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TTM 39: Backwards-Like

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In a very special episode Rod and Bassey discuss Issa Rae’s “Insecure.”

Twitter: @rodimusprime @Basseyworld

Email: theblackguywhotips@gmail.com

Site: www.theblackguywhotips.com

Voice Mail: 704-557-0186

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  1. katrinapavela

    Hi, Rod and Bassey

    Thanks for doing these reviews. I really love the two of you as a duo.

    As for the black law firm being on the struggle, Crissle brought up a great point on the Insecuritea podcast. She said that the cutting of corners may reflect the fact that they don’t get the big bucks like the white law firms would. Molly did get the pay and the benefits she wanted, so maybe they prioritize the well-being of their employees? Just a thought that it may not be an indictment that black firms can’t get it together, but have to be more strategic because they still face structural issues, even if they are excellent.

    Also, I think Molly’s transition to the black firm speaks to the expectation we can sometimes have that moving out of a white space and into a black one is some automatic balm for your soul. We say we’re not a monolith, but sometimes when it suits our needs, we want it to be that way. That whole shea butter dispensers in the bathroom joke kinda revealed some underlying expectations. Girl, every place has it’s challenges. I’m glad they are getting into the intraracial gender politics Molly has to navigate. I can’t tell if Molly is on some type a ambitious shit, or if the whole black excellence expectation means she goes into crisis if she’s not seen as a star. Idk, we’ll see.

    Issa’s storyline: man, I get the feeling of having had enough of just coasting through for too long, and looking around at your co-workers like you’re having an outer body experience because you’re asking yourself ‘heaux, why is you here still????’ When Issa walked out of We Got Y’all at the end? I so know the high of that…right before reality hits you the next day. Like Issa, I quit a job without knowing where the hell I was gonna get the next one.I temp-ed for 8 months, then took a job that was 25k less than the one I left before finally, a full year after quitting, getting the job I deserved. Even after all the financial hardship, I really can’t’ bring myself to regret that decision even though I *could* have done things the ‘right way’. I’m completely aware that I was in a more privileged position than Issa because I had a partner at the time and savings that I emptied. But I hope Issa finds something that makes her feel alive.


  2. rodimusprime

    Hey Bassey and Rod! Had to get this in before y’all up and decided to do a 1:00 AM show. Feel free to skip parts of this email if you’ve already talked about something. I know I can be long-winded.

    -I’m glad Issa left Daniel’s place, but I don’t like how her leaving seems like they’re not even gonna be cool anymore. That only serves his point that she only uses him when she needs him and when she doesn’t she’s a ghost. I was irritated and upset when he fucked up with Khalil and talked to Issa crazy, but I’m hoping that the door closing was only on their potential for a ROMANTIC relationship. If he got over his pride, they could make a good team.

    -Starting something with Nathan is…ugh. That nigga is inspiring her but she already knows that he does too much and cuts and runs when things get hard. He left the nigga whose ass HE whooped in HER car. That man could’ve decided to go after her and Molly just because they were the only ones around. Nathan has Issa unlatching-and-entering other people’s property and cutting out of work just to be a stranger’s tour guide.

    – Molly really should have chilled out and eased into the groove of her new job. Feel the people out and get a sense of various relationships before trying to jump all the way into shit. At least she seems to have stopped being like that annoying ass girl on The Magic School Bus who kept bringing up “at my OLD school…” even when she was 3 years into Ms. Frizzle doing wild shit.

    (I’m gonna sidetrack right here and say that Ms. Frizzle is why teachers have to have their curriculum approved by other people. Where was the principal? What the hell were the other teachers in that school doing? Did the Social Studies teacher have a time machine?)

    Anyway, I’m glad Molly toned down her amazement at a bunch of black people working together.

    -… But just like with much of her romantic life, she keeps throwing opportunities to form genuine connections with decent people away. ( Dro is not decent. Fuck him.) If she wanted to be the annoying showboating superstar at the office, she should’ve never started trying to be cool with the other women there. Her starting to form a bond and then jumping into things with Mr. Morehouse is a quick path to having nobody to lean on at work. When he inevitably stabs her in the back, those women will be looking at her like “bitch, we were gonna tell you about his ass and the rest of these trifling niggas over dinner!” She shoved them to the side so easily, on a work AND personal level. Flaked immediately after telling them that she’d be able to help with whatever they need. Why, Molly?

    *I also wanted to mention that this season isn’t actually about toxic masculinity. It’s here and there, because men, but not what this season is going after. Issa said she named a list of issues she would like to tackle in FUTURE seasons and that was one of them. The article just had its own version of what she said.

