'Insatiable' Canceled After Two Seasons on Netflix

Insatiable - Publicity Still - H 2020
Netflix

Netflix has canceled its dark revenge comedy Insatiable after two seasons.

The streamer confirmed the show's end following a tweet from castmember Alyssa Milano, who responded to a question about the show's future with, "We will not be coming back, sadly." 

The series stirred up controversy in its first season over its portrayal of a formerly overweight girl (Debby Ryan) who loses 70 pounds and becomes a pageant queen who exacts vengeance on people who have wronged her. The second season, which debuted in October, arrived much more quietly. Even Milano's tweet about the cancellation slipped under the radar for more than a week before Netflix confirmed the show's end.

Insatiable was originally developed at The CW, which passed on a series order. Netflix then picked it up for an August 2018 premiere. Even before the series debuted, it drew criticism for its perpetuation of the "toxicity of diet culture" and objectification of women's bodies, according to a Change.org petition that drew some 288,000 signatures. In the show, Ryan's character loses 70 pounds over a summer after being forced to go on an all-liquid diet when her jaw is wired shut.

Creator Lauren Gussis told The Hollywood Reporter that she based the series in part on her own experience and used the radical weight loss for Ryan's character to comment on the trope of thin equaling popular.

"I wanted to tell in theory a story where the characters' desires are deeply rooted in real human emotion, but the things that happen are so crazy that it's less scary to have a conversation when you know you're in a world that isn't quite reality," she said.

Insatiable joins a list of shows on Netflix that have lasted just one or two seasons. In the past few months, the streamer has ended the ice-skating drama Spinning Out (one season), the musical drama Soundtrack (one season), the post-apocalyptic teen comedy Daybreak (one season), The OA (two seasons), the animated comedy Tuca & Bertie (one season) and its revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (two seasons).

Like other streaming platforms, Netflix doesn't release traditional viewing data. It makes renewal decisions based on internal metrics (including the number of users who complete a season), weighed against the cost of production to determine whether that money would be better used by reinvesting in a current series or mounting a new one.