Issa Rae's Insecure Producer Reveals Why The Show Dropped A Fan-Favorite Running Gag From The Final Season

Issa Rae on Insecure Season 5 screenshot
(Image credit: HBO)

Insecure is back for its fifth and final season, and the episodes have been stoking some spirited debates, as per usual. But one thing all fans have always looked forward to is learning which television shows the characters are obsessed with. This little tidbit is a fun series staple that keeps fans guessing ahead of each season. Usually, the obsession comes up around the first or second episode of a given season, but things are different this year. Now, a series producer revealed what happened to the fan-favorite running gag in the final season.

The HBO series' shows-within-a-show have become essential to its at this point. Fans have seen everything, from a 1990s sitcom reboot to a true-crime docuseries to a prison reality show. And usually, the audience can actually view the fictional series after each season concludes. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case for Season 5, according to showrunner Prentice Penny. While discussing the scrapped gag with TVLine, the TV veteran said:

It was because of COVID. A lot of the time, with the shows within the show, we have a different crew filming it. And with COVID protocols and the money, we didn’t have the resources to make it happen this time.

It would seem that COVID-19 has caused yet another creative letdown, and it's especially bittersweet since it comes during Insecure’s final season. Still, the HBO comedy placed the safety and health of the cast and crew above a funny moment, so   it's hard to argue with the reasoning. And during the same interview, the producer let it slip that the creative team did indeed have an idea for a Season 5 show. He said:

I don’t want to say what that show was because it will never be fully realized. But it was really good.

Prentice Penny’s tease would make any Insecure fan want to know what Issa and Molly’s new TV obsession might be. There were some clues given within Episode 2 as the best friends watched a show. Issa Dee hinted they were watching the Jamie Foxx cult classic Any Given Sunday. But that might’ve been a ruse for their actual obsession. It's probably just wishful thinking but, hopefully, viewers will get some kind of clue that hints at the TV series in question.

The lack of a show-within-a-show was just the latest development for Season 5. The premiere episode was met with controversy from Black Greek sororities and fraternities after Amanda Seales’ Tiffany sported the AKA colors and insignia. The controversy was quite divisive amongst fans with Issa Rae defending the decision with her usual sarcasm. And given the HBO series is a lightning rod for debate, there’s bound to be more as the show reaches its conclusion.

Controversy and creative omissions aside, the leading lady, along with the rest of the cast and crew, were satisfied with how the fifth season turned out. And considering how unpredictable the show can be, it's sure to throw audiences some curveballs before it signs off. New episodes of Insecure premiere on Sundays at 10 p.m. on HBO, and you can also stream the show on HBO Max.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).