"Santa Clarita Diet" Review

When I first saw the trailer for Santa Clarita Diet, I didn’t know how the show was going to turn out. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised after watching the first episode and found myself eagerly clicking on the next one.

The show introduces Joel (Timothy Olyphant) and Sheila Hammond (Drew Barrymore) and their daughter, Abby (Liv Hewson). Joel and Sheila are a real estate duo. While showing a house to a client, Sheila throws up “an insane amount” of vomit as well as a medium sized ball, which could possibly be an organ. Sheila then discovers that she has no heartbeat, bleeds a tarlike substance, and has a taste for human flesh. Despite being technically undead, Sheila begins to feel even more alive than ever. The Hammonds attempt not to arouse the suspicion of their two neighbors, who both happen to work in law enforcement. With the help of the boy next door, Eric (Skyler Gisondo), and extensive research on the internet, the Hammonds search for an answer to Sheila’s condition.

Fair warning, Santa Clarita Diet is not for the faint of heart. The first 10 minutes of the first episode alone are filled ad nauseam with vomit. Scenes of Sheila eating are also very graphic. But if you can get past those parts, you’ll find a fresh take on family sitcoms and zombie lore. Sheila and Joel are the epitome of relationship goals. Joel continues to love and accept Sheila unconditionally despite her new diet, and he is even willing to kill for her. Eric and Abby’s friendship is a pleasant outcome from an overall unique situation. Eric’s nerdiness is a nice compliment to Abby’s sarcasm. Together, they make an unstoppable duo in the face of the Hammonds’ zombie problem.

My only issue with the show is that the characters seem a little 2D. With most of the plot focused on Sheila and Joel’s misadventures dealing with zombie troubles or on the budding friendship between Abby and Eric, it leaves little time to focus on the character development of Joel and Sheila. We don’t get to see why they fell in love more than twenty years ago or really get a sense of why they're the way they are.

This show is definitely not one of Netflix’s best, but it’s a nice one to binge-watch during the long wait for the new season of Stranger Things. One thing is for sure: you’ll be hungry for the next season after the cliffhanger ending of the first.

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