Insecure introduced us to Black characters who represented our favorite coworkers, closest sorority sisters, and long-lost soulmates. 

The story of Issa Dee and Molly Carter stumbling through the professional and personal challenges sprinkled across the end of their twenties has been illustrated by a cast of characters representing the diversity sorely missing from our primetime lineups five years ago. 

Newer faces like Natasha Rothwell, Sarunas J. Jackson, Tristen J. Winger and Y’lan Noel joined small-screen veterans like Amanda Seales, Jay Ellis and Neil Brown Jr. to bring a group of young successful Black people willing to protect and criticize each other to life. 

Together, the cast tackled topics like postpartum depression, bi-phobia, the gig economy, fractured friendships and the downsides of polyamory with humor and charm. 

Black performers are often relegated to being expositional props tasked with telling the stories of white protagonists. This show gave even the briefest of roles the chance to present fully formed characters. A dedicated gang member was still allowed to be a doting father, a frazzled intern dispensed sage advice and a tryst became a trusted source of refuge. First dates, next-door neighbors, and Lyft passengers each got a chance to tell more of their stories than the sassy Black best friend or silent clique member ever could. The characters were so full that the creator was advised to save some space for a white face or two to avoid alienating the audience.

As the show prepares for its upcoming final season there is no doubt of its legacy as a series that will forever change the landscape of television through the impact of its stories and the way it uplifted Black actors. 

The opportunities to show the range it provided led to more work for the cast in front of and behind the camera. Throughout the show’s five-season run they booked high-profile comedy specials, inked major production deals and nabbed rules in romantic comedies and highly anticipated Blockbusters. 

See how far the cast of Insecure has come since we took our very first trip to the doors of the Dunes five seasons ago below.

TOPICS: