ‘your experience is only cliche to you because you lived it.’ insecure gave me color-coded notes on the importance of speaking up as a person of color.
it taught us how to use diversity, not a differentiator or plot point, but as a backdrop - there for you to admire, but also to quietly blend in and serve as part of the way you understand the world around you. as a south asian, i watched myself resonate with a show written about “regular black people being basic
” - laughing harder at the bits i thought were only known to my dramatic family friend group, learning about differences in subtle but vital ways.
i’m emotional about the show ending, but i’m finding sanity in the fact that the best legacies beget legacies. clicking play will now come with all the context i never anticipated: it will sound like the background music of my awkward mid-20s, poke at friendships that got us through a world wide pandemic and scream the lesson that to not tokenize is to be revolutionary.