Netflix has been taking a lot of flak for its decision to air the new series Insatiable, and has defended its position in light of those who have petitioned against it. The streaming service followed through and premiered the series on Friday, and critics' reviews have not been kind. Insatiable is getting slammed by critics left and right, with scathing reviews such as the one by AV Club's Danette Chavez apparently revealing the show's most obvious flaw:
Insatiable purports to be satire, playing every bit of offensive dialogue and questionable storyline for laughs, yet none of it is funny.
Critics have implied viewers may have more problems with Insatiable beyond its portrayal of body positivity, as Chavez says the show hits just about every offensive stereotype one can imagine in the 12-episode season. Some shows, like South Park, have thrived on that type of offensive comedy, and found success in being a satire that's an equal opportunity offender. This apparently isn't the case with Insatiable, which critics like Wenlei Ma of News.com.Au have deemed "unwatchable."
Insatiable is the kind of hot mess you want to banish into the ether, never to be chanced upon by any human eyes ever again.
Some fans of Insatiable might just say the backlash is a product of the times, and that perhaps now wasn't the best time for Netflix to release a show that features characters who engage in "fat-shaming," or make false sexual assault allegations. Some critics will concede that point, although as Daily Telegraph's Ed Power pointed out, it's baffling to wonder who thought a series like this wouldn't spark outrage given the major headlines of the past year:
It's difficult to imagine Insatiable arriving at a more egregious moment in popular culture.
For all the hate Insatiable received, there have been a few critics willing to defend it. While many found the humor of Netflix's series offensive and largely unfunny, Reason author Glenn Garvin feels quite the opposite. He still thinks the show is offensive, but is still funny, and not nearly as awful as some have made it out to be.
Everybody who ever suffered shunning or scorn at the hands of a high-school social overlord will be raising a fist in solidarity.
Insatiable's cast had some things to say in regards to backlash and viewers responses, so head on over to the next page to see how they responded.
The extreme backlash and prior protest against Insatiable has prompted some of the show's cast to defend the series. Alyssa Milano claimed at the show's Hollywood premiere (via Vanity Fair) the show has a completely different message than what protestors originally may have thought about it, and that there's a deeper message behind the show's seemingly offensive nature:
The show is really a satirical look at what could happen if you do body-shame or bully someone and how that trauma affects their life. It's also about how looks can be deceiving, an exploration of body image, about finding validation, and the desire to fill a void within ourselves.
Actor Christopher Gorham agreed with Milano's asssesment of Insatiable, and added he knew the show would push a few buttons:
This show pushes the envelope. Staying on that razor line can be difficult, but at the end of the day, this show is a comedy, and what we really want is for you to enjoy the show and for you to laugh with us, and to cry with us when appropriate. What I can assure you is, it's not coming from a cynical place. We are not out there trying to hurt anyone's feelings and make anyone angry.
Series star Debby Ryan, who had spent a bulk of her career on the Disney Channel, agreed that there's a deeper message behind Insatiable's offensiveness for viewers who are willing to take the journey. Ryan asserted that one of the big themes of Insatiable is that everyone has their issues, and that people don't need to be a certain way to achieve the things they wish for:
I think the message is you don't have to polish things up all the time and look a certain way. We all have something that we want or try to be. As long as we are sincere and transparent, we can fuel our desires to success and lead to redemption and to make things right no matter how we look. That's one thing that I took away.
Viewers can decide for themselves what they think of Insatiable, as Season 1 of the series is currently streaming on Netflix. Head on over to our Netflix premiere guide to see what else is headed to the platform, or take a look at our summer and fall premiere guides to see what's coming up on cable television.