Santa Clarita Diet returns on March 23rd, only on Netflix.
By Jeffery Shellenbarger
The problem with chasing the past is that it is already gone. No matter how much you wish you could recapture what was, things have changed around you, and continue to change. In the first season of Santa Clarita Diet, the Hammond family desperately seeks to cure Sheila (Drew Barrymore) of whatever caused her to join the ranks of the undead, thus re-establishing the status quo. In its second season, the family settles in and works toward trying to get comfortable with their new murder-filled reality. The show, thankfully, does much the same.
Part of that getting comfortable comes from exploring characters outside the core family. We see a return of the murdered former-colleague Gary West (Nathan Fillion), albeit in a slightly different form. This time, instead of being a cocky sexual predator, we see a man who is a bit stuck-in-his-head and introspective. We see a man who wants to correct his many mistakes and to make things right.
We also discover that Sheila is but one of three original zombies (or whatever you wish to call these human-eating former people). In discovering the origin of the outbreak—which is revealed to be a rather hilarious call-back to the first episode of the series—Joel (Timothy Olyphant) finds a purpose beyond being a co-conspirator. He’s now taking on a somewhat heroic role as he works toward preventing the outbreak from spreading.
The relationship between Abby (Liv Hewson) and precocious neighbor Eric Bemis (Skyler Gisondo) is further tested as they each begin dating other people. In doing so, not only do they discover how they actually feel about each other, but also who they are in this new reality. They each seek justice, but with conflicting approaches.
Most important of all, however, is how Sheila and Joel’s relationship is explored, both as romantic partners, but also as realtor partners. (Or as they would say, “Real-a-tors.”) Instead of trying to change Sheila back, they work toward trying to mitigate the problems of being an undead murder machine, while also trying to exploit the many positives. Sheila is a much better realtor than she was when she was alive, but her newfound rage also makes her relationship with her chauvinist boss (played by the always-fantastic Andy Richter) impossible.
Overall, season 2 is bloodier, funnier, and emotionally deeper than the first season. If you’re a fan of horror comedy, this will not disappoint. If you haven’t seen the first season, however, maybe give that a watch first.
I give Santa Clarita Diet Season 2 an A-.