The second season of “Santa Clarita Diet” was added to Netflix this past weekend and so I did what any good college student would do. I binge watched the entire season in a day. To be fair it is only 10 episodes so it wasn’t that hard. Important warning, there will be some spoilers ahead, especially if you haven’t seen the first season. Now would be a great time to stop reading.
For those who missed season one or just need a recap, “Santa Clarita Diet” is a comedy-horror starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Oliphant. The duo play Sheila and Joel Hammond who live in Santa Clarita, California with their daughter Abby where they work as realtors. At the beginning of the series something happens that turns Sheila into an undead creature (zombie?) that likes to eat human flesh. The show follows the family’s adventures as they come to terms with Sheila’s transformation, their need to kill people and their search for a cure.
Other people become invested in the adventure including the Hammond’s neighbor Eric, who learns about Sheila’s transformation when his step-dad is killed by the Hammonds for being too nosey and blackmailing them. Eric becomes one of the prime people involved with helping cure Sheila. After a cast of hijinks, the crew discovers a potential cure/prevention potion. The first season ends with Joel trying to gather the last ingredient for that potion and instead he is committed into a mental hospital.
The second season begins hours after the first season ends. Seeing how it hasn’t even been out for a full week, I’ll stick to a basic framework. While the first season was more concerned with dealing with Sheila’s disease, the second has a focus on both diagnosing how she got the disease and stopping the disease from spreading. If we are being very critical, they were fairly successful and they do manage to find the source of the disease and even put a stop to it. But things never end well, and the second season ends with more problems than solutions for the Hammonds.
This is show is similar to other zombie-comedy pieces while still remaining original. Two of the most popular zombie-comedy flicks take the same stance. Both “Warm Bodies” and “Zombieland” look at things from within the actual apocalypse which is cool, but also pretty standard for a zombie themed thing. “Santa Clarita Diet” takes a much more novel approach. There isn’t some mass zombie outbreak and because the undead remain conscious (more-so with some), life around them goes on. Aside from trying to keep Sheila from literally falling apart, the Hammonds also need to make sure that Abby does well in school and that their careers as realtors don’t fall apart. This, of course, leads to many hijinks and trials that the Hammonds and co, are forced to deal with. It’s especially successful because the show doesn’t take itself too seriously, though some jokes are a little strained. Also as someone who likes seafood, there are some uncomfortable revelations. Do with that information what you will.
The first season of the show garnered fairly popular reviews with critics and audiences and I expect the second season to as well. Overall, I think it’s a great season and definitely worth checking out. I might remove half a point just because I’m mad about the seafood thing, but assume I’m giving it a perfect score. Seasons one and two of “Santa Clarita” are currently streaming in full on Netflix.