Insatiable premieres August 10th on Netflix.
By Sam Davis
Don’t watch Insatiable. There, I said it. Creator Lauren Gussis seems to think that her new series is an important project. “There are moments of broad comedy and also moments where you cry,” she said. “I’ve cried while watching the show and I hope the audience will cry too.” Well, Lauren, I cried. I cried because of how awful this show is.
With a familiar concept of the fat/ugly/unpopular girl changing herself to be accepted (a la She’s All That), but without the proper moral lesson at the end, Insatiable is exhausting and, perhaps worse, unfunny. They use physical gags and body fluid jokes that one expects from an Adam Sandler movie. That’s without getting into the blatant misogyny of the story: how women are only happy when pretty, and they all want to be beauty pageant queens. They explicitly say that “skinny is magic!”
Insatiable also spends a good chunk of time on the unhealthy relationship between a desperate teenage girl and a falsely accused child molester. In the age of the #MeToo movement, you’d think Netflix would have a bit more taste. They just fired Kevin Spacey! The whole show comes off as so incredibly tone-deaf.
The show can’t even produce good facets correctly. They do have some LGBTQ+ representation, only to be weighed down by stereotypes. The lesbian has a crush on her straight best friend which is entirely played for laughs. The closeted gay guy is super effeminate. They even use the word “dykey!”
Throughout the 12 episodes, I expected to see some development of the main character, former fat girl Patty Bledel, played by ex-Disney star Debby Ryan. None was there. She is a horrible person from the moment you press play until the finale’s end credits.
Then it hit me. Patty wasn’t the protagonist. Yes, she was the main character, and yes, all the people whom viewers are supposed to hate are her opponents, but she’s a villain too. Once you realize that Patty is a terrible human being, Insatiable becomes a little more tolerable. She deserves no sympathy, no retribution, no victory. She is a bad person, a sociopath, and a murderer.
So, if you are going to subject yourself to watching this piece of trash, go in hating Patty, instead of just coming out of it that way. (I don’t know if the writers intended us to watch the show this way, but honestly, it makes for a better binging experience.)
Netflix is killing the TV game these days, with a plethora of heavy hitters, but this one missed the mark. There is currently a Change.org petition to cancel the show with over 100,000 signatures, and it hasn’t even aired yet. I wouldn’t count on season two.
I give Insatiable an F.