“Watching this show is like observing someone commit a crime,”
August 10, 2018 5:49 PM   Subscribe

Netflix’s Insatiable Is an Utter Disaster [Vulture] “Well, I’ve seen all twelve — twelve, I tell you, twelve! — episodes of Insatiable, and it turns out the show is not as bad as you imagined. It’s actually worse. Like, worse in ways that you can’t even anticipate. Insatiable is an equal-opportunity train wreck. It doesn’t merely traffic in stereotypes about fat people; it does the same thing with regard to the LGBTQ community, Southerners, women, Christians, conservatives, African-Americans, and probably some other groups I’ve neglected to mention. It makes jokes about pedophilia and statutory rape that made my skin crawl so severely, it physically slid off of my body, got in my car, and drove straight to the beach so it could take a vacation from this show.” [YouTube][Trailer]

• Insatiable: how offensive is Netflix's controversial new comedy? [The Guardian]
“Insatiable is clearly striving to be an edgy satire of our image-obsessed culture and our constant need for more, but the candy-colored veneer of the series never offers viewers an actual escape from the toxic tropes it attempts to skewer. In fact, the show often seems intent on embodying the very stereotypes that it claims to be dismantling. Patty is shown being teased mercilessly when she is fat, and then ogled constantly after she drops the weight. Her character has daddy issues, is a cutthroat and cruel pageant contestant, and has very few interests, ideas or thoughts outside of her looks (except for the fact that she really loves Drew Barrymore). The way that the camera focuses on Patty’s body in various scenes is often odd and distracting, and seems to emphasize that the viewer shouldn’t really be able to see Patty beyond her looks either. Other characters in the series are also presented as tropes that don’t get complicated in ways that are particularly interesting, and yet aren’t campy enough to get played off as simply absurd.”
• “...the show is much weirder than advertised — and, in many instances, much worse.” [Variety]
“As “Insatiable” tries to figure out what it’s actually about — Patty, Bob, Patty and Bob, self-esteem or self-delusion — it becomes messier and more confusing still. About halfway through the season, there are several attempts to shift the show from its initial “if we say offensive things, we’ll be edgy” approach to become more considerate, especially regarding crises of faith and sexuality. Its attempts to course correct evince at least trace amounts of perspective lingering around the edges. But “Insatiable” just can’t square that later, more earnest version with the original, jaw-droppingly toxic one, and so the show ends up trying to have it both ways by boomeranging between the two at whiplash speed. Maybe, deep down, there is a decent series buried within “Insatiable.” Right now, however, it feels like a dozen different and equally bewildering shows happening all at once — and not a single one knows where its strengths might actually lie.”
• Here’s Why “Insatiable” Is Actually Incredibly Offensive And Fatphobic [Buzzfeed]
“The use of a fat suit in Insatiable brings along with it all this cultural baggage. The show also combines the costume with scenes of Patty binge eating, set to a voiceover that states, “While my classmates were out losing their virginity, I was at home stuffing another hole”. It’s also used to show Patty fainting because she hasn’t eaten in two days; Patty being tortured by her classmates; and Patty punching a homeless guy in the face because he calls her “fatty”. And that’s only in the first 10 minutes of Episode 1. The intent is clearly to get us to feel for Patty, and to recognise how awful her situation is. But the execution positions her as a grotesque, something out of control and absurd. The fat suit reinforces the idea that this isn’t the “real” Patty, and the story doesn’t truly get going until Debby Ryan sheds the suit. However unintentional, the message is that thin people’s stories are worth telling, while fat people are relegated to nightmarish flashbacks and cheap jokes.”
