Santa Clarita Diet: S1E1: “So Then a Bat or a Monkey”

9.0 Overall Score

When you think of zombies in a traditional sense, you think of the decaying skin or in some recent cases, a baseball bat wrapped with barbed wire named Lucille. Instead of the Resident Evil, Dead Rising-esque way we usually picture the undead – what if a zombie was the typical neighbor next door? For that, Santa Clarita Diet gives you a look on how a family would handle such affliction. A little less Walking Dead, but a little more dark humor like Zombieland.

The Hammonds consist of Sheila (Drew Barrymore), husband Joel (Timothy Olyphant) and their daughter Abby (Liv Hewson). From the first look, this seems like your quintessential suburban family. It’s almost like one of those ABC sitcoms in the essence of Modern Family. Both Sheila and Joel are realtors off to have another typical day in their routine, but things start to go south very quickly. Something is very wrong with Sheila and the first episode of the series is spent navigating that in
an amusing way.

A couple things work in “So Then a Bat or a Monkey,” the first is that the writers assumed that their audience knows the ins and outs of zombies. We’ve had more than enough source material on the subject. The episode focus on the core aspects of “zombism.” Before Sheila’s condition, the Hammonds were not very edgy and played it very safe. The main aspects of being a zombie other than the incessant hunger for flesh is that the desires of the ID become more pronounced.

The other strength arr the performances. Drew Barrymore as Sheila, the mom next door, now impulsive and full of energy, is the spark plug that a lot of things revolve around. Timothy Olyphant as Joel is also hilarious. As a dad who is very structured and rigid in his routine, it’s fun to see how the changes in Sheila also causes him to break down of being mundane. Gary West (Nathan Fillion), the new hot shot realtor who has eyes for Sheila is the antagonist that meets his end in a very gory way at the end. The Hammonds are then pushed into a position that is far beyond the raw hamburger meat feeding frenzy.

Main Photo Credit: Netflix


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Author: Murjani Rawls View all posts by
Journalist, Self-published author of five books, podcast host, and photographer since 2014, Murjani Rawls has been stretching the capabilities of his creativity and passions, Rawls has as a portfolio spanning through many mediums including music, television, movies, and more. Operating out of the New York area, Rawls has photographed over 200+ artists spanning many genres, written over 700 articles ranging displaying his passionate aspirations to keep evolving as his years in media continue.

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