After Insatiable received relentless backlash before it was even released, for what some called a “fat-shaming” plot, Netflix urged viewers to give the streaming service’s newest original series a chance. Rather than perpetuating body-shaming, one executive argued, “the message of the show is that what is most important is that you feel comfortable in your own self.” Were people to actually watch the show, she claimed, they would understand.
So, the people watched. And in the words of multiple viewers, the show is: “terminally dull,” “unwatchable,” and a contender for “Netflix’s worst show yet.” Below, the most vicious reviews so far of Insatiable.
“Insatiable is impressive in its capacity offend a vast array of ideologies, including the notion that TV in 2018 should really be a hell of a lot smarter and more nuanced than this. On top of all that, it’s a freakin’ narrative mess,” Jen Chaney writes at Vulture.
“Throughout its 12-episode run, Insatiable crawls its way through a series of tired, stale gags, punching ever further downward, to finish with the most subdued of whimpers in its finale. Insatiable is not only cruel and fatphobic; it’s boring, too,” Constance Grady writes at Vox.
“It fails not only to land its purportedly progressive message about body image and weight, but also its storylines tackling sexuality, sexual agency, classism, race, and transgender acceptance,” Kevin Fallon writes at Daily Beast.
“Insatiable is trite, way over the top (even for a series that appears to be trying to go there for comedic effect), unfunny and, running at 40-plus minutes per episode, a bloated mess that’s labor-intensive to get through,” Tim Goodman writes at The Hollywood Reporter.
“Insatiable is satire in the same way someone who screams profanities out a car window is a spoken-word poet. Satire requires a point of view; this has none. It generally requires some feel for humor, however dark; this has none. It requires a mastery of tone; this has none. It requires a sense that the actors are all part of the same project; this has none,” Linda Holmes writes at NPR.
“‘Insatiable’ tries extremely hard to throw edgy jokes at the wall, hoping that they will turn the show into a sharp satire of how our society shuns the weak — or something. But despite some late-breaking attempts to right the ship, neither the show’s punchlines nor its characters are sharp enough to transcend their clichéd foundations,” Caroline Framke writes at Variety.
“I don’t know who ‘Insatiable’ was made for, but it was certainly not me. After watching six episodes (of a 12-episode season) that all exceeded an agonizing 46 minutes, I felt awful and gave up,” Carrie Wittmer writes at Business Insider.
“In reality, Insatiable isn’t skewering the ridiculous expectations placed on teen girls; it’s merely reiterating them. It doesn’t provide a sensitive and humorous reflection on the experience of binge eating disorder; it’s placing Debby Ryan in a fat suit for cheap laughs,” Arielle Bernstein writes at the Guardian.
“I crave stories that show fat people living their best lives, being happy, and most of all, being treated with respect and dignity. Like the hole in Patty’s soul, it’s a gaping void that can’t be filled. Not least because I keep being served hollow, harmful, and hateful shows like Insatiable,” Jenna Guillaume writes at BuzzFeed.
“Netflix tried to shape the narrative and promised that it would provide a criticism of body-shaming. It was a savvy move considering the hyper-awareness and policing around women’s bodies, but even with those pillars in place—personal experience, satire, criticism—Insatiable struggles to find its story,” Audra Schroeder writes at the Daily Dot.