Photo: Merie W. Wallace (HBO)

We’re slowly rolling through season 3 of Insecure with plenty of exposé and character development. So we are keeping the debate and discussion that Insecure inspires moving right along with it as a weekly discussion between Jouelzy and Panama Jackson.

Jouelzy: This season is opening with a slow roll, but I don’t know what I really expect to happen otherwise. I can enjoy the beauty of black folks finally being allowed to be mundane and regular on a television show because what was Friends?

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Panama: It is rather slow, but I like the character development they’re giving to Daniel since he’s clearly going to be around for a while. Though I have no idea what he does for a living; clearly being a music producer ain’t paying the bills. I also have to wonder: Did Lawrence fuck up all of Issa’s finances? Like how was she keeping them afloat and all of a sudden she can’t get a place to live and her credit is so bad she couldn’t even get a new cellphone line?

Jouelzy: VSB’s Damon countered the ambivalence folks like myself have with Issa being homeless and broke. I understand his point but I still find Damon’s situation quite different from Issa’s because he was working towards a goal. Damon was sacrificing. Issa is aimlessly wandering. And whew child, my feelings were HURT every time they panned to that 425 credit score! Like sis, what we being doing? All that railing against Lawrence and four-twenty-five? I get it, life happens, but everyone around Issa, her own brother included, seems to be doing well with any inability to help Issa from entirely sinking. Color me befuddled...

Panama: Yeah, I know some folks end up with bad credit for various reasons but has she paid a bill in the past two years? And I’m not credit-shaming, I’m just saying, what has she been doing? And has she just been unable through pride or whatever to ask anybody else for help on the way down??

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Jouelzy: This is exactly what I was talking about with regards to social capital from your friends, with Kelli talking through Issa about her credit and savings. I just wish we could get the humor of Kelli without her being the sexually deprived BBW archetype.

Panama: She is so damn funny and bute, though. Academically, I get your point. But she made me laugh SO hard in the office talking about Issa’s finances. The concern of Issa buying groceries at Rite-Aid KILT ME DEAD.

Jouelzy: Issa’s boss has been racist for all three seasons of Insecure and the four seasons of Awkward Black Girl, so I’m over Becky but Issa, as you said, manages to be the bug and the windshield at the same damn time. She finally gets the floor at work and passes on speaking her mind.

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Panama: I’ve said it before that I’m all for being a representative of The Black People so I don’t understand when folks get the floor and hand it off. I thought ole girl was spot on when she was like, “Honestly, whatever Issa thinks is probably right.” You right, boo. You right.

Jouelzy: Let’s talk about the character development of Daniel and his teethful relationship with Issa. Whatever I feel about his character, I am happy to see a more nuanced perspective that moves past the flatly cool confident “big-dick-energy” that we see men like him represented as.

Panama: Nuance is cool. I just want to know what his actual job is. Especially because he doesn’t sound like the best producer. Maybe “best producer” is wrong; he seems to be very self-indulgent in his own artistry, an Achilles heel for anybody trying to “make it” as a hip-hop producer. My man said he was fucking with cellos now like anybody gives a shit—does it bop? As his niece said, “your music be making me want to think. It’s like, ‘why, though?’”

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Jouelzy: We’re digging into Daniel’s hubris and it turns out he’s just as awkward as Issa. Beatboxing in Issa’s ear at the club? Jokes for days, but now that we know that Raphael Saadiq created that beat especially for that awkward scene, are we here for it?

Panama: Yeah, that beatboxing in a chick’s ear at the club is definitely a fail. I think it worked perfectly to show more about how overserious Daniel takes himself when it comes to the music. I get it, love your craft and your music, but assuming he’s above the fray so much that he needs to illustrate how he’d make some shit better that’s already knocking in the club? Damn, Daniel. You can see the reality check coming a mile away in future episodes.

Jouelzy: Insecure is always good for throwing in that over-the-top caricature. “Green braces like my money.” But does anyone know what “light-skin love” is?

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Panama: Light-skin love is a thing, dammit. Why Vanessa loves it is beyond me, especially because didn’t Lonzo Ball just have a kid with his boo? That scene was funny to me though because Daniel caught the major curve from his boo (?). She likes him enough and shit, but not enough to be up in her space that much.

Which brings up an interesting observation since we’re delving into Daniel: Buddy is just as awkward as Issa. He might be brooding and shit, but he’s just figuring this shit out, too. He wasn’t particularly cool at the club with the chick she wanted to know if he was Seven’s weed men. Quick sidebar: Seven legit asked a chick if he left ketchup packets at her house. That is one of THE most hilarious questions to ask of anybody regardless of time or space.

Daniel’s pride kicked in with Khalil at the club entry, but he struggled with it talking to Spyder. Daniel has some work of his own to do.

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Jouelzy: I’m annoyed with that wack-ass negro from Greenleaf, cause I’m still mad about him laying hands on Zora, being the person Daniel is pining to work with. This has nothing to do with *this* show, but sheesh!

Panama: Oh, Roshon Fagan. My intro to him was on Disney’s Shake It Up, so seeing him being a douche-y church kid on Greenleaf and trying to come off asshole-rapperesque on Insecure doesn’t fit for me. I don’t know what the perfect role for him is, but this ain’t it.

Jouelzy: It’s obvious that Daniel cares about Issa. I kind of want to roll my eyes at how cliched shooting a scene in the club where the guy protects the girl is, but I gotta let them live.

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Panama: I just want to know why a club that’s known for being ratchet ain’t patting folks down or running folks through metal detectors. In L.A., folks are still walking hammers into the club?? L.A.? L.A.?

Jouelzy: No matter how judgmental I am towards the character, I wholeheartedly appreciate that they are truly regular and imperfect. They represent the chasm between the image of ourselves and the actions we actually do or do not take. In my mind, every instance where Issa does not speak up I would have pounced on articulating my thoughts, but in reality I’m probably not as far off from her or Daniel on second guessing myself or awkwardly sputtering through a deflection.

Panama: That may be true, but I’d also never be working at a place called We Got Y’all in the first place.

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