Review: Modern family and Suburgatory collide with iZombie in Santa Clarita Diet

Santa Clarita Diet

The zombie plague has well and truly infected our media and it doesn’t look like we will be finding a miracle cure anytime soon. So why should you invest your time watching yet another iteration of the tired ‘brain-munching undead’ concept? Netflix just might have your answer.

In Netflix’s newest original series Santa Clarita Diet, Drew Barrymore horrifically munches on human flesh, whilst maintaining her high-class suburban lifestyle. The hilarious series combines stomach turning gore and deadpan humour, with a narrative that you will actually care about. But don’t let the Modern Family vibe fool you, this isn’t the show to watch while chowing down on a beef taco. Trust me, I made that mistake.

Santa Clarita Diet follows suburban realtors Joel (Timothy Olyphant: Justified) and Shelia (Drew Barrymore: Donnie Darko, Scream) who live in the L.A suburb of Santa Clarita with their teenage daughter Abby (Liv Hewson: Before I Fall). Their mundane lives are flipped upside down when Sheila goes through a dramatic change, which sees her chopping, blending, and gnawing on human flesh. For most, dying and coming back to life with an appetite for human body-parts would be a bit of a bummer. But Shelia relishes her new lifestyle, which gives her a new found confidence, insatiable sexual desire, and top-notch parallel parking abilities. While the stomach turning superfood may have its pros, Shelia soon finds out that killing people and eating them can have a negative effect on your day-to-day family life.

In Santa Clarita Diet, seasoned Actress Drew Barrymore manages to give us a character that is somehow likeable, whilst still being utterly disgusting and annoyingly impulsive. While some dialogue edges past humour and slowly creeps upon ridiculousness, Barrymore and Olyphant’s top-notch performance is reason enough to forgive the off-and-on cringe.

When watching the Santa Clarita Diet trailers it felt safe to assume that the series would be a mindless zombie comedy that would lack in actual substance. But perhaps the most surprising part of the ten-part series is the fact that it actually has a storyline, substance, and worthwhile plot development, which will leave you wishing the next season would just hurry up and come out already.

While Santa Clarita Diet delivers on plot, it is slow-burning and can take upwards of three episodes before you feel any kind of emotional attachment to the series. If you end up loving it, expect to recommend it to friends along with the line: “Give it a few episodes, it will grow on you.”

All in all, Santa Clarita Diet is an enjoyable series with fun characters and a worthwhile plot. While zombies are ridiculously over-represented in film and television, Netflix manages to bring something new to the table. In what can be described as a mash-up of iZombie, Modern Family and Suburgatory, Netflix melds suburban family life, with an insatiable appetite, and the burdens that come with being undead.

Santa Clarita Diet is Produced by Nancy Juvonen (Donnie Darko, 50 First Dates). Showrunner Victor Fresco (My Name is Earl, Better Off Ted), Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant, Aaron Kaplan (Instant Mom, The Neighbors), Tracy Katsky (Mr. Robinson), Chris Miller (The Lego Movie, 22 Jump Street) and Ember Truesdell (Tough Love), are Executive Producers on the series.

Santa Clarita Diet will consist of ten half-hour episodes, which will be available to stream globally on Netflix on February 3, 2017.

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Review: Modern family and Suburgatory collide with iZombie in Santa Clarita Diet

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