Season one of Santa Clarita Diet was a delightful surprise in every way. The gory Netflix comedy proved to be wonderfully addictive with its unique tone and lovable characters. Thankfully I’m here to report that season two is just as fantastic!
A truly successful sophomore season is one that takes everything that worked in a show’s breakout debut season, and elevates it to new heights. Clarita does exactly that in season two by expanding the show’s scope and mythology, while giving us more of the same characters we fell in love with last year. In fact, I was so engrossed by the show’s addictive tone that I actually bingewatched the season’s ten episodes in the span of one day (it helps that each episode is only 30 minutes long). Talk about a record!
One Killer Cast
Thankfully, the cast is still in tip-top shape. Drew Barrymore has a career-best role in Sheila, and it’s the kind of character that she’s really made her own in every way. As her husband Joel, Timothy Olyphant is just spectacular. I remember thinking he was excellent last year, but he really outdoes himself this season. He’s in a constant state of nervousness, and his stressed-out energy is the perfect compliment to Barrymore’s chill murderess. Also knocking it out of the park is Liv Hewson as their sharp-tongued daughter Abby who gets all the memorable zingers, and Skyler Gisondo as Eric. I wasn’t a big fan of the neighbor last season, but Gisondo has really perfected the awkward dork shtick, and watching him and Abby finally kiss in the finale was immensely satisfying.
A Deadly Mythology
This season does an admirable job of laying down some fascinating tidbits for a long-term mythology. I’m so pleased that the writers have not forgotten the weird ball Sheila threw up in the pilot (hell it starts spouting legs this season), in addition to introducing a bizarre couple who seem to be knights of the Mr. Ball-legs cult. The mysterious duo have marital difficulties of their own, and that makes for amusing parallels to Sheila and Joel’s partnership.
Barfs & Bits
– How hilarious is Ron? I kind of want him to join the show full time.
– I actually thought Ramona would be an integral part of the season after the undead twist. Still, that was a very effective bombshell.
– Chris & Christa are so deliciously evil. The whole debate over how to pronounce “Realtor” was just priceless.
– Brilliant move by Joel when he releases the client’s dog and has Sheila save it. I cheered!
– I kind of wish the show spent more time developing Joel’s dynamic with Gary’s head (this was such an odd sentence to write). Their bonding happened mostly off-screen.
– The most unsettling but hilarious sequence of the year: Sheila going wild on the nazi in the wheelchair. Moral relativism and whatnot. Genius.
– Sheila biting off her own finger was seriously disturbing.
– I love that Sheila and Joel are going to be starting their own agency now. Although I will miss despicable Carl because he was a hoot.
– I find it really hard to believe that Anne drew Joel’s “nervous laugh” but didn’t suspect him. Huh?
– The most heartfelt moment of the scene: Sheila telling Joel that it’s not “nobody’s fault” that she died. So touching.
– The rocket launcher scene was really thrilling and felt like it came straight out of some spy show.
– More screen-time for Lisa next season please!
– I know many people saw the bracelet thing coming but I didn’t even notice the banging of Sheila’s accessories during Gary’s hysterical voicemails.
– Although he only appears for one episode, I really enjoyed This Is Us‘ Gerald McRanay’s guest appearance. I genuinely kept guessing until the end if he was undead or not. And that Tango-inspired death was a nice touch!
– I’ve loved Sarah Baker since Go On (a severely underrated comedy that was cancelled after one season), so it was a real treat to see her again as the mastermind behind Ruby’s Clams.
– For a second, I thought the show would really flip the status quo over its head and have the family start over somewhere else. I’m glad that didn’t happen because I’m still not ready for such a massive change.
– Sheila and Joel not being able to kill Gary in the desert was kind of touching wasn’t it?
– I can’t say I saw the final twist coming with Anne kneeling down in front of Sheila after all the “signs”. It makes perfect sense in the grand scheme of things and it still managed to be very unpredictable.
Joel: I’m sure you have to get to your apartment before the asparagus people come back.
Ron: They’re not asparagus people, Joel. They pronounce it “oz-para-gauze.” And they are certainly not people. If they were, I wouldn’t have to seal my ears with peanut butter at night just to keep them from infiltrating my brain. They’re so intrusive.
Joel: I’m sorry, Ron. I shouldn’t have belittled your conflict with the oz-para-gauze.
Joel: I said “oz-para-gauze.”
Ron: We both know you didn’t.
Abby: She’s chained up.
Eric: I will bet every time someone has said that about the undead, it has never ended well.
Eric: And there’s no way she can get out of those chains, right? Oh, what am I doing? Nobody asks that and lives.
Pervert: Here is your vomit, milady. I take PayPal, Venmo, Bitcoin-
Abby: I have cash.
Pervert: Oh, how very retro.
Joel: At least we still have your mom. Chained in the basement. No family is perfect.
Carl: The project needs a great salesman. That guy could sell farts to an asshole.
Abby: My mom loves fingers, but she says thumbs are like the ends of bread.
