Last spring, we heard the news that Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, two very charming people, would star as a married couple in a Netflix show about suburban life called Santa Clarita Diet. The plot description mentioned that “Sheila [Barrymore] goes through a dramatic change sending their lives down a road of death and destruction … but in a good way,” which seemed to refer to the fact that she adopts a hip lifestyle or possibly gets into musical improv. This is not the case. In Drew Barrymore’s Netflix show, Drew Barrymore eats people.
Jezebel first picked up that something was amiss yesterday, citing a few tabloid ads for the show that feature Drew hawking a very bloody finger smoothie. But USA Today got a better sense of the story in an interview with Barrymore herself. “The ‘dramatic change’ Sheila undergoes in the series opener is, in fact, death,” USA writes. “And while they tend to their open houses and teenage daughter, the couple must sate Sheila’s unbridled id and undead hunger, first with raw meat and, eventually, the human kind.”
Barrymore’s incipient zombiism then turns into a whole finding-your-truth metaphor for the character, in an Eat, Pray, Blood sort of way. “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,” Barrymore told USA Today. “I just really enjoyed 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.” No word on whether that means the actress actually chowed down on brains for the sake of art.
Creator Victor Fresco (of the wacky Better Off Ted, which is a sign we probably should’ve been more suspicious earlier) added that the cause of Barrymore’s character’s death and rebirth isn’t clear, at least in the pilot. “Presumably, she has been exposed to something — although we don’t know what — which is making her feel a bit off,” Fresco said.
To confirm the news that you will soon have the ability to watch the star of Never Been Kissed shove a few limbs in her kisser, here is a Santa Clarita promo still that Netflix added to its site today.
The era of streaming TV is wild.