Debby Ryan left her Disney days behind when she took on the lead role of Patty Bladell on the Netflix show, Insatiable. The dark-comedy revolved around her character, who was the subject of bullying due to her being overweight. After slimming down over summer break, Ryan’s character sets out to seek revenge on those who wronged her with the help of a disgraced civil lawyer and former beauty pageant coach. The series was based on the 2014 New York Times article, “The Pageant King” and while it had some potential, Netflix pulled the plug on it after two seasons.
What happened to Debby Ryan’s ‘Insatiable’?
In February of this year, actress Alyssa Milano, who played Coralee Huggins-Armstrong confirmed news of the show’s cancellation on Twitter. Milano expressed her disappointment in the series’ cancellation and also joked about the fate of her character.
Was the show too insatiable to meet Netflix’s standards for another season? No one can really pinpoint what led to the show’s demise. But prior to its cancellation, the show faced some controversies.
In 2018, Debby Ryan defended the show when fans and critics were unhappy that the actress wore a fat suit in flashbacks. The show was also catching heat for its alleged fat-shaming, which also resulted in a polarizing response from a lot of people. “We knew that this conversation needed to be had. We knew that this societal brokenness needed to be addressed, but we didn’t know how badly it needed to be addressed,” Ryan responded.
The actress continued that she didn’t want to show to come off as a “parody” of Friends, where the character Monica wore a fat suit in flashbacks as well. Ryan wanted the show to be a bit more serious than that. “There was a point where [the show-runner] and I are like, ‘If at any point this is funny, if at any point people laugh, we’re not doing it. We’re not doing the show that we’re trying to do. We’re just trying to portray an origin story. We’re trying to showcase that,” the actress countered.
Was the show doomed from the start?
When the trailer for the show was released, it received backlash from Netflix viewers, and there was also a petition seeking an early termination for it. The show was even deemed “lazy and insulting” by NPR. Netflix officials haven’t come out and outright said if this was the reason why Insatiable got the boot. However, last June, the vice-president of content for the online-streaming service, Cindy Holland, spoke about another sitcom’s termination and how the company decides to renew or cancel shows.
“The basic calculation is, how much viewing are we getting for what it costs? We also look at, is it reaching different audiences? Is it gaining critical acclaim? Is it doing something for us as a business that we like?” Holland explained.
Given Insatiable‘s bad reputation and its risky storyline, one could only assume that the network didn’t see the upside of a third season of the show.