I’m one of those people who doesn’t like Zombie stuff usually. I find the monsters to be boring and nonthreatening. Traditional zombies just aren’t scary considering the slow walking, clumsiness and lack of any intelligence. Just take the below image from The Walking Dead. I love the show, in SPITE of the zombies. The Walking Dead excels by developing great characters rather than relying on “Walkers” every step of the way.
There are exceptions to this rule to be fair. World War Z gave us terrifying zombies who could run faster and were stronger than the average human. THAT is a real threat and one that I can believe would take down the world. The slow moving hollow brained idiots that roam around in so many other shows and films are awful. It’s unlikely this version of zombie would actually take down the world. All it takes is to walk a little faster than usual to get away.
It is for this reason that I love Santa Clarita Diet. The story is about a woman who suddenly dies and “comes back” as an undead “zombie”. Rather than feeling like a monster, she is a better version of herself and extremely human in her own right. Sure she likes to eat human flesh but she acts like a normal person in almost every other way. As a member of the undead community she has gained more passion, energy and drive than ever before. The show brings a great twist on the genre with its comedic timing and feel. Santa Clarita Diet is intended to be a parody of other zombie tropes and it is executed nearly flawlessly.
The writers for the Netflix original bring something fun and hilarious to each episode. Rather than the Zombie being the villain she is instead a hero as she and her husband Joel seek to find meals among the villains of society. The characters get into incredible hi-jinx every episode and it is glorious to behold. The development of Joel and Sheila along with their daughter Abby and best friend Eric is nothing short of pure gold. Drew Barrymore (Ever After and Charlie’s Angels) and Timothy Olyphant (Justified and Hitman) have outstanding on screen chemistry that brings me back every time.
Episodes are set correctly at the 30 minute threshold giving the audience time to be told a story and have a lot of fun with the characters without fluff. With only 10 episodes per season it is just enough to get a fulfilling story and an easy binge. I was able to finish the entire second season in a few days after work. Santa Clarita Diet brings a much needed change to the zombie genre that deserves to be watched by many.