Netflix have been over the last few years, making a focused effort to increase the number of shows they bring to their service. Some of these shows are a revelation, look at the incredible success of Stranger Things for example. The latest show to be added to their rosta with hopes of runaway success is Santa Clarita Diet.
Joel & Sheila Hammond are real estate agents who reside in Santa Clarita, California with their teenage daughter. Their life is fairly typical and idyllic until one day Sheila becomes very ill at work and picks up a number of concerning traits, namely a lack of pulse and taste for flesh.
Santa Clarita Diet is a very well made dark comedy and when I say dark, I mean DARK. In the first 20 minutes of the first episode, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were watching a charming rip-off of Desperate Housewives, that feeling is quickly dispelled in fantastically hilarious gross out style by Drew Barrymore’s Sheila becoming rather ill at work. It quickly becomes clear that we are party to something wonderfully subversive and well executed.
The principal cast of Santa Clarita Diet are spot on. Timothy Olyphant’s beleaguered and bemused Joel is a wonderfully realised comedic turn from an actor not know for his comedy roles, he handles the task fantastically in his first season, likeable and frequently hilarious. Drew Barrymore is clearly having a ball playing against type as Sheila, one half suburban housewife, one half bloodthirsty killing machine, it’s a gift of a role to an actress with the requisite amount of comedic talent and Barrymore handles the role admirably. Fine support is offered by Liv Hewson as their teenage daughter. Hewson has absolutely killer comedic timing and is a constant highlight of the whole season.
SCD has made a great first impression and will deliver much mirth if your sense of humour is a little off kilter and you aren’t afraid of A LOT of gore. It isn’t a perfect first season, some of the gags fall flat and the story strays a little mid season, perfectly acceptable blips in an opening season though, I would be a little more concerned if these things haven’t been addressed, tightened and refined by Season 2 but for now, it is nothing that completely ruins ones enjoyment of the inventive comedic carnage that is on offer.
If you are constantly on the look out for your next streaming fix to takeover your life, Santa Clarita Diet may just steal your heart….and devour it whole.