• Netflix’s ‘Insatiable’: Fat-Shaming Is the Least of This Misguided Show’s Problems [The Daily Beast]
“Insatiable is a harsh example of the best intentions yielding the worst results. The show is meant to be satire, a tool often used to confront sensitive topics and expose our biases and vulnerabilities surrounding those issues. Yet Insatiable is unforgivably inelegant as satire. It fails not only to land its purportedly progressive message about body image and weight, but also its storylines tackling sexuality, sexual agency, classism, race, and transgender acceptance. t’s not hard to imagine the show’s creative team earnestly believing in their many missions. Insatiable boasts a sprawling cast of ethnically diverse characters, broaches several different coming out stories, casts trans actors, and attempts to teach teenagers valuable lessons with a mischievous comedic edge, eschewing the kind of schmaltz that might make them feel patronized. But in reaching for an extreme, campy tone, it instead comes off as tone-deaf.”
• Netflix’s Insatiable is somehow both obscenely cruel and terminally dull [Vox]
“Just to be clear: What it takes to change Patty’s life is violence. She trades getting punched in the face for the chance to have the body of a teenage starlet. It’s a fantasy that is familiar to many women — if only someone would hurt me so that I couldn’t eat, or if only I got some kind of horrible wasting disease or a tapeworm, I could fix my body and then my real life would start — and one that Insatiable embraces wholeheartedly. This fantasy is gross. It is born out of violent self-loathing, out of the desire to hurt and maim and punish a body that our culture has decided is unacceptable. [...] Throughout its 12-episode run, Insatiable crawls its way through a series of tired, stale gags, punching ever further downward, to finish with the most subdued of whimpers in its finale. Insatiable is not only cruel and fatphobic; it’s boring, too.”
• Netflix's new comedy has plenty of problems to worry about beyond the fat-shaming controversy surrounding it. [The Hollywood Reporter]
“But Insatiable has plenty of other issues that easily make it skippable — primarily that it's dumb, but also because it has an egregious amount of voiceovers that are not only annoying and unfunny, but mask weak plotting. Insatiable also loves low-hanging humor, with lame sex jokes, gay jokes and body-related jokes being of particular fancy, as evidenced by a string of them built around "anal cancer" references ("We have to bring anal cancer out of the closet. It’s a silent but deadly killer"), etc. Dallas Roberts as Bob, the nebulously gay lawyer turned beauty pageant coach, stands out for doing great work with bad material, and he's joined by Kimmy Shields as Patty's best friend, who comes off as one of the only grounded or real characters (though her unrequited lesbian love for Patty, coupled with Bob's flamboyance, are too-easy touches). Alyssa Milano tries to make the most of her role as Bob's wife, a flustered Southern social-climber type (the series is set in Georgia, so toss in some over-the-top accents from everyone), and Ryan, as Patty, is tasked with trying to hold it all together but can't quite achieve that.”
• 'Insatiable' Is Lazy And Dull, But At Least It's Insulting [NPR]
“Looking from a distance at the plot description, it would be easy to wonder whether it's something genuinely daring, a look at the dark underbelly of ... something or other. Maybe it's inspired by the likes of To Die For, or Election, or ... something? Surely, some of this can be attributed to same kind of wackadoodle speed-plotting as, say, Jane the Virgin? No. No, no. Understand: The biggest problem with this show is not that it's crazy or offensive. It certainly is obnoxious in its treatment of all kinds of people — on top of the insulting fat-suit stuff, it contains other tropes and types best avoided: an awkward and unsexy Asian-American boy, a magical sassy godmother who is fat and black and a lesbian who exists only to educate thin white girls on how to live their best lives, and so forth. But it's so much more than that. Story elements are introduced and then abandoned. Jokes fall flat, flatter, flattest. Patty swerves without reason or nuance from eye-narrowing, vengeance-swearing vixen to lip-quivering, damp-eyed waif. A character who loves someone in one scene will hate them in the next. Characters who have been kind will be cruel and vice versa, without any explanation or motive.”
