Santa Clarita Diet is Netflix’s brand spanking new RomZomCom series starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, directed by Zombieland‘s Ruben Fleischer (for the first few episodes).
Barrymore and Olyphant’s chemistry is wonderful to watch, even as Sheila (Barrymore) mysteriously turns into a flesh eating machine. Her preferred diet is meat. Human meat. Some of Santa Clarita Diet has shades of of iZombie, but Santa Clarita Diet is much darker, with the dark comedy that comes with it.
To complicate matters for the couple (along with their daughter Abbey– played by Liv Hewson), and an interesting plot mechanism, is the fact that the family lives between two police officers , in their nice all-American home in their nice all-American suburban neighborhood. On the one side is Richardo Chavira (who plays police officer Dan Palmer)– the typical VERY-annoying nosey neighbor, and on the other side is Richard T. Jones (who plays police officer Rick)– the boyscout-cop: decent, reliable, a good neighbor, and who has a penchant for getting stoned with his good buddy (Olyphant).
Sheila and Joel are realtors, who work together as a team. Of course, the zombification of one half of that team quickly cramps their selling styles as Sheila descends into full zombie mode. A vomiting scene while showing off the plush white carpet in the master bedroom to potential buyers is epic!
While Barrymore is the big draw, Olyphant practicality steals almost every scene he’s in. Who knew he had such comedic chops– from his wide-eyed horror to his ultimate acceptance that life as he knew it would never be the same. His dear wife needs fresh human flesh, and by God she’s going to get fresh human flesh. We all know what that means.
Fortunately Santa Clarita Diet doesn’t hold back on the gore, with most of the humor based on Sheila’s snacking and consumption habits. Unfortunately the show starts to lose some steam toward the middle of the premiere season. To be fair, I haven’t made it to the end of the first season, so maybe it’ll find another gear. There is some clever dialogue, but I’m not sure how long the existing plot can sustain itself.
But nevertheless, if you have Netflix, looking for some zombie-ish entertainment, and are fans of Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, it’s worth a look.