I find it amazing every time I hear someone say, “There’s nothing good on television.” Can you imagine people still think there’s nothing worth watching on television? Nothing? At all? Nothing on network television? Cable? Nothing on the pay channels and nothing on the streaming services? Amazing, isn’t it?
I’d argue we’re living in the Golden Age of Television. Technically, the Golden Age of Television was between 1947 and 1960. At least that’s what some historians would have us believe. To be fair, television was new. The war was over and America was returning to peace. The economy was improving and people had money to spend. One household item people were spending money on was the television.
There were no rules to what a television series could be or what it could do. Flash forward more than sixty-five years and the rules are being re-written. There’s more great television than you can shake a stick at. What’s a viewer to do in these times of choices?
That’s where we come in. We try to separate the wheat from the chaff, as it were. So, without further ado, one of our more recent favorites- Santa Clarita Diet.
Santa Clarita Diet
(Tasty morsels of spoilers ahead. You’ve be warned)
When something becomes popular, in this case that “something” is zombies, it tends to spawn attractors and impersonators. 28 Days Later sparked a renewed interest in the zombies. Shortly after, The Walking Dead blew up and the world went zombie crazy.
Zombies were everywhere. At the height of the zombie craze there were more movies,books, comic books, television shows, and games than one person could count. Zombies were showing up on towels, cups, aprons, toys, and shoes. If a company could put on a zombie on it and market it to the masses they did. But like all pop-culture phenomenons zombies hit their peak and are on the downward slide of the popularity curve.
Luckily for us Victor Fresco (Better Off Ted) and Netflix didn’t get the message. If they had we wouldn’t be watching Santa Clarita Diet. SCD isn’t like any other zombie series you’ve ever seen. First, there is no zombie outbreak, no zombie hordes roaming the streets, and no zombie apocalypse. What SDC has is a solid, funny story.
Drew Barrymore (Charlie’s Angels) and Timothy Olyphant (Deadwood) play Sheila and Joel Hammond. The Hammonds are a happy, rather successful real estate agents until Sheila dies. How she dies is a mystery, but that’s the least of the Hammond’s problems. Things go from bad to worse after she comes back to life with an unhealthy appetite.
Half the story revolves around The Hammonds learning to deal with Sheila’ new, very un-kosher diet (Drew Barrymore munching on a Nathan Fillion’s finger is priceless). The other half is a family drama a lot like one you may find in a situational comedy. Except, these family bonding moments happen over helping dispose of bodies and finding a cure for Sheila’s affliction.
Both Barrymore and Olyphant hit on all the right comedic levels. The chemistry between the two actors and how they play off each other makes the series work. However, the hidden gems in SCD are Liv Hewson and Skyler Gisondo. Hewson plays Abby Hammond and Gisondo is Eric Bennis, the next door neighbor with a huge crush on Abby. The two round out a solid cast which also includes Ricardo Chavira (Desperate Housewives) and Richard T. Jones (American Horror Story).
Bottom line- The die-hard, horror, zombie fan my not be attracted to Santa Clarita Diet, which is unfortunate, because it’s an all around fun watch. In fact, it’s too fun. You’ll binge all episodes and be left waiting for the next season.