• Insatiable Is Dreadfully Unappetizing [Vanity Fair]
“...because there should be something here. The Insatiable trailer stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy when it was released—including a Change.Org petition with more than 200,000 signatures asking for Netflix to pull the series—because it depicted Patty getting the life she wanted after losing a lot of weight. Which is a disgusting message—but in Insatiable’s defense, it was merely pushing the subtext of umpteen weight-loss advertisements and Hollywood-makeover montages to their logical conclusion. The problem is that Insatiable is a very poorly made attempt to address big, thorny, endemic social problems. Over the course of its 12 episodes, its best scene is a grotesque but arresting moment where Patty, having hit rock bottom, shoves a sheet cake into her face. It is played entirely straight. The rest of the time, the show is working with the highly fraught dynamic between young women and their own desires—and eventually sells both up the river in exchange for cheap jokes.”
• The Provocative, Preposterous Power of “Insatiable” [The New Yorker]
“The prejudicial scolding of the trailer—the presumption of fat-shaming—failed to appreciate that “Insatiable” is excitingly preposterous, but it did provide an early proof of the show’s provocative power. In the critical drubbing that has accompanied the series’ actual release, “Insatiable” has been condemned as a thing even crasser than promised, and not without reason. Crassness is often the subject, and sometimes the method, of this brazen slab of camp. “Insatiable” offers a deliriously rude tour of appetites, including teen lust, desperate housewifery, stage-motherhood, and the unfulfillable hunger for glory. Telling foolish sudsy stories with a dirty mouth, “Insatiable” pays tribute to the conventions of teen soaps and rom-coms. When the heroine, spying a cosmetics case, says, “Uh-oh, I feel a makeover coming on,” you can be sure that she is foreshadowing not just the application of eyeshadow but an homage to a staple montage. (Embedded within the series is a gloss on the career and star image of Drew Barrymore.) In the course of sassing its forebears by burlesquing their excesses and teasing out their subtexts, the show hoots at the clichés of pop fiction and real life even as it indulges them.”
• Fellow fat people, let's not kid ourselves – there's nothing wrong with Insatiable [Independent] [Autoplay Video]
“Trying to work out exactly what people are objecting to in regards to Insatiable, with just shy of two minutes of promotional footage, is quite tricky, so here are some of the words from the woman who set up the petition: “For so long, the narrative has told women and young impressionable girls that in order to be popular, have friends, to be desirable for the male gaze, and to some extent be a worthy human...that we must be thin….That is exactly what this series does. It perpetuates not only the toxicity of diet culture, but the objectification of women’s bodies.” But isn’t this exactly what all TV shows do – so why single out this one? In common with the show’s critics, I haven’t seen Insatiable yet either, and maybe it is a complete shower of awfulness – but if they are going to complain about the entertainment industry’s depiction of female bodies, why stop there? You’ll be hard pushed to find a fat character coming out of Hollywood that isn’t either a virtue-signalling token or purely there for the comedy potential.”
posted by Fizz (54 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Any one of these on their own would have sent me straight to the TV out of curiosity, but in aggregate they have their intended effect!
posted by Sterros at 6:04 PM on August 10, 2018 [21 favorites]

