body horror

[Netflix Review] Santa Clarita Diet Season 1 (2017) ★★★★★

Sheila and Joel wearing plastic coats in Santa Clarita Diet season 1

Santa Clarita Diet has a fresh story and fresh meat on its menu. 


Santa Clarita Diet is a horror zombie comedy with hilarious absurd situations and very lovable characters. It’s a lighthearted comedy with dark humor, a lot of gore, guts, intestines, blood and vomit but above all it has a big heart. It’s a series with its own voice, about a normal family whose lives are turned upside down. 

Asides from the very comical situations that go from bad to worse, there’s also a lot of focus on the mystery and mythology behind it, that is very creative. Who wants to laugh out loud, a lot, get attached to a wonderful family in the process and is in need for an original series with zombies/undead, then this is definitely a must see. 

The first season consists of 10 episodes with each a duration of 30 minutes. It’s a continuous story but each episode has its own problems to solve while they have to act like a normal suburban family.


Plot

Sheila and Joel Hammond are real estate agents in Santa Clarita and have a 16 year old daughter Abby. Their lives are pretty normal, or better said boring, and Sheila wants to be a bit braver. But one day she doesn’t feel so good, vomits and dies. Only to wake up a few minutes later craving for human flesh and blood. She has turned into a zombie/undead!

Now they have to keep up appearances, raise their rebellious daughter, while finding out what’s happing to Sheila and find a cure. Oh, and they also have to feed her human flesh. Luckily Eric the boy-next-door knows all about zombies and tries to help. All goes well until Sheila slowly seems to fall apart, literally.


Why you should watch it

Santa Clarita is a unique fun hilarious comedy, where bad situations don’t take much time to turn into worse situations and from thereon get even more terrible. It’s a kind of a farce comedy with physical humor and slapstick but the lines and dialogue are very smart and witty too. The timing of both Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant are impeccable and just perfect to bring out big laughs and awkward situations. They have great chemistry together which certainly adds to the fun. 

The characters are archetypical but very fun and Sheila, Joel, Abby and Eric are the main characters whom you will love immediately. They are the strong foundation of the story. Because although it’s very comical, the story and character development are not forgotten. Both are important elements to the story and the story arc focuses on the mystery behind the zombiefication and their personal family. Abby is really smart and an activist but she still is a teenager in need for guidance and support. 

Another big element is the killing of the humans for meat. Of course they don’t kill anybody, just the bad guys, so in fact they do society a favor. Although it’s not easy to keep under the radar of their neighbor Dan who is a cop and Eric’s stepfather. And it gets bloody and gross and blood is everywhere and so are the limbs, which gets harder and harder to cover up. 

A good comedy series has a fun gimmick. And this time it’s Ramona, the girl from the grocery story. Every time the Hammonds are in trouble, which is all the time, they have to buy something to fix it, and they get free advice from Ramona. She is such a dry figure, and adds a new kind of humor to the series. You might know her as Kaya from the Skya in Z Nation.

All these different forms of comedy work really well and with excellent timing, a great story and very lovable characters and a fun parody of the suburbs, Santa Clarita Diet is an absolute joy to watch.


My favorite part

The scenes where Sheila and Joel have to kill criminals to get some lunch and dinner for Sheila are hilarious. They absolutely suck at killing, at hiding it and pretending to be very normal people. They have such great chemistry and comical talent that it never gets old, every time it’s over the top fun. 

But an absolute joy are the character’s interactions. Their relationships are pretty standard but the way they interact and their conversations are very fresh and are good for a lot of laughs. Keeping the focus on them keeps it realistic so it never gets cheesy or too silly. These characters and how they are depicted and played by great actors is definitely the strength of the series. Apart from the crazy bizarre story, of course.


Ratings

Rating: ★★★★★

Fun factor: ★★★★★

Gore factor: ★★★★★

Originality factor: ★★★★★

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★


Read more about Santa Clarita Diet:


Cast and crew

Santa Clarita Diet is created by Victor Fresco. It stars Drew Barrymore (Sheila Hammond), Timothy Olyphant (Joel Hammond), Liv Hewson (Abby Hammond), Skyler Gisondo (Eric Bemis), Mary Elizabeth Ellis (Lisa Palmer) and Ricardo Chavira (Dan Palmer).

Music: John Debney, Josh Debney. Cinematography: Todd McMullen. Production companies: Kapital Entertainment, Katco, Flower Films, Garfield Grove, Olybomb Entertainment. Original Network: Netflix.


Check the trailer below


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