If Insecure Characters Went to Memphis High Schools….

By Kristin L. Cheers

Insecure is hot right now and whether you’re Team Molly or Team Issa, there’s no doubt that each character has a personality that could easily mesh in some Memphis high schools. From the friendship beefs to the career and family choices, here’s a quick prediction of which characters would attend which high schools in Memphis.

1.     Issa – White Station

Issa is smart and eclectic in her own right. She grew up in Windsor Hills, one of the wealthiest and predominately African American neighborhoods in the United States. She’s a bit socially awkward while trying to make clever jokes that half the room doesn’t get. She had a pool in the backyard of her house (remember when she and Nathan stopped by her childhood home and they went skinny dipping?) Her quirkiness is adorable and her skin is always glowing like Bubble Bistro oil. She seems like the type to know random trivia about geography, but would fall asleep in class because she didn’t feel challenged enough. She may have graduated with honors, but she probably ditched the Honor Society meetings to kick it with some friends at Audubon Park where she learned how to smoke roaches (not the insect, mom). She was definitely the kid who had access to a multitude of resources but rarely applied herself. She tried out for Knowledge Bowl, but when she found out it may interfere with the homecoming schedule, she quit the team because who else is going to bring the heat on Spirit Day? Issa. She grabs the mic at parties after awkwardly requesting Three 6 Mafia while trying to flirt with the DJ. Rapping is her comfort zone, and don’t we all know someone from White Station who tried to cut a mixtape? You do. We all do.

2.     Molly – Central

Our girl Molly isn’t the class favorite this season, but she has something many don’t: audacity. She grew up in Florence and Crenshaw, the straight-up hood of Los Angeles – translating to South Memphis. Coming from a loving family where she believed her parents’ marriage was the epitome of true love, she looks like her mom lied on the optional school application and used a friend’s utility bill to get into Central High. The High School produces some of the most notable Memphians, being the first high school in the city. The green and gold is a symbol of two things that matter the most to Molly: money and promotion. She’s a woman who goes after what she deserves. Her career is first, but her relationship hasn’t been as successful. But don’t let the honors diploma fool you. She can get down, or she can throw down. When she put her finger in Issa’s face, she reached all the way back to her roots. She’s not the one, two or three. And she dresses really fly! She has the audacity just like most Central alums.    

3.     Lawrence – Christian Brothers

Boy oh brother – Christian Brothers had to be Lawrence’s stomping grounds as a kid. My guy had to have attended an all boys school because there’s no way he’s had real interaction with girls and women and still acting the way he does. He’s clearly a smart guy, having a knack for engineering and tech. He’s struggled quite a bit at this adulting thing while living with Issa, but he surely found his stride – until Issa cheated (which is not reflective of her pretend high school here). He was devastated when Issa broke his heart. To clear his head, he ran into the arms of Tasha (she didn’t make our list this time, but for the sake of this piece, she went to Mitchell High).

We don’t know much about Lawrence’s upbringing, just like we don’t know much about Christian Brothers. You may know 3 people who attend Christian Brothers or familiar with the school and stadium located on Walnut Grove across from Baptist Hospital. He probably interned at the hospital during his junior and senior year, left to make copies and get coffee. He’s a bit disconnected with women, just like…well, you get it. It’s his friend Chad who puts him on game and tries to rear him in some sort of direction which is what he needs most – direction. Just like the first time you drive to Christian Brothers, you may need to ask Siri for directions because “where is that?!”

4.     Kelli – Whitehaven

Our friend Kelli might have won “Most Likeable” in school because she’s funny, down-to-earth, and keeps it realer than a Grizzlies winning streak. Kelli is the strong friend and has constructed her life to how and what she wants. She’s unashamed and unafraid. During the Thanksgiving episode in Season 4, she showed off her family via social media – all having fun with one another and cracking jokes. Have you ever been to a Whitehaven game or event? That’s it. It’s just like that. There’s a lot of fun or as we like to call it “carrying on,” and Kelli “carries on.” But she’s solid. She knows who she is and she’s not afraid to call Issa out.

While her friendship with Tiffany is questionable, Kelli has proven to be as loyal as a Whitehaven ’78 graduate during homecoming. She is who you call to get stuff done. Don’t worry, she will indeed talk about you like you’re a Hamilton Wildcat, but it’s all love – and pride.

5.     Tiffany – Cordova

Enough said. When Tiffany changed her uppity, bougie accent to regular-degular during the Coachella episode when she was in the car with Issa, it was clear she enjoys putting on fronts like Cordova believing it’s a real city and not a subset of Memphis (shade). However, Tiffany’s bubbly and nonchalant personality actually makes her semi-likeable. She may have been a regular at Skate Odyssey, but though Crystal Palace was too “urban” for her. If only we truly knew what happened between her and Derrick. So secretive and so sneaky – like a wolf.

As a Cordova alum, she’s well-dressed, well versed and strategic with what she reveals and to whom. She is clearly successful, working at an established event planning firm while expecting her first child with her husband. Hopefully before the season is over, we’ll get to know Tiffany a bit more and finally see the inside of her heart.

6.     Chad – BTW

Chad is the one friend you need as a man. He’s calm, cool and collected until it comes to his woman. For the most part, he has his stuff together, but can give Lawrence advice that may seem off-the-wall. But no one else seems to be helping Lawrence get his life together. So there’s Chad. With his loud-colored suites, he looks like he builds his own float for the Orange Mound parade. He only eats at A&R or Tops for lunch and Ruth’s Chris for dinner with his woman (who we still have never met). He has a soft side, but you’ll have to catch it before he’s off to the next thing. He’s the guy who always has a tent at the Southern Heritage Classic, but never goes inside for the game. And he charges you to get inside his tent which is full of BTW alum who always break down the history of the BTW and Central rival.

7.     Daniel – Craigmont, Bolton or Raleigh Egypt (Basically any school in Raleigh)

Daniel is a heartthrob now, but he may have been an awkward wannabe rapper back in high school. He hadn’t “filled out” yet, but he always carried an HP laptop with beats on it. He was the kid in high school who made beats on the table with two #2 pencils, and was always sent to the office for running around the cafeteria when he made two words rhyme. After high school, he grew into his face, grew a few inches taller and grew a beard. HOT! He came out of nowhere like most folks from Craigmont, Bolton or Raleigh-Egypt – we never see them coming, but they’re around.

8.     Nathan/Andrew – Crosstown High

They’re best friends who went to a school with special alternative programs like STEM, Facing History and robotics. They had a cool upbringing living in Evergreen and smoking after school. They both went to Snowden and wore beanies everyday. Nerdy, but really cute and easy-going guys.

9.     Derrick – East

Derrick – and his Aeropostale collar shirts – went to East High. He was a Peer Power mentor and knew at an early age he wanted to be married. He met Tiffany at Shunn Gunn party at the Shell and it was love at first, “excuse me miss, are you LOR or MDL?” He’s a solid guy who loves his family. He gives Lawrence more sound advice than Chad, but isn’t as available as Chad because he’s always with Tiffany. He spent most of his time at the Benjamin L. Hooks Library checking out books and checking out girls on the 4th floor.

How’d we do? What other characters from Insecure would you match with Memphis schools? Catch Insecure on Sunday nights at 9 P.M. on HBO, and join the numerous conversations on social media.

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