I was wondering when these big streaming productions would leave their first real turd. This sounds awful on many levels, and offensiveness is only one of them.

With meh missteps like Power Fist notwithstanding, the success rate on Netflix-Amazon-Hulu productions has always seemed impossibly high to me.
posted by rokusan at 6:29 PM on August 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

So. Is it the 'Freddy Got Fingered' of TV?'
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 6:44 PM on August 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

The thing about tasteless humor is that it's got to be so intensely funny that you can't stop yourself from laughing even as you hate yourself for it. If your joke is a B instead of an A++, it just doesn't work and you end up looking like a three-year-old shouting "Poopy!" at the dinner table just to get attention.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:54 PM on August 10, 2018 [58 favorites]

posted by tzikeh at 6:56 PM on August 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

The new Heathers?
posted by Artw at 7:03 PM on August 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

I watch and enjoy plenty of problematic stuff. That's how after watching the trailer I can tell that New Yorker piece is full of it.

I like a lot of problematic things, but geez, that trailer looks way worse than that.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:04 PM on August 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

...but in aggregate they have their intended effect!

And I'm not going to feel bad about kind of driving the conversation and people towards avoiding this. Because it's 2018 and fuck these kinds of stereotypes, they're hurtful. I'm fine with satire but this was just lazy and mean. I watched the first episode and I checked out. Ugh.
posted by Fizz at 7:07 PM on August 10, 2018 [26 favorites]

The Vulture piece was hilarious and very enjoyable.
posted by medusa at 7:27 PM on August 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

I’m already rewatching Friends I don’t need another show that is terrible.
posted by gucci mane at 8:29 PM on August 10, 2018 [25 favorites]

I watched most of the first episode. I found it similar in its campy tone to my memory of the WB's "Popular" but it's not 1999 and the cast is not as funny
posted by knoyers at 9:48 PM on August 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

So. Is it the 'Freddy Got Fingered' of TV?'

No? Freddy Got Fingered is Tom Green’s brilliant, subversively self-satirical takedown of the Hollywood dumbasses who threw millions of dollars at Tom Green to make a movie.

That said, poor Drew Barrymore.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:56 PM on August 10, 2018 [4 favorites]

I was wondering when these big streaming productions would leave their first real turd

Really? I disagree. I have a netflix subscription and they make tonnes of shit. Maybe not quite this bad, but like, really plenty bad.

What I don't get is why Netflix makes so much goddamn shit. They regularly produce good shows... Is it that they don't care if it's good or bad? They can't tell the difference between good and bad? I feel like Netflix is coming more and more to resemble 'regular' pay tv - i.e. megatonnes of the (cheapest) shittiest shit, with the occasional oasis of pleasurable tv.

Maybe I don't watch enough teevs, but I wish they produced better stuff, not more.
posted by smoke at 11:58 PM on August 10, 2018 [19 favorites]

hey netflix I've got an idea for a show. its called "give me money and I'll shit on the floor."
posted by Bwentman at 12:52 AM on August 11, 2018 [5 favorites]

I agree. I was flicking through Netflix the other night and the amount of garbage labelled as Original Programming was really offputting. They spent so much money and it really seems like their strategy is “make a ton of a shit and see what sticks because we only need 1 megahit for every 20 crap we make.”

I won’t watch Insatiable because it looks terrible terrible (as opposed to good terrible, which exists and I would give a chance). But has anyone seen Kim’s Convenience? I couldn’t make it past 10 minutes. It was appallingly racist and I was really really offended as a Korean American. AND it used gay people as some sort of joke to make fun of the Korean guy! Like what?

It’s just piles of shit like this everywhere in Netflix and I don’t even know why I bother going in there until Stranger Things comes back.
posted by like_neon at 12:56 AM on August 11, 2018 [6 favorites]

The problem with Insatiable is that it's netflix garbage masquerading as 'original programming'. Netflix is now at the same point that all video shops end up at: you need constant supply of new stuff on the shelves, but you can't afford to have classy stuff, so you end up punting out a lot of filler from low-end production houses.
posted by The River Ivel at 1:14 AM on August 11, 2018 [5 favorites]

And now the creator is crying censorship, and that she has "struggled with every issue in this show". I will confess to a quick image search to confirm she was thin, and to not at all being surprised by the result.
posted by ominous_paws at 2:24 AM on August 11, 2018 [4 favorites]

But has anyone seen Kim’s Convenience? I couldn’t make it past 10 minutes.

Maybe you didn't actually mean to imply this but I don't think that's a true Netflix Original. It's a Canadian import.
posted by atoxyl at 2:49 AM on August 11, 2018

A lot of stuff labeled as Original Programming, isn't even produced by Netflix, only distributed.

