Creator: Lauren Gussis
Starring: Debby Ryan, Dallas Roberts, Kimmy Shields, Christopher Gorham, Alyssa Milano
IMDB Rating: 6.8/10
Seveno Rating: 6/10
I was really curious to see what this show was going to be. It had received so much bad press in the lead up to its release, that I felt I, along with everyone else, had judged it without even seeing it. The trailer seemed funny, but actually after watching the series in full I’ve realised the trailer didn’t accurately get across exactly what the series was about.
Patty Bladell (Ryan) has loved food her whole life, and has continued to use it as a blanket to protect her against the rest of the world. After an unusual incident with a homeless guy, she is forced to have her jaw wired shut, and so looses a drastic amount of weight over the summer. Now, thin and beautiful (on the outside, the inside is a very different story), Patty decides to get revenge on everyone who wronged her, and to push all her efforts into winning pageants. With the help of her life long best friend Nonnie (Shields) and her new coach/legal advisor Bob Armstrong (Roberts), Patty attempts to become everything she ever dreamed of being.
Watching this was honestly such a roller coaster, one I still don’t know if I enjoyed. I did laugh, and I learnt to love some of the characters, but there are definitely some points to take issue with. On the whole, however, the central plot point of Patty only being pretty after she’s lost the weight was not something that bothered me, and I say that as someone who is a size 14. I didn’t find it at all offensive, but I do understand the argument that it is problematic to impressionable viewers, as we do need more diverse casting in popular films and shows, and there is a distinct lack of female leads who aren’t beautifully slim. Throughout the film, we may be told time and time again that beauty is on the inside as well as the outside, but nothing is every really done to back this point up, and so many jokes are made at the expense of Patty and her love of food. There is one amazing character in this, Dee Marshall (Ashley D Kelley), who some might argue makes up for everything else, but I will say that if there is a second series I really, really hope she gets more screen time.
While I loved the Bob Armstrong-Bob Bernard story line, there were definitely a few comments made (specifically in regards to the existence of bisexuality) that are problematic. I don’t want to give too much away regarding the overarching plot, but themes of child sexual harassment and statutory rape are perhaps not addressed in the most mature way. They are dealt though with in accordance with the tone of the series.
The character of Patty is so not what I expected, and is so wholly unlikeable, yet I think you still somehow find yourself rooting for her. I don’t know how Ryan and the writers have done it, but you love her and hate her at the same time. But towards the end of the series, I found myself watching the next episode, not because I was invested in Patty, but because I was invested in the other characters and their journeys.
I understand why people judged it, and why they hated it. But I think if you manage to make it past the first episode, it isn’t as problematic as you think its going to be. Or maybe you just become accustomed to the sense of humour, so it bothers you less. I watched the whole series, I was hooked, and it really did keep me on my toes. Not sure if it was worth it yet, but it kept me entertained, and it was so much more than I expected it to be. So if you, like me, have an insatiable curiosity (see what I did there), or if you love teen dramas like Pretty Little Liars, or classic (problematic) 90’s romcoms, then I think Insatiable is worth the watch.
UPDATE: Insatiable has been renewed for a second series.