'Santa Clarita Diet' Review: How The Combination Of Genres Can Make Or Break You

'Santa Clarita Diet' Review: How The Combination Of Genres Can Make Or Break You

A look at Netflix's newest show's combination of the horror and sitcom genres.

Considering my love for murderous television families, you'd think my starting "Santa Clarita Diet" had something to do with its plot. After all, the show follows Sheila (Drew Barrymore) and Joel (Timothy Olyphant), married realtors living in the suburbs of Santa Clarita, California, and disguises itself as a sitcom until a virus causes Sheila to make a sudden and disturbingly gruesome transformation into a zombie, leading its two stars into crime and murder plots, sitcom aesthetic still intact. When I started "Santa Clarita Diet," though, I had no idea of what the actual plot was. My interest in the show was actually sparked by a gif on Tumblr, several days after the show's release on February 3rd, of Timothy Olyphant throwing up a peace sign, covered in blood with a smile on his face.

It turned out getting to that moment from the second episode was a little harder than expected, considering how stomach-turning the first episode is. Though the show becomes tamer after its pilot, the first episode features such an excessive amount of vomit and guts that I almost abandoned the show for fear of finding that the rest of the episodes were the same. I rarely have an issue with gore, but because of the colorful, tame sitcom feeling that "Santa Clarita Diet" has, every moment of blood and bile becomes unsettling and startling. Shows that live in darker, grittier worlds don't deliver the same shock as finding dead bodies in your suburban family comedy.

The show was able to keep me and eventually have me binge-watching the ten episode season, though, with its humor and characters. It has plenty of genuinely funny jokes, most of them dark humor, which isn't surprising considering the subject matter, and its characters are refreshing and compelling. Joel and Abby are the standouts, as the sources of the majority of the depth and heart of the show, but every character provides the comedy and high-energy that keeps the show moving. Though its plot comes straight from the horror genre, the cast and humor allows the show the love and family-oriented center of sitcoms. It's able to both present heavy subjects with levity and comedy and provide depth to comedic situations through its combination of genres, so that even when the plot stalls or muddies for a moment, its characters can still shine through.

As long as you can handle the gore of the first episode, the show is worth watching. There are only ten episodes, each under thirty minutes, so it's an easy show to watch during breaks from work or when you have free time. Although, I wouldn't recommend watching that first episode during your lunch break.

Cover Image Credit: Netflix

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Why Technology Sucks

"Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master." - Christian Lous Lange

Okay. Technology doesn't completely suck. But it's overcompensating for human life! What creativity arises when we constantly have access to a whole other world simply at our fingertips?

Don't get me wrong, there's no easy way to prove that this is fully valid. For every pro, there is an overbearing con awaiting to attend. Yes, technology has majorly benefited us in todays society but it has also downgraded our existence. What are we here for now, since a phone can do everything we can do?

For instance, the first iPhone was released in June 29, 2007. It is currently 2018. Look at how much it has impacted us already. Our schools, our jobs, our relationships.

Remember when you were younger and you'd get up super early on Saturday's only to catch the Saturday morning cartoons. And remember when your mom told you that you weren't allowed to watch a specific show? Did you know why? It's because they didn't want your mind to be infected by an ugly source that came from their living room.

Keep in mind, our brains are still this sensitive.. we just have more control over the emotions and feelings that conflict it. Which means, anything we see, feel, make a connection with (and this includes people) can ultimately effect us. More inherently than if we were to experience these things hands on or face to face.

Technology has replaced genuine with artificial. No wonder this generation has trust issues! I'm not going to be cliche and say that I wish my generation wrote me letters by hand, throw pebbles at my window, or ringing my doorbell. But those things are certainly more humane than sending a blue lettered text "come over". Right?

It could all be so simple. But yet we have all sorts of technology to complicate even the most complicated species.

I think technology is great. When it is used for technology. Not people.

Technology acts as a buffer. It produces more anxiety than people do, but here we are using it to escape. Thinking it will all be okay if I'm sitting behind a lit up screen waiting for a reply of thoughts then giving the same in return. It allows us to think more, even when we don't necessarily want to.

It's a mess. Depending how you use it, it continues to drain us of our thoughts, energies, even our greatest ideas. We forget about it all when we see a tweet that we relate to, or a post of a pretty face. We forget who looks at us in the mirror every morning, and who tucks us into bed at night. It's not your followers or a dm from that cute boy who favorites your tweets. It's you. In case you forgot.

So yeah, technology sucks! Personally, I try to use it less. Only to de clutter the mind from anything other than the reality I see through the naked eye. It's enormously helpful in a world like today, but that's only because the world today is brought up of the same material technology came from. Our iPhones can even spell check our words… in a text… not even a college paper. Imagine the laziness that already pertains to most of the population.

It's an epidemic that's only getting worse. A cause of unnecessary chatter in our heads about things that are distracting us from the life in front of us, and probably don't matter.

Our population is too busy worrying about what he said or she said when they can barely control their lives behind the scenes. Imagine what they'd do without posting about their last trip they went on. It would be just that. The last trip they went on.

It's not that fun if you can't share it with someone else, right? It's possible to have best of both worlds.

Would they really know you or try to get to know you if you didn't post things on your timeline? I guess you'll have to find out the hard way, or should I say… the reality way.

Then it becomes this big deal, because their brains are already programmed to do the same. Oh god! What could happen next? Nothing. Then you'd have to go on living because they don't care. So you just wanted them to care? What else? Then you'd have to think about it what it was you actually wanted. Which is nothing. Because you probably didn't know what you wanted in the first place.

