Here's What Issa Rae Has To Say About What To Expect On Season 2 Of “Insecure”

1. Issa Rae shared a bit about what fans can expect on Season 2 of HBO’s “Insecure” while speaking on a panel opening Deadline’s second annual Contenders Emmys on Sunday.

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2. In case you forgot (but like, how could you?) Season 1 ended with Lawrence moving out of his and Issa’s apartment (and *ahem* stopping by Tasha’s) after he left Issa for cheating on him.

So now both Issa and Molly have no one but each other and their respective issues to keep them company.

3. And according to Rae, season two will pick up right where Season 1 left off.

“I think with Season 2, we’re picking up where we left off, and we’re exploring just what it looks like when everyone’s doing what they’re supposed to be doing” she told Deadline. “When you’re single, what are you supposed to be doing? When someone tells you you need therapy, what are you supposed to be doing? Without giving too much away, I always tell people to imagine, if your friends had been in the scenarios at the end of Season 1, what would they do, or what would you do? That’s probably how Season 2 will play out.”

4. Rae also talked about her goals as the show’s creator, including honestly depicting black female friendships, which are rarely highlighted accurately on television.

“I think for such a long time, I just was not seeing great black female friendships on television,” she told Deadline. “It was constantly about tearing one another down or throwing shade. There are elements of that, but for the most part, black women are essential to my life.”

5. Season 2 of Insecure is due to air on HBO in July.

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The Author Of “Thirteen Reasons Why” Defends Those Graphic Rape Scenes

Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. Beth Dubber / Beth Dubber/Netflix

It’s been 10 years since Jay Asher’s first novel, Thirteen Reasons Why, made its debut. The book, which became a bestseller, tells the story of a high schooler, Hannah Baker, who kills herself and leaves behind a box of 13 cassette tapes that detail the reasons for her suicide and call out the people she holds responsible.

And just like the novel it’s based on, the TV adaptation, which debuted on Netflix last week, does not shy away from depicting suicide and rape in a raw and graphic way.

“It’s uncomfortable, but that’s OK,” Asher told BuzzFeed News. “It needs to be.”

Slut-shaming, harassment, and sexual assault are central to Asher’s story, most notably for Hannah (Katherine Langford) and her former friend Jessica (Alisha Boe). In one scene, Jessica’s boyfriend, Justin (Brandon Flynn), leaves her on her bed during a party because she’s too drunk to have sex. Bryce (Justin Prentice), a popular jock, walks in before Hannah, who inadvertently wound up in the room, can slip out. She jumps into a closet, freezes, and watches through slits in the door as Bryce unbuckles his belt, moves Jessica’s barely conscious body closer to the edge of the bed, pulls down her underwear, and thrusts himself into her. Throughout 13 Reasons Why (styled with a numeral for TV), versions of the scene are repetitively shown from the perspectives of different characters.

In Episode 12, Hannah unintentionally ends up at a party at Bryce’s house, and she finds herself alone in a hot tub with him. In a graphic scene, viewers watch Hannah physically resist Bryce as he approaches her. He pins her against the edge of the hot tub, pulls down her underwear, and pushes her head against the patio. The camera zooms in on her face and hands as her body becomes completely limp and her eyes glaze over while Bryce rapes her.

“I know some of you listening might think there was more I could’ve done or should’ve done,” Hannah says on one of the tapes. “But I’d lost control. And in that moment it felt like…it felt like I was already dead.”

Asher thinks it was “the best decision” to portray the sexual assaults in 13 Reasons Why as authentically as possible.

“Some people said it was too graphic, but it’s a graphic thing,” Asher said. “It’s like they’re saying it’s never appropriate to show it. And then if you’re saying it’s never appropriate to show it, then you’re saying it’s something to be hidden.

“If we’re doing this, it can’t be something that you can look away from or just gloss over in your mind,” he continued. “You have to be uncomfortable when you’re watching it; otherwise you’re not in her mind. In a way, it’s disrespectful if we say, ‘We know this stuff is happening, but we don’t want to be made uncomfortable by it.’”

When Asher originally wrote the scene in which Bryce rapes Hannah, he specifically had high school boys in mind as part of his audience.

“I wanted guys to be uncomfortable when they read it, and both the book and the TV show made a point of noting that Hannah never says no,” he said. “Because that’s what we always hear, right? ‘When a girl says no, she means no.’ But there are plenty of times when a girl’s afraid to say no for various reasons, and it doesn’t mean, ‘Oh, as long as they don’t say no, then everything’s fair game.’ You need to be a better person than that.”

Asher said he went back and forth with his publishing house over concerns that including graphic rape scenes would possibly lead to censorship, or the book to be banned, or for it to not be stocked in schools and libraries.

“I think what my publisher said was, ‘If you’re not uncomfortable when you’re reading that scene, then you’re not understanding what’s happening and you’re not going to be forced to grapple with it,’” he recalled.

And when it comes to how those scenes were shot for the Netflix series, Asher feels the same way: The vividness of these moments and their focus on the victim allows those who do relate to Hannah to feel seen.

