FYI, this article contains spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the first episode of the new season of Insecure, head elsewhere.
Die-hard Insecure fans were likely a little sad to see the disappearance of Regina Hall’s hilarious performance in Due North, the show-within-the-show set in the pre–Civil War South. But in season 3, we're introduced to a new meta TV series: a black ‘90s sitcom reboot dubbed Kev'yn.
Last month Prentice Penny, who also serves as showrunner and executive producer on the HBO series, teased the timely new spoof, saying “it’s definitely timely in the wake of a lot of things that happened in Hollywood in the last month or so.”
Kev'yn is a family comedy from the '90s that's been newly resuscitated. In an interview with The Wrap, Penny explained how the writers came up with the concept. “This season, we were just talking a lot about how much we love like ’90s black sitcoms,” he said. “Obviously in the wake of Roseanne and Will and Grace and, you know, Full House and all the shows they brought back, we just started having discussions too about like, why aren’t they rebooting any shows of color?”
Kev'yn also exists to touch on issues ranging from the #MeToo movement to Colin Kaepernick’s protest, all within the context of characters following the Insecure narrative. We first see it in the new episode when Daniel goes to a family member’s house and it's playing in the background. It also comes on at the end of the episode, when Daniel and Issa are sitting on the sofa. “They rebooted Kev'yn,” Issa’s character says.
“So many of these shows made these networks what they are,” Penny continued. “They were all built on the backs of shows of color, and then once they get up and going, they don’t need us anymore. ... So for us, it’s like, well if they’re not going to reboot A Different World or Brandy, or they’re not gonna reboot any shows of color, then let’s reboot our own show,” Prentice explained, adding that it's "our homage to all the shows of color.”
The new sitcom is not the only major change happening in season 3. The show has moved on from Jay Ellis’ character Lawrence, and Issa didn’t rap at all in the premiere. “That was our sort of way of highlighting [her discomfort],” Penny told The Wrap. “And it’s the first time that we actually see somebody interrupt [her mirror rap].”