For instance, when I watch The Good Place on Netflix, it starts with "a Netflix Original" title card.
posted by Pendragon at 2:50 AM on August 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

From the wiki:

Netflix's original productions also include continuations of previously canceled series from other channels, as well as licensing or co-producing content from international broadcasters for exclusive broadcast in other territories, which is also branded in those regions as Netflix original content.
posted by Pendragon at 2:51 AM on August 11, 2018

But has anyone seen Kim’s Convenience? I couldn’t make it past 10 minutes.

atoxyl is correct. It's a Canadian programme created by a Korean-Canadian based on his 2011 play of the same name. I am an Asian-American but not Korean, and I didn't get the sense that it was appallingly racist. I am genuinely interested in discussing that if you want to DM me (just to prevent further derailing of the thread but you don't have to!)

I was uncomfortable with the gay discount plotline at first but it actually resonated with me in the sense that my immigrant Asian parents are very much of the "I don't think I'm homophobic but I don't necessarily fully understand how to not be homophobic" camp, and my first-gen Millennial Asian ass is like, no, that's not okay. After I sat with my initial knee-jerk offense, the episode did actually come together for me, and it didn't feel like the Korean dad was the butt of the joke.

posted by quadrant seasons at 4:03 AM on August 11, 2018 [10 favorites]

That quote from Vulture piqued my interest. I don't mind crude stereotypes and gratuitously offensive jokes if they're used in service of telling some kind of story that rings true, and it seemed likely that something evoking such a strong reaction might have something to it. I'm here to tell anyone similarly tempted to try watching: Don't bother. It's bland and dull, as the other reviews say.
posted by sfenders at 5:02 AM on August 11, 2018 [4 favorites]

My issue with some of these reviews is the weird "not only is it offensive to everyone, but also it's incoherent vis-a-vis plot and character" argument a bunch of people make. Not that the breakdown in the plot and character incoherence isn't interesting, but the framing makes it sound as if the biggest problem is that it has bad plotting and inconsistent characterisation. I just can't see anything getting past "fat girl punches a homeless guy to save her chocolate bar, later falsely accuses him of sexual assault" in offensiveness.

When I read the interview with the creator, I found it so fascinating how carefully she worded things. She has an inclusive writers' room. Lots of writers in that room had eating disorders. She herself had exercise bulimia. What she carefully never says is that yes, the room has some fat women in it -- not just Hollywood fat, actually fat. I am not going to suggest that eating disorders aren't terrible -- but having one, or having body dysmorphia, is not the same as being fat.
posted by jeather at 5:46 AM on August 11, 2018 [22 favorites]

Also what was so 'insatiable' about her if she can just lose her terrible hunger just like that? I get that having her jaws wired shut might help her lose weight (though I wonder about that even as her favourite binge food seemed to be ice cream) but it seems to assume that just getting thin will also cure her compulsive eating...? Maybe the show touches on that? I doubt it though. I did try watching the first episode but it was awful. I don't mind offensive humour but this isn't that. It's just tone deaf without being funny. And boring. And yeah the voiceovers are very tedious.
Plus how can film special effects have come so far and yet we still don't have a realistic fat suit if you REALLY MUST use one ie something that jiggles instead of staying still and solid like a pillow up someone's sweater?
posted by KateViolet at 6:37 AM on August 11, 2018

what was so 'insatiable' about her if she can just lose her terrible hunger just like that?

I think the title is playing the eating disorder thing off of her insatiable hunger for revenge?
posted by Think_Long at 7:38 AM on August 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

et tu, metafilter?

posted by provocateur at 7:56 AM on August 11, 2018 [21 favorites]

We were looking through Netflix last night, trying to find anything that might be halfway watchable, and Insatiable was, for some reason, featured in my sidebar (iOS app on an iPad) So, I took a look at just the description and noped right away.

~What I don't get is why Netflix makes so much goddamn shit. They regularly produce good shows... Is it that they don't care if it's good or bad? They can't tell the difference between good and bad?

My theory is that, with movie studios and tv networks pulling their stuff, Netflix is desperately scrambling to find something, anything! to fill the pipeline, which leads to this veritable ocean of turds we're seeing. They (accidentally?) have the occasional quality show, but most of the stuff feels like student projects, and not in a good way. My wife and I sit and spend more time wandering through the selections than actually watching anything. Most of the time, we end up watching comedians.

