Santa Clarita Diet - Season 2 Review (No spoilers)
Every so often, Netflix produces something that is left of field, weird (in a good way) and genuinely original and funny. Santa Clarita Diet is one such series.
Last year in Season 1 we were introduced to the Hammonds; Sheilah Hammond (Drew Barrymore) and Joel Hammond (Timothy Olyphant). Their day job sees them buing and selling houses, Realtors as they call them in the US. Incidentally, the pronunciation of “realtor” becomes a running gag in Season 2.
By way of a quick catch-up Sheilah gets sick, dies and comes back as the undead, a zombie basically. The story then revolves around feeding her habit with genuine comedic writing. Season 2 continues this thread and the Hammonds also try to find out what made Sheilah one of the undead in the first place. Here’s a tip - avoid the clams!
Season 2 also gives expanded roles for their daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) and her friend from next-door, Eric (Skyler Gisondo). Eric’s unrequited love for Abby and his role as the geeky tech-guy and scientist who helps the Hammonds is fun. Olyphant has moved from his gritty role in Justified to a comedy turn as husband to a zombie. He and Barrymore spark off each other and their combined comic timing is excellent.
If you’ll pardon the pun, this series is not to everyone’s taste but I find it quirky, off-beat and charming as the Hammonds stumble from crisis to crisis. All the time, their police officer neighbour investigates the spate of disappearances in Santa Calrita and suspects the Hammonds know more than they are telling. This arc is deliciously concluded at the end of Season 2 with a joke that even Monty Python would be proud of!
For me though, the delight of the series is Drew Barrymore. She brings a zest, a pure joy to the role which on paper, should not work. Her timing and her ability to act through facial expressions alone is simply wonderful. If I appear to be biased, I am. Santa Clarita Diet is fresh, with a sparkling script and two excellent leads who are clearly enjoying every minute of their hamming-it-up.
Forget Atkins. Forget Weight-Watchers. You could do worse than start the Santa Clarita Diet.