Jump to content

Type keyword(s) to search

Culturally, Okay?

  • Reply
  • Start Topic

Recommended Posts

After the series finale, they showed some clips from what appears to be a little featurette about the wrap party for the show.  (In the HBO Max app, for this finale, there are two extras, one about 27 minutes long and another about an hour long)

They have snippets of cast members talking about what it was like to be part of the show.  One person talked about how it was important for the black community to have the show stay on the air for so long.

Of course, those kinds of claims about cultural significance are often made about many other shows.  This thread would be to discuss what kind of substance Insecure has, beyond being one of the many shows made for and airing on a venue for more affluent viewers in this era of prestige TV.

Early on in the series, someone posted a link here to a black forum where there was way way more activity than there was here.  The posts there were funny and passionate.  You could see the show had struck a chord -- because among other things, HBO finally had a show about black people (not sure that was true but I guess this sentiment was in the context of the big blockbuster shows that HBO were known for, such as The Sopranos, SATC, The Wire, Game of Thrones, etc.)

I think they cited references in the show that mostly black people would recognize so these were kind of inside jokes from the people who made the shows to the black viewers, specifically for them because they knew the show also had a lot of non-black viewers as well.  A lot of these were things in the shows within the show in those early seasons.

I wouldn't know those references and I'm not familiar with the music they've used on the show over the years either.  I don't fault Issa for putting a lot of black fan service elements in the show over the years.  But did she do so because she was "keeping it real" or she feared being accused of not "keeping it real?"

The most obvious fan service for black viewers seem to be the music, not exactly top 40 hits.  But the choices are often young women singing raunchy lyrics.

Is it subversive to introduce to some of the well-heeled HBO viewers to black women being frank about sex?  Or is it more about giving the fans what they want, as artists like Cardi B seem to be very popular at the moment.  (black male artists created a lot of raunchy hip hop works now are female black artists copying a successful formula or is there some feminist reclaiming of their own sexuality in their music?)

In the series finale, the girls were overt about their desires, talking about "birthday dick" and "he looks pipe-y" and references to being "bowlegged" afterwards.  Also thought at Molly's very upscale wedding, Molly and Taurean showed off some club moves simulating sex which seemed out of place -- would professional people like Molly and Taurean, who work in a conservative field, do that in front of friends, family and presumably some colleagues, maybe their bosses?

Another example of fan service could be the characters speaking black, especially in season 5 but also in earlier seasons.  It seemed out of place at the Stanford reunion.  There was an episode in one of the first seasons about how Molly code-switched between her law firm job and when she's out of the office hanging out with her friends.  

Wouldn't they code-switch at the reunion, since a lot of the people gathered there weren't black?

Molly especially is accomplished but she's "keeping it real" by talking like she used to before college, before building a career?

I know that authenticity is a thing for black people.  Black comics mock white people for the way they talk and mock even more black people who try to talk like white people.

So "keeping it real" verbally seems to be another part of fan service.

Finally, Issa's trajectory, in fact the paths of all the regular characters are another instance of fan service.  Of course a happy ending for "likable" characters is fan service for people of all ethnicities.

Issa started with Lawrence and ends up back with him.  What's really changed though?  Well they're both older and wiser and they're both successful now, fulfilled emotionally as well as financially.  They've both done things to each other to drive each other away yet they find each other in the end.

Are we to conclude that having more money helped smooth over the friction they used to have?  Or that they're both emotionally in better places both individually and as a couple, in part because they no longer have money issues?  Are richer people just more happy?

Would the fans of the show be just as satisfied with the ending  if they end up back together but they're broke or one or both of them has a very unsatisfactory job/career?  Would they likely be as happy if one or both of them are unsettled in their careers?

Or is happiness in a relationship tied to aspirations of upward mobility -- moving on up?  And do people who want these characters to end up happy and successful tend to be of certain ethnic backgrounds than others?





Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...