santa clarita 3

Stars: 4.5/5 

The Hammonds are back wrecking havoc in suburban Santa Clarita and a lot of people get eaten along the way.  

Season three picks up immediately where season two left off with the aftermath of Anne (Natalie Morales) discovering Sheila (Drew Barrymore) and Joel (Timothy Olyphant) in the desert where an explosion caused by Joel and Sheila’s daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) led Anne to believe Sheila is an instrument of God sent to kill evil people that she must aid and worship. 

Anne’s attempt to help Sheila and Joel creates much conflict for them throughout the season. Season three also introduces “The Knights of Serbia,” an ancient organization tasked with killing the undead, who are hunting Sheila. If that’s not enough, the Hammonds are also trying to get their budding realty business off the ground while killing off Nazis for Sheila’s meal plan.  

Meanwhile, Abby has to fake a relationship with neighbor Eric (Skyler Gisondo) to conceal the fact they blew up a site to stop local fracking, which makes for very relatable and awkwardly comedic moments. The FBI is called in to investigate the explosion, complicating the already-convoluted lives the teens lead.  

What I can’t believe didn’t come up until the third season is the fact Sheila is undead, meaning she is immortal. Ron (Jonathan Slavin), Joel’s friend from the psych ward, reappears to make the obvious observation that Sheila can live forever if she isn’t killed while Joel – and Abby – can’t. They clearly grew up sheltered.     

This show is outstandingly written and well-acted. The realistic Joel is a stark contrast and compliment to the reckless Sheila, Barrymore’s best performance in recent years. Olyphant is a terrific actor who delivers his lines with perfect comedic timing. Both characters are utterly clueless and still attempt to live their upper class lifestyle amongst all the chaos, providing a lot of the comedy.  

When “The Knights of Serbia” mistake rival realtor Christa (Maggie Lawson) for the undead woman they are in search of, Sheila and Joel don’t warn them but instead orchestrate a casual run-in with Christa and her husband and realtor partner, Chris (Joel McHale). Their lack of common sense somehow seems to trigger the cascade of self-made problems Joe and Sheila run into.  

Abby and Eric are so smart but so awkward in their self-awareness, and I found them so relatable. The casting for both characters was ideal and, three seasons later, I still stand by the casting directors. Another ideal casting was Croatian-American actor Goran Visnjic as Poplavic, a member of “The Knights of Serbia” who replaces Anne as the main antagonist for season three. Visnjic seems to have been made for the villain role.  

I surprisingly really enjoyed the show. I had only watched season one – and season two seemed to drag on forever because I wanted to get to season three – but the show has an eloquent, on-point script, talented actors and an interesting, premise. It all works to bring the quirkiness to the screen nearest to you. 

Disclaimer: this is a show essentially about zombies. There is a lot of blood, bile, vomit and humans being eaten. While I have no qualms or see any issues with this, I know there's people who can't hear any of the aforementioned without gagging. So, watch at your own discretion.  

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