‘Santa Clarita Diet’ season 1 review: Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant are gory, funny and delicious
When we first heard of the “Santa Clarita Diet” we were immediately drawn into this concept: The suburbs, the undead and 2 of our favorite actors all rolled into one perfect bite sized series. We binge watched this entire thing in a day, that’s how much fun it was to watch Drew Barrymore (Sheila) and Timothy Olyphant (Joel) play off of each other.
The story revolves about Sheila and Joel, who are a married couple living in Santa Clarita (which is actually about 30 minutes from the CarterMatt offices) and are stuck in the middle of a midlife marriage doldrum. Things kick off pretty early in the series (the first episode) where Sheila realizes that she’s undead and has a thirst for human flesh. Joel (her high school sweetheart), decides that they can find a way to work through this, just like they do everything else in their marriage, but he learns along the way just how difficult an adjustment this is for both of them. Throw into the mix that they have a teenage daughter that is trying to cope with her undead mother, they still have to run their realtor business and they live between two rivaling cops and we have the makings of a really fun series.
Who knew that Olyphant was this funny? We have seen Barrymore in tons of comedies over the years, so we knew she was going to make us laugh, but Olyphant we weren’t sure about. We have seen him play the tough guy many times over on shows like “Deadwood” and “Justified”, so we really didn’t know what to expect. What we found was that his boyish squeals at all the gore and his spot on comedic timing stole the show. Barrymore brought a lot of fun moments to the table (we could watch her jump on people and bite them in the neck all day), but there was something about seeing Olyphant out of his element and how much he embraced this role that made him the star of the show for us. That being said the chemistry between Olyphant and Barrymore was fantastic and a lot of the comedic moments worked because of both of them playing off each other.
We have heard a lot of complaints about the gore factor on this show. As a former funeral director, it didn’t bother us much since we have seen it all in real life, but we can understand why some people might not be able to sit through buckets of vomit and talk of eating Nathan Fillion’s balls (to be fair, Sheila only ate one). That being said if you can stomach the gore, it’s totally worth it for the laughs. There aren’t a lot of really laugh out loud shows on television right now (well there is “Insecure” over on HBO that’s hilarious), so when we get a chance to dive into something as tasty as this, we feel that we have to get on our soap box and tell the world to join in.
All of this being said there are some problems with the show. The biggest issue we had was the balance between Joel and Sheila’s suburban life and undead reality. We get that once your undead it pretty much takes over your whole life, but we would’ve liked to have seen them figure out a way to keep their “normal life” going a bit better. They do live in between two cops after all and they are new to the murder game. Sheila turning undead so early in the show might’ve been the snag in this recipe. If that reveal came in the second episode we could’ve had a better look at what their life was life before this happened so we could see how this is really going to affect them.
Over all we highly recommend this series – as long as you have the stomach for it. Grade: A-
What did you think of the “Santa Clarita Diet”? Was it too gory for you? Leave us a comment in the box below and tell us your thoughts. If you want more scoop on the “Santa Clarita Diet” then head on over to the link here and sink your teeth in. (Photo: Netflix)