I realized as I was writing this post that some of you may have some questions for me. Questions like, “How does Sarah Beck pick which show she will next review for our delight and pleasure? Who is this wonderfully innovative and hilarious new blogger? Who are we wondering about again? How long is too long to wait to admit I don’t actually know or care who this person is?”
Well, despite the fact that you’re all terrible people and have done irreparable damage to my feelings, I will answer one of your questions. How do I choose which new shows to start watching? It’s not much of a process, really. I just like weird shit. So when I saw a new show on Netflix starring Drew Barrymore about a Southern Californian real estate agent come zombie trying to live a somewhat normal existence, I knew I was in for at LEAST a season.
Let’s get a few disclaimers out of the way first. If you often have trouble understanding dark humor, you can’t stand gore or you need a lot of realism in your shows, Santa Clarita Diet (SCD as you can call it if you’re good friends with it like I am) is not the show for you. Maybe try Fuller House or CSI Miami (is that still a thing?) or something.
I invited a buddy over, popped some popcorn, and settled in to watch the first two or three episodes (that’s my usual cut off for deciding if I like a show or not. iZombie only got two episodes before I tried to burn it from my memory). Before I knew it, the show was over. I don’t mean the first episode progressed quickly, I mean somehow several hours of show watching happened without me noticing. I always love shows that can have that effect on me. SCD pulled me into the story so completely and effectively that time ceased to be important to me.
Honestly, it wasn’t surprising that I enjoyed the show, not like Jane the Virgin. Netflix is on fire with its original series. I mean, Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, (we won’t talk about Iron Fist here, I’ll leave that mess to someone else), they are behind some truly amazing shows lately! So let’s break it down with what I really enjoyed about SCD. First of all, Drew Barrymore. She’s fantastic. She brings an honesty and levity to her character Sheila that makes her endearing and fun to watch. Other enjoyable performances include Ricardo Antonio Chavira as the high strung, possibly violent, potentially dangerous next door neighbor Dan and Skylar Gisando as his nerdy, awkward, sweet stepson, Eric. The bright, colorful, plastic backdrop paired with the repression and shallowness of the characters (mostly the neighbors) is a pretty cool juxtaposition against the new dark, gritty world that Sheila is attempting to secretly navigate.
There are definitely a few weak spots, like the weird, forced feel of the relationship slowly developing between Eric and the Sheila’s daughter Abby (because we all know that the brilliant guy HAS to be awkwardly obsessed with the mediocre girl next door) or the strange and convoluted search for a cure for the zombie disease. Hopefully, these are issues that will be addressed and fixed in the second season, but they definitely don’t ruin the show for me overall.
The darkness is met with sufficient brevity, the storyline holds your interest and there are some pretty fun characters thrown in the mix. For a show in its first season, I think SCD did very well! I’m hooked and I impatiently await season two… COME ON NETFLIX, HURRY UP!