Review: Santa Clarita Diet, season 2

Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant in Santa Clarita Diet

Season 2 of Santa Clarita Diet is even funnier than season 1. This story about a suburban wife, mother and realtor turned into a flesh eating member of the undead sounds like it would be terrible, but it’s really good.

The ensemble cast working on Santa Clarita Diet has honed their teamwork into a razor sharp comedy machine. The dialog is fast and crisp and the timing from everyone is to the instant. The crazy good chemistry between Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant is the yeast that makes the whole story pop.

Barrymore plays Sheila Hammond, a woman who mysteriously joined the undead in season 1. She can’t eat anything but human flesh. Her husband Joel (Olyphant) is a guy who just wants a normal life and time to build a new bookcase. But they find themselves needing a constant supply of bodies for Sheila to consume. As Joel is fond of saying, they aren’t murderers, but they keep murdering people.

Skyler Gisondo and Liv Hewson in Santa Clarita Diet
Just helping the folks with thawed thumbprints for breaking into a computer

Joel and Sheila have a teenaged daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) who knows the situation and helps out with mom’s problem any way she can. The teenaged boy next door, Eric (Skyler Gisondo), knows the situation too. He’s a science nerd and finds a serum in season 2 that will prevent Sheila from getting any more feral than she currently is.

Season 2 brings clues as to how Sheila became undead and leads to several episodes devoted to preventing any more people from joining the undead. In the process they find some other undead characters who add some fun to the plot.

In Joel and Sheila’s suburban neighborhood live several cops and sheriff deputies. The most suspicious of Joel and Sheila is Anne (Natalie Morales). She’s currently sleeping with Eric’s mom Lisa (Mary Elizabeth Ellis). Anne is a constant problem because she’s close to figuring out what the nervous neighbors are doing.

Lisa’s husband (killed last season by you know who) was also a cop. Lisa has a closet full of cop stuff like night vision goggles and explosives. Useful that.

Nathan Fillion in Santa Clarita Diet
Gary, sort of

Sheila’s first victim, in season 1, was an asshole named Gary played by Nathan Fillion. Sheila and Joel buried what was left of Gary in the desert. Now their boss at the realty company wants to build a new development there.  They go dig him up to move him and find the head. It still talks. They didn’t destroy the brain. Newbie mistake.

The best gag in all of season 2 is the moldering head of Nathan Fillion stuck in a flower vase, offering comments and jokes on everything that happens.

More and more people in the Santa Clarita area disappear. Nazis. Grabby men who volunteer their bile. Not all these victims are Sheila’s fault. There might be clams and red high heeled boots involved.  Cafeteria trays are somewhere in a subplot.

The teenagers have their own subplots around dating and eco action. The adults need to make a living selling real estate and want to keep their family together. It makes for fast action, fast conversations about which pressing problem of the day is most pressing, and lots of fun.

There’s a lot of bad language and sex jokes in Santa Clarita Diet, as well as bloody scenes with unlucky people getting gobbled messily by Sheila. It’s not for the little ones.

Drew Barrymore is in top form as the flesh eating mom who wants to be more than undead. She wants to have a life, too.

I say you should watch this Netflix comedy series. If you already have, please share your opinions about it below.

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