If you had a little bit of trouble understanding the tone of “Santa Clarita Diet” at the beginning of Season 1, Timothy Olyphant gets it. “I think looking back to the first season, the first two, maybe three, episodes were a little rough,” he told IndieWire at a recent Netflix press event. “I didn’t feel confident until we got to the fourth episode of last year.”
But when it came to Season 2, he felt it was “smooth sailing right from the jump,” something his co-star Drew Barrymore agreed with — though she did have some issues with leaping back into the story of Sheila, whose hyper-normal suburban existence gets upended after some sort of curse turns her into a flesh-craving zombie.
Specifically, coming back to a second season of a TV show was something Barrymore had never done before.
“Coming back to a character I’d already played was a new experience for me,” Barrymore said. “So, I was having sort of internal turmoil — am I matching where I was, where we left off, how she changes? Where am I coming from now? So, I had a little bit of a different experience.”
Olyphant noted that the conversations with creator Victor Fresco about Season 2 were largely about how to push the show further, while also acknowledging the way in which the show straddled genres.
“I remember we felt more confident leaning to the drama — felt more confident in not having to be always funny,” he said. “I think that we realized that the episodes the middle of the season last year when we felt like we really hit our stride. Where the stakes were extremely high. And when the stakes were high, it felt like the show was really working. And so it felt like we just leaned into that a lot.”
He added that “it’s unusual to have a half-hour comedy with life and death stakes. And I think we found that, that’s where we always wanted to be. It was at that place, when the stakes was high, when the water was up to our ears that just felt like that’s when we were having the most fun.”
The pair noted that the show has a wide range of fans, age-wise — from teenagers to 70-somethings. And it also has a geographic range of fans.
“That’s what this is all about. Global domination,” Barrymore said.
“We’re like Pitbull,” Olyphant said.
“Who?” said Barrymore.
“Pitbull,” repeated Olyphant.
“I saw Pitbull at a jazz fest a few years ago,” Olyphant said. “And he said the word ‘worldwide’ a lot.”
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Various chronicles of deception, intrigue and murder in and around frozen Minnesota. Yet all of these tales mysteriously lead back one way or another to Fargo, North Dakota.
Season 4: Delayed due to the global novel coronavirus pandemic.