Santa Clarita Diet

Review: Santa Clarita Diet

Review of Netflix's latest offering of the living dead

An interesting take on zombies? Absolutely. An uproariously good time? That too.

Sunday evening I settled in at my computer intent on getting some work done before heading to bed for the night. I pulled up Netflix to put something on in the background, but before I could select something trusty like Buffy or Bob’s Burgers, my attention was caught by a picture in my Recommended for You list: a couple casually carrying an ice chest between them that is gruesomely dripping with blood.

Hello, what’s this? the dark-side in me thought.

Oh, Santa Clarita Diet.
Santa Clarita DietA friend had just mentioned watching the series and loving it the night before. She had described it as “eating people and Drew Barrymore” but other than that I had no idea what I was getting into, I hadn’t seen a trailer for it.

I started up the first episode thinking I would watch a few before getting on with my original plans.

I watched the entire thing, all ten half-hour episodes, that night.

Needless to say no work got done, but I can’t bring myself to regret the decision.

Santa Clarita Diet is one of the most downright enjoyable things I’ve watched in a long time and I absolutely could not stop once I’d started.

Drew Barrymore plays an almost painfully boring suburban wife, mother, and realtor. Timothy Olyphant plays her nervous, but devoted husband and real estate partner. They are both absolute dweebs.

Then, of course, Sheila becomes a zombie and things change.

Except for how much they don’t.

Santa Clarita

Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant, Skyler Gisondo, Liv Hewson

They’re still your average married couple, but instead of arguing about where to eat they argue about who to eat.

What’s absolutely great about Santa Clarita Diet is that it never takes that dark turn that the zombie genre typically takes. It manages to keep things fun and light-hearted even while they are gory and disturbing. We get to watch Joel and Sheila fumble through their new lives of murder and mayhem (no spoilers, but they do not handle it with aplomb) the same way we might watch an alien try to use earth appliances for the first time.

Santa Clarita - Nathan Fillion

Nathan Fillion as Gary West in Santa Clarita Diet

It makes for a lot of laugh-out-loud moments despite the underlying theme of, well, eating people. All of the actors play the humor incredibly well in this series, something I had not seen from Timothy Olyphant before, but I tell you, he killed it. The comedy never detracts from the horror and suspense that comes with a zombie roaming around, but only surprises you more with each new dilemma they face.

Santa Clarita Diet

Richard T. Jones, Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant

I won’t go into any more detail lest I spoil your future viewing experience, but I will say this: Santa Clarita Diet is an original and entertaining take on a zombie series. It is effortlessly hilarious and morbid in equal parts and not only is it worth the watch, it’s worth the excruciating wait for the second season.

I, for one, already want more.

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