Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Pilot Review: Insatiable

Insatiable (Netflix)
Premiered August 10

I’m not even sure what to say about this show. It’s absurd, odd, sensational, over-the-top, and maybe a tiny bit compelling after all those other things. It reminds me most of Netflix’s two-season comedy “Haters Back Off” and AMC’s recent “Dietland,” though it feels a bit more like “Desperate Housewives.” I first got to know Dallas Roberts as a low-key cast member of “The L Word,” and then enjoyed his recurring role on “The Good Wife” as Alicia’s gay brother. Here, he’s considerably wilder as a lawyer obsessed with beauty pageants, in an extremely platonic marriage with Alyssa Milano, who dials everything up as much as possible. I always like Christopher Gorham, though it's funny to see him in the role of the attractive stud here after his dorkier roles on "Jake 2.0" and "Covert Affairs." I don’t know Debby Ryan, though apparently she got her start on two Disney shows, helping her reframe her image to something very different here. The problem is that Patty's transformation from bullied outcast to suddenly fit pageant star doesn't seem realistic at all, and that's just the start of this show's problems. Punching a homeless guy in the face wasn't nearly as unbelievable as deciding to lose her virginity to him to make him jealous and then opt to set him on fire instead because he was such a pig. This show means to be cutting-edge and soapy, but it's an excessive, out-of-control mess, one that is mildly intriguing but infinitely more oft-putting.

How will it work as a series? Honestly, I have no idea. The dedicated private investigator tailing Bob already has more than enough dirt to put him out of business for good, yet there are so many secrets at play here that it’s hard to know what could possibly come next. My slight curiosity isn’t nearly strong enough for me to want to find out.
How long will it last? I think the twelve-episode season released on August 10th will be all this show gets. Its Metacritic score is a dismal 23 and an even worse 10 on Rotten Tomatoes. Critiques about fat-shaming won’t help either, and I think Netflix can officially check this one off as a short-lived misfire.

Pilot grade: D-

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