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Issa Rae on being an 'Awkward Black Girl' and snagging her first TV gig

Issa Rae, creator of
Issa Rae, creator of "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl," and A Martinez pose together after an interview.
Josie Huang

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Issa Rae might not be a household name quite yet, but you're likely to hear a lot more about her in the coming year.

Rae is most well-known and the lead actress, writer, producer, director and creator of the popular web series, "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl," now in its second season.

Rae's web comedy, set in Los Angeles, has a developed a seriously loyal cult following. It's second season premiere episode has already racked up about half-a-million views.

Rae's success continues to television, as ABC recently bought a new comedy she developed with the creator of "Grey's Anatomy." Issa Rae visited the KPCC studios to talk about her web series, her latest projects and

On her web series "Awkward Black Girl":
“The show is essentially about the lead character I play, J, and her efforts to navigate simple life situations. Just life’s simple nuances, what do you do…a lot of people are awkward… the show has helped them to realize it.

On how she came up with the idea for the title/topic of the show:
“As black people, we are expected to be the cool suave sexy types, and there is just the old stigma of being black. It was just a play off of that. I actually wrote that as a Facebook status one day when I realized I was awkward and black. My friend, who plays Nina on the show, the nemesis, wrote three years ago on this status, 'ha ha ha, those are the two worst things anyone can be.' And she meant it that way, not only are you black, but you're not even cool. Do better. I just wanted to put that out there."

On the prevalence of awkward black girls:
"There are so many. I went to Stanford and Stanford is honestly the home of awkward black girls. Immediately the first fan base was Stanford girls and I appreciate them for that. A lot of my friends are awkward, they might not want to admit it, but they are. I've gotten so many emails from people who literally say 'you've stolen my life,' or 'get out the bushes and stop watching me.' I never would have never imagined putting this show together that that would be the case."

On writing about interracial dating:
“I think the interracial dating has always been a subject of controversy. It's always been played to a certain serious extent, and I really wanted to just explore what it would be like if both parties were at fault, both parties made assumptions, the person I cowrote that episode with, Tracy, had been through multiple experiences dating interracially where she, as a black woman would be dating a white guy and she'd walk into a restaurant in 2010 to all these stares in a place like L.A... I think it's a funny subject because it is so touchy, even now."

On the new comedy she developing for ABC:
“I met with [Shonda Rhimes's] executives Betsy and Rachel at Shondaland ... I had this limited idea for “I Hate LA Dudes” and it was just based off of fact … yes that’s the name of the show, "I Hate L.A. Dudes," because I do, they suck. So they could relate to the suckiness of L.A. men and we spent about two hours talking about it and at the end of the meeting they said, 'Hey we would love to develop this with you.'"

On why she hates L.A. dudes:
“L.A. dudes just have it so easy, they don’t have to even try. We are at fault too, women let these guys get away with so much. So much is based on appearance here and I don’t like a guy who is prettier than me."

Season 2, episode 1 of "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl"
WARNING: NSFW — This episode includes strong, adult language not suitable for younger audiences