'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.
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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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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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The Top 8 Horror Films On My List For October

What to watch in the dark all throughout October.

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The seasons have changed and so have the months. October is here, which means it's Halloween time. From pumpkins, hayrides, leaves, to candy, and trick or treat, people do all these things throughout the month to get into the Halloween spirit. Let's not forget the horror and spooky films that once gave people nightmares. From Freddy Krugger to Pennywise, here are the top horror films on my list this month.

1. "It"

Audiences last year tuned into the remake of the beloved horror classic and were left speechless. From the kids to Pennywise, this one is bound to leave you mind-blown. While older horror movies are more challenging to find on store shelves then newer ones, consumers can easily find both. The new and old versions sell for cheap prices. This will also prepare audiences for the sequel set to hit the big screen next fall.

2. "A Nightmare on Elm Street"

Freddy Kruger was always a popular name. Especially, this time of year. This movie was also the start of Johhny Depp's career. On a spooky night, why not see where it all began for the man behind some spooky characters.

3. "Halloween"

Known for it's catchy theme song, forty years later, Michael Myers is making a big screen comeback. What will happen? To those who are too old to trick or treat and can't go to a party, whether it's watching the original at home or the new one in theaters, watching this might just make your Halloween evening a little better.

4. "Scream"

Thanks to the movie, Ghostface is an icon. Children all across neighbors, put it on, on Halloween. The mask can be also be seen all over shelves during this time of year. Some even get easily freaked out by it.

5. "Child's Play"

He's that creepy doll that freaks out many. Each year, Chucky never fails to give fans a great scare. From his devious moves to his terrifying laugh, fans can't always get enough of the redheaded little doll. According to Consequence of sound, the doll in the future will be returning for an eight-part TV series.

6. "The Nightmare Before Christmas"

Twenty five years later, Tim Burton's beloved film still remains a classic. In honor of it's 25 years, the movie has returned to the big screen temporarily. Besides, who wouldn't want to catch a movie combining numerous individual's two favorite holidays?

7. "Sweeney Todd"

This is one of the various gruesome appearing characters Johhny Depp portrays. If you are looking for a thriller with some singing and dancing, Sweeney Todd is for you. Based on the 1973 play, audiences will be dancing out of their seats as gothic elements transpire.

8. "The Shining"

Another classic based on Stephen Kings number one bestseller, the film contains the notorious line "Here's Johnny." The line eventually turned into a fan favorite. The Shining was also the second movie to be based on a Stephen King book, that hit the big screen.

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