‘Insecure’ Season 3: Fictional Issa Reinvents Herself by Necessity

Insecure - Issa Rae

Issa Rae is on a career high, with a well-deserved lead comedy actress Emmy nomination for the second season of Insecure. It’s only fitting that in the raucous and raunchy third season, her character of Issa Dee has never been less secure, or more appealing. Money, work, sex: The worse things get for the fictional Issa, the richer the humor.

It’s hard to imagine a more painfully funny situation than Issa — forced to move out of her apartment with a perilous credit rating — being kept awake at night by her ex’s noisy lovemaking while sleeping on his couch. “I can’t speak up about anything,” she gripes to her glamorous bestie, Molly (Yvonne Orji), who has her own issues with a married beau and a new all-black workplace that doesn’t live up to expectations.

But Issa never stays quiet for long. This is a season of reinvention by necessity. Her long-term relationship with Lawrence (a so-far-unseen Jay Ellis) is over, and being roomies with the aloof Daniel (Y’lan Noel), the guy she cheated with, is fraught with confusing mixed signals and a chorus of exasperated disapproval from her girlfriends. Work is even less satisfying at the nonprofit that has benched her from field work.

To make ends meet, she begins driving at night, and you haven’t lived until you’ve taken a ride in Issa’s “party Lyft,” which inevitably descends into comic chaos. But not before introducing Nathan (Kendrick Sampson), a sympathetic, and smoking hot, transplant from Houston. He tells Issa, “It’s hard to start over,” while encouraging her: “Sometimes you just gotta go for it.” Watching Issa go for it, with caustic wit amid all the anxiety and awkwardness, is reason enough to watch.

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Insecure, Season 3 Premiere, Sunday, August 12, 10:30/9:30c, HBO