~But has anyone seen Kim’s Convenience? I couldn’t make it past 10 minutes. It was appallingly racist and I was really really offended as a Korean American.

We watched the first two episodes last night. It was entertaining and mostly humorous, and we'll probably keep watching. That said, I did feel kind of uncomfortable at times, mostly with the stock asian-character-speaking-english-as-a-second-language patois all of the older characters spoke. I guess it's because it so closely resembles the way white guys speak when making some sort of derogatory joke or slur against chinese/japanese/koreans/vietnamese/etc. Kind of the universal this-is-how-they-all-sound-amirite? racist shorthand. Then again, given the show's pedigree, I'm assuming the actors are all cool with it.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:08 AM on August 11, 2018

et tu, metafilter?

Well this is awkward. Hugs!
posted by cortex at 8:36 AM on August 11, 2018 [9 favorites]

all good, cortex.

now back into my long time lurker hole...
posted by provocateur at 8:52 AM on August 11, 2018 [6 favorites]

Guys, guys... Pierre & Pam have this whole ethical-OS thing well in hand.
posted by Rat Spatula at 8:56 AM on August 11, 2018

What I said about Insatiable at Tumblr (pre-release:
Among the lies this show spreads:
  • Fat is caused by overeating.
  • Reducing to a bare-minimum diet for a few months will turn a fat person into a skinny person.
  • Also your hair can grow three inches over summer vacation. The fat was hiding her hair!
  • Losing 50-100 lbs (I’m betting they never tell us Fat Patty’s exact weight) in three months can leave you healthy, good-looking, and athletic, not hospitalized as your body adjusts to different blood pressure, hormone shifts, and muscle tone changes.
  • Losing a lot of weight quickly leaves you beautiful, rather than having flabby skin in a lot of places and odd color patches from where the muscle tension and blood flow’s all different now. Skin shrinks as the fat disappears!
  • Girls who are pariahs and have basically no friends, know exactly how to put on currently-trendy makeup.
  • Girls who’ve never had clothes that fit well, who usually wear oversized sweatshirts and loose pants, are comfortable in sleeveless, form-fitting dresses as soon as they have ones that fit.
  • Girls who’ve always shopped in the “plus size” section know how to find what’s fashionable right now in smaller sizes.
  • It’s no trouble at all to shop for bras in a size that never fit you before.
  • Anyone who’s lost 50+ pounds in a few months buys clothes to fit her exact shape at the start of the school year - instead of waiting for her weight and size to stabilize before getting a whole new wardrobe.
  • The expense of a 100% wardrobe change, down to underwear and shoes, is so minor it doesn’t even need to be mentioned.
  • Fat is ugly and universally hated; no fat person has friends or is acknowledged as being talented.
  • Fat girls are never sexy.
  • No fat person can be popular.
  • SPECULATED: Of course, she keeps the weight off, because all she needed was a simple change in diet to change her entire metabolism.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 8:57 AM on August 11, 2018 [47 favorites]

Maybe I don't watch enough teevs, but I wish they produced better stuff, not more.

Indeed, I've started to feel this way as well. I'm kind of burning out on Netflix and I find I'm not actually watching all that much. It could be that I'm also just burned out by so much political/grar kinds of news that I find it harder to focus on any media. So I just keep on playing the same comfort video games and watching the same comfort tv series over and over again (looking at you Voltron, Star Wars Rebels, & Legend of Korra).
posted by Fizz at 9:19 AM on August 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I found it similar in its campy tone to my memory of the WB's "Popular" but it's not 1999 and the cast is not as funny

That's the show I was thinking of with the debate about whether "Insatiable" is satire, or campy.

