Season 1: Trying a bit too hard at times, but does have a good heart to it
Clearly HBO have confidence in this show, as I see the second season was started in a slot following Game of Thrones – which had the potential to give the show a great boost in viewers. What it did for me was to make me decide to watch the first season; I had heard good things about it, but a couple of things put me off. Firstly it does sit in a genre/form which I don't often engage with. Secondly it was likened to Sex and the City – which for fans of that is a good thing, but I never took to that show either. Finally, there were a lot of positive reviews which highlighted how good it was that these 'voices' were being heard on such a show – by which they mean it is a non-race-as-an-issue show which is created by and focuses on African Americans. While this is a true statement to make regarding Insecure, it also made me worry that the positive reviews were at least in part motivated by the desire to support and be seen to support the show for this reason. Whatever, I decided to try it.
My experience was that many of my doubts were justified, although I still enjoyed the show – even if it was touch and go at one point. To speak of the good; Issa is convincingly a person – in the comedic, in the fantasy, in the sexual, and in the emotional – she is very real and engaging, with warmth, flaws, good intentions and so on. The show is best when it gives her the material and space to be this way. Same is true of Molly, albeit she has a tighter focus as a character that limits how much it is true. Ditto Lawrence. Outside of these, the characters do feel a bit broadly written, and mostly these characters are supporting and/or involved in broader moments within the show.
In these broader moments, it does feel like the show is trying too hard. I guess part of this is me being outside of the worlds of people turning 30, dating, and African-Americans living in LA; but there does seem to be a lot of material that felt broad to the point of being a cliché or stereotype. The show also feels like it is working hard to be hip, cool, loud, and fun – almost like it is buying permission to be vulnerable, quiet, or reflective (the aspects I liked the most). Around the middle of the season these aspects were close to making me think to stop watching, but Issa kept me there, and rewarded that. I still wasn't totally sold on it, but it had enough in it as a show, with its energy and voice, that I will return for the second season.
Will be interesting to see how it does there – and what aspects it pushes to the fore and what impact that has. Hopefully it can do as good or better with the characters since this is what held me.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this