“Killing people is hard. I used to think that was a good thing.”— Joel Hammond.
This one line should give you an idea what sort of a TV show you are watching. As a part of our series Is it good?, let’s have a look at Santa Clarita Diet. Netflix has been putting out a crazy amount of content out there and honestly not all of them are making an impression. But I would say Santa Clarita Diet is one of those shows that hits the bulls-eye. The show completed 2 seasons so far, both available on Netflix.
This is a show about an sub-urban couple Sheila (Drew Barrymore) and Joel Hammond (Timothy Olyphant) and their teenage daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) and their bumbling yet capable and sweet neighbor Eric (Skyler Gisondo) who clearly has a massive crush on Abby. Sheila and Joel are college sweethearts who work as realtors, and are doing quite alright for themselves, while Abby is tough, brash yet well meaning teen. Things seems to be going fine until one day sheila throws up a crazy amount of vomit, dies but comes back to life and seems to have developed an unstoppable craving for human flesh. Joel with the help of Abby and Eric does everything he can and more to help sheila figure out what turned her into the undead and also find a way to obtain human meat for her to feast on, without grabbing too much attention onto themselves.
Why you should watch it:
Zombie genre has become a major part of our current pop culture and we see them infused in almost everything, games, movies, tv shows, books etc., While the zombie premise might not be original what makes this show so appealing is the treatment of the characters and the story line that keeps the events mostly within a few characters making it feel intimate instead of the typical end of the world scenario. For the most part the story revolves around the Hammonds, and their attempts to adapt to the craziness they are showered with.
The writing while in the first 2-3 episodes still finds itself, it really gets better and better with each episode. This is not a laugh out loud show but rather a funny show that keeps you on your toes. As mentioned earlier the writing and acting for the most part keeps getting better but the leading pair hits it out of the park in terms of their performance from the first shot. Drew Barrymore is really good as a mild-mannered woman who turns into a dashing, human-meat craving, id-driven woman/mother/zombie. At this point I would be surprised if she didn’t deliver. But the real show- stopper for me is Timothy Olyphant. This guy keeps getting better with every role. I already know he has great comedy timing but his performance as Joel who is a confused, scared, yet loving and sincere husband who will do anything for wife is just endearing.
Among the regulars Liv Hewson and Skyler Gisondo should get a special mention. I was concerned if they would become your stereotypical teen and comic relief/nerd stereotypes, but I think they manage bring some heart into their performances as the show goes on. The show has some notable comedic actors who do a great job but in my personal opinion at-least, the best from the recurring cast members has to be Nathan Fillion as Gary west.
Who should watch the show?
If you can handle some dark humor, quirky characters, silly premises and copious amounts of gore, then this is your show.
Who shouldn’t watch the show?
If you are the kind who don’t like dark themes or confuse dark humor with glorifying violence or simply don’t have the stomach for bloody-gore fest, you should probably stay away from this.