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Santa Clarita Diet: Netflix's new offbeat comedy that gives us a different look at zombies

by Roisin Gordon. Published Tue 07 Feb 2017 20:47, last updated: 07/02/17

Netflix have produced a number of brilliant original TV shows over the last few years, their latest output Santa Clarita Diet doesn’t sound like a particularly funny premise but once you get into it, you find yourself surprised.

OK so it’s not at the same standard as their other TV shows but it does give a different and refreshing take on zombie-based comedies but not in the way that Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead have done but instead uses a sitcom approach towards the plot.

Sheila (Drew Barrymore, Miss You Already) is just your average suburban neighbor, a realtor living in Santa Clarita who is happily married with a teenage daughter and leads a pretty blissful yet dull life, that is until she unexpectedly ‘dies’ from a virus and turns into a zombie.

Unlike the zombies that you see in most TV shows and films, Sheila looks and acts completely normal... apart from having a craving for human flesh and no beating heart, so it’s down to Sheila and her husband Joel (Timothy Olyphant, TV’s Justified) to keep up appearances with the neighbors whilst trying to find a cure and people to kill to feed Sheila.

In spite of this being a horror-comedy, there’s not as much gory stuff as you’d think you’d get and when there is, it can make you feel a little squeamish such as when Sheila cuts open her hand only to reveal a more tar like substance rather than blood and that’s not even the worst of the gory stuff.

They also make a few characteristic changes to her such as making her more bolder and confident as well as speaking her mind to whoever she wants, which does lead to some really funny exchanges between Sheila and other characters.

Although there is a lot of digging from the main characters to find a cure for Sheila there’s not really an explanation as to how she got the virus that turned her into a zombie and at times it seems like they’re making things up as they go along which is a little disappointing but hopefully if there is a season two they could explore that side to the story a little more.

Drew Barrymore is not the first actress you would think of to play a zombie with her sweet natured demeanor but she plays against our expectations of her and is really hilarious when she becomes more outspoken and bold as a result of her personality transformation.

Timothy Olyphant is also very likeable and plays off more as a straight man who is trying to understand everything that’s happening whilst also trying to be the glue that holds his family together.

Whilst not Netflix’s strongest show, it’s certainly got a fun premise and is worth watching.



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