Shortly before Santa Clarita Diet premiered, Netflix revealed that the show was not just a mundane comedy about suburbanites, but actually about a woman played by Drew Barrymore who develops a taste for human after mysteriously becoming undead. But, according to creator Victor Fresco, we should not expect a full on zombie apocalypse any time soon. “I never wanted it to get so big that there was the National Guard in the street,” Fresco explained to reporters gathered on a snowy Thursday morning in New York. “What I liked about it was how contained it is. It is just a person, in a relationship, dealing with it. And then it may spread out to a couple of people, not going to say for sure.” So even though star Timothy Olyphant jokingly pitched both “New York City Diet” and a “Million Zombie March,” Fresco isn’t planning to make the epidemic a global one. Indeed, the first season ends at a crossroads for the central couple Joel (Olyphant) and Sheila (Barrymore), not the universe.
Fresco explained that he has the freedom to build out his zombie mythology in part because the concept is so simple. “What I liked about the undead lore is there are very few rules and they are very understandable. So we want to follow those rules: Like if you bite someone they turn undead, and you can only kill [a zombie] with something horrible happening to their brain,” he explained. “But there aren’t a lot of other rules so we can invent our own lore as we go, and mostly ours is that you can be a fully functioning realtor in the valley and also be undead and have this appetite for bodies.” Santa Clarita Diet hasn’t yet been renewed for a second season.