This is a no-holds barred, unedited exchange between two friends, male and female, about the show, it’s underlying reach and how it showed what its like to be a black woman in 2016.
Sunday night brought a close to HBO’s new groundbreaking satirical drama, Insecure. The show addresses the complicated inner workings of Issa, a 30 something African American woman navigating her feelings about careers, her relationships, and most importantly – herself.
At this point it should be a fair assumption that you’ve all seen the finale, but just to recap:
Issa must now come to terms the fact that her relationship with Lawrence is over as she shows up in the apartment gleefully anticipating reconciliation, but left with an empty bedside table and closet with only his Best Buy work shirt left behind. The scene cuts to Lawrence and Tasha, the bank teller, enjoying one another’s company.
His: Watching Insecure started out as just supporting what I want to see more of. Now it’s the only thing I care about. Somewhere in the season each fan saw a bit of their self, if even for a small 5 minute arc. Those correlations, including the negative, have caused intense viewpoints to emerge. In the name of having fun, I believe that to be a good thing.
In the season finale, I noticed Issa stood in her mirror with a blank note pad and no freestyles. As if she lost her creative motivation. Episode 1 started out with Lawrence lacking career motivation. I find that interesting. It’s as if things came full circle.
Hers: It was so many relatable aspects in this one episode much like it was the entire season. I know I sure could relate to the phone check every five minutes, the distracted thoughts on a would-be fun night with my girls, down to the drowning my sorrows on a couch – or bouch, whichever you prefer – next to my bestie.
It explores exactly what is like to be a Black woman. We either have a terrible time finding a dude, or we settle with the safe option in a guy that may or may not live up to our ideal expectations. All in all, we never get our cake and eat it too. Maybe a taste, but never the whole slice, it just doesn’t work out that way. Not for us females that is. We have to be calculated and cautious in all our moves, and one wrong move forces us to have to restructure the entire plan from the ground up. That’s why dudes don’t understand the “over-planner female” on the first date. She may come off as too much but some of us have to be so “together” cause anything less is unacceptable.
With so many emotions wrapped up in the final 30 seconds of the season we decided to get the male/female perspective on double standards in cheating, if we all settle when it comes to relationships and if Issa got what she deserved.
His: To say she got what she deserved is a bit harsh. What she got is a result of her actions and inactions. Cheating with Daniel is the obvious negative act. Going to the studio was another. But we can all have friends, right? Sure. Whatever.
Hers: Nah, she definitely got what she deserved. She cheated instead of confronting an issue of being dissatisfied and unsettled. However, I don’t put it all on her as Daniel knowingly pursued her while she was in a relationship. All after he rejected her when she professed her attraction to him and was rebuffed to a mere booty call – if she was up to it.
His: A major inaction on her part was remaining idle in the studio as everyone but Daniel left. Another was ignoring – rather than rejecting – Daniel when he made what turned out to be three weeks’ worth of attempted connections. Allowing bad things to happen is just as bad as doing the act.
Hers: Curiosity definitely got the best of her. I don’t think she chilled at the studio with the intent to smash. Though, this was after several attempts by Daniel to reconnect and him helping her out on that work project. And let’s not forget, he did that initial post “rejection” pop up at her job. That’s like a Black woman’s dream. We only see that type of interest on TV. As African American women, we don’t experience a man perusing us to that degree.
His: What I find interesting is Issa had control of both relationships. Both men were giving more of themselves than they were receiving from her.
Hers: How do you think they were giving more of themselves than she gave in return? Because I see it as Daniel being intrigued by the thought of something he couldn’t have, and Lawrence was stagnant and complacent though he tried to fix what was broken when whole time was a contributing factor to the “broken.”
His: Lawrence showed love through gifts and acts of kindness. Though he had terrible execution, there was effort and good intent behind Lawrence trying to size her for a ring, getting her video off YouTube, and planning a horrible “Sorry I Forgot” birthday party.
In the story, we only see Issa making him a guilt-ridden breakfast. All other Lawrence-related situations were Issa, sharing with Molly, her desire to leave him. The lesson learned? If the breakfast is extra bomb you may have a cheater in the house.
On to Daniel. He didn’t provide gifts but was heavy on the quality time. Maybe because he knew his time was limited so every shot counts. I don’t know. Maybe because his life was dull so could devote his attention to one person. All I do know is he was consistent with his reliability and with stating his intent so Issa can make fully informed decisions.
