When the new Netflix dramedy Insatiable was released last week, the public response was huge. Like 13 Reasons Why, people were polarised by the story depicting the dramatic weight loss of 17-year-old Patty (Debby Ryan) and her insatiable need for vindication and attention by any means necessary. While some people have called for Netflix to axe the show, the cast and crew argue that it addresses negative body image in a comedic and satirical way.
Do you work with young people, or are you interested in bingeing all 12 episodes on Netflix? Before you press play, take a look at these 8 resources that explain the pros and cons of the series from an audience, creator, clinical and mental health perspective.
1. Insatiable trailer
The series was creating buzz before it aired due to its portrayal of Patty’s dramatic weight loss. Watch it here.
2. Debby Ryan, ‘The critics are mistaken over Insatiable’s ‘body shaming’
Interview with lead actress Debby Ryan
3. Insatiable Creator Lauren Gussis Wants You to Give Her Controversial Show a Chance
Interview with creator Lauren Gussis
Creator Lauren Gussis speaks to Vanity Fair about she has been personally affected by an eating disorder, and explains her use of satire to show that being skinny doesn’t equal happiness.
4. Netflix's “Insatiable” Isn't Actually About Fat People
Opinion piece by Teen Vogue’s Claire Dodson
This fantastic op-ed cleverly explores why Insatiable is about more than fat-shaming, and uncovers cultural subtexts around body size, race, gender and sexuality.
5. Insatiable Is Dreadfully Unappetizing
Review by Vanity Fair’s Sonia Saraiya
Insatiable is a melting pot of bizarre cultural, spiritual and Hollywood references, and Vanity Fair unpack these to highlight the lack of direction and closure in the series. Be warned, this includes many spoilers, however contains invaluable information for parents.
6. The Mighty episode reviews
Mental health website The Mighty has published detailed reviews about each of the 12 episodes in Insatiable, flagging triggering content including suicidal ideation, homophobia, eating disorders and sexual assault among other issues. If you experience mental health issues or are a parent, this is essential reading before you delve into the series. Note that there are many spoilers in these reviews.
7. The Eight Cringiest Moments in ‘Insatiable,’ the Worst Show on Netflix
Listicle/opinion piece by Vice Canada’s Shailee Koranne
This piece by Vice Canada succinctly sums up eight major issues with the series, arguing that it illegitimates sexual assault, rape, representations of the LGBTQ+ community, racism, mental illness, less-able bodied people, and eating disorders.
8. 3 Concerning Messages about the Netflix series, Insatiable
By Clinical social worker Judith Matz for PESI, Inc.
Clinical social worker and author Judith Matz identifies three concerning messages Insatiable sends to young people about body image and weight loss. She also provides a framework to discuss these issues with young people if you are a parent or work with people watching the series.