Behind the scenes of “The Star”
My love for older men is well-established I think. Tim Daly and Kiefer William Frederick Dempsey George Rufus Sutherland are the two most notable examples, but there is another one and I want to tell you about him.
Timothy the ~beautiful~ Olyphant.
Now, I know you think I’m gonna rec Justified. And I am. But the entirety of the Justified rec is gonna be that gif right above me, because if Timothy Olyphant in a cowboy hat doesn’t sell the show to you, then I really don’t know what else to say. It’s really good, but, like, Timothy Olyphant in a cowboy hat. It sells itself.
But Timothy Olyphant has a new show that just dropped its second season on Netflix, and that is what we are going to talk about today.
Santa Clarita Diet.
Now, I’m not into zombie shit. It just is very much not my jam. But this show had two things going for it from the get go that got me to put my prejudice aside: Timothy Olyphant (duh) and Victor Fresco, the dude who created the show. (Victor Fresco is also the brilliant mind behind one of my fave tv shows of all time, the canceled-way-too-fucking-soon Better Off Ted. You are getting three recs for the price of one here.)
Anyway, Santa Clarita Diet is a zombie show. Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore play a very happily married couple, Joel and Sheila Hammond. They’re realtors with a super normal normal life, a nice house, and a daughter named Abby. All is good.
Until one day Sheila goes to work with Joel and they’re showing a house and she starts to puke, like, a lot. A LOT a lot. More than you ever thought possible. More vomit than should ever even be inside a person.
Turns out… she’s dead. Undead. And she’s pretty happy eating raw hamburger until she bites a dude (no spoilers) and develops a yen for human flesh. Like, to the point where she can’t even try to force down anything else. (I have a similar reaction to butternut squash, so, I get it.)
Joel and Sheila pretty quickly realize that they’ve gotta start killing people. Well, Sheila does, but Joel really wants to be supportive so he helps. And mostly they do it Dexter style. Or Peter Quinn style. They’re guys who kill bad guys.
And then Sheila pops them into a meat freezer and chisels off a little bit whenever she’s feeling peckish.
The show is hilarious. Joel is so earnest. They get their neighbor’s kid, Eric, who they figure will be helpful because he is a fucking nerd, on board. Along with their daughter, Abby, who Eric is crushing on — hard.
Every single day something new and terrible seems to happen and Joel can often be found sighing, “WHY CAN’T WE EVER HAVE A NORMAL DAY?”
He spends much of the second season just trying to build some bookshelves… when he’s not helping Sheila murder people, or trying to cover up for the murders they commit, or trying to find a cure for Sheila’s ~condition.
It’s all honestly pretty heartwarming, and Joel and Sheila are just GOALS.
I love this show. It only ever brings joy.
“I’m going to be alone my whole life, aren’t I?”