It’s been a year since Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant landed on Netflix, playing realtors faced with the unnatural. The first season of their undead comedy Santa Clarita Diet worked in spite of itself, due to their comedic skills. In its sophomore season, the show comes back sharper and quirkier, clearly proud of its flagrant weirdness. And we can’t wait to see what’s next!
Season 1 ended with the discovery that Barrymore’s character, Sheila, would only become wilder. At the beginning of season 2, we see the once-pushover realtor is still locked in the basement, going crazy. Her teenage daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) is trying to find a Serb’s bile on Craigslist, because where else. After finding the man who provides such a service, and obviously creepiness ensues, Abby sighs:
“I just wanted your vomit. Why’d you have to make it weird?”
And that’s just the first episode. Season 2 fully embraces the absurdity of its premise, twisting the humor time and again. While season 1 seemed forced in its portrayal of normcore facing the strange, season 2 finds its home in bizarre. The dark humor gets darker, as the actors grow more into their characters.
The writers seem more at ease with the material for season 2, and clearly the actors are having fun as well.
I, for one, found Olyphant’s comedy fairly over the top throughout the entire first season. This time around, though, his character Joel is more in tune with what’s happening and is generally more mellow. There’s less hysteria about the entire situation, and it suits Olyphant much better.
Barrymore continues to be a highlight of the show, but this season belongs to Hewson. The young actress shines as the only sane person in a house ravaged by insanity, all while going through adolescence. Extra kudos to Nathan Fillion, who improves anything he’s ever in, even if just for a few minutes. Other acting highlights include Joel McHale’s small role and Natalie Morales’ key part.
Grab a few snacks and dig right into this weird land of Santa Clarita, balancing issues of murder and realtor fights. It’s going to be a hilarious ride.