"Popular" was really crude and cruel at times. I'm not sure how it would go over in today's market.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:51 AM on August 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I hadn’t heard of the show until this post, so before I read any of the articles, I watched the first episode. Or as much of the first episode as I could handle. The jokes just aren’t funny, nevermind the glib way they treat marginalized groups. A solid “meh” with a little bit of “you’re setting us back, please stop”.
posted by Snacks at 10:56 AM on August 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think the title is playing the eating disorder thing off of her insatiable hunger for revenge?
Yeah, I haven't watched it yet - and now probably won't - but from the promos, I read the Insatiable pitch meeting as "So it's The Count of Monte Christo, OK? But set in a High School! The 'plain girl everyone picks on/treats as invisible' disappears, then returns as the 'mysterious sexy / fashionable girl everyone wants to be allied with' - and she uses this newfound identity power as a means to get revenge on those who wronged her in the past. But she takes it too far, and it goes dark - but like over the top comedy dark. Everybody feels like they got bullied in school, so we get some identification and wish-fulfillment fantasy buy-in from the audience at first; then as the episodes go on, we start souring it and showing that now _she's_ the bully. We turn the tables for cackles, then show that power corrupts as our 'teachable moment'. Good, right?"

Is it not that? Did I read it wrong?
posted by bartleby at 11:51 AM on August 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I was so pissed when i watched the trailer of this. It is very satisfying to read the reviews to see how awful it is. Like watching a kid who threw a bottle at you fall off their bike.
posted by FirstMateKate at 11:58 AM on August 11, 2018 [8 favorites]

Been thinking about @saladinahmed's "characters of color are crucial but are not a replacement for creators of color"

Female main characters are good and female creators are crucial, but we could also do with people at the network who are not absolute dicks. Dark comedy is about execution (Drop Dead Gorgeous is so much better than it sounds), so I understand how the project might've been made. But like...someone saw this show, promoted it, and then had to defend it for the last two weeks. They knew it was Not Good the whole time. It seems like a curious use of resources, and it's depressing to think that it'll be used against the next "edgy" female creator.
posted by grandiloquiet at 12:11 PM on August 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sure Netflix has a lot of shit. It also has :

Bojack Horseman
Santa Clarita Diet
Dear White People
Stranger Things
Big Mouth
The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale
The Break with Michelle Wolf
posted by Pendragon at 1:11 PM on August 11, 2018 [19 favorites]

Netflix is supposedly very data driven, and you can kind of see it if you imagine what they must be seeing from user data to create certain things.

Like, they're getting into house porn now: Amazing Interiors - it's not hard to imagine that's data driven from their House Hunters viewers, or shows they imported like The World's Most Extraordinary Homes.

(They actually seem to be pushing into reality tv in general hard, I assume for the same reason cable did - it's cheap to produce and popular.)

For Insatiable, who knows, but I'm guessing they've seen great numbers from shows like Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girls, Riverdale, 13 Reasons Why and so on.

I'm guessing this show will do well for them. I feel like they put out many things now that don't break into the collective consciousness at all. This is the most media I've seen about a Netflix show maybe since Stranger Things?

I'm really over the promise of streaming media. I don't have enough time to find out what's good or not, the catalog's are all tiny when it comes to film compared to just a few years ago, and it seems like Netflix is going to go lowest common denominator much more quickly than I anticipated.

I am getting to where I kind of miss video stores.
posted by imabanana at 5:09 PM on August 11, 2018 [3 favorites]

Pendragon, I would add comedy 'Lady Dynamite', Maria Bamford's sitcom bluntly demonstrating why if you like her (or her spiritual predecessor Jonathan Winters) comedy, watching how it erupts out of her mental illness is unsettling if not outright disturbing.
posted by zaixfeep at 5:39 PM on August 11, 2018 [6 favorites]

It also has MUSKVISION which only gets better as a joke.
posted by Artw at 5:47 PM on August 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Soooo... I thought "Lost in Space" was fun.
posted by KazamaSmokers at 8:26 PM on August 11, 2018

I thought "Lost in Space" was fun.

Parker Posey was fun. The rest? Ehhhhhhhh.
posted by rokusan at 11:51 PM on August 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I thought she was the worst part, honestly. I guess Lost in Space has to have a moustache-twirling Dr. Smith, but...does it, though?