Joel: We’ve known Chris and Christa since high school. Chris is a few years older, but we graduated at the same time. I’ll let you do the math. Because he couldn’t.
Sheila: You keep talking shit about us, and I swear to God I will drop you.
Christa: Try it and I’ll kick your twat so far up your throat you’ll get pregnant giving blowjobs.
Gary: Hey, can I be in the living room? It’s kind of spooky down here.
Joel: The only reason it’s spooky down here is because you’re down here. We could put you in a garden of lollipops and it would still be spooky.
Joel: I would love nothing more than to have a date night with you.
Joel: I also haven’t written a restaurant review for Yelp in a long time, and my followers rely on me. Elite status is a privilege and a burden.
Sheila: Yeah, I was kind of hoping that Yelp thing would die with me. But I know it’s important to you, so I pretend I care.
Joel: Thank you.
Sheila: We can’t let her find Gary’s head.
Joel: I know. I’m not worried about her being shocked. I’m just tired of her criticizing us.
Eric: (to Ramona) Your calm and dispassionate demeanor would make you a wonderful 911 operator.
Gary: (to Joel) Her life’s always gonna be bigger than yours. It’s like It’s like being married to the Queen of England. You got two ways of looking at it. Either it’s, “My needs are always gonna come second” or “Jesus Christ, I’m fucking the Queen of England.
Abby: What are you doing?
Joel: I’m fucking the Queen of England!
Joel: It’s an expression.
Joel: I said I was sorry about Ron.
Sheila: No. You said, “I’m sorry, but”. That’s not an apology, that’s a rationalization. Here’s a way to remember it. Inside of every “but” is an asshole.
Joel: That’s very helpful. However, we should drop it because Boone will be here any minute.
Joel: I think our kill room looks too much like a kill room.
Joel: Feels like we copied it from a kill room catalogue.
Sheila: I could add a basket of seashells. Might warm it up.
Joel: She ripped two dudes’ throats out of their necks like they were Twizzlers.
You can’t unsee that. She gets this look in her eye. The next thing you know, she’s yanking intestines out of these guys like a magician pulling out scarves.
The other day, I came home and my kitchen looked like someone shot a person out of a confetti gun. There was a dick in my fruit bowl.
Sheila: (after eating a Nazi) Well, I wouldn’t call them a master race, but delicious.
Abby: Going through all these Japopo’s receipts is making me hungry. Can we go there tonight?
Joel: They may have killed your mother, so no. Also, the food’s not great.
Sheila: I’m just gonna act like old Sheila, who’s demure and chipper and never had an orgasm while eating a man’s liver. Judging by your look, I haven’t mentioned that before.
Joel: No, you have. I just never know what to say.
Carl: (to Sheila) I love the hair, by the way. You look like an attainable Jessica Rabbit.
Lisa: (to Abby) You know, Eric’s too shy to tell you, but he has a lovely you-know-what.
When he was born, all the nurses said it was impressive, but not ostentatious.
Joel: I just worry about our carbon footprint.
Sheila: We do our part. You know what happens every time we kill someone? They drive less.
Rick: Called in a favor with a friend of mine at the health department.
Joel: That’s great! I couldn’t even get someone on the phone. What’d he say?
Rick: Why do you assume it’s a man? Sexist.
Joel: I’m sorry. What did she say?
Rick: It is a man, but you should question your assumptions. That’s the only way the world’s ever gonna change.
Joel: Teenagers – they even make the apocalypse about them.
Sheila: Seriously, you’re the best husband an undead wife could ever ask for.
Putting up with Nazis, murder, suspicious cops. And you lost your best friend today because I had to order the clams at Japopo’s.
Joel: Who the hell did that?
Sheila: I don’t know, but they’re serious. No one casually owns a rocket launcher.
Joel: This seems like a conversation we could have – while getting the fuck out of here!
Joel: Remember an hour ago when someone shot a rocket at us?
Joel: What if those were the good times?
Sheila: If homicide detectives start looking into our missing people, we’re done.
Joel: Maybe we’ll be okay. The storage units are under fake names and we’ve started to kill outside of our friend circle.
Sheila: You’re defrosting an elbow in our microwave.
Joel: We are terrible murderers!
Sheila: Well, maybe they’ll be terrible detectives.
Joel: We wouldn’t survive a terrible cleaning woman.
Sheila: I’m just saying, if you load it up with too much exposition – It’ll be better.
Joel: Or it might not be believable.
Sheila: Try to work it in.
Abby: If this happens a thousand more times, I may have to rethink my perception of you.
Joel: I love it when you almost respect us.
Joel: So, socks. Three pairs or all of ’em?
Joel: God, I love him. I mean the same way I love Hitler or Stalin. They were all babies once.
Sheila: This makes me a little uncomfortable.
Joel: You did say you wanted to get more into religion.
Sheila: I know, but I didn’t wanna start one.
A hilarious sophomore season featuring whacky storytelling and first-rate performances.