See, all this stuff is made up, it's all a buffer. You could have gotten to know someone better than yourself in the same amount of time that you spent on Tinder.

Whenever I reflect on certain subjects like this one, I try to imagine what caveman would've been doing on this earth rather than what we are doing now. Then it usually makes me realize how silly it all is.

But for now, I will enjoy my Netflix tv shows and taking pictures of beautiful scenes, funny friends, and cute dogs that I will reflect on later down the road.

Moderation is key, but an opinion is huge.




Cover Image Credit: flickr.com

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11 'Perks Of Being A Wallflower' Quotes That Apply To College Life

All of the ways Perks is still relevant.

After watching Perks of Being a Wallflower about 30 times, I came to the realization that many of its quotes not only apply to the ups and downs of high school but can apply to the daily life of a college student.

Here are just a few quotes from my favorite movie that describe college life:

1. Mr. Anderson: They say if you make one friend on your first day, you’re doing okay

Charlie: Thanks, sir but if my English teacher is the only friend I make today that would be sort of depressing.

The feelings of freshman year are universal. Whether you are starting your first day of high school or your first day of college, you are surrounded by an entirely new environment with new students. College brings this to an entirely new level because you are sometimes hours away from home with absolutely no friends. In high school, you may have a couple friends from elementary or middle school. As for Charlie, he was starting over in terms of friends, making this quote extremely relevant for college life. Hopefully we all made a friend other than our English professor on the first day of college.

2. Sam: Question, could the bathrooms here be any more disgusting?

Patrick: Yes, I believe they call it the men’s room.

Sam’s observation about the bathrooms at their high school football field could not be any more relevant to college. Living in a dorm building, most of us are faced with sharing a bathroom with ten or so other people. You could even be faced with a coed bathroom in college. And, if you are not the one cleaning the bathroom, you might be dealing with avoiding other people’s hair when you wash your hands or the occasional smelly bathroom. It might be wet floors or a shower that you are afraid to go into but college bathrooms can be pretty disgusting. And, if you use the men’s bathroom, it might be even worse.

3. Charlie: So, this is what fun looks like

College puts you in an entirely new element. The feeling that Charlie gets when he walks into his first high school party is similar to the feeling we get when we begin a new social life in college. We never experienced the freedom of living on our own and making our own decisions about where to go and when. There are hundreds of people living within a 5-minute walk of your own room. While college involves a lot more work and studying, there are endless possibilities for fun.

4. Sam: How do you feel Charlie?

Charlie: I just really want a milkshake

Of course, when Charlie says this to Sam, he is experiencing the effects of a weed brownie. But, it can apply to life in many different ways. Charlie’s zonked out feelings and cravings for just a simple milkshake are relevant to how I feel after spending six hours on a paper or studying for the better part of a weekend. There are days in college when we do not feel much of everything; we just want to indulge in the sugary goodness of a milkshake.

5. Charlie: Sorry I haven’t written for a while but I’m trying hard not to be a loser.

Throughout the movie, Charlie is writing letters describing his experiences in high school. Once he meets Patrick along with his group of friends and begins falling in love with Sam, he starts writing fewer letters. He is trying to fit in with their group by listening to their music, hanging out with them at lunch, and going to parties. Similarly, in college, we are always trying to fit in or keep up with different activities that will prevent us from being dubbed ‘a loser’ and we do not always have as much time to keep up withold habits.

6. Patrick: If you fail me, you get me next semester

For anyone that has taken an Intro course necessary for their semester, this quote or its sentiment might have crossed your mind once or twice. The professor could fail you, but then they just have to deal with you over the course of another semester.

7. Patrick: C-! I'm below average!

It goes without saying but college is harder than high school. A level students get their first failing grades in college. Above average students experience below average grades. There are two approaches to dealing with a bad grade. You could sit in your dorm room and cry it off. Or you could take on Patrick’s attitude when he gets a C- in his shop class. Yes, he could be upset that he was below average. Instead, he chooses to embrace it and relish in the reality that it is not the end of the world and, for the first time, he did not fail the course.

8. Patrick: Mary Elizabeth why are you trying to eat Christmas?

Finals for the fall semester are in December which is mere weeks before Christmas, or in the case of Ithaca College last year – the week of Christmas. Christmas is busy enough with buying presents, decorating and making Christmas cookies. With college, this adds finishing up work from the semester and studying for finals as well as putting together a couple final projects. It feels like college is truly trying to eat Christmas. It might be fun to be busy shopping and preparing for Christmas but preparing for finals is the complete opposite. Finals are an attempt from all colleges to eat Christmas just like Mary Elizabeth tried to do when questioning Charlie’s generosity.

9. Brad: No way, there's people out there.

Brad does not want to get out in front of a bunch of people to perform the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Many of us experience the same feeling when we are forced to present in front of a class. We can even feel this way when we are having a bad day and would rather stay inside our dorm than go outside amongst people.

10. Charlie: Dear friend, sorry I haven't written for a while but things are a total disaster.

This quote is an accurate description of how I felt toward the end of the semester. All the work piled up and all time went to going to class and doing work. Things were a total disaster and if I was Charlie, I would not have been able to keep up with writing letters.

11. Charlie: And in this moment, I swear we are infinite.

A compilation of Perks of Being a Wallflower quotes could not be completed without this quote. This quote not only applies to high school or college but moments throughout life. No matter where we are or what we are doing, we will always have moments that make us feel infinite – like we can do anything or be anything.

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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