    Love the show and thanks for reading.


  3. rodimusprime

    Hola Bassey and Rod,

    Watching Insecure is always a trip because I live in the neighborhood they film in. Gentrification has been happening hella fast. If you ever get a chance to listen to Tiffany Hadish on Hannibal Burres’ podcast she talks about how much the neighborhood has changed. From it being the “Jungles” you see in “Training Day” to a white dude walking a small ass dog in the middle of the day. My husband (who is born and raised in LA) started yelling “What the fuck?!! Oh hell naw! Psshhh, Man that’s it, I thought I would never see the day, man that’s fucked” when he saw said scene happen outside our window a couple of years back.

    It is hilarious when they mention shit that feels so LA specific. Like on the episode before last “Backwards-Like”
    When Issa says “There are Mexican law firms. I see them on back of buses.” We were dying! I am sure this happens in other cities but man that was funny. I have attached a couple of photos of them in the wild. I included the side bus one , just for good measure, that shows what looks like the entire fucking firm!

    This last episode, “Fresh-Like” was great. Felt like Issa really made some changes towards forward movement. Totally helps that Nathan is back because he is FINE.

    Oh, wait, maybe you haven’t mentioned it because it is real life, but I had no idea that the dude that plays Dro, had a baby with the actress that played Tasha?!!!! I was like Whaaaat?!!

    Anyways, Thanks for doing these recaps.

    Can’t wait for This is Us to return and for Rod to finally see “To all the Boy’s I’ve loved before”!!!


    Ritzy P

  4. rodimusprime

    Hey Rod and Bassey,

    Quick thoughts about the latest episode:

    -first and foremost I was overjoyed to see that Issa left ‘We Got Y’all’

    -glad Issa left Daniels apartment(hope Daniel puts aside his pride and toxic masculinity so he can make it like he wants to in the music industry)

    -i hope Molly can get adjusted to the new firm because it is what it is and loved the advice her therapist gave her

    -absolutely been loving these jokes from Kelli (Natasha Rothwell) whenever she pops up in an episode -she should get some kind of spinoff about being a financial adviser(focusing on black people and their finances in a comedic tone)

    Now Issa’s new guy – I’m not sure about him because (new ) doesn’t always mean better and something doesn’t seem right about him .That scene in the car with him and that other brotha in the backseat fighting had me looking at him sideways..lol granted the big dude did deserve a clap back but I think a cuss out would have been better than those hands…lol.

    Overall I enjoyed this episode for the majority of the decisions Issa made in her life , still #teamlawrencehive but I loved Issa ‘s forward movement in this episode!

    Peace and love always Rod and Bassey,

  5. Turq

    Hi Guys-

    I finally got put onto some game and signed up for a free trial of the HBO Now app. So I don’t just have to rely on your recaps to keep up with the show. Yay!

    I love the show, but whew chile, the pacing. It’s so bad compared to the first two seasons. I feel like Issa should have moved and quit her job within 2 episodes or better yet an extended length season opener. I don’t see how we can push the story any more forward at Beychella, unless the Carters hire Issa as Blue Ivy’s nanny.

    I was super excited to see Issa’s childhood home because I felt like it gave me more insight into what she saw in Lawrence. They seemed like 2 upwardly mobile Black kids who ultimately did not make good on their promise as they struggled through their 20s, like a lot of us. Also everyone was wondering why Issa was living with Molly when she was 17. Hopefully they will tell us what happened after Issa’s parents divorced and why her and her brother are so close even though they are really mean to each other.

    I feel like maybe the focus of this season for Issa and Molly should have been their relationships with their families, which is particularly relevant since their group dynamic is about to change with Tiffany and Derrick expanding theirs. I think it would give good insight into why Molly is so type A and Issa has the worst set of decision making skills.

    What things do you guys hope they explore in these last three episodes?


    (Not Justin’s) Turq

  6. Hill.shun

    Hi Rod and Bassey.

    Bassey, I agree with you about each episode seeming like a filler. I haven’t been excited about anything that has happened so far, expect for the appearance of that guy Nathan. There are moments that I feel like I can relate to Issa’s character, but I wish her character would grow up already. Hopefully, the show will start getting better now that she’s leaving Daniels place.

  7. rich

    Hi Bassey & Rod! I’m so happy that you are hitting these episodes. I think the best part of this episode was the end credits when they played a remake of Sade’s “Love Is Stronger Than Pride”. That hit me like a ton of bricks! I felt like a teenage boy because It brought back so many memories. I just couldn’t stop crying. The worst part of the episode was Daniel trying to be Kanye. That was a bitch move at the recording studio with the track bait and switch. Daniel forgot about what his ultimate goal was. Daniel was supposed to build bridges with Spyder thru Kalil. Now Daniel has built another wall with Kalil and Issa just because of pride. That pride just fucks us men every time. Great episode overall.

