After five seasons, Insecure got the ending it deserved, giving Issa (Issa Rae), Molly (Yvonne Orji), Lawrence (Jay Ellis), and the rest of the crew beautifully bittersweet send-offs that felt wholly earned. It's the kind show that's tough to replace, since it's not quite like anything else on TV, but if you're looking for a jumping off point, we're here to help.
Of course, a big part of what's made Insecure so fresh is who it follows and where it's centered. While there were certainly shows that told stories about Black women before Insecure (Girlfriends stans, please stand up), Insecure's hyper-real, hyper-specific look at Black women in 21st century Los Angeles makes it singular. That said, fans of Insecure are hardly starved for good shows that depict Black women juggling friendship, love, and career. Here are some other shows that should be on the radar of every Insecure fan.
If you're looking for another character-driven show about a group of friends navigating their 30s and don't mind something a little weirder/more experimental, Atlanta should be your next watch. Donald Glover, who also created the series, stars as Earn, an aimless, cynical college-dropout-turned-music-manager working overtime to get his cousin's (Brian Tyree Henry) rap career off the ground, despite not really being qualified to manage anyone. Earn hustles constantly, and often fruitlessly, rising up briefly only to be kicked right back down to where he started. Like Insecure, Atlanta makes great use of its excellent cast of supporting characters, all with their own rich inner lives, and deals with similar issues like relationship struggles, co-parenting, and career woes as a young professional. -Allison Picurro
If this hilarious romp isn't on your radar, it needs to be pronto. Yes, you have already seen a show about a squad of 30-somethings figuring out love, work, and the like, but not like this: Bigger, which counts mega-producer Will Packer among its team, is as unapologetically silly as it is unapologetically Black. In it, the very adorable Layne Roberts (Tanisha Long) is a vintage boutique owner in Atlanta, torn between the security of her sweet but boring bae and — how do I put this? — the addictive dick of her side piece. Counseling her through this mess are her girls Veronica (Angell Conwell), a Type-A go-getter, and Tracey (Rasheda Crockett), an ex-basketball player's chick who shudders at the thought of doing actual work. It's laugh-out-loud funny from the start (try to get through Tracey sucking on pickles and crab legs to become an ASMR influencer without crying) but full of heart, too.
Starz quickly greenlit a second season of this "trap noir" piece of marvelousness after it premiered in 2020, and with good reason: P-Valley elevates the Black women who dance in a club called The Pynk to near-deity status. One of few shows to achieve a "100 percent fresh" unanimous rating by critics on Rotten Tomatoes, this gorgeous drama follows what happens when the mysterious Autumn (Elarica Johnson) washes ashore in fictional Chucalissa, Mississippi, and becomes co-workers with HBIC Mercedes (Brandee Evans) and the owner, Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan). Intrigue, sex, betrayal, trap beats, and yes, a whole lot of ass-shaking ensue. We can't wait for Season 2.
No disrespect to the original flick starring Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, and Diane Keaton, but the TV version of The First Wives Club goes places the original could never — largely because it follows Black women nearly 30 years after the film took place. National treasure Jill Scott plays Hazel, a recording artist given the boot by her no-good man; the reliably funny Michelle Buteau is Bree, mid-divorce from her cheating husband; and Ryan Michelle Bathe plays Ari, an attorney who, for the time being anyway, is still married to an aspiring politician David (Mark Tallman). Girls Trip writer Tracy Oliver helms this project, and you can feel her witty and warm touch throughout.
Brainchild of Lena Waithe, Twenties puts a queer Black woman in the driver's seat of the story — with outstanding results. Hattie, played by Jonica "JoJo" T. Gibbs, is a butch black lesbian and, it must be said, kind of a hot mess; when we meet her, she's being evicted from her place, macking on girls who are unavailable or uninterested, and only dreaming about her dream job rather than doing what she needs to do to get it. Luckily she's got friends Marie (Christina Elmore) and Nia (Gabrielle Graham) to set her straight...for the most part. Honestly, they're stumbling through their work and love lives too, but fortunately for us, it's a pure joy to see it play out.
Michaela Coel leads what was easily one of the best shows of 2020. Raw and sometimes gutting, I May Destroy You examines what happens after Arabella (Coel) has the sudden, terrifying realization that she'd been drugged and sexually assaulted while out drinking one night. In the aftermath, her life and her whole perspective are turned upside down, and her friends Terry (Weruche Opia) and Kwame (Paapa Essiedu) become accomplices, co-conspirators, and antagonists too. Experimental in format and provocative in every single frame, Coel's self-described dark comedy not only shows a Black woman creator in stunning control of her craft, but pushes the very medium forward as well. It's Black girl magic at its most spellbinding.
Claws tracks a group of manicurists who become entangled in organized crime, but its offbeat and sometimes zany episodes are as thrilling as they are poignant. Niecy Nash leads an ensemble of misfits that include Jennifer (Jenn Lyon), who married into the Dixie Mafia; Polly (Carrie Preston), a parolee skilled at fraud; and Quiet Ann (Judy Reyes), the almost-mute enforcer with a tempest brewing inside her. You'll be hard-pressed to find another series so off-the-wall, or so endearing.
Tiffany Haddish is a pure riot in The Last O.G., a woefully underrated sitcom about a dude who leaves prison and discovers that everything about the Brooklyn he used to know is entirely different. Haddish is Shay, the ex-wife of Tray (Tracy Morgan) and the mother of his kids who's perpetually keeping him out of trouble — or learning from him. Hijinks are frequent and laughs are abundant, but the quiet themes about gentrification and staying true to your roots will resonate with the Insecure fan.