Show You Should Be Watching If You Aren’t Already: Insecure

A fun thing to do if you’re sane is to pretend you’re just going to watch one episode of a TV show and then just stop cold turkey.

This is exactly what happened to me a couple Sundays ago when I casually decided to watch the pilot of Insecure. My friend suggested it to me a while ago, and of course it’s received all these accolades (hello Emmys), but I finally sat down and watched it. And then I watched the second episode. Then the third… next thing I know it’s four hours later and I’m at the season one finale. Which was perfect because the season two premiere aired that night. Which I also watched.

Obviously I liked it enough to binge watch it in one Sunday night, so I’m here to add to the praise it’s been getting and tell you that if I can (accidentally) set aside 4 hours of my life to watch Insecure, so can you.

Basic Plot

Follows the awkward experiences and racy tribulations of a modern-day African-American woman.

That African-American woman is Issa Rae, the co-creator, writer and star of the show. Insecure follows her life in Los Angeles and the people that surround her on the daily.

Watch This If You Like

Atlanta, Girls, Sex and the City, Dear White People

Started From The Bottom

Not to say “the bottom” is the internet, but Issa first gained acclaimed with her popular webseries Awkward Black Girl, and that award-winning series was the reason and basis for Insecure. Like Insecure, Issa wore multiple hats for her webseries, including starring as J, the titular Awkward Black Girl. While a few changes were made for the TV series (she works at a non-profit and not a weight-loss pill company in ABG), the one holdover, and what made the show unique, is how J talks out her thoughts and problems through raps.

Issa’s Raps

These “freestyle” raps are, to put it simply, brilliant. They never come off corny, but rather necessary for how Issa deals with her problems. These are usually performed in some type of mirror, which is super effective because it’s as if she’s hyping herself up or building confidence by looking the problem in the eye (the problem is herself). Plus, it’s a great way to get into Issa’s thoughts without extra dialogue or having a narrator tell us what she’s thinking. It’s modern, usually involves some type of pop culture reference, and always entertaining.

The BFFs

Molly, Tiffany and Kelli, make up the core of Issa’s squad, and their dynamic is what reminds me of a Sex and the City vibe. As seen in the video above, they’re always open with each other and the tribulations in their love lives, giving advice just like your friends would IRL. They’re also constantly supporting each other in their individual endeavors – in the above clip, they’re all on hand to support Kelli’s cousin’s horrible Jesus/gangsta play. Ultimate friend goals right here.

The BFs

In the pilot, we learn that Issa’s been in a long-term relationship with Lawrence, who seems to be unmotivated and unemployed. But good LORD is he a smokeshow. Jay Ellis isn’t new to acting (he was on The Game for years), but new to me. I’m so sorry I had no idea who you were before this, Jay Ellis. You deserve more. You deserve everything. God bless you. Plus the other gentleman callers on this show like Daniel (Y’lan Noel) and Jared (Langston Kerman) are super easy on the eyes and there may or may not be naked bums. Of the male species. God bless Issa Rae.

The Music

At least once every episode, I found speaking into my phone, saying, “Siri, what song is this?”. The soundtrack is spot on and perfectly matches the mood and vibe of the show. Lo and behold, they got a heavyweight to serve as the music supervisor on the first season, enlisting Raphael Saadiq to take charge of every track on the show. Plus, Solange was a music consultant, which makes sense why it was so easy for them to get the rights to Cranes in the Sky. For a song breakdown per episode, go here!

The Realness

One of the most unique qualities of this show is that it isn’t afraid to put real talk into its scripts. The dialogue feels normal and familiar in a way you might think you’ve had the conversation with the characters before, but really, you’ve had it with your friends IRL. Moreover, every character, from Issa to recurring ones, feels real too, from their clothes to their jobs and everything in between. For example, Issa works at a non-profit for disadvantaged youth, while her boyfriend is a struggling tech genius who ends up working at Best Buy. Her BFF Molly is a successful lawyer, and she ends up dating a non-college educated guy who works at Enterprise. AND there’s even a literal Blood. Like member of the Bloods gang (who has a v cute daughter) who lives in Issa’s building. A wide range of people are featured on the show, reflecting not only a lot of people’s friend groups, but shows that a variety of people are represented on screen as well.

