Despite the large amount of negative press the show received before its release, “Insatiable” may throw Debby Ryan into the role she was always destined to play. As Patty, Ryan portrays a story of true grit and determination in the face of a world obsessed with outer beauty and thinness.
Following the release of a trailer for the Netflix original, viewers were understandably upset with the plot and storyline that the trailer seemed to portray. Not only did the trailer put Ryan into a fat suit, but it also centered around a girl who gains popularity after having her jaw surgically shut. Despite the cringy story originally seen in the trailer, Netflix’s final product is truly something special that deserves a second chance.
Set in a contemporary world of pageants and glamour, Ryan plays ‘Fatty Patty’ Bladell, an overweight high school student who’s been mercilessly bullied thanks to her status as the school’s punching bag. However, after being forced to indulge in solely liquid substances for three months, Patty is transformed into a skinny version of herself and seeks revenge on everyone that wronged her.
In a stroke of good luck, Patty’s attorney happens to be a legendary pageant coach facing his own set of troubles. In order to morally redeem herself, Patty is offered a new start in life as a budding pageant queen. First, though, she has to win the heart of her married coach and ruin the lives of all of her childhood bullies.
Mirroring the absolute absurdity of Netflix’s “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” episode one of “Insatiable” begins with the most outrageous of plotlines. Patty somehow finds herself under fire and at the very end of a murder case. Setting the bar for the rest of the series, “Insatiable” continues to throw twists in the path of its seemingly simple storyline.
As the season moves on, Patty’s past takes a backseat to her more present and much more pressing current dilemmas of love and triumph. Patty is constantly being forced to face the past traumas and scarring from her time as a fat high school student. Viewers will cheer and cry along with Ryan’s fluctuating journey as she plots her varying schemes of revenge while also attempting to wow her loved ones through her slow climb as a pageant queen.
The true shining factor of this series is its magnificent writing that somehow balances and highlights each of its hilarious characters. Ryan displays her edgy side, outgrowing her Disney shoes and climbing into a role that seems suited for her innocent, nearly-flawless style. Patty is a truly complex character that feels completely tangible in every episode.
Bob, Patty’s Coach, fully embraces his more feminine side, showing audiences that there isn’t a singular phenotype of the American married man. Bob’s family is as dysfunctional yet loving as one can expect from an outrageous show such as this, and a large majority of the show’s supporting cast come equipped with their own quirks that truly display their many personalities.
Each episode of season one clearly and expertly builds on one another, placing a different obstacle in Patty’s way as soon as she seems to find a way through another barrier. Until the very end, though, viewers will be constantly guessing how her next pageant will end while praying that she falls out of love with her accused molester.
“Insatiable” is one of those rare shows with an ugly outer shell but so sweet and deliciously encroaching on the inside. It begs for its viewers to binge until the very end, and it never slows down in terms of comedy and character-building. It is one show that deserves to be seen.