Insatiable: Season 1 – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Title card for Netflix's Insatiable in .gif form.
54.09% (1)

While Insatiable does have a few buds which could have grown, the overuse of terrible jokes and storylines suffocate what could have bloomed.


Network
Netflix
Creator Lauren Gussis
Air Date(s) 8/10/2018
Genre(s) Dark Comedy
Good If You Like Offensive Jokes

Sporadic Touching Moments

Soap Opera Styled Drama That Just Escalates Higher and Higher

Shows Which Seem They Mean Well But Ultimately Fail To Prove It

Noted Cast
Bob Armstrong (Bob A) Dallas Roberts
Patty Debby Ryan
Etta Mae Carly Hughes
Magnolia Erinn Westbrook
Bob Barnard (Bob B) Christopher Gorham
Angie Sarah Colonna
Brick Michael Provost
Coralee Alyssa Milano
Stella Rose Beverly D’Angelo
Dee Ashley D Kelley
Pastor Mike Michael Ian Black
Dixie Irene Choi
Donald Daniel Kang
Nonnie Kimmy Shields
Regina Arden Myrin
Julie Michelle Hendley

Insatiable - Episode List

Highlights

A Few Of The Relationships Between The Teens and Adults

Patty thanking Bob A for getting her out of trouble.
Patty: Um… thank you for saving me.

Despite what will be said following the “Highlights,” there were times Insatiable seemed like it may achieve balance. Take Patty, after she stopped having a crush on Bob A, and thought him being a child molester meant she had a chance, seeing him as a father figure. With Patty not knowing who her dad is, and her mom having a notebook which would make finding out daunting, you had to appreciate Bob A in the early parts of the season. He went to bat for Patty like no other adult had done. He defended her, treated her like family, related to her because he was fat as a kid, and while they brought out the worse in each other, when they had sweet moments, it did make you want to “Aw” a little bit.

And that wasn’t the only parent/child relationship to note. Etta Mae and Magnolia’s relationship was also a shining point for it brought up the complicated topic of being a working mom. Especially one like Etta Mae who was a sought out surgeon who loved her job, as well as her family, and couldn’t balance the two as both her husband, Bob B, and daughter, Magnolia, wanted. Which doesn’t get dived into further, because she goes off somewhere and never comes back, but there was hope her saying that could lead to one character seeming like they would stay rooted in normalcy and drama you could understand.

But that isn’t the only mother/daughter relationship which deserves to be noted. Though rift with emotional abuse, you also have to take note of Angie, especially when she felt like she was being replaced, stepping up. Once that happens, she starts becoming the mom Patty needed all her life. Not the one which was hypercritical of her, even an enabler when it came to her binge eating. Instead, as she becomes towards the latter half of the season, a momma bear. One who tells off Bob A to show up for her daughter, even while dealing with his own drama, and seemingly has some sort of investment in her child. Rather than Patty being someone she didn’t abort for personal reasons and kept just because she looked at her after birth.

Oh, and there is one last relationship to note: Bob A and his son Brick. Now, this relationship probably is one of the most touching. Reason being, as much as we get from Angie and Patty that there is generational trauma and patterns being passed down, they don’t necessarily get fixed or modified this season. Angie may address her rapist and handles that, but then she selfishly steals that man’s car and is off. Making it so, like so many times when she was a drunk and 100% selfish, and cruel, she put herself before her child. The only excuse now is that she left Patty when she turned 18 so, legally, she wasn’t obligated to stay.

Bob relishing in his son and him having a moment.
Bob: Maybe miracles were possible after all.

However, with the Brick and Bob A thing, Bob A recognized he was following the same treatment his dad had towards him. Well, minus the insults. For when it came to Brick, Bob A never attended one of his wrestling matches, barely talked to the boy, and seemingly a silent partner in his life and development. Yet, thanks to Pastor Mike, he starts to invest in the boy. Not to the point they have a glowing relationship by the end of the season, but you do have to appreciate the effort. Even if it doesn’t match the level of effort he put into Patty.

Bob A Being Flamboyant But Shown As Heterosexual – In The First Half of the Season

When it comes to sexuality and gender performance, there is something you had to enjoy about Bob A being this flamboyant man, into pageantry and all it encompasses, yet being firmly heterosexual. For you just don’t see it often. In fact, I can’t recall seeing it before this show. Usually, if a man is flamboyant as Bob is, that dude is gay or possibly trans. And while we learn Bob is bisexual later on, in the beginning, there wasn’t much of a hint of that. Well, Bob misspeaking sometimes but the man also misspoke in terms of having sex with minors so it seemed he was being crushed by people’s judgement.

But, what added onto a sort of appreciation for how Bob presented himself early on was his wife and Stella Rose. When it came to his wife, Coralee, she accepted how her husband was and loved him despite what her sister and everyone else said. Defended him as if she was a lawyer. Heck, even after he came out, though it was a struggle at first, she still loved him and was attracted to him. Which was quite sweet. Then, add in Stella Rose who loved his dramatics and it really pushed the idea that, you really don’t have to look like an action star or be the most masculine to find love. It truly is the confidence of knowing who you are and being comfortable in that.

Dee & The Attempts To Speak For Big Girls

One could argue, in a perfect world, Dee should have been the star of this show. She is a legit big girl, confident, has personality, and her being insatiable in terms of wanting to prove herself would have made the better, and emotional, parts of Patty’s journey mean more. That is, whether it was Patty talking about how society only cares for certain types of victims, binge eating, or how Patty often felt the need for validation and feeling worthless.