The first season of Insecure is OnDemand and streaming on HBOGo. Season 2 is now airing on Sundays at 10:30pm.

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Golden Globes 2017 – Best Dressed

Annddd we’re back! Not only with new content for 2017, but content that includes our annual kick off to awards season with the Golden Globes! Last night saw some good times (Meryl Streep! Donald Glover!) and bad times (y’all see Hidden Fences?), but as always, we kept an eye on the fashion. Here are some of our faves from the 2017 Golden Globes.

Best Dressed

Molly’s Picks

Emma Stone in Valentino Haute Couture

Every year, we debate over contributing our true top picks and making sure that we don't have any repeats because there are plenty of gorgeous gowns to go around. And just about every year, we end up with one gown that neither of us can, in good conscience, leave off of our list. This time it's Emma Stone, a city of stars unto herself. I love the soft champagne color, the crenelated skirt (so 20s and 30s! so perfect for this role, in particular), and the understated hair, makeup and jewelry. Emma almost always makes our best list, and I'm thrilled she'll be on every red carpet this year because I think she's positively refreshing, both in her exquisite fashion picks and in her laid-back but kind personality.

Every year, we debate whether to contribute our true top picks or make sure that we don’t have any repeats, because there are plenty of gorgeous gowns to go around. And just about every year, we end up with one gown that neither of us can, in good conscience, leave off of our list. This time it’s Emma Stone, a city of stars unto herself. I love the soft champagne color, the crenelated skirt (so 20s and 30s! so perfect for this role, in particular), and the understated hair, makeup and jewelry. Emma almost always makes our best list, and I’m thrilled she’ll be on every red carpet this year because I think she’s positively refreshing, both in her exquisite fashion picks and in her laid-back but kind personality.

 

Natalie Portman in Prada

While my picks after Emma Stone follow in no particular order, I had to make sure Natalie Portman was on my best dressed list somewhere, if only because I was a bit confused by the dislike for this gown. Maternity fashion is tricky: go to bulky and you'll just look oddly shaped instead of pregnant; some go all the way the other direction but I always find skin-tight or crop-tops on pregnant woman to look uncomfortable. I like that Natalie chose a middle approach: tailored, crisp and cheerful, with a 60s boatneck vibe as a tribute to the one and only Jackie O. The feathery beading and midi sleeves made this feel like something I'd imagine a pregnant Audrey Hepburn wearing - or Jackie, of course.

While my picks after Emma Stone follow in no particular order, I had to make sure Natalie Portman was on my best dressed list somewhere, if only because I was a bit confused by the distaste for this gown. Maternity fashion is tricky: go too bulky and you’ll just look oddly shaped instead of pregnant; some go all the way the other direction but I always find skin-tight or crop-tops on pregnant woman to look uncomfortable. I like that Natalie chose a middle approach: tailored, crisp and cheerful, with a 60s-style boatneck as a tribute to the one and only Jackie O. The feathery beading and midi sleeves made this feel like something I’d imagine a pregnant Audrey Hepburn wearing – or Jackie, of course.

 

Donald Glover in Gucci

What I love: the brown velvet is such a beautifully smooth color that you could almost dive into it like melted chocolate. Also, Donald manages - at the same time - to look both like an old-school debonair gentleman, and a walking huggable teddy bear. This suit is a reminder that you don't have to go all the way to patterns or beading to explore a statement beyond the classic black tux. Plus that burgandy bow tie?! This is one of the biggest nights in Donald's career, and I just love that he is dressed for it.

What I love: the brown velvet is such a beautifully smooth color that you could almost dive into it like melted chocolate. Also, Donald manages – at the same time – to look both like an old-school debonair gentleman, and a walking huggable teddy bear. This suit is a reminder that you don’t have to go all the way to patterns or beading to explore a statement beyond the classic black tux. Plus that burgundy bow tie?! This is one of the biggest nights in Donald’s career, and I just love that he is dressed for it.

Lily Collins in Zuhair Murad Couture

We all love a simple black dress, but I also love when celebs take the red carpet invitation to seriously go for it. Stunning embroidery, piles of fabric, and an almost Victorian feel that's modernized by that fantastic neckline. Pair it with Lily's signature bold eyebrows and a red lip, and the look keep from going to

We all like a simple black dress, but I also love when celebs take the red carpet invitation to seriously go for it. Stunning embroidery, piles of fabric, and an almost Victorian feel that’s modernized by that fantastic neckline. Pair it with Lily’s signature bold eyebrows and a red lip, and the look keep from going to “80s bridesmaid” and lands in “coolest modern debutante on the block.”

