Published Mar 21, 2018When Santa Clarita Diet premiered on Netflix in February 2017, it brought sly, satirical humour to the zombie genre, paired with jaw-dropping amounts of audacious blood and guts. Add in some excellent performances by Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore as Joel and Sheila Hammond, a suburban couple whose marriage is put through the ringer when Sheila develops a taste for human flesh, and you have the makings of a delightful, stomach-churning, offbeat comedy.
In its second season, audiences can expect to see more of what makes Santa Clarita Diet so special — a surprisingly realistic, sweet story about how relationships grow and change.
"This 'ride-or-die' relationship, and how Sheila and Joel are going to keep it together, is the heart of the show," says series creator Victor Fresco. "It's constantly tested — and in season two, it's going to continue to be tested."
When we last left the Hammonds, Sheila was chained up in the basement after losing control and violently attacking Joel. "Sheila's condition has advanced, and she's gotten a little more feral. Is Sheila going to be able to have any semblance of a normal life, or is she going to turn into a monster? That's her struggle this season, and Joel will struggle with that as well."
Sheila is still mostly lucid, and exploring the idea of a cognizant dead person is interesting for Fresco. "In movies and TV, we only see undead people become mindless killing machines. But who's to say you can't be undead and be a normal person? You just want to continue to function, so how would the people who love you continue to function? What do you sacrifice to stay with a person experiencing these dramatic changes? It's what we go through in any relationship, really. It's just that the stakes are higher now — because they're killing people."
The next step for the Hammonds? Determine where this virus has come from and how to cure Sheila. And then there's the matter of stopping a possible spread of the undead virus. "If it is spreading, it's up to them to stop it. They have a stake in saving humanity. There's a lot on their plate to deal with."
"And, you know, sell real estate — they still need to pay the bills."
Santa Clarita Diet season two premieres on March 23 on Netflix.