Friday, September 30, 2022

‘Insecure’ Showrunner Prentice Penny Gives Insight on Season 4 Finale

*(Via – Sunday night (06-14-20) was the season four finale of HBO’s hit series “Insecure,” which was written and directed by its showrunner Prentice Penny.

With the show already renewed for another season, the audience didn’t know what to expect. With Issa and Lawrence starting to get back together, since episode 8, it was a question of whether this happiness was too good to be true. Then there’s the rocky relationship between Issa and Molly and Molly and Andrew. Molly has had a lot to deal with and audiences have been divided as to whether or not to be on her side of things.

Shortly after the episode aired, spoke exclusively with Penny on the final episode and how several plot lines played out this season.

When did you come up with the season finale episode when you wrote it?

Prentice Penny: We came up with it into mid-season in the room. We were always just trying to find ways to dirty out Lawrence’s character a little bit. That’s real life. The whole purpose of the season was, “Are these relationships for a reason or a season?” These characters are 30-31 and they’re entering a new phase of adulthood. Who’s supposed to be around for a reason and who’s supposed to be around for a season and who’s here for a lifetime? We wanted to explore “Is Lawrence a reason or is he a season?” “Is Molly a reason, season or a lifetime?” Same thing for Molly. She says at the end of episode nine, “Maybe who you are now and who I am now just don’t fit anymore.” That’s a real question. We always knew that theme was going to be playing this year. Was Issa and Molly’s friendship building to something? With Lawrence,  “What is the Issa and Lawrence version of that?” of the Molly situation? That’s the idea that we landed on and that we wanted to explore.

With Episode 8 when Lawrence and Issa got together and Condola calling him throughout the episode, it almost became a little predictable where things were headed; especially when there are two episodes left to go. With Nathan featured in episode 9, things got intriguing. Was the game plan to shift the focus off Lawrence and see whether Issa would wreck a good thing happening?

Prentice Penny: It’s so funny because we always knew that if we had Condola calling him a lot, it wasn’t until hindsight that we said, “Oh, people might read that as ‘she’s pregnant.’” But in our world, we never wanted her to know she was pregnant at that moment. We were always like, “she was just trying to get back with him.” It really was in between episodes 9 and 10 when she discovered she was pregnant. Not when she was calling him. Weirdly, if you look at it, it looks that way but when we were breaking the story, we never thought about it like that. We were always like, she just trying to get back with him because we were using that as a plot device for Issa to activate Issa. In hindsight, it probably will read that way. But that wasn’t our intention.

Throughout the season, Molly’s had this hate towards her from fans based on her actions, whether it’s with Issa or with Andrew. How challenging was it defining her character for this season?

Prentice Penny: I think it’s a testament to Yvonne’s acting. The funny thing is that they’ve never been undivided. They’ve never been on split sides. The most thing they’ve had is a little bit of argument about Nathan, a little bit of argument about Lawrence. Molly has to run interference for Daniel and Lawrence in the first season, but they’ve never really had issues. We really wanted to explore that. The audience never had to like pick a side. The audience never had to choose a team, like Team Daniel or Team Lawrence or any guy team.

You never questioned if Issa and Molly are on the same side. So this was the first season where that happened. I think just because naturally the show is through Issa’s point of view, we probably underestimated that in some capacity in the writer’s room that the audience will naturally default to Issa because it’s her show. I think we underestimated that. But we always tried to write it from the standpoint that both had receipts on each other. Then it was a 5-050 split. But in hindsight, we’ve talked about how we maybe should have made Issa a little bit harsher so you empathize a little bit more with Molly as opposed to painting it down the middle.

I think in some ways people are actually more Molly than what they care to admit and sometimes that’s the hardest thing to say. When you watch the show you want to identify with the best parts of the show, and not say to yourself that you might be the worst part of that show. That’s what people are actually are reacting to. With Molly they might be seeing parts of themselves, but they’re not consciously aware of it. We always said in the room that Molly’s been a great friend to Issa from day one. When Issa needs to go to Nathan’s house because he’s been ghosting her, Molly’s there. Molly goes with her when Issa has to do the Lyft in the season two premiere. Molly’s running interference for her and Daniel and Lawrence. She’s there for her when they break up. Molly’s always there. She’s given her money and so I was really surprised that people turned up so quick on Molly this season. To me, Molly has been a way better friend to Issa than Issa has been to Molly, but that’s in the eyes of the beholder.

This article continues at Wilson Morales’




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