Netflix Review: Santa Clarita Diet – The Most Original Show on Netflix?

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Netflix Review: Santa Clarita Diet – The Most Original Show on Netflix?

Sarah Nicholson, Blogger

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What the (expletive) did I just watch! That was me after watching Santa Clarita Diet on Netflix. I’d seen the show swimming around in my suggestions for awhile, and I honestly wasn’t interest. Anything with diet in the title is a turn off. If not for Drew Barrymore and a need to sleep, I wouldn’t have even clicked on the show, but thank god I did. The last time I was this taken by surprise by a serious was when HBO debuted Trueblood’s hillbilly vampires.

Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, of all people, star as Sheila and Joel Hammond. Happily buried alive in their own suburban blandness, there is nothing surprising about the Hammond’s life. Even their sex life is as beige as their house, but that all gets shaken up when Sheila develops a tricky food allergy. Becoming a member of the undead can do that, you know. Suddenly this carefully repressed couple and their counter-culture in training daughter have to absorb their new normal and the results are brilliantly hilarious.

I absolutely love the off-the-wall wit of this show. It’s really Drew Barrymore as you’ve always wanted to see her. Think of it as what might’ve happen if Ellen Page’s Juno had been a grown up instead of a teen. The off-kilter comedy jumps up and takes you by surprise, and every member of the cast deliveries their own unique brand of cringy comedy that just meshes so well. Olyphant is a great example. I’ve seen him in a lot of roles–bad guy, good guy, love interest guy, brooding love interest guy–but I’d never seen him as the real life equivalent of Ned Flanders, minus the religion and annoying catch phrase. His timing is genius. I wish he’d always been doing this type of comedy, rather than a sub-par bad guy in Die Hard 1000.

Another big element of the show is the Hammond’s daughter, Abby, played by Liv Hewson. She is pretty good at pointing out her parents shortcomings in only a minorly offensive way, while still somehow being the most adult person on the series, even if she is a little quick to anger. Thankfully, her balance comes in the form of her painfully awkward neighbor Eric. A geek in the most genuine, introvert, probably-will-be-Bill-Gates-one-day-but-right-now-could-still-turn-out-to-be-the-Unabomber kind of way. He’s played by Skylar Grisando, and believe me when I say that this kid is good, like amazingly good. You feel bad for him at first, but two episodes in, you’re rooting for him. I like to think of this character as a cross between Duckie in Pretty in Pink and Brian from The Breakfast Club. I can’t wait to see what he does next.

If you get a chance to check out Santa Clarita Diet, I highly suggest you do it. The second season has just been released, and the 30-minute episodes make it the perfect short bite of entertainment to fill in between classes or over a quick lunch. Plus, if you’re not hooked after episode one, you haven’t lost much.