Joel and Sheila are your average couple when we first meet them in the premiere of Netflix’s newest original series, SANTA CLARITA DIET. These two realtors live with their teenage daughter Abby in the suburbs of L.A. and there’s nothing remarkable about them at all. In fact, they’re a bit boring and disconnected from each other….and Joel is a little too obsessed with the loose knob on his toaster oven. But things change when Sheila vomits up….well, almost everything inside of her, including an organ.
Suddenly she’s craving more sex with her husband, going out with her girlfriends and has boundless energy. Joel, on the other hand, is concerned about the fact that his wife now has no pulse and is very, very different from the woman she used to be. Now she’s snacking on their realtor-nemesis in the backyard and he’s trying to figure out how to keep her fed while also keeping their marriage together (and her new zombie state a secret).
SANTA CLARITA DIET is a twist on both zombie shows and the suburban comedy. Drew Barrymore is lighthearted as an average woman who is adjusting to her newfound undead status. Timothy Olyphant, meanwhile, drops the more serious acting chops he honed in DEADWOOD or JUSTIFIED and plays against type. He’s mostly a mild-mannered dad, but you’ll chuckle as he starts going slightly crazy from the unpredictability of his situation.
There’s also heart at the center of SANTA CLARITA DIET. While the gore is plentiful, the show is really about a family trying to stay together in the face of unusual circumstances.
SANTA CLARITA DIET is available to stream worldwide on Netflix as of Friday, February 3.