How Drew Barrymore's New Netflix Show Is Like The Walking Dead

santa clarita diet

Spoilers are below for anyone who wants to go into the premiere for Netflix's Santa Clarita Diet completely in the dark.

When it was announced that Drew Barrymore was making a big TV splash by teaming up with Timothy Olyphant for the Netflix series Santa Clarita Diet, expectations were extremely high, despite the fact that the initial realtor comedy logline sounded far too tame to attract such talent. But now the show's existence has become a lot more justified - Olyphant nod - now that Barrymore has revealed the show will share something in common with one of TV's biggest hits, The Walking Dead. It turns out the actress' character Sheila will be a zombie. Feel free to cower in fear.

Don't go thinking that Santa Clarita Diet will be as dour and gore-filled as The Walking Dead, though, as the Netflix newbie sounds like it will be more of a character study and will use Sheila's newfound development - she dies and is resurrected in the first episode - to amusingly reflect on marriage and parenting and other human elements. Sheila and Olyphant's Joel are pot-smoking realtors and parents of a teenage daughter, and this new development obviously changes things. (Not even Carl Grimes can understand.)

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Barrymore told USA Today that the darker elements attracted her to the project, and here's how she and creator Victor Fresco approached the character's transition.

What if she finds herself, and we do this sort of Cro-Magnon type of evolution with her over the course of the 10 episodes. No gimmicks, no prosthetics, just an awakening. I just really enjoyed just shedding a snakeskin with her, so it became a really fun obstacle that I wasn't even planning for but seemed so conducive and fun and healthy for my own life.

You gotta love when you have a job that's able to help out your personal frame of mind at the same time. Especially when it involves eating human flesh opposite Timothy Olyphant. So long as these characters don't have to worry about Negan knocking on their door, they should be able to cope accordingly.

Even if you're slightly wary, take comfort in the fact that Santa Clarita Diet is the creation of Victor Fresco, who was behind genius series like Andy Richter Controls the Universe and Better Off Ted, among others. I'm actually more pumped that I expected to see what he brings to a storyline about the undead. And who doesn't want to see a stoned Drew Barrymore eating somebody's brains?

Santa Clarita Diet will hit Netflix with all 10 episodes of its first season on Friday, February 3, at 12:00 a.m. PT. You'll be able to binge the whole season before The Walking Dead returns on February 12, too. To see everything else that the streaming service has to offer, check out our 2017 Netflix schedule, and head to our midseason premiere schedule to find everything else the small screen will bring to the near future.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.