Wednesday, February 22, 2017

TV Review: Santa Clarita Diet (2017)

Santa Clarita Diet (2017) created by Victor Fresco

Husband and wife real estate team Joel (Tim Olyphant) and Sheila (Drew Barrymore) are thrown for a loop when she dies but stays alive. They live in Santa Clarita, California, in a typical Hollywood American suburb. The neighbors are all well-to-do and run the range from nice to catty. Both next door neighbor men are in law enforcement, which is both weird and seemingly just for plot development contrivances. The next door neighbor son is a nerd. He is naturally helpful when they realize Sheila has turned into a zombie. Her main symptom is a taste for raw flesh. She also has a lack of inhibition and a lot of energy, making her behavior a bit unstable and enhancing her libido. After eating her first human, she has an insatiable urge for human flesh that raw beef and chicken won't satisfy. They have to find people who are evil and won't be missed in order to keep her fed and themselves out of custody.

The show is a comedy and I did laugh at least once in each episode, but the show has some problems. The gore is too realistic and off-putting to be funny, even though they try to make it comic. Comedy gore is not as easy as Sam Raimi makes it looks. The regular jokes are more miss than hit--for every time I laughed, there were at least two times when I thought to myself, "That was a joke at which they meant me to laugh." Weak jokes can be okay if stronger jokes earlier on set the right tone for the show, but a strong comic vibe just isn't there soon enough or strong enough to make the show funny throughout. Another problem is the many plot threads that are unresolved by the end. The final episode clearly anticipates a second season. Sadly, I am not interested in watching any more.

Not recommended.

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