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Santa Clarita Diet Starts Slow—Zombie Pace

Netflix’s new original situation comedy, Santa Clarita Diet, debuted Friday, February 3, 2017. The 30-minute pilot, titled “So Then a Bat or a Monkey,” starts off slow—nearly zombie paced slow.

Episode 1 starts off at a snail’s pace. The transitions are slow, as the pilot attempts to cover too much. Victor Fresco, also the show’s creator, penned the episode. He casts a large net incorporating uncomfortable sexual innuendo with character Joel’s marijuana habit. These are forced and should have been cut. The gore is excessive. Sometimes less really is more.

But the show is not horrible. Frequent cameos salvage the episode and, ultimately, the series. The dialog strengthens as the episodes advance. Here’s a sample, once Joel and Sheila realize Sheila can only eat fresh, human flesh:

Joel: We can’t just kill anybody. [Beat] Someone who won’t be missed.

Sheila: Someone without a family.

Joel: And someone bad who deserves it. [Beat] Prototype would be a young, single Hitler.

Sheila: God. We’d be heroes.

The reviews are mixed. Yahoo declares it’s “an acquired taste.” Business Insider claims the show “benefits from binge watching.” True. Binge watching ensures the viewer remembers where the last episode left off. There aren’t re-caps. Finally, The New York Times cautions: “Think of it as Ozzie and Harriet and Zombies.” Give it time. Know going in that the Episode 1 is the slowest. They improve at varying degrees. Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant are believable—practically infectious—as married high school sweethearts stuck in the volatile real estate—and zombie—market.