Review: Netflix’s “Insatiable” is misguided

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The Catalyst / Screenshot from Netflix.com

Patty is shamed by a homeless man who wants her candy.

Johana Ligtenberg , Editor in Chief

Premiering last Friday, Netflix’s newest original series “Insatiable” drew both controversy and praise even before its release due to how it addressed controversial issues regarding body image.

The show is described as “A bullied teenager turns to beauty pageants as a way to exact her revenge with the help of a disgraced coach who soon realizes he’s in over his head.” It features thirteen forty-minute long episodes and stars Debby Ryan of Disney Channel fame as the main character, Patty.

Prior to the show’s release, a Change.com petition was signed by several hundred thousand people who called for its cancellation for allegedly promoting fat-shaming and the idea that a woman’s attractiveness is dependent on her weight.

Ryan released a statement on her Instagram, writing, “As someone who cares deeply about the way our bodies, especially women’s, 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.”

With this in mind, I cautiously embarked on watching the first episode. It was an interesting experience, to say the least. It was full of fat jokes, in-the-closet jokes and references, and a more than fair amount of assault jokes and implications. It was definitely hard to get through.

The first episode alone included perhaps the worst themes of several popular teen TV shows with the main character nearly committing  murder and using her new self as a manipulation tactic.

The biggest thing I noticed about the show was how much it attempted to address difficult themes. The issue perhaps lay not in the content, but in the execution, and the lack of tact in which themes relating to a plethora of women’s issues were represented and the way that these situations played out, sending a questionable message to teens.

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