Awkward Black Girl: The Gospel of Issa Rae

This entry is part 3 of 2 in the series College: What the F@#k Even Was That?

I want to say I discovered Issa Rae during my freshman year of college. 2015, two years after Awkward Black Girl and two years before the news that her new show, Insecure, hit the blogs. In that year and a half, I basically stalked Issa Rae’s career. I watched every press junket, internet blog interview, screening appearance, everything. I was high key obsessed. When I came across ABG, (on Tumblr – an era for another post) I thought the shit was fucking hilarious. I had, hands down, never seen anything so relatable.

I too was an awkward black girl.

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And I had never felt so understood. I was already in my feelings about what the plan was for after college. I was meeting a lot of new people and having the same cringy, awkward ass moments and it really gave me peace of mind to know I wasn’t the only bitch out here wondering what the hell was really going on.

So meantime, in between time, my bitch Issa was cookin. I had subscribed to her YouTube channel Issa Rae Presents – where she is still producing and releasing phenomenal content, btw – and I followed her on Instagram.

For a while there was chatter about something about a show called “I Hate L.A. Dudes” that was supposedly in the works. She mentioned it a couple times in some interview clips that I’d seen. A few months passed on that and crickets. I rewatched ABG.

Then she released her book, titled The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. I didn’t get around to reading it until a few months ago, actually.

As a broke ass junior in undergrad, I couldn’t afford any leisure reading.

But I read all the rave reviews it got and watched as many interviews from her book tour as I could. She did some public readings of excerpts from the books and even the stories she was telling about her own upbringing were so relatable to some of my own experiences growing up.

This bitch – I liked her. She got me.

I forget where she announced that she’d made secured the bag on Insecure with HBO, but I shrieked!

All this time, I had been rooting for her and now, it was go time.

And then the trailer came out fall semester, junior year. And bitch, I was too hype.

The show went on to break records and set precedents. Not even half way through season one, it came out that they had been renewed for a second season. And it was a phenomenal first season. Black Twitter immediately schism-ed into Team Issa or Team Lawrence and just like that, Issa had the game on lock.

Golden Globe noms, Covergirl, another season of Insecure

Above all, Issa was proof that if you just start with what you have simply on the faith that your shit is dope, the results can be monumental.

Her success inspired me more and more to leap out on faith in my own life (i.e. figuring out a way to bounce tf outta MS) off the strength that the things that I create are also dope.

Moral of the story: My sis is poppin’ right now and she really just wants niggas to eat with her. For me, the most enlightening thing she ever said was “Network around, not up.” Because that’s the squad that’s going to hold you down when you pop.

 

 

Screen Time

I didn’t watch much television as a kid. One, my mom wouldn’t let watch it on school nights and the parental controls were such that all I could watch was the Discovery channel, animal planet, travel, history, shit like that. I mean once I got to high school BET and MTV were staples in my life. But I also grew up in the age of trash tv, which never managed to hold my attention long enough for me to become invested in it.

But today’s a new day, a new era. Dare I say it, a renaissance. Television ain’t just for the living room anymore. The majority of the shows I watch are usually on a screen not exceeding 15″.

I don’t watch much tv, but when I do, I really only watch a handful of shows. I like quality, comedy, and drama and when these things are done well, there’s real potential for making some magic.

I recently got into GoT. I’m surprised at how much I like it. I like finding shows that are a few seasons in. Perfect fodder for binging. And I get to develop my own opinion outside of the social media hype.

On the other hand, I lived for the hype for Insecure. Every interview, every press release, every promo. Plus Insecuritea with Crissle and Fran. Bitch I was here for all the coverage. You can’t deny that Insecure is a moment. The show is revolutionary in so many ways.

I’m ready for season three.

Netflix and Justin Simien gave us Dear White People this year. Hot fye, hot fye.

I feel like Chewing Gum was an extremely underrated show. The second season premiered on Netflix at the top of the year and I legitimately cried laughing more than once. It’s witty, provocative, and just fucking good.

The “Thanksgiving” episode of Master of None. Just… fucking… yes.giphy

The rest of the show is good too but before this episode, I had never been interested enough to actually watch the whole series. I eventually went back though.

