If you’re looking for an attempt at a cult classic gone terribly wrong, the Netflix original “Insatiable” has you covered. With such an intricately woven plot, you would assume they put the time in to actually develop it all into something that makes the least bit of sense to the everyday person but lo and behold, no such thing happened.
Debby Ryan stars in “Insatiable” as Patty, an overweight teen that loses over 70 pounds after getting punched in the face by a homeless man and having her jaw wired shut, causing her to go on a liquid diet for three months. The storyline then turns to Patty entering the pageant scene, then falling for her pageant coach and finally using her new body to get everything she wants. What could go wrong with a plot line like that?
The Netflix dark comedy series created by Lauren Gussis received backlash before the full series was ever released. When the trailer dropped, many people thought this would be another series where a girl is bullied for her weight, she loses all that weight and then she decides to go on a rampage to get revenge on everyone who was ever mean to her. Sadly, that is exactly what it turns into.
There are moments of clarity when you see that they attempted to have serious and thought provoking ideas. Patty doesn’t just become confident about how she looks, she still struggles with turning to food in her times of need and is not always confident with what she sees when she looks in the mirror. Her best friend struggles with her sexuality and her fellow pageant contestant struggles with substance abuse. There are serious and mature issues being discussed, but the writers still find a way to mess that up.
All of the serious issues are somehow turned into a joke. At times, it is interesting to watch how all of the problems play out, but more often than not, you will find yourself doing a full-body cringe and just hoping for it all to be over. There were multiple instances where the mute button just had to be pushed to give the show a chance to get back on the rails.
Netflix decided not to cancel the show before it was given the opportunity to show what it was really about, yet it didn’t prove the critics completely wrong. There was just so much going on all the time. When things were headed one direction, they would somehow take a turn for the absolute worst. The problem would get solved while revealing a whole new one, and it just got to be too much.
There was hope for this series, and, frankly, they blew it. The only reason a season two should happen is to fill in the gaps that the last episode left. Every episode was leading up to the final pageant, and the season ends the night before it happens. Props definitely go out to the writers for making the character issues so interesting that the audience feels the need to stick around and see how it all plays out.
“Insatiable” somehow finds a way to intrigue the audience while confusing and aggravating them all at the same time. If the show is renewed for a season two, hopefully they take a minute to step back and see how they can better handle the serious issues they have put themselves in the position to address. “Insatiable” is an acquired taste, and the only way to know if it’s yours is to give it the chance to shock you the way it did so many others.