But it’s a kids’ show, and as far as kids’ shows go, it is far and away the best thing to come along in a long, long time.

My only real complaint about it is the robot costume. It seems like half the scifi series on Netflix have a robot alien thing with that same basic look of a big lanky dude in a dumb rubber snood. It looks stupid in all of them.

I am getting to where I kind of miss video stores.


The selection of all the big streaming services, even combined, is appallingly slim and pedestrian. Netflix used to have everything. Now everywhere has nothing. What gives? You’d think the owners of all the classic content would be down to milk the cash cow, but apparently not.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:21 AM on August 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

The selection of all the big streaming services, even combined, is appallingly slim and pedestrian. Netflix used to have everything. Now everywhere has nothing.

FilmStruck is the only streaming service worth anything for actual movies anymore. It’s actually got a great catalog, but you have to be interested in older and B&W stuff, which is most of the catalog. And anyway, with the whole net neutrality thing, I’m not sure it’ll be around for long anyway.
posted by holborne at 9:04 AM on August 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

FilmStruck is just the Criterion Collection. If it goes down, they’ll just go back to Hulu or some other service that is also inexplicably unavailable in Canada.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:07 PM on August 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

I do believe it’s TCM's catalog, along with the Criterion Collection, no?
posted by holborne at 8:44 PM on August 12, 2018

The selection of all the big streaming services, even combined, is appallingly slim and pedestrian. Netflix used to have everything. Now everywhere has nothing.

If you feel this way - it's not just you - I cannot find the exact article, but there is a dramatic drop-off for streamable movies released before there year 2000, and then it gets progressively worse as you go through each decade. That article stated - IIRC - that typically, Netflix has less than 4,000 actual movies available for streaming at any given time.

The best option was Amazon Prime Video with somewhere above 14,000. (However, as a subscriber - I don't believe it, because the UI on my Roku is horrible and shows the same movies for 9-12 months at a time)

Considering that "film buff" local/regional video stores would stock upwards 80,000 titles, and even Blockbuster would have 30-45,000 items, the current level of "choice" in streaming is laughable.

This article is similar, but not the same as the one I am thinking about.

I really don't get it - there is a huge back catalog of media - why do these companies not want us to consume it?
posted by jkaczor at 9:16 AM on August 13, 2018

Was it this article, jkaczor? That says the average Blockbuster had 10,000 titles, but links that to this article, which says "8,000 to 10,000 titles".
posted by Etrigan at 9:33 AM on August 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

Thanks Etrigan - that was the article - and wow, is my memory ever great at inflating numbers...
posted by jkaczor at 10:30 AM on August 13, 2018

The World's Most Extraordinary Homes, well, I am into house/househunting shows but this to me was pretty amazing even so (the houses and not the less than witty dialog between the two hosts). After all the nasty writeups, not going to watch Insatiable.
posted by billsaysthis at 4:13 PM on August 13, 2018

I really don't get it - there is a huge back catalog of media - why do these companies not want us to consume it?

The rights-holders won't license it for streaming; they don't think they get enough money for it. (Nevermind that they get nothing if people can't pay to access it at all; they'd rather hold on to it, and sell DVDs occasionally, than get a regular income stream that they think is paying less per movie than they believe they're worth.) And they think that licensing streaming will result in rampant piracy and torrenting, which will prevent them from ever being able to sell another disc. (Plz to ignore all the studies that say that no, this is not how it works. Studio execs don't read studies that show how the internet actually functions.)

Blockbuster et al. got to fall back on the first sale doctrine: once they hard copy was sold to them, they could rent it out as often as they liked. Netflix etc. don't have hard copies to work with, so they have to get permission, often via paid license to share the shows; they're not willing to pay what the production/owner companies think they're worth.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 5:02 PM on August 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

It's like the landlords who would rather see their buildings sit empty and rot than charge slightly less rent.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:16 PM on August 13, 2018 [6 favorites]

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