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The Drew Barrymore starring "Santa Clarita Diet" set off on a strange and shocking drive through TV comedy in this Netflix-produced show. The show begins with Barrymore's Sheila Hammond and her husband, Joel living a happy and successful real estate company in Santa Clarita, California. A shocking incident occurs in the first episode which leads to Sheila being described as an undead cannibal or a zombie to the majority of us. The initial reveal of Sheila's transformation is shocking, funny, and quite repulsive but that leads the viewer into the shocking nature of the show further revelations are uncovered about every member of the Hammond family.
In the first decades of the 21stcentury, zombie shows have been prevalent throughout popular culture with "The Walking Dead" taking home many plaudits for its comic book adaptation. Where "Santa Clarita Diet" differs the majority of zombie shows is the fact it is looking for the humor in the situation of a suburban business leader, wife, and mother driven by the need for human flesh. Along with the problems of being a zombie, Sheila is also forced to explore her own identity as she is driven by her base desires with the need for human flesh matched by her increased libido. The son of a neighbor, Eric comes to the rescue and explains the Joel and Shiela that she has become undead and is at the mercy of the id part of her brain.
Life for Sheila and Joel is complicated by the fact they share a daughter, Abby and must try to hide her mother's need for human flesh from their daughter. As the season progresses, the way we live our lives is explored by the show as Sheila looks to break cultural norms and live a free and exciting life with her husband while living for her desires. As the family battle to avoid the deterioration of Sheila's condition they are forced to take more and more drastic actions to ensure their life continues despite the changes Sheila is undergoing.
"Santa Clarita Diet" was created by Victor Fresco, who also acts as showrunner for the Netflix-produced comedy horror. Fresco has a long history in the TV industry and has created some of the cult classic comedies which have become beloved by fans. Perhaps the best-known of the comedies developed by the "Santa Clarita Diet" head is "Andy Richter Controls The Universe", which ran for two seasons on the Fox network. Fresco became a respected comedy writer for his work on the sitcom, "Mad About You" and developed the "Better Off Ted" series.
The cast of "Santa Clarita Diet" s headed by Drew Barrymore in her first lead role in a TV show. Barrymore has been famous around the world since rising to stardom as a child actor in "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial." Drew Barrymore also acts as an executive producer on the show as she did with many of the movies she appeared in over the last three decades, including the "Charlie's Angels" franchise. The Flower Films production company founded by Barrymore also acts as a producer of the show, which is a co-production with Kapital Entertainment, Netflix, and Garfield Grove.
The role of Sheila's husband, Joel is taken by the popular TV actor, Timothy Olyphant who has appeared in numerous TV shows and films. Olyphant first came to public attention in "Scream 2" and the HBO TV series "Deadwood." However, it was for his role as the U.S. Marshal, Raylan Givens in the FX Tv show, Justified that the actor became a household name.
Olyphant's Olybomb Productions acts as a production partner for "Santa Clarita Diet" which is produced using a single camera setup with episodes lasting for between 26 and 36 minutes each. Every aspect of the life and location chosen for the Hammond's was established to make sure it led directly to the change in life experienced by Sheila after she becomes an undead cannibal. for example, the location of Santa Clarita was chosen because Victor Fresco knew the area had a long history as a middle-class neighborhood in California. The contrast of the middle-class neighborhood with the actions of Sheila was a major part of the decision to film in the Californian neighborhood.
The critical response to the show has been mixed with many professional critics pointing to the level of gore and the bloodthirsty nature of the show being too much for many viewers. However, "Santa Clarita Diet" does seem to have developed over the course of its three seasons with online critics giving more positive reviews throughout the run of the show. Rotten Tomatoes gives "Santa Clarita Diet" an overall rating of 75 percent for its first season improving to 82 percent for the second season. By the time the third season was released, the show achieved a 100 percent fresh rating with Rotten Tomatoes to highlight the continued improvement of the series. Many critics praised the work of the lead actors, Barrymore, and Olyphant for driving the story despite the gory nature of the subject matter. The third season of "Santa Clarita Diet" appears to be the last, at least for now as Netflix has not renewed the show for its fourth season.
The show has courted controversy throughout its run and made the headlines in Germany when the first season was released and Netflix released its marketing posters. More than 50 complaints were lodged because of a poster carrying the image of a human finger-shaped to look like a popular fast food dish eaten in Germany. The irony of the "Santa Clarita Diet" is Drew Barrymore may play an undead cannibal but she does not actually eat meat and had to eat items such as wet cake and curdled soup during filming. During the show, Sheila does bite her husband, Joel but whether he becomes a zombie is a cause for debate among fans.
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