With Netflix recently giving us ‘Santa Clarita Diet’, 1428 Elm went through the first season like a rabid wolverine. Here’s our delicious thoughts.
After announcing Santa Clarita Diet, Netflix immediately began piquing my interests again. Giving off a slightly hip irreverent vibe, SCD gave us huge promise as an alternative to shows like Syfy’s Z Nation and AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Now, with the entire first season available on the streaming giant for your binging delights, I found myself devouring SCD in quick fashion. Is the whole season tasty? Let’s grab a fork and get into it shall we.
For starters, Santa Clarita Diet often comes off as thinking itself smarter than it actually is. While admittedly sharp witted, the new Netflix series is often giving us B+ gags and payoffs but thinking it A material.
Sure, the concept is solid, but it’s not unlike something we’ve never seen before. Seriously, approach is everything, and SCD would love us to believe it’s the first jab at serious zombie fair. Maybe someone should have told the creators about Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead.
Then there’s the late in the game plotting. For the first three of four episodes, SCD tries to ride on its wit and fails miserably. Now, I’m not saying the series isn’t entertaining up to that point, but the series improves when it begins real narrative plotting. Once the two main characters start interviewing with the desires of the cop neighbor, the real storytelling begins. This helps Santa Clarita Diet’s “too smart” tone even itself out. Too bad it doesn’t last long.
That’s not to say all of Santa Clarita Diet is less that stellar. The new Netflix series, which is currently pulsating through the horror community, has a lot to offer for your money and time.
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To begin, star Timothy Olyphant is brilliant as problem-solving husband Joel Hammond. Sharing the screen with fellow Scream alum, Drew Barrymore, Olyphant kills it every second he’s onscreen. His comic timing perfect, and his take on the character something different, I loved seeing him on screen. After years of playing Raylan on FX’s underrated Justified, it’s great seeing the actor take on wholly different roles.
Then there’s the tongue-in-cheek humor. While I’ve stated the series isn’t as smart as it’s wants to be, that doesn’t mean it isn’t smart. Especially after the series focuses more on a plotted story, the situations and dialog in SCD is great. I found myself laughing out loud more than a few times during the series.
Also, when the series is seriously plotting itself, the show is amazing. Hugely lacking in the beginning, and a little at the end, the series is most effective when mixing plot with comedy. Here’s hoping for a fully realized season season in Santa Clarita Diet. Which is a huge possibility as I’m thinking Netflix is renewing. Only time will tell.