On Feb. 3, Netflix released a new original series, “Santa Clarita Diet”. Starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, this horror-comedy is a great show to relax to and enjoy with friends.
The plot centers around a suburban family in Santa Clarita, California. One day, matriarch Sheila Hammond (Barrymore) has her life as a real estate agent turned upside down when one day, in the middle of a listing, she inexplicably vomits an extraordinary amount, including upchucking a mysterious red ball. Afterwards, she finds herself evolving from her organized, reserved persona to one with no impulse control and no heartbeat. She begins engaging in risky behavior acting on all her urges. Then, one day, she’s provoked by unwanted sexual advances, and she eats and kills the harasser. She consults a nerdy neighbor and learns that she is undead, a zombie (though they decide that this is a negative term). As a result, she’s now faced with the dilemma of needing to eat humans and only humans.
Despite the stress and horror, husband Joel Hammond (Timothy Olyphant) decides he’s going to stick by his wife and assist her with killing (as much as it makes his stomach turn), but decidedly only killing and eating those who deserve it. Together they make a plan to hunt those who fit the bill, deciding to try and “make it work.”
Sheila Hammond (Barrymore) certainly delivers in her role and ironically gives great life to the series. Her chemistry and play with Joel Hammond (Timothy Olyphant) makes their roles as a married couple convincing, dealing with both the literal and metaphorical gruesome aspects of marriage.
In the comedic shenanigans to satisfy our heroin’s urges, solve the mystery of her condition, while trying to maintain their family life and relationship with their daughter, the show is surprisingly heartwarming underneath all the gore. It focuses less on the zombie mythos and more on how a family comes together to handle this new change. It addresses real life issues in a completely modern day setting. It takes a satirical twist on the idea of zombies that doesn’t shy away from the blood and guts, while still retaining its light humor.
However, this show is only recommended for those unphased by gruesome scenes of blood such as, but not limited to, human limbs ripped apart, occasional violent bursts of vomit, body parts blended to make bloody smoothies, etc., While the show in general has received positive views, it has lost points on the excessive blood and gore.
Otherwise, the humor combined with how quick and easy it is to get through ten episodes, about twenty-eight minutes each, makes it worth a watch. Though the show may be an acquired taste, and may even sound ridiculous, I recommend giving it a go.