Viola Davis in Michael Kors Collection

Viola Davis is flawless in everything, from Fences (SEE IT), to introductory speeches (I repeat my request that she make radio speeches weekly for the next 4 years to keep us steady), to this one-shoulder canary yellow gown. You can seldom go wrong pairing a vibrant color with a streamlined style and beautiful - but minimal - accessories. Also it would be a crime to cover up those arms.

Viola Davis is flawless in everything, from Fences (SEE IT), to introductory speeches (I repeat my request that she make radio speeches weekly for the next 4 years to keep us steady), to this one-shoulder canary yellow gown. You can seldom go wrong pairing a vibrant color with a streamlined style and beautiful – but minimal – accessories. Also it would be a crime to cover up those arms.

Millie Bobby Brown in Jenny Packham

This makes my list because it's fun, it's glitzy, it fits perfectly, and it's wonderfully age-appropriate. I'm dying a bit over the sheer layer at the hemline and all that beading, not to mention the sweet sandal-style heels. I'm typically not into tea length dresses on adults on the red carpet (though there are exceptions), but it's the perfect way for a child to look dressed up without looking like they're, well, playing dress-up as an adult.

This makes my list because it’s fun, it’s glitzy, it fits perfectly, and it’s wonderfully age-appropriate. I’m dying a bit over the sheer layer at the hemline and all that beading, not to mention the sweet sandal-style heels. I’m typically not into tea length dresses on adults on the red carpet (though there are exceptions), but it’s the perfect way for a child to look dressed up without looking like they’re, well, playing dress-up as an adult.

Traci’s Picks

Emma Stone in Valentino Haute Couture

For the first major awards show of the season, it’s only fitting the La La Land star picked a gown that features silver stars, since, ya know City of Stars and whatnot. Love the light pink color too – the stars are enough ‘bling’, and any other bright color would’ve been too much.

Mandy Moore in Naeem Kahn

God I am so glad Mandy Moore is back looking glam on red carpets where she belongs. Despite the fact she didn’t go home with a trophy, she’s still dressed like a winner in this gorgeous dress. Plunging necklines were a trend this year, and Mandy killed it. I also love the faux cape and sheer material that gives it another sexy edge for a full length gown.

Gina Rodriguez in Naeem Kahn

If I were Gina Rodriguez, I would spend the entire night shimmying left and right to get those beads movin like a 1920s flapper. She looks amazing from head to toe, and is working it like the true star she is.

Felicity Huffman in Georges Chakra

You can't really tell in this photo, but those are pants. And Felicity gave a simple explanation as to why she skipped a gown this year, and it's why she deserves a spot on the best dressed list (it's also v pretty).

If you can’t really tell in this photo, those are pants. And Felicity gave a simple explanation as to why she skipped a gown this year, and it’s why she deserves a spot on the best dressed list (it’s also v pretty). “I got a pantsuit in honor of Hillary. Love you, Hillary. I’m with her.” {x}

Issa Rae in Christian Siriano

Insecure is still on my To Watch list, but I really like Issa Rae based on interviews alone. And as a first-time nominee, she fits right in with this sleek Christian Siriano gown. Also, please note her flawless skin. It’s unreal.

Milo Ventimiglia in Ralph Lauren

That is Milo Ventimiglia and this is us saying goodbye to the #GoldenGlobes. ✨👋

A post shared by E! News (@enews) on

MILO. VENTIMIGLIA. IS. A. SMOKESHOW.

Sterling K. Brown in Kenneth Cole and Ryan Michelle Bathe in David Meister

photo-jan-08-11-34-37-pmDo yourself a favor and follow Sterling K. Brown on social media if you don’t already. Today’s Insta story featured him getting ready with his wife (also on This Is Us!) and they are #couplegoals AF. I mean look at these two hotties – his blue suit and her amazing pink sequined gown?! This is a screenshot of a boomerang and it doesn’t even do them justice. Neither does the screenshot below of Sterling’s time lapse of him putting his clothes on…
photo-jan-08-11-33-32-pm