Back For Seconds: "The Santa Clarita Diet"

Kim Hopkin '19
Development Editor


Possible minor spoilers below.

 Those of you with Netflix may be aware of a show that debuted on the internet streaming service in 2017 called Santa Clarita Diet.  The advertisements for the show didn’t cause me any excitement, but I decided to check it out anyway. I’ve always been a fan of Timothy Olyphant’s wry humor, and a show that attracts Drew Barrymore couldn’t be that bad. I was absolutely blown away by how funny and ironic the first season was. Without giving major plot points away, Barrymore’s Sheila is a suburban realtor who becomes a self-aware zombie. Her family, including her husband Joel and daughter Abby (played by Liv Hewson), struggles with the repercussions of this recent change in “medical status.” The boy next door, Eric (played by the hilarious Skyler Gisondo), is eventually recruited into the conspiracy and uses his nerdy earnestness to endear himself to the audience as well as Abby.

If you haven’t seen the first season of SCD, then please stop reading here and tune into the show. The show has several twists and turns and includes a mystery surrounding how Sheila turned and whether or not others may soon follow.

 

 Sheila (Drew Barrymore) chows down. Photo courtesy Netflix.

Sheila (Drew Barrymore) chows down. Photo courtesy Netflix.

MAJOR SEASON ONE spoilers below. As in LAST season so don’t send me hate mail.

The second season picks up directly after the cliffhangers in last season’s finale. This means Joel is being carted off to a mental hospital, and Sheila is literally chained up in the basement waiting for Eric and Abby to create a serum that may stop Sheila from further deteriorating. If this doesn’t immediately jog your memory, please go back and re-binge the first season. Many of the important storylines are directly continued, and if you haven’t reviewed, you may miss some of the best jokes trying to catch up.

My favorite part of this season was admittedly my least favorite part of last season. Joel’s role as an emotionally adolescent parent created a dynamic that grated me last year. Sheila had to do all the murders, raise Abby, and get dinner on the table for her family? Rude. But they really reached a dynamic in the relationship once Joel put down the pot and joined in the dysfunction. When they reached #couplegoals at the end of last season with Joel paying a coroner for “spare” body parts, I didn’t know if they were going to repeat Joel’s maturity process again this season. However, I was really happy to see that he really leaned in this season and the relationship as a whole grew. The situations they encounter push them to decide what they really want and how far they are willing to go to maintain normalcy in this outlandish situationleading to wildly comic results. I have to say, their dynamic was my favorite part of this new season.

Following closely behind was Abby’s arc this season. She’s always been tough and witty, but this season she faltered and realized the boy next door can mean more than the tough guy . . . who works at Color Me Mine (I love these writers). While Eric doesn’t undergo too much change this year, I really don’t think he needs to. His sincere desire to help the Hammonds at any cost makes me believe in mankind again. Which is fairly important when watching a show that graphically shows Barrymore chewing a man’s face off while I cheer her on.