Blu-ray Review: Insecure: The Complete First Season

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HBO's original comedy series Insecure is funny, touching, and thought provoking. Hard to ask for much more in a TV show. The complete first season is now available on Blu-ray and DVD, so now's the time to catch up if you missed it. The show centers on the professional and personal life of Issa Dee (Issa Rae, series co-creator). She works for a non-profit organization called We Got Y'all that serves underprivileged youth. Her live-in boyfriend Lawrence (Jay Ellis) is a high tech pro who, at the series outset, is struggling to launch a new app. Issa and her best friend Molly (Yvonne Orji) commiserate over relationship troubles.

The eight-episode season is exceptionally well acted. Issa Rae was nominated for a much-deserved Best Actress Golden Globe award for her nuanced work here. Rae makes Issa likable and relatable despite the series' brave choice to present her as a highly flawed young woman. She makes mistakes sometimes, act irrationally, and avoids falling into any sitcom cliche. Issa's entanglements with ex-boyfriend Daniel (Y'lan Noel) complicate her relationship with Lawrence, driving the series' narrative. Matching Rae beat-for-beat is Yvonne Orji, who makes an equally vivid impression as Molly, a lawyer who is perpetually unlucky in love.
Insecure S1 a.jpg Insecure has its roots in Rae's award-winning web series The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl, which ran for two seasons between 2011 and 2013. Rae funded that series, which aired on executive producer Pharrell Williams' i Am Other YouTube channel, via a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign. Like Rae's character J on Awkward Black Girl, Insecure's Issa deals with race-related issues while working through personal and professional uncertainties. There's as much drama laced throughout Insecure as comedy, giving the show a welcome depth. 

HBO Home Entertainment's Blu-ray includes a few special features: "Conjugal Visits" presents four minutes of interviews, "<i>Insecure</i>: In the Room" is a very short (two minutes) featurette, and "On the <i>Insecure</i> Set with Issa Rae" is a five-minute look at the show's shooting locations. 

HBO has renewed the series, with the second season set to begin July 23, 2017.
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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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