The Santa Clarita Diet

I’d heard about Neflix’s series, The Santa Clarita Diet and was intrigued, but not really enough to watch it. I’ve always liked Drew Barrymore, but that alone wasn’t enough to make me watch. Then about a week ago, I saw one of the ads:

Having seen Hal and Joanne on my TV for so many years, this really made me laugh and was enough for me to try the show, despite already having enough content in my queue that I’ll likely never finish everything. So what did I think? Well…

The first episode almost made me vomit. Really. I’m not normally squeemish, so I am not sure why I reacted the way I did, but something about Drew Barrymore spray-painting an entire bathroom with greenish vomit made my throat tighten more than I would have expected.

By the end of the episode, I really wasn’t sure if I would continue. I had been hoping for a smart, witty dark comedy and wasn’t sure that I was getting it. I was faintly disappointed, but after considering it a bit, I decided I would at least try a second episode,  which then turned into a third.

While I wouldn’t have said that I actively liked it at that point, there was enough there to keep me watching. The teenaged daughter and her potential love interest– both of whom I expected to dislike– were actually fun characters. As each new episode played (and I ended up watching several in a row…) I grew to like it more and more.

Certainly the show wasn’t exactly what I expected, but it turned out to be something better. My initial thought– that it was more weird than funny– was probably related more to the show not meeting my preconceived notion of what it would be, because it is funny, often extremely so. Humour is subjective, so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but as it progressed, I started to really appreciate the clever dialogue and the way the characters were developing.

There is enough blood and guts in the show that fans of The Walking Dead might feel at home here, but there is quite a bit more. Each episode builds upon what came before, as Sheila (Drew Barrymore) and Joel (Timothy Olyphant) try to keep their lives from spiraling out of control. There is a subplot that comes in the latter half of the series, involving a potential cure for Sheila’s zombiehood, but the main focus is the attempt of this family to maintain a normal life despite undeath and murder.

While this isn’t a show that everyone can appreciate, I for one am already waiting for Season Two…