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SIMPLY JESSICA: Issa Rae discusses her HBO show ‘Insecure’

Issa Rae sees herself as a product of the 1990s.

She grew up watching “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “Girlfriends.”

It was her dream to grow up and write for a black TV show.

“Having those shows disappear when I got older was frustrating,” Rae said. “I now watch television shows that sadden me because the women that I see on TV are not my friends. I can’t relate to it.”

Rae decided that she was tired of complaining.

She wanted back the shows that she grew up watching as a child.

She created a YouTube series that has led to her having her own HBO television show called “Insecure.”

“Insecure” is about two black girlfriends navigating their jobs, and their love life all while leaning on one another. The two friends begin to ponder if they are happy with where they are in their life.

Rae portrays Issa, a woman in her late 20s approaching 30.

The show is set in the nonprofit world.

“I worked at a nonprofit for a while,” Rae said. “I wanted to have a setting that would be my worst nightmare to work. … It is the concept of white guilt that I can’t stand. I wanted to highlight the nonprofit world and maintain the comedic side to it.”

Rae points out that “Insecure” is a different show from her YouTube series “Awkward Black Girl,” which she also acted in.

“Insecure has different characters but it’s rooted in my experience,” she said. “HBO called me to see if I had any other ideas. I wanted to do something that was real and that fit my experiences. Being that 90s little girl that wanted to be a part of those shows. I feel like “Insecure” is a resurgence of the black shows in the 90s.”

Rae wants to be a part of change that diversifies things behind the scene and in front of the camera. She wants to produce and have her own studio that works in any medium to tell a story.

But until that day Rae is thrilled to have “Insecure” on HBO.

“You are going to see Issa trying to be confident in her insecurity,” Rae said. “Watching Issa get to the journey where she is comfortable knowing that she will never be comfortable is the journey that Issa will be on in future episodes.”

Rae compares her character’s journey to life.

“In life you’re always juggling something,” Rae said. “You’ll always be thrown for a loop but you have to stay confident and tell yourself that I can do this. … Everyone is going through it as well.”

Be yourself! I’m Simply Jessica JcAden. You can reach me at jess.gosnell@gmail.com.