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Santa Clarita Diet [Netflix]

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  • Santa Clarita Diet [Netflix]

    [youtube:2q192ad8]xjRnbOgoAUQ[/youtube:2q192ad8]

    Kudos to the Netflix marketing department for finding a clever way of spreading the word about the innocuously titled, star-powered comedy Santa Clarita Diet. In print ads and TV spots, Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant sing the virtues of a new lifestyle with a powerful secret: It’s all about eating people. In its surprises and winks, the campaign encapsulates the savvily surreal product it’s promoting, a show that puts the “gory” in “allegory,” while still feeling a little light on substance.


    Barrymore stars as Sheila Hammond, one half of a husband-and-wife realty team who loses her lunch—several days worth of meals, really—and passes out in the middle of showing a house. When she comes to, her inhibitions are lowered, her libido is heightened, and her hunger is ravenous. Nothing hits the spot until she goes to town on some raw meat, but that craving is quickly replaced by a taste for human flesh. At a certain point, the signs start adding up for Sheila, her husband Joel (Timothy Olyphant), their daughter Abby (Liv Hewson), and the paranormal expert next door (Skyler Gisondo as Eric): Mom’s undead.

    The vomit gag is an early indicator, but Santa Clarita Diet subtly shifts gears over the course of its first episode, beginning as a bright spoof of suburban living and ending as a full-tilt, blood-spattered horror-comedy. It’s not a total shock coming from Victor Fresco, whose work on Better Off Ted and Andy Richter Controls The Universe swirled genre elements into more conventional sitcoms setups. What’s shocking is Santa Clarita Diet’s commitment to extremes, whether it’s the fake blood coating Barrymore’s face or the daffy heights Olyphant hits as a husband and father whose entire life has been upended. It’s a noisy show, figuratively and literally. It’s also a show that could only exist in the era of Peak TV, when enough outlets are willing to take a risk on a concept like Santa Clarita Diet that two other viscera-spraying, foul-mouthed living-dead half-hours already bet it to air.

    For Barrymore, it’s a return to her roots—not quite a Winona Ryder-Stranger Things moment, but reminiscent of the actor’s experience playing the deceptively dangerous force in the type of movie that inspired Stranger Things. She’s clearly having a good time in the role, though she’s not always completely dialed into Santa Clarita Diet’s particular brand of weird. If Olyphant can sometimes be a little too high-pitched, Barrymore trends low-key in a way that undercuts some of the show’s outlandish aspects. (And, on occasion, almost seems like she’s mimicking the head-bobbing, mush-mouthed Barrymore impressions done by Kristen Wiig and Abbi Jacobson.) But when she matches its manic energy—anytime Sheila attacks a future meal, or the running gag where Mrs. and Mr. Hammond reflect on an aggressive rendezvous in a Target bathroom—her punchlines land harder and more successfully.


    Marquee names aside, Santa Clarita Diet is a writing-forward show, balancing its supernatural mystery story with down-to-earth plots that could apply to any family dealing with a recent trauma. It’s a strange premise, and Fresco and company strike an equally strange tone, a chipper dark comedy using its upbeat attitude to lampoon the blindly assertive, Power Of Positive Thinking stances taken by undead Sheila. It’s a sharp-witted screwball vibe that distances Santa Clarita Diet from the Looney Tunes chaos of Ash Vs. Evil Dead and Stan Against Evil. Its characters and situations are still cartoonish, but in that Better Off Ted way where everyone around the Hammonds is a high-status idiot whose tunnel vision prevents them from seeing the bone-chilling misdeeds occurring in their periphery.

    The envy and awe inspired by the “new and improved” Sheila is the source of Santa Clarita Diet’s sharpest satirical barbs. The neighbors marvel at and copy her impulse purchases and bullish behavior, blissfully ignorant of the body count that comes with it. (Can’t make a zombie omelette without cracking a few consumerism eggs.) With a little more insight into the situation, Abby copes by ditching class and getting revenge on behalf of Eric and her best friend, but it amounts to basic teen-rebellion stuff that never rises to the level of Liv Hewson’s very real, very funny performance. The show also raises some tough questions about how far the Hammonds are willing to go to keep Sheila fed, but it’s not really interested in the moral implications of the answers. Piling skeletons into the family’s closet, the writing opts for a situation that increases narrative tension over one that enriches its characters. The fact that there’s a cop living on either side of the Hammonds produces some great Olyphant freak outs, though.

    Maybe this is for the best, considering that the food-supply predicament is straight out of Little Shop Of Horrors. At a nuts-and-bolts level, Santa Clarita Diet isn’t entirely novel: In addition to those Ash Vs. Evil Dead and Stan Against Evil parallels, the show is essentially a sitcom hybridization of iZombie and The Americans. The main attraction, and the thing that’ll pull viewers from one episode to the next, is the show’s deranged energy. Olyphant‘s been here before, with his recurring role on The Grinder, another high-concept, gag-driven sitcom populated by weirdos who spoke in droll quips and one-liners. It might not be the type of thing you’ll want to feast on, but Santa Clarita Diet is good for a little snack here or there.

  • #2
    Oooh, I love Drew, will definitely check this out
    My top 100 artists (2018 edition)

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    • #3
      I'm really looking forward to it! It's looks so stupid but in a hilarious kinda way you can tell it's gonna be camp asf

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      • #4
        Just watched the first four episodes... laughed so freaking hard at it. Timothy Olyphant is oddly sexy on this and i normally never really pay attention to him, hard to believe he's 48, he pulls it well. I am sure DH fans will be happy to see Carlos in it as the cop next door, almost didn't recognize him cleanshaven.
        My top 100 artists (2018 edition)

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        • #5
          I watched the whole series across three days, it's silly and light-hearted but once you get used to that combined with the gore it's a delight! I love Drew Barrymore's performance in this, she's so watchable. In fact the whole cast are excellent.

