You work with a lot of men, and they’ll be like, “She has the reputation for being kind of a [ has an excellent reputation.MELINA: Issa is redefining the black female identity on television., the HBO comedy about two best friends, Issa and Molly, who are unsettled and on the cusp of 30.In that episode Issa takes Molly, who’s crying “tears of singleness,” to an open mic night to cheer her up—and proceeds to take the stage and perform a freestyle rap called “Broken Pussy,” based on Molly’s inability to keep a dude. Like Molly, I was in my late twenties and aggressively single at the time, and I laugh-cried on my couch...alone..a Saturday night watching the scene.MELINA: I remember going to HBO, and the president at the time was like, “We don’t normally do this.” Meaning: give a first-time creator, a first-time director, and a first-time showrunner [Prentice Penny] an opportunity to do it together.“But let’s do it.” It was because of Issa that I was even in that room.
GLAMOUR: Let’s talk about season two: Molly and Issa’s relationship is really the relationship.She’s paving the way for young female filmmakers and filmmakers of color. I’d never really gotten a chance to work with someone who challenges while being collaborative.ISSA: Then we went to sushi—MELINA: She got me drunk. Especially being a woman of color, sometimes it’s hard for us to put our foot down.I don’t think we’ve ever seen a more basic character than Issa Dee.
As black women, we can never just be regular—have flaws, be vulnerable, be a hypocrite, whatever.
The girls are real, the writing is sharp, the jokes land, and the look is lush. Issa Rae (who made a name for herself on You Tube with produces—then tapped fellow TV first-timer Melina Matsoukas, known for music videos like Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” to direct and later produce.