I bingewatched season three of Santa Clarita Diet after I found out that the show was unjustly cancelled by Netflix. Obviously that means it was a very bittersweet experience. Why? Because this is one hell of a creative and witty show – few series can match it!
The primary reason Santa Clarita Diet is so darn delightful is of course the tremendous chemistry between Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant. These two continue to make the show an absolute delight in every way. Season three gives them even more to do by having Joel wrestle with the idea of joining Sheila as a zombie for eternity, and that throughline imbues the season with a really powerful message. This is not a superficial show, there’s a beating heart beneath the couple’s journey, and that’s what elevates it into truly engrossing television.
However, the best thing about the season is the introduction of the Cult of Sheila. There are just so many memorable characters this year and it’s a joy watching them bring their kooky characters to life. Jonathan Slavin gets a much bigger role as Ron and he’s a certified hoot, while Linda Lavin (who plays Jean) is immediately my new favorite character. Everything culminates in one outstanding finale that brings all the season’s threads together in spectacular fashion.
SPOILER SECTION: SKIP IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED THE FINALE.
The season’s final moments are just mindbogglingly good. Joel finally decides to let Sheila turn him, only for Mr. Ball Legs to interfere and beat her to it (or does he try to possess him?). Sheila does end up biting Joel to save him, and her husband’s subsequent “Hello” is the perfect capper to the year. I know that we’re all disappointed that the show is over, and while I would have loved to explore the two as an undead duo, having Joel finally commit is actually a perfect ending to his character arc. Maybe I’m just in denial, but there are worse and more unsatisfying places that the show could have ended at. Bright side people!
SPOILER SECTION OVER.
Joel: I think we should limit Anne in our lives. If she realizes that we’re killing people for food and not for God she might not like us anymore.
Sheila: On the other hand, the Bible says, “If God giveth you a minion, use her.”
Joel: It also says, “Please, baby, don’t involve Anne. You’re gonna get us all killed.
Sheila: You know what would be funny? Is if misquoting the Bible was the thing we went to hell for.
Anne: Sheila, please don’t turn me away.
Sheila: Well, there is one tiny thing you could do. I’m trying to smite this Nazi. Could you get his address?
Sheila: And a fingerprint off this knife, with no questions asked?
Sheila: And while you’re out we could use some dish soap and string cheese.
Joel: He said his schedule was too tight this week.
Sheila: I can’t believe he’s that busy.
Joel: I was surprised too, and then I thought if we also stereotype people by assuming Nazis are always available, are we that much better than them?
Joel: It’s just we bought all the plastic, we’re renting the unit. It’s such a waste if we’re not going to use it.
Sheila: Do you ever wonder why this happened to me?
Joel: Just to close out my thing maybe we should cancel Showtime and switch to a cheaper toilet paper.
Sheila: About that I was talking to God yesterday.
Anne: Praise Him.
Joel: Wow. I did not expect to be offered immortality at the “SOUP ‘N SALAD ‘N SUCH”.
Jean: You’re here hoping that if you’re nice to a old lady three days a week, you can do whatever the fuck you want the rest of the time without feeling bad about it.
Sheila: I was told it was only two days a week.
Gary: He asked me to bite him. I said, “Absolutely not. ” Then he told me a joke. And when I laughed, he stuck his finger in my mouth and punched down on my head like a stapler.
Sheila: Whose idea was it to buy that cow in that country for that guy?
Joel: You mean, that goat in Senegal for that school? The point is, I like people.
Sheila: It’s ears. Crunchy and salty. The onion rings of the human body.
Jean: Sweetheart, I’m only here to support you and Jesus, look at the ear lobes on that guy. Why don’t they pass those around on a tray?
It’s heartbreaking that Santa Clarita Diet is over, but at least we got three exceptional seasons. Season three is just as good, if not better than, the previous years. There will never be a show quite like this one. Fondly remembered.