Why I Think the Renewal of Debby Ryan’s Show “Insatiable” is a Good Thing

Great news, everybody! Despite initial backlash against the polarizing show, Netflix has renewed “Insatiable” for a second season. No word yet on the exact release date, but it is supposed to arrive sometime in 2019, which Debby Ryan announced on Twitter yesterday.

“Insatiable” has been credited as one of the more controversial original Netflix series. The plot is centered around Debby Ryan’s high school character Patty, who starts out as a tormented “fat” girl, but quickly becomes popular after shedding weight. From there, Patty goes on a war path to take down anyone who’s ever wronged or body-shamed her. This could all be very easily misinterpreted by, say, someone who is coming of age and easily influenced.

Perhaps the show’s most fire-starting assertion is that “good looks” equate to being liked, but that’s exactly the notion that it is trying to challenge. Or question, at least. It’s true, after Patty becomes “skinny,” she transforms into a pageant queen that boys ogle and girls envy. All eyes are on Patty. But, lessons are learned! She also discovers throughout the show that notoriety and outward appearances are not synonymous with happiness, or devoid of pain, anger or insecurity. Basically, nobody is exempt from suffering.

“Insatiable” has also been labeled toxic by critics. They argue that the show promotes body dysmorphia and dated views on beauty’s role in interpersonal relationships. Putting Debby Ryan in a fat suit didn’t help matters. But looking past the cringe-worthy aspects, you will find what the show is really trying to say: that despite how different we all look on the outside, our emotional worlds are much more similar than we would probably like to admit—to others, but mostly ourselves, at the risk of not feeling special or different. Plus, these lessons are all presented in a light and campy demeanor, which everyone could use more of lately.

Of course, the upcoming second season has been met with some general criticism, but people online are, in general, excited for the show’s return.


Can you feel the love?

Big-ups, small hands.

Bye wig!

My final food for thought is this: if a work of art—and I use this term loosely—isn’t controversial, then is the artwork actually any good?

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