So it’s official. I’m calling it. My normally ironclad immune system was no match for three very very sick people invading my home after a two month absence. Apparently my parents and my brother got a fever their last week in the Philippines from my aunt and while on the road to recovery, were in pretty rough shape when they got back home. I on the other hand had been the spitting image of picture perfect health until all three decided to do bombard my immune system. There’s only so much a guy can take. So now I’m coughing, sneezing, sniffling, aching, and whatever else those Nyquil commercials list…ing. Ugh. On the bright side, my current affliction gives me valid enough reason to retreat to one of the many hideouts in the office to write and relax in peace while at the same time, looking like I am selflessly quarantining myself for the benefit of my peers.
I’m in such a fuzzy head-state and the back of my eyeballs feel like they’re trying to push their way out of my eye sockets. Every intake of breath feels like I’m inhaling tiny microscopic razor blades through my nostrils. So you know, fun times. Have no fear though, I am dutifully and habitually popping Tylenol left and right. It’s the only medicine we keep in the house. Honestly if I ever accidentally cut off a limb we’d probably just crush up some Tylenol and rub the powder on the wound. As such I have no energy to take on the greater and more pressing issues of our humanity, but just enough to talk to you about my latest Netflix binge-indulgence, The Santa Clarita Diet.
The first time I saw anything about this, I saw this promo before watching whatever it was I was on YouTube for. I thought it was a legitimate diet ad, but then I thought, ‘why the hell would Timothy Olyphant need to do a diet ad’. So I looked up the ad once more and watched it in full and was intrigued. Honestly I still had no idea what this was supposed to be for but at least I knew it was a show and not another South Beach Diet ripoff.
It’s zombies. Spoiler alert, it’s about zombies. Or really, a zombie. A Santa Clarita realtor/suburban mom’s transition to feasting on the flesh of humans while trying to keep her marriage and her family together. I’m surprised Lifetime passed on this.
I loved the first season of Santa Clarita Diet and can’t wait for season two. So that’s two shows now I am waiting for on Netflix to binge, with Stranger Things of course way way way on top of that list.
Drew Barrymore is having a lot of fun playing a woman who is, for the first time in her unlife, feeling free and uninhibited and courageous enough to be her true self. She gets to do so much physical comedy, from Looney Tunes-style stalking her next kill to chasing a rooster around a neighbor’s backyard for an afternoon snack. Timothy Olyphant is so used to being perceived as the rough and tough US Marshal in his former series Justified that he gets to really stretch his image as a former high school football star/prom king turned meek, insecure realtor. It’s amazing how in Justified you could swear he would be able to beat anyone up in a bar and yet in Santa Clarita you put him in front of Nathan Fillion and he perfectly fills the role of someone who will definitely get beaten up. Olyphant also had prior experience in New York as a stand up comic so I think his comedic timing is truly on point when he says his lines and reacts to the antics of his wife and neighbors as he futilely tries to maintain a grip on normalcy.
The show is further bolstered by a great supporting cast. Mary Elizabeth Ellis, the waitress in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, is a semi-regular as their neighbor. There are also some great surprise appearances by comedy talents like Patton Oswalt, Thomas Lennon, Derek Waters, and even Portia de Rossi (the same company that brought you the short-lived and tragically underrated Better Off Ted is also behind Santa Clarita Diet). The writing is good, it is witty, and it is delivered perfectly. The writers have to be commended for continually poking fun at the absurd and yet undeniable practical parts of living with an undead wife/mother.
The show has some great ‘WTF’ moments which to me are what defines it and really gives the series its comedic bearing. I hope the writers take more chances in the second season. They’ve proven that their writing can be witty, relatable, and believable and that they have a cast that is able to bring these lines to life (ha, get it, life?). Without going overboard or losing its subtlety and surprise, I think they can manage to sneak a few more of those completely outrageous and outlandish moments into each episode. There were some great moments during the series when I was literally laughing out loud at thermometers and vomit. The show is wisely light on exposition or plot and lives up to its best potential when it ‘forgets’ it’s a zombie show and tries to capture suburbia from the bottom of a blender filled with a man’s ears and face. I highly recommend if you’re looking for a less dramatic take on zombies or a more outrageous take on family comedies, to check out Santa Clarita Diet. And that’s all you’ll get out of me today because I’m already dizzy.
Man: 195 Loneliness: 33