Now, while that would have likely caused controversy still, at the very least there could be more arguments for relating to Dee, an actual big woman, than Patty. Someone who went from a fat suit to how Debby Ryan looks on an average day. For while Ryan has noted in interviews she has had issues with her weight, there is just something about Ashley D. Kelley taking on what Patty went through which could have given this show some oomph. Versus it seeming a bit tone deaf.

Pastor Mike & The Subject of Faith

Pastor Mike trying to counsel Angie.
Pastor Mike: Well, I’m not talking about selfishness. I’m talking about self-care.

Pastor Mike’s role isn’t necessarily huge, in term of having a positive effect. However, as he brings about his abilities for discernment and acts as a catalyst for reflection, you see his value. It is because of him Angie really tries to get herself together and stop being the mother she once was to Patty. It is because of him that Bob A tries to be a better father and Patty tries to be a better person. Now, he doesn’t work a miracle for any of the people named, but in a show of enablers, it was nice someone called out the nonsense and was fairly consistent about his beliefs. Well, outside of his role in Miss Magic Jesus.

Low Points

So Many Jokes In Poor Taste

I don’t even know if I can go through them all. It begins with molestation jokes, fat jokes, veers into racist jokes dealing with Dixie and Donald, then, of course, there are jokes which could be offensive to southern and midwestern people. All of it not really coming from the place of playing with how those people are but more so how they are perceived. Basically using stereotypes for cheap laughs but the jokes being crafted in such a way you don’t even find yourself uncomfortable laughing. You just don’t period.

Well, outside of some of the dirty jokes Stella Rose tells.

It Escalates Patty’s Drama To The Point There Is No Redemption

Patty trying to make amends with Coralee.
Patty: I really wanna make amends for what I did.

Understanding the title of the show is Insatiable, the issue with Patty is that she isn’t necessarily presented as someone you should love to hate. She is presented as a character you are supposed to feel bad for and, arguably, understand her actions are done out of desperation. Yet, it is hard to forgive her as she digs a deeper and deeper hole for herself. For it is one thing, her taking advantage of Nonnie and even revealing Bob A cheated on Coralee. However, once she starts outting people, publicly, trying to kidnap people, and kills two people? How do you come back from that? Ryan may have a certain look of innocence but it isn’t strong enough, especially with what this character says and does, for you to forgive and forget.

At a Certain Point, It Just Felt Desperate

Have you ever watched a YouTuber who put their friends through hell for views? This show is of that ilk sometimes. It seems like it keeps trying to up the craziness so that you’ll want to know, “Where is the line with this show?” Problem is, there might not be one. For there does seem a point where nothing is really off limits and while that is the beauty of being on a network like Netflix, at the same time you recognize some creatives need restrictions or else they just waste people’s time and money.

On The Fence

It’s Representation of LGBT

Nommie asking of Patty to stop saying things about herself which are mean.
Nommie: Stop being mean to my best friend.

On the negative side, we have Patty outting the Bobs, Bob B attempting to erase bi-sexuality and present it as just a transition kind of word, and there is Nonnie trying to experiment with Patty in awkward ways. Yet, it isn’t all bad. Nonnie’s journey, for example, once she meets other queer people, especially Dee, blossoms. Not to the point she’ll become a legend like how Shannon Purser did with Barb on Stranger Things, but she definitely gets to be part of the few characters you see growth from – in a stable, not too dramatized, way.

She isn’t alone though. While only on a single episode, there is also a need to mention Julie, a trans woman, who was dealing with her own form of body dysmorphia. This was because she was wearing a swimsuit and in the episode, Patty is dealing with the idea of not being enough. For Patty, it was skinny enough to be in a bikini, in public, and comfortable. For Julie, it was being feminine enough in a swimsuit and comfortable. Be it just for herself and liking how she looks, or maybe to not be clocked.

Either way, while the Bobs, especially Bob B, kind of put a damper on how the LGBT community is presented, you have to appreciate what Julie, Dee, and Nonnie bring to the show.

Overall: Mixed (Stick Around)

Bob giving the other Bob a thumbs up.

I wouldn’t watch this if you are someone who takes offense to things easily. There is so much here which is not at all politically correct and it isn’t even trying to pair that with a good joke to make up for it. Crass is probably the best word to describe the show’s humor. However, when not trying to make a joke, or have an overly dramatic moment, the show does have scenes that make you want to see more. It’s just, sadly, there is so much focus on shock and trying to be funny the heart of the show gets buried under huge mounds of s***.

Hence the mixed label. You can find a few buds worth sticking around for but you got to dig through a whole lot of manure to see them. Which, a lot of the time, for one or two scenes in an hour show, may not be worth it. You will get a little teary eyed once or twice, but as soon as this show gets a little too emotional it gets ruined. So, watch at your own risk.

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Why does Regina have beef with Bob A?
  2. What does Nonnie sound like when she sings?
  3. Who is Patty’s dad?


Has Another Season Been Confirmed?: Yup.


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About Amari Sali 3103 Articles
New Jersey native Amari Sali takes the approach of more so being a media advisor than a critic to sort of fill in the gap left between casual fans of media and those who review productions for a living. Thus being open about bias while still giving enough insight, often with spoilers, to present whether something is worth seeing, buying, renting, streaming, or checking out at all.

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