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The Norseman

Netflix original series Insatiable leaves viewers unsatisfied as crass humor and negativity dominate plot

This article contains spoilers, so if you intend on watching Netflix’s new show Insatiable, read ahead at your own risk.

On August 10 of this year, Netflix released a new dramedy series created by Lauren Gussis called Insatiable. The twelve episode season covers the story of a formerly overweight teenage girl struggling to evolve into her now thin figure while hitting a lot of bumps along the way.

From this description, this show should promise to be a positive outlet for young women by encouraging self-love no matter their size. Instead it promotes fat shaming, vanity, and inappropriate jokes that go beyond sexual.

Patty Bladell, played by former Disney channel star Debby Ryan, begins her narrative by addressing how she was bullied over her weight in high school and was known as “Fatty Patty”.
After being rejected by her longtime crush, she gets into a fight with a homeless man over a chocolate bar, which results in her ending up with a broken jaw. Three months later, and after an all liquid diet, she comes out of the hospital thin and pretty to face the court over the fight she started.

Her lawyer, Bob Armstrong, was a former pageant coach wrongly accused of child molestation after a lost pageant led to an unhappy parent. Bob’s entire perspective of Patty changes once he sees she’s no longer overweight and is his only chance at pageant redemption.
Bob Armstrong gets Patty off scott free, and they embark on their pageant experience together. However Patty has a psychotic streak that continuously complicates things with an insatiable hunger for revenge.

Although they had the unique factor when it comes to the storyline of Insatiable, they also don’t seem to know when to stop with their jokes. Throughout the series, the viewer is bombarded with comedic remarks that just don’t stick and leave audiences wondering what in the world they just witnessed. There are a few too many jokes about child molestation at Bob Armstrong’s expense, coverings of murderous tendencies in a teenage girl rather than seeking help, and anything but body positivity.

The most despicable character in this mess of a show is without a doubt Patty. Despite playing the victim throughout the season, she continuously attacks her friends, family, and enemies, exposes her pageant coach’s affair and sexuality out of spite for his lack of honesty, and single-handedly being responsible for three murders.

The producer, Lauren Gussis, defended the show after the backlash of its release saying it was inspired by her experiences with eating disorders as a teen.

Even though the show was intended to be nothing but a comedic coping mechanism for teen vulnerabilities and intense topics, these topics are intense for a reason. This isn’t the first time Netflix dropped the ball on a show that had the opportunity for positivity. The Netflix original 13 Reasons Why, glorified suicide and created a buzz that was mostly negative.

When all is said and done, the young adult and teen viewers of Netflix would have been just fine without the production of the obscene new show, Insatiable.

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