From left, Gloria Diaz, Dallas Roberts and Debby Ryan at the Insatiable press conference in Manila, the Philippines. Photos courtesy of NETFLIX
Netflix’s darkly comic series Insatiable returned for a second season last week.
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Read the following story by Tatat Bunnag from the Bangkok Post. Then, answer the questions that follow.
A little over a year after it first premiered, Insatiable is back with 10 brand new episodes. The show follows the roller-coaster life of a formerly bullied overweight teen who transforms into a slim and attractive girl, enters the beauty pageant competition scene and begins to seek revenge on those who shamed and bullied her in the past.
Despite a generally hostile reception from critics, Insatiable found an audience across the globe, especially in Asian countries. The show recently held a press conference and fan meeting in Manila, the Philippines, with stars Debby Ryan and Dallas Roberts.
Following the shocking and abrupt ending to the first season, we rejoin Insatiable with Patty Bladell (Debby Ryan) coming to terms with her past, battling her inner demons and following her pageant dreams.
“I think that if you watched season one … we get to see Patty on this journey of really trying to find herself and see why she continues to make some bad decisions,” said Ryan. "I think in season two, you begin to see her become more self-aware and more self-assured.”
Roberts returns as Bob Armstrong, a former pageant coach who sees Patty as his chance to return to the world of beauty contests and decides to take care of her.
“Certainly one of the things I love about Bob is that he's kind of driven and insatiable. Nothing seems to slow him down," said Roberts. “The biggest factor is Patty and his continual sacrifices to stay in that relationship. He continues to be explored in season two, but I often refer to Bob as a high functioning sociopath in desperate situations — that has not changed at all.”
At the event, the two stars were also joined by Filipino pageant queen and actress Gloria Diaz, who makes a special guest appearance in the new season. Diaz plays Gloria Reyes, a fierce talent manager and beauty-queen mentor. Because of her own background in pageantry — she won the Miss Universe crown in 1969 — this wasn't much of stretch for her.
“[Netflix] just messaged me and said that they wanted me to be in the show. At first I thought it was a mistake,” Diaz recalled. “I knew nothing about the show when I was offered the role, so I started asking around from my daughters and nieces to get more information. And then I started watching it. At first I thought it was going to be kind of like a teen show. And then as you go on there’s sex, violence and strong language. So now I said: 'This show is quite interesting!'”
Diaz puts her finger on what is central to the show's appeal. Despite presenting itself as a playful melodrama, Insatiable also shines a light on mental health, self-image, alcoholism and eating disorders.
"[Mental health] is very important. The show attacks a wide range of things, often satirically, but mental health is one of the crucial things that many of the characters are dealing with. It's very important to discuss it," said Roberts.
“In the show, we’re not people who behave particularly well, you know?” he said. “Like, hopefully the show is people that you love making decisions that maybe you wouldn't make in your own life. So I'd say the best thing you could learn from the show is not to behave like us!”
Section 1: Read through the story and answer the following questions.
1. In which year did Insatiable start? …………….
2. Everyone loved the first season. True or false? …………….
3. How many of Insatiable’s main stars were at the press conference? …………….
4. Patty still wants to enter beauty pageants in season two. True or false? …………….
5. What pageant did Diaz win? …………..
6. Diaz thinks the show is for teens. True or false? …………….
7. Diaz supports the show’s coverage of mental health. True or false? …………….
8. Diaz recommends that you don’t behave like the characters in the show. True or false? …………….
Section 2: Write the noun form of the following words.
9. attractive .…..…10. battling ……..…11. explored …….…12. won.…… 13. interesting .…………
Section 3: Read the following passage. Then, fill in the blanks with the correct words from the choices given.
“I think the …14… reaction to season one was …15… a reaction to the trailer. And I feel like everyone who gave it a …16… and actually watched the show thought …17… . The irony was that it was a judgement on something without really …18… to know it. I've …19… acting for a long time and I don't mind the comments.”
14. a. negativity b. negate c. negative
15. a. very b. primarily c. genuinely
16. a. shot b. watch c. see
17. a. different b. difference c. differently
18. a. get b. got c. getting
19. a. been b. love c. tried
Section 4: Find words that match the following definitions.
20. always wanting more of something ……………
21. something you do to make somebody suffer because they made you suffer……………
22. things that cause a person to worry and make them unhappy……………
23. angry and aggressive …………
24. very important ……………
Answers: 1. 2018. 2. False. 3. Two. 4. True. 5. Miss Universe 1969. 6. False. 7. True. 8. False.
9. attraction. 10. battle. 11. explorer/exploration. 12. win. 13. interest.
14. c. 15. b. 16. a 17. c. 18. c. 19. a.
20. insatiable. 21. revenge. 22. demons. 23. fierce. 24. crucial.
SCORE 21-24: Excellent! 17-20: Good. 13-16: Fair. 12 or fewer: You'll do better next time!
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