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Is Insecure Based on Issa Rae’s Life?

April 12, 2020
3 min read
Insecure Season 4

HBO’s ‘Insecure’ follows the story of two African-American women who try to deal with the various challenges that life throws at them. Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji star as best friends Issa and Molly. Issa works for a non-profit, and Molly is a successful attorney. While their professional lives are somewhat balanced, the same can’t be said for their love lives. Issa’s relationship with Lawrence, whom she has been with for a long time, is now losing its essence. For Molly, the difficulty to understand and date men increases by the day.

The acclaimed comedy brings two highly relatable characters to the fore. Focusing on the contemporary issues faced by black women, the show makes itself more accessible to the audience. How does it manage to be so realistic? Let’s find out.

Is Insecure Based on a True Story?

No, ‘Insecure’ is not based on a true story. It is a comedy-drama created by Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore. Before Rae thought about making a show, she had been busy with her web series. She had created and starred in ‘The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl’. The show focused on the daily struggles of being a black woman, and it clicked very well with the audience. When it went viral, she thought about taking it a step further. After trying it out at ABC and failing, Rae eventually found footing with HBO and turned it into ‘Insecure’ with Wilmore.

Rae shares her first name with the protagonist of the show, the fact that she has come to lament because the audience often tends to believe that all of Dee’s actions in the show are the same as Rae’s. Of course, that is not true, but the series does take inspiration, even if loosely, from the creator’s life. Growing up, Rae had to battle with several insecurities. They formed the basis of her web series, and were refined to become the story of Issa Dee.

“I’m definitely mining experiences from my own life, especially for my character,” she said. The same can also be said about other characters, all of whom are a bit of every writer on the team of the show. “We tap into the lives and instances and moments a bunch of our writers bring to the room, as well. I think that’s a fun part — everybody has a piece of their life in the show.“

Despite this connection with her protagonist, Rae finds herself a lot different from Dee. She calls her character the younger version of herself. She feels “grateful to have grown from [it]”. “She is the younger, less focused version of me. I definitely was her at some point. Now, I’m glad that I’m not. I like to think I make better decisions than she does,” Rae said in ‘Live with Kelly and Ryan’.

The main motive of bringing ‘Insecure’ to the screen was to show the simpler life of African-Americans, as opposed to the conflicts that they often find themselves in other movies and TV shows. She wanted to break the stereotypes for black characters by showing them in normal light, something that the black audience could connect with and something that the white audience could do with a better understanding of.

Read More: Insecure Filming Locations

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