REVIEW: New season of ‘Santa Clarita Diet’ is to die for

Third season dives deeper into what it means to be undead


Photo Courtesy of Saeed Adyani / Netflix

Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant return for a third season of horror-comedy television series “Santa Clarita Diet.” The show’s third season premiered March 29 on Netflix.

Ashton Byers

Spoiler warning for all seasons of “Santa Clarita Diet.”

The third season of “Santa Clarita Diet” dives deeper into the life of the undead, and I am living for it.

What makes “Santa Clarita Diet” so intriguing is that it’s not your typical zombie show. The Hammonds are just your average family, husband and wife, living in the suburbs with their teenage daughter Abby. The last thing anyone expects is for the mother who plays Sheila to be undead.

“Santa Clarita Diet” is like “The Walking Dead” meets “Desperate Housewives.” The Hammond family is keeping a secret within the neighborhood while living a seemingly normal life.

From the outside looking in, their life seems desirable. A married couple who sells real estate, an awkward teenage daughter, and a secret that only the three of them share.

To recap, Sheila Hammond, played by Drew Barrymore, became undead after going to a local restaurant and consuming clams known as “ruby reds,” which were brought to the US from a cave in Serbia.

Sheila’s husband Joel Hammond, played by Timothy Olyphant, grew used to cleaning up after her cannibalistic ways throughout the first two seasons. By the third season, it’s second nature for him.

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For most of the show, Joel fights an internal conflict — Sheila wants to bite him so that he can become undead and live forever with her. For several episodes, he fights with the idea and goes back and forth. It wasn’t until the last episode that the decision was made for him.

What I find ironic about this, is that they are already married which means they took vows to spend the rest of their lives together. Which brings up a new issue — what does spending the rest of your life together really mean and what makes it binding?

In the Hammond’s case, it’s simply a piece of paper. With Sheila being undead, the only way for them to actually spend eternity together is for Joel to be bitten and become undead with her.

The idea of Joel having to run behind Sheila to clean up her mess after she goes on her cannibalistic killing sprees is something I find very comical. Comical in the sense that it’s endearing how dedicated he is to his wife, despite the mess she creates.

So often we see TV shows featuring women cleaning up the messes their husbands leave behind and it’s quite refreshing to see Joel do it, knowing it’s the only way Sheila can survive.

Sheila only kills for good. In my opinion, if you’re going to be a zombie, that’s the best way to go. Sheila justifies it by the person’s actions — if they’re a bad person, she feels justified in killing them.

The way she acts out her cannibalistic ways is the cleanest way a zombie can kill. She kills people strategically, as a serial killer would, so that she doesn’t leave tracks behind.

This is quite unlike traditional zombie shows like “The Walking Dead.” Traditional zombies are violent and have no control over their actions, whereas Sheila has full control and is fully aware of her actions.

What makes “Santa Clarita Diet” so great is how relatable it is. We all have family of some sort that keep secrets. Many have experienced living in a suburb with nosy neighbors. Life gets messy, but maybe that’s the point.