Issa Rae's New TV Shows For HBO Are Bringing Some Much-Needed Diversity To The Small Screen
In the fall, everyone speculated that Issa Rae was having a great year considering the end of Insecure's second season and her appointment as the new face of Covergirl. Well, Issa Rae’s two new TV shows are not only further proof that she's having a better year than any of us, but also of how she’s taking over TV in the best way. Yes, that's right Rae is involved with two new shows, which Deadline announced on Monday. If you're a math whiz, then you've probably already figured out that that means she will soon have three TV shows, all on HBO.
While Rae will continue to star on Insecure, she will serve as a co-executive producer on the new shows titled Him or Her and Sweet Life. The former is being co-executive produced by former Daily Show writer and Emmy-winner Travon Free, and, as Deadline reveals, it follows a bisexual black man navigating his dating life and disjointed social circles. Rae's other show, Sweet Life, will tell a coming-of-age tale set in, as Deadline calls it, the "Black Beverly Hills of Windsor Hills." While both Insecure and Him or Her will have 30-minute episodes, Sweet Life will have hour long episodes written by both Rae and Scandal producer Raamla Mohamed.
Again, if you happen to know some mathematics, then you've already figured out that this means the future could hold two hours of Rae's brilliant creations every week. As you can imagine, fans of both Rae and Free have shared their excitement all over Twitter — as have the shows' creators themselves.
Besides generally freaking out over how freaking exciting it is that Rae will executive produce three whole shows on HBO, one of the most exciting aspects of it is how much potential they have in providing unique and important representation of marginalized groups. Bisexual men are already stigmatized in general, but the stigma against bisexuality among Black men is arguably worse than it is for white men. The first season of Insecure explores the topic of black men and bisexuality, but Black bisexual men deserve much greater representation than a B-plot of a 30 minute series.
Thanks to Issa Rae, such an important theme will receive the representation it deserves with Him or Her.
Rae's other upcoming show, Sweet Life, is also incredibly exciting as her fans should recognize that it sounds a lot like the "Black 90210" that Rae has said she wants to create for a long time. In an interview with The New Yorker, she pitched a show calling it "Windsor Hills 90043," which sounds a lot like the show she really is creating in real life. Dreams do come true, and that's such a good thing, because Rae's TV takeover will only provide the world with more of what everyone loves about Insecure.
Even though she is known for bringing greater diversity to HBO, the three time show-creator doesn't necessarily approach her work with that in mind. In an interview with Refinery29, Rae explained, "I just want it to feel like it’s normalized regular Blackness." She continued, "People will look at it and be like 'oh, this was part of the start of diversifying Blackness without it constantly dealing with crazy drama or racial strife.'" That's not really the case though, as Rae is simply allowing more diverse characters to live their lives without some political mission. "Insecure is just a slice of life. It's just Blackness, told in a regular way," she said.
As if Rae's status as the face of Covergirl plus her three HBO shows aren't enough to equal the best 2018 ever, the actress also recently earned a Golden Globes nomination for her acting role in Insecure. What's more, the 32-year-old will write the world's most epic crowdsourced movie that Twitter thought up. You know, the heist movie starring Rihanna with Lupita Nyong’o that Rae will write and Ava DuVernay agreed to direct? Yeah, that will likely begin production in 2018, too, according to Vanity Fair.
The future of TV and film looks good, and that's almost completely thanks to Issa Rae and the empire she's currently building.