Series Review

'Insecure' S3 is all about 'knowing better' - but did anyone tell Issa?

Messy romantic relationships continue to dominate the third installment of Issa Rae's award-winning comedy drama series

14 September 2018 - 14:21 By Andile Ndlovu

Few people can take the humdrum details of romantic relationships and amplify them into something as enjoyable as Issa Rae's Insecure.
Into its third season now, the HBO show follows Issa Dee (played by Rae) and her best friend Molly (played by Yvonne Orji), as they struggle to navigate their tricky personal and professional lives in Los Angeles.
Now well into season three, watching a show about a character whose career and love life are in perpetual upheaval, can begin to feel like a slog. Watching Being Mary Jane ultimately did.
Perhaps, though, Insecure positions Issa as a more relatable character - a good friend you empathise with as much as you lose patience with. This can buy any character more time with viewers.
The theme of season three is "Know better, do better", and the feeling is that the women really need to grow the f**k up now.
WATCH | The trailer for Insecure season 3

But have they? Firstly, broke Issa has moved into problematic love interest Daniel's apartment (if you recall, she cheated with him on her then boyfriend and fan favourite, Lawrence) and is shacking up on his couch. He is impertinently sleeping with women in that same apartment - much to Issa's chagrin. Eventually, she calls him out on it, and he wants to know why she decided to come and stay with him "out of all the places you could have stayed".
Then she does what she does best and lays all her cards on the table: "I know I told you I didn't care, but I do. I still have feelings for you . I came here because I knew you'd be here for me ... you're f***ing other girls in front of me like we don't have history."
We see Daniel still struggling for a breakthrough in the music industry. He is too proud to ask for help, and it is Issa's affability with people that helps him set up a potentially big career move with successful former school peer, Khalil.
It is then that he realises how different she is to most girls he has been with - she is more than someone you go to to ease your sexual frustrations and exert your dominance over, but someone genuinely invested in your dreams because she appreciates the effort you're putting in. She gets it, because her career also feels like it is in the doldrums.
In one scene Issa tells Daniel she picked up that he played the live instrumentation in his latest composition, and he feels comfortable enough to tell her about wanting to make more "complex instrumentation" for an artist he is trying to produce. Ironically, it is what Tasha afforded Lawrence when he and Issa's relationship hit the rocks - someone to hear you...

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day or Financial Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.