Santa Clarita Diet - Drew Barrymore's Netflix zombie show


#21

The first episode is kind of weak in that no one is really comfortable yet and the jokes feel forced and uneven. They find their groove by the second episode and ride off into an absurd sunset from then on out.


#22

Sat down with the wife intending to watch the first couple of episodes on Sunday. It turned in to a full-season binge watch. 10 straight episodes. They are sit-com length (22 - 24 minutes) so it’s not as much of a time commitment as it sounds. Loved every episode.

The ending was a swing and a miss for me though. Netflix shows need to be one-shots, imo, where each season could be considered “complete” if they decided not to renew. Stranger Things and Marco Polo are prime examples if how I feel all Netflix/Amazon series should be handled. If Season 1 was all there was, they would be perfectly fine. They left them open for future seasons, but didn’t make them a requirement to get the whole picture/story. See also: Parks and Recreations. Every season they thought they were getting cancelled, so every season finale (and some mid-season finales) was set up to give you a satisfying ending in case they didn’t get renewed.


#23

Agree. I thought it was great, and the abrupt ending didn’t mar that for me, but you definitely can’t look at the ten episodes and feel like it was any kind of complete story. So many things left hanging.

A couple of things I particularly loved:

  • Loki becoming a zombie. You just KNOW he’s going to become some kind of murder-rapist, but instead he becomes a folk singer because that’s what his id really wanted. I loved that subversion.

  • Dan’s wife being “consoled” by Dan’s policewoman partner, and how thick they lay that on.


#24

I’m glad you guys pushed me. The second episode starts off really boring, but by the end it gets interesting, and then the third episode really takes off and was hilarious at points. I loved it.


#25

Three episodes in and I’m just not that into it. Drew’s performance is just flat and they really are not nailing SoCal suburbia. I appreciate some of the subversion (like the change of heart regarding the drug dealer), but it doesn’t do enough to make me want to keep hanging out with these people.

Edit: Okay, tried out episode 4 and really like where the series goes from there. Still happy at episode 7.


#26

Finished it this weekend and I think I’d give it a B overall, maybe B+. At first I didn’t really get on with Olyphant’s mugging (I wonder how I’d feel if I hadn’t been a Justified fan), but it got either better or more appropriate toward the end of the season. Overall it was a lot of fun, especially with cameos from the likes of Fillion and De Rossi and Waters, but I’ve been watching it side by side with Parks & Rec (season 3) and it’s noticeable how much more often I laugh out loud to the latter.


#27

I watched it all, not entirely pleased. Something about it that doesn’t quite ring. I think it’s because of the way the characters talk and interact seems weird. It’s as if they are just reciting the lines to the audience - they don’t seem to react to each other.

For example, Drew Barrymore’s character says some outrageous things and Olyphant never even gives a hint of annoyance.

I enjoyed the Portia cameo thought!


#28

I finished the season last night.

If that was the last episode, then I liked the ending. I’m amused by the idea of leaving the characters in various stages of trouble. However, if this was a setup for season 2, then I didn’t care for the ending, because it just makes me roll my eyes at the idea of a season 2.

It was a decent show, but I agree @wisefool, there was something a little off about it. It lacked warmth.


#29

I uh may have ahem devoured this in one sitting.

Totally loved it. Absurdist to a fault, but some amazing performances and damned clever writing pull it off.

Unsurprisingly, Olyphant is brilliant. Close second goes to Manic Pixie Dream Daughter and Endearingly Earnest 98-Pound Weakling sidekick.

Man, the whole teenage storyline could have been so bad but I adored how they plotted and executed the whole thing.

Like all the best of this kind of thing, I felt like they did a great job of exploring actual fundamental issues (midlife crisis, dissonance between the teenage self-image you still have and the reality of your adult life, the usual teenage drama, etc) with a veneer of silliness.

9/10, will watch again.

Also:

Well jeez, guy, Longmire isn’t as good as The Wire either. And I’m not convinced that Stranger Things’ first season compares to that of Twin Peaks.

Which is to say, “Parks & Rec is possibly the greatest comedy television of all time, so I am unmoved by your statement” ;)


#30

I like your point about the teens. I thought that the daughter was going to be terrible but she and the geek both step it up as the series progresses.

My biggest gripe is Drew’s flat performance.


#31

Oh yeah, Drew. She was…weird. How much Botox has that poor woman’s face been injected with? And has she always had that weird lisp? I never really watched her back in the day.

At the same time, it…worked? Somehow? If her character weren’t so gonzo, it wouldn’t. And honestly the few scenes in which she plays it straight, she was just fine.

I dunno. I can see the criticism, I just thought the odd way she played the character worked for what it was.


#32

This was my main sore point in an otherwise great show. At times she was fine, but in general her range was too narrow. In some of the scenes, you can tell she was supposed to be more menacing or angrier or seductive, etc. Everything just came off in the same note though. The other characters then reacting as if the line was delivered in the correct tone kinda threw me off in some of the scenes.


#33

Yeah, that’s always been there. I’m a bit of a Drew fan, myself - I thought she was fun in the Charlie’s Angels movies and in 50 First Dates - yeah, it veers into creepiness a bit and there’s that whole Sandler thing, but I kind of liked it.

Anyway as far as Santa Clarita Diet goes, I may have interested my wife in it. This is a massive coup - she finds Zombies intolerably stupid but loves Olyphant and Barrymore (more than myself). If I can get her onboard then maybe I can finally see what all the fuss is about.


#34

I’m not sure Drew really knows how to ‘act normal’ any more. Her recent appearance on The Tonight Show was also slightly off - and that should have been a slam dunk given her relationship with Fallon.


#35

FWIW, I also generally find zombies utterly boring and uninteresting as far as settings go.

IMO SCD works because it isn’t about zombies, not really. They’re the zingy (zingy? Sure, Chrome says it’s a word!) sauce on top of a delicious dish of interpersonal comedy.


#36

I didn’t really like this. There were bits I found funny, and I appreciated the performances of Olyphant and Hewson, but overall I thought this was just a jangly mess.

One of the biggest obstacles for me was Drew Barrymore’s acting. I really did not like the choices she made. Her schtick grates on me something fierce.

On the plus side, I thought it was well-paced and zipped along at a brisk jog.


#37

Fair enough, but I wasn’t trying to compare it unfairly, it’s just what I happen to be watching right now. I like the show quite a bit, but I wouldn’t put in the same tier as maybe a dozen other comedies of the last decade (including Better Off Ted). There’'s even a couple of Netflix original comedies I rate higher.


#38

Late to the party but we watched the first episode tonight because we couldn’t think of anything else we wanted to watch. I loved it,the wife thought it was OK, but we’ll definitely be back for more.

It almost reminded me of Weeds, back when Weeds was good.


#39

Started watching this. Then asked myself “Why I am watching this?” and stopped watching this.

For reference, I loved iZombie.


#40

Remind me not to watch iZombie.