‘Insatiable’ undeserving of critics: Netflix show features dark humor, memorable plot

The new show ‘Insatiable’ on Netlix shows a teenager who is battling with her weight. She loses 60 pounds and her life suddenly changes for the better. This show has been widely criticized for glamorizing mental health, suicide and toxic relationships.

Insatiable” is a relatively new TV series that had started airing on Netflix on Aug. 10, casting a familiar Disney star, Debby Ryan. Even before the series had aired it had already earned a bad rap for it’s “fat-shaming trailer.” 

The preview introduces the main character, Patty, and hints to some of the struggles that she would be facing in the show. The preview, like many previews before, does not dive further into the matter, leaving the viewer to guess what will happen next or to simply watch the show to find out. 

Many have come to their own conclusions about the show based on this trailer and nothing more, judging the book by its cover. 

Let’s back up and take a look at the preview. Our main character, Patty, is introduced as your seemingly “typical, fat character” including the once big loser, and now suddenly skinny and popular stereotype, but, as stated earlier, the rest of the trailer leaves much to the imagination, in turn leaving many to accuse the new TV show of “fat-shaming” based on the one revelation that the once “Fatty Patty” becomes skinny and seemingly now has it all. 

There is more to the show than the haters care to let on, considering if they had actually taken the time to watch the show. Actresses Debby Ryan and Alyssa Milano have also jumped in to defend “Insatiable.”

“We all feel that this show is so much more than what the trailer was,” Milano – who stars as Coralee told People magazine. “I personally found it very interesting that the show is about ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,’ and yet people were judging 12 hours of television by a one minute and 28 second trailer. At the end of the day, the show is a satire that deals with thematic issues like body image and what it means to win, validation, and filling a void. It’s more about what happens when you do shame someone and how that trauma affects their lives.” 

Due to all the early hate, it didn’t take Ryan long to write out her frustrations in a lengthy instagram post. “As someone who cares deeply about the way our bodies, especially women, are shamed and policed in society, I was so excited to work on Insatiable because it’s a show that addresses and confronts those ideas through satire. Satire is a way to poke fun at the hardest things, bring darkness into the light and enter difficult conversations,” Ryan said. “The humour is not in the ‘fat-shaming.’ The redemption is in identifying the bullies and saying, ‘This is not OK.’” 

Despite the claims from the two actresses, people are still voicing their complaints on social media.

“Don’t know where to begin with how awful #Insatiable is. Take the ‘she was a fat girl now she’s thin and therefore acceptable for society’ narrative out of it and you still have a terrible show. Seems it was written by old men who wish teenage girls found them attractive -5/10,” @BethanyDaigle wrote on Twitter.

“#Insatiable is the most offensive, ridiculous, tone-deaf piece of television I have ever seen. It’s supposed to be satire? This ain’t it, @netflix,” @saycoop8 wrote on Twitter.

Seeing all of these negative comments and reviews about the newly released show, I took it upon myself to watch “Insatiable” to form my own opinion about the show and found much more to the show than the negative comments cared to voice. 

“Insatiable,” I found, is not about being fat and bullied, then suddenly being skinny and popular, but it is also full of dark humor and sarcasm as well as including many heavy topics about corrupt marriages, unsafe relationships, the LGBT+ community, eating disorders, abortion, teen pregnancy, bullying in and outside of school, mental health, self harm, suicide, finding and embracing yourself and more. All of these things and the show still has time to show you time and time again that skinny does not solve any of Patty’s problems, despite what the character thinks and is constantly told. 

Though “Insatiable” is full of comedy, it still hits where it counts with its dark humor and equally dark topics in contrast to its eye-rolling humor. Luckily, some people have seen through to the show’s humor and caught on to the show’s true intentions.

“Whomever wrote this review is too caught up on life. I am fat, and I loved it! The show is about a person who has suppressed all of her feelings because she felt inferior. She became pretty on the outside, but she is finding out that she is ugly on the inside,” Cecilia Mccarns on variety.com wrote concerning a recent variety.com article that criticized the show. “Bob is finding out that he is living several lives as well. Both Patty and Bob are fragile creatures who are tired of living in the shadows and now they want it all … at once!!!! I binged watched all 12 episodes, and my husband who normally doesn’t like stuff like that was all in. This show is not for body shaming. The show is finding out who you are for real!”

“This show is not as bad as they made it. It really shows that even if you lose 60 pounds, the insecurities remain and you will never find a ‘perfect body,’ even if you are socially accepted and a beauty queen,” estabad, a Metacritic user, wrote.

“Insatiable” is brutally honest and definitely not for everyone, but it is honestly one of the most inclusive TV shows I have ever seen. This show has struck a chord in my heart for how relatable each character can be. With each new character comes a new set of problems that the main characters must face in different ways, showing the viewer how human the main characters actually are. 

All in all, I think people can learn a lot by watching this show. As long as you’re open minded and leave some room for the dark humor that comes along with these dark topics talked about in this show, I believe it could really change the way people think about “Insatiable,” and I hope more people start to see the good in it.

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