Skip to main content

Drew Barrymore Takes A Bite Out of Suburbia in the Hilariously Dark "Santa Clarita Diet": Review

Santa Clarita Diet: TV Review



The less you know about the premise of the new Netflix comedy Santa Clarita Diet before you watch it, the better. You'll get a pretty good indication of whether you're going to like or not in the first fifteen minutes. Without revealing too much, Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant play Sheila and Joel Hammond, married suburban realtors whose lives are irrevocably changed after Sheila develops an appetite for human flesh. 

It's definitely not a show that is going to appeal to everyone. There are several gross-out moments and some of the jokes are really dark. But I found it to be hilarious. When trying to think of other shows that I could compare the tone of Diet to, I came up short. It's goofy and sharp and unlike anything else on TV.

Santa Clarita Diet marks Barrymore's first starring on television since 2000 Malibu Road (a primetime soap produced by Aaron Spelling) was canceled after six episodes in 1992. Unlike her recent film appearances, where she has been a grounding presence, here Barrymore is clearly having fun. Her performance is big and zany, which is also a good way to describe the show. Olyphant has a much trickier role. He fares best when he's trying to match Barrymore's daffy spirit. Liv Hewson is great as Abby, the couple's teenage daughter. This is one of the rare shows where the side plots, mostly involved Abby's adventures with Eric (Skyler Gisondo), are as entertaining as the main ones.

Perhaps because the show try so hard to be unique and singular, not all of its aims are serviced equally.  It's part horror-comedy and part satirical look at self-betterment techniques in suburban culture. Unfortunately, the satire element becomes far less pronounced as the ten episodes go on. Some of my favorite jokes contrast the increasingly preposterous situations with commentary on the prosaic details of married life. More than anything these ten episodes are an indication that the show has a ton of potential to hopefully grow its world in future seasons. While it may not be for everyone, Santa Clarita Diet has such a specific brand of strangeness that must be admired. 

Have you binged Santa Clarita Diet yet? Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments below!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The New "Charlie's Angels" Reboot Doesn't Feel Like "Charlie's Angels," For Better and Worse: Review

If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of Hollywood execs hard at work at rebooting your favorite franchise. In an age where IP is more valuable than any movie star or original idea, everything from the past will eventually get slapped with a new coat of paint and trotted out once more for the consumption of modern audiences. This week's edition: Charlie's Angels. I'm not opposed to reboots and remakes in general, but when this reboot was announced, I couldn't help but give a vaguely melancholic shrug. It really cannot be overstated how much I loved the 2000 version and its 2003 sequel as a child. My obsession with those films led to countless viewings, a love for the original 1970s TV show, and a lifelong standom of Lucy Liu, Cameron Diaz, and my all-time fav Drew Barrymore. If Hollywood so desperately wanted to squeeze new life out of this franchise, why not do a sequel to those movies and bring back Lucy, Cameron and Drew? I would have been first in line to b…

Drew Barrymore is Getting a Daytime Talk Show. Here's Why I Hate It

When Hollywood stopped making big screen romantic comedies after the '00s, there was an entire group of actresses who were forced to pivot their careers to something else. Kate Hudson, Sandra Bullock, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Reese, and Drew Barrymore were all members of this group. Today's news that Drew Barrymore's daytime talk show has been picked up and will premiere in fall 2020 has got me thinking about the career choices these actresses have made since the death of their genre. Reese moved into prestige vehicles on the big screen and mainly on the small screen these days. Sandra Bullock appears in far fewer movies than she did fifteen years ago, but when she does pop up it's mostly in prestige fare. Cameron Diaz retired from acting entirely. Kate Hudson, well I already wrote a thing about what Kate Hudson did. Nearly all of these women have started lifestyle brands or companies, following in the footsteps of the Empress of Celebrity Lifestyle Brands, Gwyn…

Best of TV 2016

The Ten Best TV Shows of 2016Here are the best televisions of 2016:

10. Stranger Things (Netflix)

 The Netflix series quickly became a pop culture phenomenon when it launched on the streaming site in July. Starring a fantastic Winona Ryder as the mother of a missing child, the series pays homage to numerous sci-fi films from the 1980s. Good writing, smart pacing, and a satisfying level of suspense makes Stranger Things a worthwhile binge whether you get the references or not.