Sheila and Joel Hammond are a married realtor team in Santa Clarita, California. They struggle to parent their sixteen-year-old daughter, chafe against their grating boss and professional rivals, and eat mediocre Italian food at a local eatery. Well, until one day Sheila gets disturbingly sick at a house showing and seems to….die. Nothing wrong can be found at first, and though the couple are worried Sheila is certain everything is fine. Then she eats their coworker. This comedy series is a three-season run of zombies, murder, and good family fun!
What is Santa Clarita Diet about?
At its heart, this show is about the Hammond family. There are other side characters, sure, but Joel, Sheila, and Abby are the three main characters who have arcs and subplots. Really, Sheila becoming undead and all the crazy antics that come with that are a side idea to the struggles of a modern family adapting and growing together. Surviving the trauma of zombies, murder, serums, cures, and all that brings the Hammond family closer together than ever and really emphasizes how tight a family they are.
The Hammonds are funny, interesting people! They genuinely love one another, they all have individual growth and familial growth, and they each have their own journeys to follow. The show is genuinely funny with some low stakes drama that gets resolved quickly. The length of the episodes helps with that factor, and since it’s a Netflix show you don’t get hung up on too many cliffhangers since the whole season (and the whole show, canceled too soon) are available to you. The actors are all phenomenal choices with great comedic timing, as well!
Not all of the jokes land well, and that’s okay. The ones that do land are pretty great! And overall the tone of the show is consistently funny with interjections of seriousness. There’s only a handful of moments that stand out as off putting and overall the content works. It’s definitely sad that Nathan Fillion doesn’t stick around for the whole show, though.
Depending on your thresholds for certain things, this show might not be for you. There is a lot of gore for sure–to be expected with a zombie show. Nothing is too painfully realistic thanks to the comedic air that comes with most scenes, but there is absolutely a ton of blood, guts, and murder. The show also doesn’t shy away from commenting on the current political state of the world, so though it remains lighthearted throughout it isn’t always a perfect escape.
This show was taken from us far too soon! It’s exactly what the zombie genre needed. A funny show about a family struggling to adjust to life with an undead member of the household. A lot of the cast are pretty great, well known actors, with some newcomers scattered throughout. The subplot of figuring out the origins of the undead is also interesting as adding some lore to the world of zombies (it’s actually a little vampire-like). There are some true laugh out loud moments and lines and some sweet moments. All in all, if you’re looking for a light hearted romp about zombies, this show is perfect for you!