Review: Dark comedy “Insatiable” sparks controversy and harbors negative reviews for its shortcomings



Dallas Roberts and Debby Ryan in “Insatiable.” (Annette Brown/Netflix)

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Dallas Roberts and Debby Ryan in ““Insatiable.”” Photo courtesy of Annette Brown/Netflix

Insatiable,” a show that Netflix presents as a coming of rage story, has indeed elicited rage in its audience, but for all the wrong reasons. In the era of the “Me Too” movement, a common cliche plot line of the “unattractive” bully victim becoming attractive and popular, can come across as insensitive and belittling. The trailer itself left a blazing trail of negativity and fat shaming in its wake.  

The creator, Lauren Gussis, tried to fabricate a story that dealt with insecurities and tough topics but she only half succeeded. As a show that takes on many different and important topics such as body shaming, sexuality and mental health, it is only common that it receives harsh critics for its faults. Nevertheless, the target audience of young netflix viewers seem to have contrasting views on the quality of the show.

The main story centers around Patty Bladell (Debby Ryan), who begins her story as an insecure and “fat” teenage girl who can only find comfort in food but she soon becomes a stunning, supermodel-like woman  Her journey consists of twists and turns and dealing with her continuing insecurities in crazy ways. It is both strange and intriguing and keeps the audience hooked as they wonder what is going to happen next.

The show’s interesting take on a weight-loss story tries to come across as informed but holds an air of ignorance. Lines such as, “skinny is magic” and “It can’t be easy looking like that” contradict with the message that being skinny and beautiful does not bring unending happiness; the show even includes a proud and plus sized character, who has all the qualifications of a true beauty queen but does not win the pageant because she does not fit the standard of skinny beauty. This constant conflict between morally incorrect and morally correct statements causes a confusing mess for audience and critics alike.

However, behind all the unfavorable and ignorant aspects of the show, there is a intricate plotline and a somewhat understandable and sweet meaning.

The 12 episodes of the show follow three basic plotlines that follow three different characters; All three plot-lines focus around one central topic: human desire and the difficult path it takes to fulfill this desire.

In all, “Insatiable” is a comedic and fast-paced show that the audience either hates or loves. Sadly, “Insatiable” falls a bit short in covering controversial topics correctly but for those who can ignore the flaws, the show can be an exciting and addicting ride.