Netflix’s gross-out comedy ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ pulls absolutely no punches with the gore.
Drew Barrymore stars in Netflix’s newest comedy Santa Clarita Diet. Here, she plays half of a middle class real estate agent couple. Cautious and rather wan, Barrymore plays Sheila as the kind of woman either proud of or ignorant of her “mom jeans” status. While showing a coveted house to prospective buyers, she falls violently ill, eventually vomiting an internal organ and dying. Husband Joel (Timothy Olyphant) discovers what he presumes to be her corpse. He’s pleasantly surprised to discover she’s not really dead after all. Or is she dead? Or is he pleasantly surprised?
Given what develops, he may end up wishing for the alternative.
Sheila demonstrates many of the hallmarks of a zombie: the insatiable appetite, the uncontrollable ID, and the sudden love of human flesh. She remains, however, cogent and, on the surface, as normal as she ever was. Santa Clarita Diet feels and looks like a Showtime comedy in the Weeds era. It’s the kind of show where, yes the lead is now a talking zombie, but she learns to embrace life, dammit! As if Oprah produced The Walking Dead. As a zombie, Barrymore learns to embrace her authentic self.
Santa Clarita Diet offers fairly standard takes on suburbia spiced up with a few twists here and there. And then there’s the gore. When people tell you “Don’t watch that while eating,” listen. They’re not joking. The gore, all handled with as light a comic touch as possible, is super gross. Vomit. Organs. Blood. Hewed limbs. More blood. More organs. Even the scenes of Barrymore eating raw meat made me long for a vegetarian lifestyle. I’ve only seen the pilot, but it would be interesting if the show explored the “meat” (animal or human) topic farther.
I suspect it won’t. It’s a fairly breezy show that blends the gore with toothless suburbia satire. Exactly what you’d expect from series creator Victor Fresco, a writer whose freelance script spawned ALF. I’m not exactly sure what attracted Barrymore and Olyphant to the show. She’s fine in the role in that true Drew Barrymore “being a zombie is so magical!” way, but it’s not an Emmy role. He gives a standard sitcom dad performance, pointing more toward the sitcom satiric nature of the series.
Nonetheless, Santa Clarita Diet is a fairly inoffensive and amusing show if you can stomach the gore.
Or maybe you can’t. It may just prove to be the perfect weight-loss diet.
Just point that vomit away from me please.