When Netflix launched its 2017 dark comedy about a mild-mannered suburbanite-realtor-wife-and-mother-turned-zombie (yes, zombie), they couldn’t have chosen more charming, well loved, and person least likely to eat the neighbors than Drew Barrymore. Her warmth and bubbly personality make the bloodbath she delivers on the Netflix original series Santa Clarita Diet shockingly, well, delightful. Season 3 comes to the streaming platform on March 29, but it’s not too late to catch up with all the horrific fun.
As Sheila Hammond, Barrymore brings all of her perky comedic timing and big heart that made her a romantic comedy darling to a rather unusual and gory set up as the relator who wakes up one morning undead and craving human flesh. In reverse, Timothy Olyphant, known by many fans perhaps for his work in dark, violent shows such as Justified and Deadwood, plays her awkward but totally devoted husband Joel with surprising clumsy charm and unending support of his wife’s new… problem.
Oddly, the premise works. Sheila and Joel are so loveable and positive, that you almost find yourself cheering them on as they explore the moral grey area of murder-for-survival. Just who deserves to die? (Cue Little Shop of Horrors, anyone?)
Along for the ride are the Hammonds’ somewhat too observant and overly sarcastic teenage daughter, Abby (Liv Hewson), and their next-door neighbor teen geek and resident zombie expert Eric Bemis (Skyler Gisondo). The teens are sometimes more adept at secrecy and deception than Sheila and Joel, and all of the actors have their own unique sense of comedic timing that keep this viewer engaged in all the wacky escapades when the four share the screen.
The line up of supporting comedic guest stars is nothing to sniff at, either. Eric’s somewhat off-kilter mom is played by Mary Elizabeth Ellis (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), who never seems to realize things are not quite as they should be with the neighbors. However, the Hammonds are also dodging more then their fair share of cops and sheriffs in the cul-de-sac, played by the likes of Ricardo Chavira, Natalie Morales, and Richard T. Jones. Is it an intentional in-joke that all of these actors have played a variety of law enforcement officers on other series?
Other TV fan favorites who show up include Nathan Fillion (spoiler: it’s a recurring role), as well as Joel McHale (Community) and Maggie Lawson (Psych) as gratingly perfect competing realtors Chris and Chirsta who arrive in season 2.
While season 1 found the family learning about Sheila’s new state of life, and how to cope, season 2 delved deeper into how the family would deal with Sheila’s blood-thirsty urges, battling with the moral implications of her dietary needs, while still coping with day-to-day life of the real estate business. It also introduced the origins of the mysterious zombie virus, and the fact that there might be more victims out there. But the last thing Sheila and Joel need are less-considerate zombies slaughtering people publically and drawing attention to their covert behavior.
Season 3 comes to Netflix on March 29. This season, the family is looking ahead to the long-term implications of being undead, and meanwhile the mysterious knights who guard against the zombie outbreak are starting to get a little too close for comfort.
How to catch up with Santa Clarita Diet
As a Netflix Original Series, Santa Clarita Dietis only available through the streaming service. But if you aren’t already a member, you can start with a free month trial, and then choose between three plans:
- $8.99 – limited to 1 screen at a time, and no HD availability
- $12.99 – up to 2 screens streaming at the same time, basic HD availability
- $15.99 – up to 4 screens streaming at the same time, basic and Ultra HD availability
Netflix has apps for mobile devices, as well as streaming devices including Roku, Apple TV, Tivo, Chromecast, and Fire TV. You can also watch online at Netflix.com.
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