In return, she was never clear to Daniel with what she did or did not want. She also leveraged his adoration of her to save her job on career day.
Yes, Daniel wants what he can’t have. Yes, Lawrence was wack. I can’t argue that. If that’s reason enough to lose attraction to your mate, then state that and leave.
Hers: While Lawrence’s efforts were noble they were late as f*ck. Why? Because he was complacent as f*ck. He was so involved in his building of the app that it took his focus away from the things that may have been important to sustaining the relationship. You forgot her birthday? How Sway?! You’re unemployed you should have plenty of time to remember her doggone birthday. He was sitting in that same spot all day from the time she left to go to work till she got home the least he could’ve done was remember the girls’ birthday! And by the time he got to looking for rings it was too late. Not only cause she been with Daniel but because she was unsure of the relationship way before the sex with Daniel came. He no longer satisfied her.
Sure, Daniel was Mr. Come-through-in-the-clutch, but this was after he initially faked on her to begin with. Helping her on a work project doesn’t absolve him from being a flake nor does it qualify him for more than just a quality, casual sexual encounter. Anything he did after that was totally unsavory and a tad bit pressed. How clear did she have to be other than ignoring him? That was a major hint. A non-response is just as much a no than the actual word itself. He played himself. Period. You, sir, are a side piece. There are no rules in this except at best an “I’m home” text. All other bets are off.
And to be fair Issa did state she needed space from Lawrence and he crowded her space until she came home. When the roles were reversed he left her with wire hangers and banged shawty from the bank without a second thought.
His: The only role reversal was – who cared more. Hooking up with a rebound after a breakup is not the same as hooking up with a long-time lover during a relationship. Not the same in any way. If there is a double standard to cheating, I haven’t witnessed it for myself. But I’m not sure if it matters here because only one person cheated.
Hers: There is definitely a double standard to cheating. To say that you haven’t experienced it is proof of that because, on average, men don’t stay with women after an infidelity on her part. You are viewed as weak or a sucker. Women are taught to expect that men cheat at some point and to some twisted degree it proves our loyalty if we stay.
His: What if the guys that stay with their cheating mate just keep it private?
Hers: What about them? Has that ever been your experience? I can’t say that it has been in my case.
His: There are guys that stay after catching their woman cheating. When I get the secret news it’s typically years after the fact. Maybe guys are good at keeping that quiet.
Hers: It seems as if my initial thought of how they are perceived is the reason why it is not so known. Because as men, it’s just not in their inherent nature to stay after a woman has been the cheater.
I always feel, had Issa known that bank teller was in the mix, even as a possible, those eggs and bacon wouldn’t have come from guilt. Maybe in competition but not guilt.
His: Lawrence having a desire to hook up with Tasha – before or after the break up – is a moot point. He was loyal to Issa. The world is free to have all the insecure thoughts they want though.
Tasha, the bank teller, wasn’t any competition to Issa. Lawrence was clear in declaring his loyalty and Tasha respected that by never reappearing. To claim any competition after that is to project insecurity.
Hers: Oh she was definitely in the picture. She was just on standby, like she could catch the flight or not, but the ticket is kinda open ended. Hence, he hit her up straight away after the break up. Trust we know a bunch of broads like Bank Teller. Some of us have even been her. Yeah, he said he had a girl and she fell back. But as soon as he hit her with the “wassup” text, he was knee deep in vagina. Moot point or not.
And if Issa ever finds out about their ongoing interactions with each other, either before or after their tryst, the thought would be he wanted to get at her from the jump.
His: Once there is a break up, anything is fair game. At least Lawrence had the decency to give a clear, clean break. Meanwhile, Issa is having a passionate hookup on a public, SoundCloud rapper love seat while Lawrence is home doing his googles on diamond cuts.
Hers: You’re right, post breakup you can do whatever. However, Lawrence in his moment of weakness, gave Issa false hope. That 1AM call from the strip club gave her carte blanche to bug her friends, on a weekend getaway, to drive her back home thinking he would be there to talk. Cause why else would he be calling after he said it was over unless he really wanted to talk, right? Right.
His: As for giving Issa false hope. Too bad. So sad. It’s a great learning experience for her. She’ll be fine by season 2.