“I’ve heard from so many people who identify with Hannah’s character and they’re like, ‘Wow, I’ve felt that way, I’ve had this happen,’” Asher said. “There’s this stress that is relieved when you realize somebody understands, and that’s only going to happen if you feel the person who’s writing the book or the people in the TV show aren’t holding back.”




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This Anime Movie Is What Dreams (And Ill-Advised Adaptations) Are Made Of

The blissful supernatural romance Your Name is already the biggest anime hit of all time. It’s made more money abroad than previous record holder Spirited Away did worldwide in 2001 — and that film was from god of the medium, Hayao Miyazaki. Your Name finally arrives in the US this week, opening in 286 theaters — not bad for an animated feature that isn’t intended for young kids, though a fraction of the 3,440 theaters in which live-action anime remake Ghost in the Shell played when it flopped over the past weekend.

Anime is currently at the center of a blistering ongoing conversation about erasure and appropriation in Hollywood adaptations. Like most imported fare, Japanese animation itself occupies a passionate but niche market in the US. Aside from sporadic children’s breakthroughs like Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Studio Ghibli, big-screen anime releases have barely registered at the box office here. The US exports franchise films like they’re going out of style (which, you could argue, they are, given how much TV has muscled its way to the front of the cultural conversation). Hollywood produces tentpole movies so expensive that turning a profit is wholly dependent on performance overseas.

But when international blockbusters make their way here, we’re confounded. Foreign films get treated like arthouse films, even when they’re not. We don’t really have a model for something as expansively mainstream as Your Name, which will be playing in both subtitled and dubbed versions around the country. And that’s maddening, because Your Name is the kind of wonderful that should be seen by the widest possible audiences.

It’s a teen romance with a huge, tearful heart and a touch of magic. Two high school students — small-town girl Mitsuha, who lives with her sister and grandmother in rural Itomori, and Tokyo-bred Taki, who shares an apartment in the city with his father — are strangers living hours apart who start randomly waking up in each other’s bodies, as much an embarrassing annoyance as it is a mystery. They fumble through unfamiliar daily routines, then wake up back in their own beds having to figure out what havoc the other person may have wreaked on their lives in a day.

While their shifts in behavior bewilder and sometimes sexually fluster their classmates (“Why is a girl in love with me?!” Mitsuha asks Taki in one of the messages the two start leaving for each other on their smartphones), they soon settle into a teasing rhythm that exemplifies how skillfully Your Name combines the uncanny with the down-to-earth details of teenage life.

The why of the scenario is not nearly as interesting to them as the how: how it’s going, and how it ups the stakes of their existing day-to-day dramas. Taki grumbles about Mitsuha, who’s delighted by the access to new culinary treats, spending all his money on cafés, while Mitsuha scolds Taki about not knowing how to sit in a skirt. Mitsuha, in Taki’s body, has more success with Taki’s crush than he ever did.

Each finds that their body-swapping experiences have the tendency to fade like dreams when they return to their normal existences. When the phenomenon suddenly stops, Your Name shifts into something grander about the nature of the pair’s connection, which involves a comet that makes a once-every-1,200-years flyby of the Earth and a braided cord that represents both a tradition and the red string of fate.

Taki and Mitsuha’s worlds are filled in so vividly by the movie that we fall in love with and right alongside them. Their social spheres have an in medias res messiness — especially in the case of Mitsuha, caught between obligations to family traditions and her desire for a more cosmopolitan life, with the added scrutiny that comes with being the estranged daughter of a local politician. “Please make me a handsome Tokyo boy in my next life!” she yells in frustration early on, not having cottoned onto the fact yet that she’s already been afforded the opportunity.

Your Name is written and directed by Makoto Shinkai, who’s been heralded as the next Miyazaki (to his discomfort), though it doesn’t feel like a Miyazaki movie at all — its sensibility is more pop and more abundantly romantic, filled with yearning that seems to inform the radiant beauty onscreen. Its Tokyo is a bustling but overwhelming cityscape; its Itomori a scenic if stifling backwater winding up a mountainside; and its central celestial event, the comet, is rendered from multiple points of view in breathtaking fashion, streaking across the sky with a prismatic loveliness that underscores the incident’s importance before we ever understand it. It’s a teen movie not just in terms of its characters, but in the way it summons the feeling of every emotion brimming over.

It’s also, being a Japanese movie, often very Japanese. Elements like a shrine and its guardian god; the kuchikamizake Mitsuha and her sister make as part of a ceremony; the obvious influence of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami; and the joke involving the misuse of a gendered word for “I.” That doesn’t make the movie less easily understood or its ending less tear-drenchingly effective. But these details do emphasize how tricky converting a movie like Your Name into a Hollywood production would be, now that American studios have become a black hole of content, pulling in intellectual property from all over the place to be reworked into hoped-for hits.

There’s so much cultural specificity here to be contended with, either somehow carried over or translated, and those are responsibilities US companies have proven depressingly indifferent toward — making off with the bones of a property while leaving behind its soul. Maybe Your Name will meet that same destiny, or maybe it’ll be treated better. Maybe it won’t be remade at all. Whatever happens, it’s here now, and you should take the chance to see it in all of its animated, swoony majesty on the big screen.






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