Starring: Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant, Liv Hewson, Skyler Gisondo, Ricardo Chavira, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Richard T. Jones, DeObia Oparei, Portia de Rossi, Nathan Fillion, Thomas Lennon, Patton Oswalt
Creator: Victor Fresco
Air Date: Streaming Now, Netflix
Netflix has now made a name for itself, with the quality television shows it produces. From dramas like Orange is the New Black to comedies like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. The streaming services willingness to take risks and give chances to various programs has really paid off, and it's rare they have a flop. They're even responsible for bringing Full House and Gilmore Girls back into our lives.
|Drew Barrymore & Timothy Olyphant|
Santa Clarita Diet is Netflix's latest series, and it's first season is, for the most part, a success. It initially takes a while to find its flow, with the first episode being its weakest, but once it has found its pacing and style, it is a genuinely funny series. Packed with surprising cameos, and of course its big twist, which was the worst kept secret in television, Santa Clarita Diet is one to watch.
Sheila and Joel Hammond (Barrymore & Olyphant) are happily married, living suburban life with their teenage daughter, Abby (Hewson). Their neighbours both work in law enforcement and their teenage neighbour is a geeky, comic reading boy called Eric (Gisondo). Sheila and Joel are both Realtors, and work hard to provide what they need to live their comfortable life. However one day, Sheila falls sick...extremely sick, and from this illness she turns into a zombie. Thus, a quirky comedy is born.
This, surprisingly, is Drew Barrymore's first foray into television, and she couldn't have picked a better suited role and series. Her excitable qualities go hand in hand with the sudden change that Sheila goes through, and as she becomes more confident in her demeanour, you can really see Barrymore relish the character and situations. Admittedly, it isn't a hard hitting drama, so there isn't anything truly meaty for Barrymore to get her teeth into (pun intended), but she brings real heart and warmth to the series, and is, at points, wickedly funny.
|Liv Hewson & Skyler Gisondo|
Her family and supporting cast are a terrific group of supporting players, with Timothy Olyphant particularly throwing himself head first into the wacky comedy style. He is large and out there in his portrayal, which initially seems out of place, but as the season develops it works more and more. The chemistry between he and Barrymore is also truly genuine, which makes their family dynamic and onscreen relationship a joy to watch.
The teenagers played by Hewson and Gisondo, bring a extra perspective into the mix, and help to keep the show grounded. Gisondo especially is endearing and funny as Eric, and manages to create a multi-dimensional character out of someone that could have been your typical geek. They are also both quick wit their comedic timing, and help produce many laughs throughout.
The cameos in the show range from Desperate Housewives' Ricardo Chavira, Arrested Development's Portia de Rossi, and funny men Patton Oswalt and Thomas Lennon. Each actor brings an new dynamic to their scenes, and something new for Barrymore and Olyphant to bounce off of. Of course I can't not mention Nathan Fillion's cameo, an arrogant Realtor who acts as a hilarious nemesis for Sheila and Joel, but soon learns not to mess with them.
Santa Clarita Diet is a blend of Desperate Housewives, Cougar Town and Dexter, with some added zombie thrown into the mix; and while written on paper that seems absurd, but on TV it works brilliantly. It is not without its hiccups and isn't anywhere near perfection, but for a first season it is a really good comedy, which made me laugh continuously throughout. Seeing Sheila and Joel battle with their moral compasses as they look for 'bad guys' to kill for her dinner, is yet to get old, and I can't wait to see what further seasons bring.
Santa Clarita Diet - Promo