The new series Insatiable was criticised before it was even made available on Netflix. People felt that the whole concept of the show was fat-shaming and distasteful. Still, we decided to give the show a chance. Unfortunately, we wish we hadn’t.
The show’s leading lady Patty (Debby Ryan) loses 70 lbs after a homeless guy breaks her jaw in retaliation of her punching him for calling her fat. Bob (Dallas Roberts) takes on her case and then decides he has bigger plans for her… beauty pageants.
Things already begin to get problematic at this point. In episode 2, Bob teaches Patty that “skinny is magic” and she uses her new body to seduce men into getting what she wants and getting revenge on those who called her fat. It’s great watching Patty grow in confidence but uncomfortable how her confidence is completely skin deep and she gets even more self-involved as the series progresses. The message seems to be “don’t eat for a few months and you can have it all!”
Pretty much all the characters in the show are unlikable in one way or another. The most redeemable character is Patty’s best friend Nonny (Kimmie Shields) who goes through a journey throughout the series both learning and coming to terms with her sexuality. There are some tender moments and in general, the show treats Nonny’s coming out with respect. Then again, there is plenty of homophobia from the other characters throughout and even though it’s meant to be satire, it’s not nice to watch.
The show not only fails to be inspiring or empowering, it just isn’t funny. There’s a whole scene set up at Bob’s anal cancer fundraiser which makes a joke out of the fact the word ‘anal’ is allegedly hilarious. It’s also just not fun watching Patty act out and ‘get revenge’ on her classmates. In fact, she is more annoying than funny and watching it you find yourself hating her more than empathizing her. As far as I’m concerned, that means the series failed to share a message of self-acceptance and body love.
Admittedly, the show is a dark comedy and if you can take the brutal satire with a huge pinch of salt, you might enjoy it. There are plenty of twists and turns and things get much darker than expected. Still, I’m not sure what the show was trying to achieve because we ended up despising ‘Fatty Patty’ rather than empathizing with her.
Overall, we understand why the series splatted at 10% on Rotten Tomatoes. The series is quite frankly a disaster and is not only insensitive but uncreative and unfunny too.