Sunday, April 12, 2020

REVIEW: 'Insecure' - Issa Pitches Herself and the Block Party to Some Key Investors in 'Lowkey Feelin' Myself'

HBO's Insecure - Episode 4.01 "Lowkey Feelin' Myself"

With Condola's guidance, Issa prepares for a mixer in her courtyard to pitch the block party to potential sponsors - but tensions rise when they discover a mutual connection. Molly begins to develop unexpected feelings for Andrew.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the season premiere of HBO's Insecure.

"Lowkey Feelin' Myself" was written by Issa Rae and directed by Kevin Bray

The fourth season opens with a flash-forward to the aftermath of the block party. That event is a huge professional accomplishment for Issa. It's the peak of her career so far. However, this moment depicts her cryptically saying that she is done with Molly. That friendship may be coming to an end. It's a tantalizing detail to put upfront so the audience knows that things are about to become even more tense and fraught between the friends. The show has explored that dynamic previously. They came to blows at the end of the first season after all. However, this addition here suggests that friendships evolve as time goes along. The girlfriends may no longer rely on each other the same way moving forward. They provided so much support in the past. But it may just take one comment for Issa to realize that she can no longer rely on her friends for exactly what she needs. It takes true friendship in order to offer an honest opinion and have it be well received. Issa and Molly have long provided that for each other. They call the other out when their behavior makes no sense and it stands in their way of actually having a more fulfilling life. They have both had issues in their personal lives. They freak out and make the same mistakes over and over again. That can grow tiring after awhile. A television narrative has to keep things inventive as it goes along. It has to show that these characters are evolving. Right now, it is doing so marvelously by highlighting Issa as she is devoted to making big professional moves. She is passionate about the block party now. She sees it as a valuable resource for her community. She has the smarts and the skills to make it a reality too. It also showcases how new friends can come along and provide the presence energy that she needs. She immediately clicked with Condola. That friendship blossomed immediately. It's just awkward because things happened just as quickly and organically between Condola and Lawrence. It doesn't take long before Issa realizes what's been going on. She wants to keep this professional partnership going as well. She sees Condola as an accomplished woman who has the connections to make her dreams a reality. She may feel as if Condola is the better version of herself who now gets to reap her hard work in making Lawrence a better man. However, he did plenty of soul searching and introspection on his own. This relationship may not work if he hadn't already been with Issa for five years. Their time apart also helped them arrive at a place where things are awkward but they aren't filled with animosity towards one another. Having this new connection doesn't have to immediately destroy what they see as a good thing. They both want Condola in their lives. She steps up for both of them as well. She makes that decision. Molly is the one who interprets all of it as unnecessary drama. She doesn't understand why Issa keeps putting herself in these messy situations. She reacts that way because she essentially runs away the moment that things become too real or too different than what she wants. She has always operated that way. Her time in therapy has absolutely helped her manage her expectations while acknowledging that others can be let in to surprise her. And yet, her comment to Issa doesn't come across as constructive. These two always call each other first to let out the big news in their lives. They feel betrayed when that isn't the case. Issa can certainly still pull herself together to pitch herself and her block party. She is a success because she can pull that off. When she can articulate her message, she is a rousing success story. She still fears what others think of her. She wants to make everyone comfortable with her ideas and place in this world. However, striving for more independence isn't a bad thing. She should want that and be allowed to reap the benefits. Others may not be able to handle that. That awkwardness may fade away. The feelings underneath may linger though. Issa, Condala and Lawrence make their decisions here. The situation will be constantly evolving though. And so, everyone has to remain careful while still fundamentally uplifting each other to achieve the greatness they are each capable of doing. That tease of pending doom between Issa and Molly means the audience should remain nervous though.