Santa Clarita Diet - Season 1 Review
Written by Ali Chappell
Written by Victor Fresco
2017, Not Rated
Season premiered on Netflix on February 3rd, 2017
Drew Barrymore as Sheila Hammond
Timothy Olyphant as Joel Hammond
Liv Hewson as Abby Hammond
Skyler Gisondo as Eric Bemis
Victor Fresco (My Name Is Earl, Better Off Ted) is back in action with this hit dark comedy Santa Clarita Diet, which premiered on Netflix February 3rd, 2017.
Meet Joel (Timothy Olyphant) and Sheila Hammond (Drew Barrymore). They are the perfect couple, in life as well as in their job as a real estate team. They have a beautiful daughter, Abby (Liv Hewson), a great house, good friends; basically the perfect life. Until one morning Sheila ruins the bathroom of a property they are trying to sell by throwing up all over it and dying. Thus, begins the descent into madness this suburban family must face; my wife and mother of my child is now a zombie.
Santa Clarita Diet is a new angle on horror comedy geared towards families. The portrayal of a regular American family, living their day to day lives while dealing with the major issue of Sheila becoming a zombie. Although not your average decaying zombie who feasts upon the flesh of the living, she is a full of life, positive motivator, passionate love making, balls to the wall real estate agent who feasts upon the flesh of the living. As the series continues, the Hammonds are faced with new challenges each episode. Whether they are dealing with finding fresh meat for Sheila, dealing with Dan (Ricardo Chavira), their blackmailing crooked cop neighbor, or having a teenager who decides she no longer wants to go to college.
Joel, who wants to be supportive of her like any loving husband would want, finds he is freaking out more often than he is helping. He is an amazing husband who proves that no matter how weird things can get (i.e having to pop an eyeball back into wife's face), he will stand by his wife. Normality and chaos mix well within his character. He can still be a great and honest dad/husband even while knowing that things will never be the same again. ("I have to kill somebody today so you can eat them, sweetheart. I'm worried about Abby too, but I can't stop thinking about the murdering and eating thing." Episode 3.)
Drew Barrymore is utterly wonderful in this role. She really understands what it's like to be a mom first, a wife second and a murderous zombie third ("I know we have to kill somebody today, but we have to be parents every day." Episode 3.) She has a poise about herself where even though she knows things will never be the same, she can't help but try.
The underdog star of this show is Eric Bemis (Skyler Gisondo), the son of the next-door neighbour, Lisa Bemis (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) and the newly found best friend of Abby. Out of everyone in this show, he isn't freaked out by the fact that his neighbor is a zombie and has murdered his step-dad. Several different times, he is faced with a dead body and is not fazed by it, but when Abby barges into his room unannounced, this is what freaks him out. Not to mention he has a firm understanding of who he is and what he can or can't handle ("I'm not doing cocaine, Abby. I just have a feeling I would be unbearable." Episode 6).
The supporting roles on the show really give an edge to each episode and add something more to the story. Whether it's Sheila's first kill, Gary (Nathan Fillion), who just can't take no for an answer, or the great Dr. Cora Wolf (Portia de Rossi), who is hell bent on finding a cure. Every role brings life to this show. The recurring roles of Loki (Deobia Oparei), an intimidating drug dealer turned soulful folk singer zombie who is in love with Sheila, and Principle Novak (Thomas Lennon), who can't stand the Hammonds always being in his house to talk to his Serbian grandmother; even though they gift her with a nice empty box. These characters remind us that each small role is huge in its own way and very integral to the stories progression.
Santa Clarita Diet is the dark comedy show for the people who love or hate the horror genre. All involved do an amazing job of making light of the gore. While, yes, she does consume A LOT of body parts on the show, it seems like a natural occurrence. Santa Clarita Diet is fun, lovable and proves that even in the face of zombies and murder, your number one priority should be your family. It's jammed pack with teachable moments, hilarious antics and Timothy Olyphant just being a damn pleasure to watch. I am already hungry for the second season.