Showrunner for HBO's Insecure wants finale to feel like the show will continue

Prentice Penny, the showrunner and executive producer, talks with us ahead of the Dec. 26 series finale.

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Patrick Holland has been a phone reviewer for CNET since 2016. He is a former theater director who occasionally makes short films. Patrick has an eye for photography and a passion for everything mobile. He is a colorful raconteur who will guide you through the ever-changing, fast-paced world of phones, especially the iPhone and iOS. He used to co-host CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast and interviewed guests like Jeff Goldblum, Alfre Woodard, Stephen Merchant, Sam Jay, Edgar Wright and Roy Wood Jr.
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Patrick Holland
2 min read
Insecure Issa Rae

After five season, HBO's Insecure will come to an end on Dec. 26.

Glen Wilson/HBO

On Sunday Dec. 26, after five seasons on HBO, Insecure will come to an end. I was hooked from the premiere's first moment, when Issa Rae, playing Issa Dee, answers middle schoolers' questions about after-school programs offered by Dee's nonprofit, We Got Ya'll. Insecure is brilliant for the genuine, hilarious ways it presents the characters and the gorgeous way the series is shot. Over five seasons, the show has been nominated for multiple awards and won an Emmy Award and Peabody Award. Insecure has the same challenge any beloved series has: how to end in a way that satisfies both creators and fans.

Luckily for us, Insecure's executive producer and showrunner, Prentice Penny, talked with CNET's I'm So Obsessed about finding a way to stick the landing. While Prentice didn't share any spoilers, it's safe to say Insecure won't end like The Sopranos with an abrupt cut to a black screen for 10 seconds followed by Journey's Don't Stop Believing.

"We wrote like three different versions of a finale, and none of them felt right. And I think we were just putting a lot of pressure on how we land the plane," Penny said. "We were thinking about this the wrong way. It's not that we're going to land the plane. These characters lives, theoretically, will always continue. It's just we're not going to follow them anymore."

Prentice said the team approached Insecure's finale by trying to find an interesting starting place for season 6. It's just that we won't see that sixth season.

During our conversation, Prentice discussed his creative relationship with Rae, Insecure's legacy and how revolutionary the show truly is.

"Insecure is saying, 'No, no, that black character in the poster that normally is like the fifth from the middle, that's who we're going to follow home. And we're going to follow her family,' Penny said. "So I think the revolution is we're not asking for permission. We're just going to come in and say, 'Here's our version of how we want to see ourselves.'"

You can listen to my full interview with Penny in the podcast player at the top of this article. Subscribe to I'm So Obsessed on your favorite podcast app. In each episode, Connie Guglielmo and I catch up with an artist, actor or creator to learn about their work, career and current obsessions.

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