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          • #6
            I'm gonna have to give this a shot. I adore Drew.
            ? Girls' Generation ?
            ? HyoYeon ? Britney Spears ?

            Girls' Generation is the best-selling girl group of all time.

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            • #7
              Finished season 1 in just two days... need season 2 now the way Drew needs a human to dine on

              Hilarious stuff, like I read someone say, it's literally Desperate Housewives (the early, good seasons) meets The Walking Dead meets iZombie.
              My top 100 artists (2018 edition)

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              • #8
                I finished the first season in like two days.

                I need more, the episodes are really short and there are only 10 of them.

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                • #9
                  Sistas, u realize this was released like 3 weeks ago? one year wait, here we come.

                  Finished it all in about 24h, I love it. I fycking DIED when they introduced that Serbian shit, I was like wtffff. the scrypt is real, tho not 100% understandable cuz it's an old version of Serbian. And Posica makes no sense in Serbian, first as c is read as warts and it sounds nothing like any Serbian word tbh. Grandma collecting boxes is so damn real tho.
                  be kind to every kind (also the unkind kind!!!!! )

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                  • #10
                    3 episodes in and loving it!!!! I had to look away when she bit off castles fingers

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Storyteller
                      3 episodes in and loving it!!!! I had to look away when she bit off castles fingers
                      Castle (true tho)

                      O thought her husband was the guy from Desperate Housewise, husband of the blone one with 27 kids.
                      be kind to every kind (also the unkind kind!!!!! )

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Serby
                        Originally posted by Storyteller
                        3 episodes in and loving it!!!! I had to look away when she bit off castles fingers
                        Castle (true tho)

                        O thought her husband was the guy from Desperate Housewise, husband of the blone one with 27 kids.
                        no, the husband has been in tons of things, he was the killer in Scream 2, was in Hitman, Deadwood, Justified, etc....., he's had a decent career.

                        But we do have one DH husband though with Carlos being the cop next door asshole neighbor
                        My top 100 artists (2018 edition)

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                        • #13
                          We have? Do we? Hmmm
                          be kind to every kind (also the unkind kind!!!!! )

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by NothingFails
                            Originally posted by Serby
                            Originally posted by Storyteller
                            3 episodes in and loving it!!!! I had to look away when she bit off castles fingers
                            Castle (true tho)

                            O thought her husband was the guy from Desperate Housewise, husband of the blone one with 27 kids.
                            no, the husband has been in tons of things, he was the killer in Scream 2, was in Hitman, Deadwood, Justified, etc....., he's had a decent career.

                            But we do have one DH husband though with Carlos being the cop next door asshole neighbor
                            may he rest in pieces

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                            • #15
                              He's Ariel's bff now, so I heard at least.
                              be kind to every kind (also the unkind kind!!!!! )

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by NothingFails
                                Originally posted by Serby
                                Originally posted by Storyteller
                                3 episodes in and loving it!!!! I had to look away when she bit off castles fingers
                                Castle (true tho)

                                O thought her husband was the guy from Desperate Housewise, husband of the blone one with 27 kids.
                                no, the husband has been in tons of things, he was the killer in Scream 2, was in Hitman, Deadwood, Justified, etc....., he's had a decent career.

                                But we do have one DH husband though with Carlos being the cop next door asshole neighbor
                                Carlos is really getting around lately! He's in Scandal and Jane The Virgin too

                                Just finished this, very odd way to end the season :-?

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                                • #17
                                  I binge watched this a few days ago and I gotta say I love this!

                                  At first, I was thinking this show is ridiculous but I eventually realized it was all intentional and it was part of the whole vibe of the show. It is so hilarious!

                                  The husband is the stand out. He is so funny and awesome! The daughter and the neighbor's son are great characters as well.

                                  The only thing I hated is the ending. I hate when they end on cliffhangers like that, but good thing we get another season.

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                                  • #18
                                    Season 2 is out
                                    YOU KNOW ME, I JUST DON'T STOP. | My last.fm

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                                    • #19
                                      I‘m already done with season 2.

                                      I need more than 10 episodes every 15 months.

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                                      • #20
                                        Overall quite a fun show with great dialogues. It gets a bit too cheesy when they directors aim to get that moral preach done.

                                        Drew Barrymore is ultra goofy. Just her speaking voice is so recognisable.
                                        YOU KNOW ME, I JUST DON'T STOP. | My last.fm

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                                        • #21
                                          Re: Santa Clarita Diet [Netflix]

                                          Season 2 wasn’t as good as the first but it had a fair few fun moments and I liked how it all turned out at the end.

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                                          • #22
                                            Re: Santa Clarita Diet [Netflix]

                                            Ramona is new fav person!
                                            be kind to every kind (also the unkind kind!!!!! )

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                                            • #23
                                              Re: Santa Clarita Diet [Netflix]

                                              Finished 2nd season, I love it! Everyone was so extra this season!

                                              Please let this have more seasons!
                                              be kind to every kind (also the unkind kind!!!!! )

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                                              • #24
                                                Re: Santa Clarita Diet [Netflix]

                                                It's already confirmed for a 3rd season.

                                                I'm on the last episode. I love this show so much!!!
                                                Love you like a love song!

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                                                • #25
                                                  Re: Santa Clarita Diet [Netflix]

                                                  I just low how sarcastic is this show. Gonna sound like a snob now, but not everyone gets it. they go thru some many cliches and stereotypes of suburban America.
                                                  be kind to every kind (also the unkind kind!!!!! )

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