Santa Clarita Diet Review

Santa Clarita Diet is a 2017 horror-comedy web television series created by Victor Fresco, starring Timothy Olyphant, Drew Barrymore, Liv Hewson, and Skyler Gisondo.  The story follows married realtor agents Sheila (Drew Barrymore), Joel (Timothy Olyphant), and their daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) who live in Santa Clarita, California.  Their lives unexpectedly takes a dark turn when Sheila goes through a dramatic transformation into a zombie sending them down a road of death and destruction.


Positives:

  • Witty dialogue
  • Fantastic cast
  • Great performances
  • Interesting premise
  • Great humor
  • Great characters
  • Great special effects

Negatives:

  • Forced humor at times

Plot:  The story is set in Santa Clarita, California, and follows the Hammonds, real estate agents Joel, Sheila, and their daughter Abby, whose lives are turned upside down when Sheila becomes a zombie  and starts craving human flesh.  Now, along with their young neighbor Eric, the family has to deal with their neighbors and finding out the mystery behind her transformation as well as finding a cure.  The series is pretty interesting especially with how the family is dealing with the situation. (3 out of 5)

Characters:  Loved the really diverse cast of characters.  The main characters are Sheila’s husband and Abby’s father Joel Hammond (Olyphant), Joel’s wife and Abby’s mother Sheila Hammond (Barrymore), Sheila and Joel’s daugther Abby Hammond (Hewson), and the Hammond’s neighbor Eric Bemis (Gisondo).  Joel and Abby are real estate agents and the two have wonderful chemistry together.  I like the relationship they have with Abby, whose sarcasm, wit, and rebellious nature make her instantly a favorite.  Also, there is their neighbor Eric, who’s a pretty likable character.  Abby and Eric have this blooming friendship that could potentially be a great relationship. (4 out of 5)

Cast:  The casting and performances are done really well.  The main leads are Timothy Olyphant, Drew Barrymore, Liv Hewson, and Skyler Gisondo. Olyphant and Barrymore have great chemistry.  Olyphant definitely hits the mark with the humor. Liked the chemistry between Hewson and Gisondo. The supporting cast includes Ricardo Chavira, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Richard T. Jones, Joy Osmanski, Natalie Morales, Thomas Lennon, Grace Zabriskie, DeObia Oparei, and Portia de Rossi. (4 out of 5)

Visuals:  There are some pretty good shots of the town and surrounding landscape.  There are some pretty intense scenes, that are violent and gory.  The practical effects when it comes to the gore is done extremely well.  Scenes like when Sheila is feeding or when she gets injured are done well but are graphic. (3 out of 5)

Score:  The music is done pretty well.  John Debney brings a lot of atmosphere to the show, setting up the light-hearted tone. (3 out of 5)

Writing:  There’s a lot of thought put into the writing and definitely appeals to the adult audience it’s intended for.  For one thing, its personality is well diversified.  Scenes with Barrymore can be pretty brutal and gory but it’s handled well.  There are moments between the cast that are pretty damn moving and make the show emotional deeper.  But it’s the dark humor that makes it so engaging.  Thumbs up to the extremely well-written dialogue, the perfect timing, and the precise execution that makes the series gut busting funny.  A special thumbs up to Olyphant’s delivery and Barrymore’s brilliance.  And yes, there is a lot of cursing.  In the end, the comedy and horror do mesh pretty well making for an appealing show. Sometimes the humor is more than a little forced.  There are moments where one or both of the leads intend to kill someone, but they do it in a wacky unbelievable way.  (3 out of 5)


The Verdict:  In the end, Santa Clarita Diet is a pretty good horror comedy.  Most of the issues surround the forced humor.  However, the Santa Clarita Diet does feature good performances by the leads, a great cast, likable characters, great humor, clever writing, intense violence, and an interesting premise.  Santa Clarita Diet gets 3 out of 5.

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