  8. rodimusprime

    Hey Rod and Bassey,

    First of all, so happy you two are back. I love your recaps of This is Us and was super excited to see that you’re back for Insecure! Yall aren’t going to agree with my lil feedback though, I’ll warn you in advance. I don’t know if my chakras are just out of line and our vibes ain’t clicking for this season cause I usually agree with yall but uh…. don’t hate me for saying I just can’t seem to get on your same page this time. I feel like you guys are extremely hard on Daniel. He’s definitely flawed but that’s what I love so much about this show. Real people are flawed and I think they portray that so well. Not “TV” flawed but “HUMAN” flawed. For example, the whole club scene.. I loved how they portrayed Daniel’s insecurities. Even his little stupid choices like acting like he had a table when he didn’t.. I know that was a little extreme for TV purposes but some niggas really act like that when they don’t want to look soft or lesser than in front of another nigga. It ain’t pretty but it’s reality. Bassey was saying that if music was what Daniel really wanted to do, he would just suck it up and do it but it’s not as easy as 1..2…3. I may want something so bad but it’s hard sometimes to get out of our own ways. I don’t think Daniel deserves the animosity. He’s no worse than any of the other characters. And mind you, I’m Lawrence Hive forreal so it’s not even about liking one more than the other. I feel the way Issa must feel… loving Lawrence but still feeling Daniel. Again, real life. And speaking of Issa. She’s no angel, ESPECIALLY when it comes to Daniel. She’s trashitty trash trash. And I relate to her on every level so I know firsthand she’s trash cause so am I. Using someone because you know they care for you and will be there for you when you need them but knowing deep down that you don’t necessarily return those same feelings. Trash. But again, reality. In all, I know this season is at a slower pace but I’m thoroughly enjoying it even though it seems a lot of folks aren’t. Anyway, just sharing my 50 cents. And speaking of 50, shoutout to Bassey for that big ass Power spoiler on last podcast, lord hammercy. Thank you guys for taking your precious time to cover this show, it is seriously so appreciated. Love listening to yall even when our chakras aint aligned! Looking forward to next week and every week after!

    P.S. Bassey, when it comes to the struggle…. in LA?… yeah, it’s that bad.

    Sefe (rhymes with Jefe)

  9. fyahworks

    Hey bassey and Rod,

    I first wanted to say you guys have made Atlanta and insecure much more fun to watch, I hold my head down due to the fact I never got around to watching this is us which is the sole purpose of this very podcast! I promise I will get around to it eventually!

    I love you guys opinions jokes and chemistry

    I also wanted to add that spider (the rapper) I do not know from Disney but I know him from greenleaf on queen Oprah’s network! Looking forward to the next ttm

    One love!

    Ps congrats on the book bassey!

  10. Forest

    Hey y’all! So, I took Issa’s work situation as her being fully checked out. I think we were introduced to her trying to make the best go of it, but after being knocked down, she’s all the way. But I think it’s realistic to stay at a job well passed the expiration date. I’ve done it and had to shake myself out of it before I got fired. So, as much as I love Freida, I’m hoping that leaving “We Got Y’all” ends up being part of Issa’s evolution this year. She’s not invested and Joann has lost all respect for her. Plus, Antoinette is bout to come through and inadvertently make Issa look super bad. I hope she bounces while she actually has a choice about it.

    When Bassey asked Is it really that bad?…In a word, yes. The LA rental market is some bullshit. The property manager bit was actually a smart way for Issa to be able to afford rent w/o a roomate. It’s something that folks can do on the side for a discount, but I’ve never seen a cut that deep. Hell, if I could’ve found a situation like that, I would’ve never left LA.

    Anyway, I’m hoping the point of the last few eps was to point out that Issa romanticizing a relationship with Daniel was just a bad idea.

  11. cocoqt81

    Hey, boos! I hope y’all are well. Just wanted to say I don’t think Issa was worried about the new girl replacing her in a negative way. I read that scene as Issa having to come to terms with the fact that she does not in fact like her job even though she’s been there 5 years. She’s clearly checked out mentally, and I think when Antoinette was asking her those questions it really showed. That’s why she kept looking into the Beat crew or whatever. Shes hated her job since season one and I think she has to do something about it now. Anyway, love the recaps! Smooches!

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