Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant in Manila for ’Santa Clarita Diet’ season 2 premiere
MANILA, Philippines – Santa Clarita Diet, Netflix's dark, hilarious contribution to the zombie genre, is returning for a second season, and stars Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant are convinced that it's even better than the critically-favored first run. (READ: Binge-worthy: 'Santa Clarita Diet')
The show follows a married couple, Shiela and Joel, whose quiet suburban lives are shaken when Shiela wakes up one day with more energy, a stronger sex drive, and a craving for human flesh. Together with their daughter Abby, they deal with Shiela's cravings as they race against time to keep her from fully transitioning into the undead.
The upcoming second season sees the family go through even more twists and turns as the couple's kill count increases and they have even more people on their tails – and it's not just the police.
According to Timothy, who plays Joel, the show has hit its stride – and that's where the new season starts off.
"It feels like the show was already mid-stride when [season 2] started. I felt like last year we found a really sweet spot tonally around 3, 4 episodes in. This year, we hit the ground running," Timothy told reporters during his Manila visit with Drew on Monday, March 12. (LOOK: Drew Barrymore is in Manila!)
He also said that because it's the second season, they didn't need to set the story up much this time around.
"It's nice when there's less setup – it's just who these people are, you understand it, you're invested in the relationship. It just feels like you're sucked right in [to the story]," he said.
Coming back on set was a reunion of sorts with his co-stars, which, as an actor, was better this time around as well, because everyone had their guard down.
"I think this season's for sure better than last season," Timothy said.
Drew, who plays Shiela, shared the same sentiment, saying they worked really hard to make sure that the show would top – or at least match – the first season.
"I think there's like a responsibility [that] you have to make it better," she said.
Drew added that it was fun to return to a character she'd already done before – something she's only ever done once in the past, for her role in Charlie's Angels 2.
"Usually you're done and that's it, so it's new for me, and I like it," she said.
When asked what their favorite episode of the series was, both actors eventually settled on the 5th episode, where Joel and Shiela have to deal with an unpleasant new character.
"That episode was inspired comedy," Timothy said. "I think we embraced the drama this year... we allowed the show to breathe a little bit more with the drama. I loved it."
Drew added that she also likes the moments in the series when Joel and Shiela are talking about mundane matters – like the garden hose – even as they're dealing with matters of life and death.
"I also like when Joel and Shiela are in realtor mode and they go into like a real salesmanship character," Drew said. "I love the weird humor on the show, I just love it so much. I need to laugh in life or I'll die."
Against all odds
For Drew, the dynamic between husband and wife who decide to stick it out even in crazy circumstances is something she appreciates, even as she started on the show after having gone through a divorce. (READ: Drew Barrymore, Will Kopelman to divorce)
"Entering this show after the loss of a marriage that I thought would last forever – and was certainly my plan – I was happy to engage in a show where couples do make it work because we all know how difficult it is," she said.
"The last thing I can imagine wanting is to sit around watching a show about divorce. That is just not how I wanna spend my free time after having gone through that. I was really into Joel and Shiela's capabilities. I wanna believe and focus and watch functionality, not dysfunctionality," she added.
"I just like seeing a couple that figures it out, that makes it work. It's not always easy, it's not always pleasant. It can be very confusing, but I like that they continue to come to solutions even when they're on opposing sides.... There's a diplomacy in their love that I like watching."
The second season of Santa Clarita Diet premieres on Netflix on March 23. – Rappler.com