Review: The Santa Clarita Diet

Zombie films might be on the decline after nearly a decade of rising popularity, but TV series on the subject are still going strong. Joining the likes of The Walking Dead and iZombie is the new Netflix original Santa Clarita Diet.

In this dark comedy, Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant star as Sheila and Joel Hammond, a husband and wife realtor team living with their daughter, Abby, in the suburbs of Santa Clarita, California. They live normal and uneventful lives, until things take a turn for the gory and absurd when Sheila is turned into a zombie. The family now has to navigate the problems that come along with having a flesh-eating family member.

What is portrayed is a family trying really hard to be normal in the face of the new reality where Sheila has to kill people. They find themselves in all new kinds of trouble trying to find people to kill to sate Sheila’s voracious appetite while facing obstacles in the form of their nosy sheriff neighbour and their attempts at trying to find a cure for Sheila.

What makes this show stand out is it’s ability to mix laughter and love with a normally grim and dire genre.

The show is both hilarious and graphic, not shying away from the disgusting aspects that come along with being a zombie. A word of warning though: Do not watch this show while you are eating. The gore, while mostly hilarious, can at times turn the stomach.

The show has an incredible comedic lineup and includes cameos from the likes of Nathan Fillion and Patton Oswalt. The humour ranges from jokes about the dead to the boredom of living in the suburbs to the plight of dysfunctional families, and encompasses everything in between.

With lots of heart, both metaphorical and literal, Santa Clarita Diet stresses the importance of strong family bonds in the wake of change and crisis in a new and sometimes disturbing way. The show’s strength lies in the Hammond family’s relationships as they deal with Sheila’s new state. They still find time to bond, sometimes in disturbing scenarios, over real family issues that many people can relate to.

With only ten episodes at half an hour long, Santa Clarita Diet is an easy binge with a cliff-hanger ending that will leave you dying for more.

Jade Verbick

(Image: TV Guide)

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