Yvonne Orji and Issa Rae in Insecure (2016) as Molly and Issa

Insecure Sets up Tackling the Hardest Kind of Breakup—Friendships

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Last night the critically acclaimed HBO comedy series Insecure returned to television and with it, the set up for a falling out between the friendship that has been with us for the entire series: Issa Dee (Issa Rae) and Molly Carter (Yvonne Orji).

Spoilers for S.4, E. 1 of Insecure

With the opening episode of this season, we get Issa on a phone call saying she doesn’t chill with Molly any longer before going back in time to show us what seems to be the seeds of their conflict. Right before an important mixer, Molly discovers that she is not in an exclusive relationship with the person she’s been casually seeing, Andrew. She goes to tell Issa about this, but the latter is distracted by trying to make the event run properly and Molly seems to have a passive-aggressive change in her attitude. When they do get to talk about it after the event goes well, Molly projects her own situation onto Issa saying that her life doesn’t always have to be “so messy” in reference to Issa working with her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend.

One of the things about Insecure that can be frustrating is that character growth tends to take one step forward and two steps back. After four seasons the only character who seems to be progressing in a tangible way is Issa, which is great for her, but it often feels like her “friends” have storylines that do not do them justice. Beyond Molly, the core friend group of Insecure includes Tiffany DuBois (Amanda Seales) and Kelli (Natasha Rothwell). Yet at many times it seems as if they are two groups of friends linked together by … something. It is not to say that they don’t have moments of unity, but after most of the group fumbled while Tiffany was pregnant it really highlighted that while they might be friends, they are not often good friends.

As author Franchesca Ramsey put it in a series of Tweets, friendships ending is a specifically hard thing and it is often a lot worse than a romantic breakup.

I am looking forward to seeing how this will unfold and I hope that the narrative will be fair to both women. I know a lot of people dislike Molly, but she reminds me a lot of Carrie Bradshaw: successful, but just immature enough to stand in her own way. Sometimes we outgrow people, that doesn’t make the relationship a waste of time. Plus, I doubt they will keep them apart for too long, but just being able to see friends hold each other accountable is important because good friends are worth keeping, but it still takes work.

(image: HBO)

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Princess Weekes
Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.