I have a confession: I can’t watch most “horror” genre entertainment due to an overactive imagination. I was very dubious that I would ever watch a Netflix show about cannibalism, and yet, here we are.
Netflix released Santa Clarita Diet to not much fanfare. Teasers went out a month ago that didn’t really give much away. It’s a horror comedy by Victor Fresco.
The story centers around Sheila (Drew Barrymore) and Joel (Timothy Olyphant) Hammond, a typical suburban SoCal couple who fell in love in High School and have been married since after college who went on to be real estate agents. Joel’s only vice is he smokes a little weed, while Sheila… has a bit of a worse habit.
One day after throwing up on the job, Sheila develops a craving for raw meat. It only gets worse from there.
She develops an inability to control any urge she has, which first results in her making friends with her neighbors at a bar, but ends up with her telling coworkers and her boss to “fuck off” and then, in a fit of arousal, biting off a man’s fingers (the man in question is played by Nathan Fillion.)
If for nothing else, you should watch Santa Clarita diet for the casting. Guest stars include Andy Richter, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Thomas Lennon, Portia de Rossi, Natalie Morales, Patton Oswalt, and Derek Waters. This is a reliable indicator of how funny the show is.
Santa Clarita diet feels, despite its subject matter, light as air in comparison to shows like Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, which take comic book/hero tropes and cast the darkest timeline on to them. This show is, at its heart, a show about family sticking together despite all odds (like Vacation) but the odds just happen to be that mom’s a Serbian Curse Zombie who has to kill bad people to stay “alive.”
The show has a fun nod to weird mystery shows with the casting of Grace Zabriskie as the grandmother of the school principal, who helps translate the Serbian art work that helps to unlock the mystery of Sheila’s new interests.
The show is funny, snappy, and looks like it was a hell of a lot of fun to make. It’s the perfect distraction from the dismal weather February has brought and the grim political realities many are facing at the moment.
At only 10 30-minute episodes in duration, you can sail through the episodes quickly. It’s a fun way to spend an afternoon.