As far as I’m concerned, She’s Gotta Have It is a must watch. I enjoyed Spike’s original film by the same name. I thought the concept was ahead of its time even then and when I heard it was being remade I was excited. When I first heard about the remake I admit I was worried about the execution, but Spike had a true blue team behind him with this one and dammit, I think he struck gold. This show is giving me Do-the-Right-Thing-Spike tease. It’s contemporary, thoughtful, and a great moment for the culture.

I’d be remise if I neglected to mention Blackish. I’m a fan. I really didn’t know where they were going to take the show after the first season. I was honestly scared to watch when it first aired but after it survived its first season and had to see what the hype was. And it didn’t disappoint.

2018’s got a hot line up. After the first season of Atlanta, Donald Glover took a break to film Star Wars or whatever, but Atlanta’s back for season two next year and I’m simply overflowing with anticipation.

History is repeating itself yet again with another (hopefully) iconic spin off.

Everybody knows the first season of A Different World was the worst season, but I actually think Yara Shahidi has what it takes to carry a show. I’m excited to see more from this young lady.

The final season of GoT is set for next year. While I’ve enjoyed the ride, I can’t say I’m too sad to see it go. It was a moment. I lived for all that blood and gore and medieval shit.

I’m sure I missed some stuff and knowingly neglected others. I don’t watch much television but when I do I like it to be good. Fresh faces, fresh voices, and some not-so-new faces that have been consistently out here serving it to you girls with the fierceness. I live for it all.

Prediction: Endless Netflix and Chill-athons 2k18

Backshot Heard Round the World

Bitch.

Insecure season 2 kicked off on Sunday and…

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Issa Rae is truly a treasure.

So season one: We get to know Issa’s world. Her friends, her relationship, and the dynamics of both. Even though Insecure was becoming its own thing, I couldn’t help but compare it to Awkward Black Girl, an ABG 2.0, if you will.

But now, in season 2, Insecure definitely feels like its own entity. Where each of the characters has a niche in the world that they occupy and cope with.

Shout out to Dustin from The Friend Zone podcast! When I saw his face in the trailer, I screamed like a boy band stan and I’m not ashamed of it.

Issa’s out here dating, trying to get back into the swing of things after her break up with Lawrence. But dating, quite honestly, is much. She’s doing that “where are you from/what do you do” bullshit and I was cringing for her.

Meanwhile life don’t stop and Molly, Issa’s bestie, finds out this white nigga makes more than her at the law firm that they’ve both been at for the same amount of time. I get my life when she checked that bitch at the dinner party and reminded Trevor (or whatever the fuck) of his white and male privilege.

She’s still not fully feeling this therapy shit yet though.

And last but not least, Lawrence.

I really don’t know how to feel about him yet. I really don’t.

He trash as fuck for leaving that raggedy ass shirt in the closet and taking the pillow. And him and that girl Tasha… I just…

She needs to sit the fuck down somewhere.

Of course, the fun didn’t end with the season premiere. The internet and its commentary made for lots of fun.

Say what you want about Charlemagne, but the nigga is good for a laugh.

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I see where his allegiance lies. Typical.

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All in all – that was a damn good premiere. In the coming weeks, I look forward to Issa’s hoe-ventures and hang-ups. This is gonna be a wild one.

Buckle up.

Endless Woman Crushes

2016 was the year of the Awkward Black Girl. Hands Down.

Issa Rae is everything. Just Google her. I remember the ABG days as if they were yesterday and I’m extremely happy for everything she’s accomplished since then. Her HBO debut, Insecure, landed her a Golden Globe nomination and even though she didn’t get it, you better believe, 2016 was just Issa getting her feet wet.

If you follow her Instagram, she just announced that she’s back for blood with season 2 of Insecure is back on July 23.

JULY 23, people. Mark your calendar.

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My new obsession is this show on Netflix called Chewing Gum and it is FUN-NY!! Like open-mouth cackling. It’s written by and starring the beautiful Michaela Coel from the UK. Excellent casting. Excellent story. The show is black excellence and I can’t wait for season/series 2.

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I also like to give YouTube a browse every (other) day.¬†There’s some interesting stuff happening on the the interwebs. Another¬†web series, Ackee and Saltfish, is dope as hell. Just two best friends chopping it up about (not-so) serious shit on the streets of London.