We Finished Watching the First Season of Netflix's Insatiable

I wasn't really sure what to expect from this series when I came across it last week. The description sounded interesting and my wife and I are familiar with Debby Ryan from the show Jessie and Dallas Roberts from his guest stint on Law & Order: SVU. So, since none of our favorite series have any new episodes, we decided to give it a try.

Overall, I have to say my opinion of it is a bit mixed.

I'm choosing to skip over the more controversial aspects of this show, including the criticism it has received for fat shaming. But, even with doing that, I do see quite a few problems with this series.

First, I'll start with the good. Ryan is actually pretty fun to watch in her role as Patty, an overweight teenager who got into a fight with a homeless man, got her jaw broken, lost weight and decided to get revenge on those who bullied her by becoming a beauty pageant contestant. She manages to be quirky but, when the scene calls for it, can come off as psychotic as well.

I also think there's a strong supporting cast of characters, ranging from her attorney/pageant coach Bob Armstrong (Roberts) to a stalker ex-boyfriend (James Lastovic) and her lesbian friend (Kimmy Shields) who is in love with her and will do just about anything for Patty.

The problem with this series is there are just too many characters and, more importantly, too much going on at once. It's perfectly OK for a series to give secondary characters their own storylines (even as bizarre as some of the ones involving her coach) to break things up a bit. But, that's the kind of thing that needs to be worked in gradually and, in this case, the series tried to do way too much of that in the very first season.

As a result of this, the main story, Patty is bullied and becomes a pageant contestant for revenge, kind of gets lost in the shuffle at times while some of the more interesting parts, such as Patty having a crush on her coach and a desire to end his marriage, really never get a chance to have any real impact before petering out completely.

I'm also not sure I like the decision to make this a comedy. Part of this is because some of the jokes (especially the fat shaming ones) aren't overly funny. But, a bigger part of it is I do think this would have been better as a drama/thriller focusing more on Patty's dark side and the steps she is willing to take to get revenge on those who bullied her. The choice to keep the mood lighter does make that part seem much less interesting, especially since the writers don't seem to want to commit to it.

Final Opinion: The concept is an interesting one. But, I'm not convinced the execution is as good as it needs to be for this series to become a hit. That being said, I wouldn't mind giving the show one more chance if Netflix decides to have a second season of it.

My Grade: C


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