The Newest Character to Appear on 'Insatiable' Isn't All That Bad

Can Henry, 'Insatiable' Season 2's newest character, challenge viewer perceptions and get us to take a liking of the controversial satire?

Leila Kozma - Author

Apr. 20 2020, Updated 3:40 p.m. ET

henry insatiable season
Source: Getty

Deemed as an "obscenely cruel and terminally dull" show by Vox, and an "equal opportunity train wreck" by Vulture, it would require some research to pin down one aspect of Insatiable that didn't earn negative criticism. 

Chronicling the adventures of an adolescent who sheds weight after a traumatic injury forces her to stick to a liquid food diet, the show rubbed many viewers the wrong way. 

Can Henry, Insatiable Season 2's new character, change viewers' minds? Can he save the show? 

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Who is Insatiable's Henry Lee? He's a new character for Season 2.

"Before I met Henry, I was a mess," proclaims Patty Bladdel (Debby Ryan), the main character of the show in a strictly confidential conversation with her ride-or-die, Nonnie Thompson (Kimmy Shields).

The first time we catch a glimpse of Henry, he acts as a knight in shining armor. Having witnessed Patty go on a frantic quest to open the door of her shoddy car to no avail, the exceptionally tall, beautifully built, kind-eyed young man offers her a helping hand. 

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henry insatiable season
Source: Instagram

The rest is history, and Patty falls for the staggeringly handsome young man in the bat of an eyelash. Season 2 follows their budding romance, which is to unfold in one of the least romantic locations conceivable to humankind, a sweat-filled, stinky gym. Alas, Henry is a striptease dancer by profession. In an over-enthused bid to seduce him, Patty embarks on the mighty task of learning the ins and outs of the trade and joins him for dancing lessons. Think Hustlers, but without J-Lo.

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Insatiable is a coming-of-age-drama, a satire and a soap opera rolled in one. Its character depictions can leave a bitter taste in the mouth —especially for those the show attempts to represent. 

Henry's character falls into this category as well. While the versatile, multi-faceted character is nothing like the stereotypes prevailing about Asian men in Hollywood, the show does equal amounts of good and bad to challenge the generic trajectories of representational politics. 

henry insatiable season
Source: Instagram
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How did Alex come into the picture? 

"There’s never been a Magic Mike, masculine Asian stripper ever,” so extrapolated the actor on why he chose to take on the role. Playing a pre-med, pre-law student who earns money on the side as a striptease dancer likely posed challenges unlike anything Alex encountered in the past.  

What's more, it also allowed him to take a stance against the increasingly obsolete tradition of type-casting, which can leave many Asian actors out of a job for prolonged amounts of time depending on what their profile entails.

Alex's ambitions in this area are anything but new: as the first-ever openly gay Asian orthopedic surgeon fellow on Grey's Anatomy, it was his main prerogative to make a stance and promote the notion that one's ethnicity shouldn't define which roles they can or cannot take up.

However, his acting chops proved insufficient to convince the critics. Despite his succinct, considerate and clever portrayal of Henry's character, Insatiable remains one of the most controversial shows out there.  

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