TV Review: Santa Clarita Diet Season One

santa clarita dietSuburbanite Sheila Hammond (Drew Barrymore) finds herself confused. A recent upset stomach culminated in a lot of vomit when she and her likewise realtor husband Joel (Timothy Olyphant) showed a house to an interested couple. In fact, Sheila may have vomited up an organ. Before this remarkable illness, Sheila and Joel Hammond, though very much in love, found their lives had fallen into a bit of a rut, After her seeming brush with death, though, Sheila’s outlook changes. Although she no longer possesses a discernible heartbeat, she finds her energy doubled and her passion for life exuberant. Her previously type A personality yielded to an unexpected indulgence of Id. However, she must make some changes to her diet.

As with many television series, the first episode drags a bit while setting up the mythology. However, as the characters embrace their altered existences and tackle the problems inherent with Sheila’s newly undead state while maintaining a semblance of normalcy, the action picks up. Their teenaged daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) acts out in reaction to the changes in her homelife, and the aid of Libby’s intelligent and charming classmate and neighbor, Eric Bemis (Skylar Gisondo) helps the Hammond family make sense of their situation.

The mythology toys with zombie culture, but instead of resulting in a mindless eating machine, Sheila and the undead in “The Santa Clarita Diet” maintain their intellects. Becoming an animated corpse frees their libidos. They pursue dreams. Much like the DC Comic turned CW television series iZombie, wherein lead character Liv Moore (Rose McGowan) claims a zeal for life previously denied while still alive, Sheila maintains something of a moral compass, choosing her victims when not overtaken by a blinding desire to eat human flesh. She cares for her family and worries over her realty business.

Although often profane, the series merges wit and quirky characters in improbable circumstances. Victor Fresco wrote the ten episode first season of the American paranormal comedy for Netflix. Although Netflix has not announced a second season, the first season ended with a cliffhanger.

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