Warning: This post contains two extremely gory images from the zombie comedy “The Santa Clarita Diet”. If blood and dismemberment are offensive to you, as they are to me, you may want to click away.
That said, I include these images to make my point.
Disclaimer: I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team, which means that I get a year’s worth of their streaming service free, along with lots of other goodies that make it hard to write a bad review.
A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do, and sometimes I’m just not happy with my sponsor.
Back in January, I got a very unexpected package.
Now, I’m used to getting promotional material from Netflix—a set of toy instruments with the Beat Bugs logo; cute felt masks and an educational game from Melissa & Doug; a delicious-smelling 4-layer votive—but what was this? A plastic drink mixer with the words Blood Brains Tissue Guts Plasma…and a fake but incredibly realistic severed finger?
My first thought was to throw the finger away immediately…
But then Evil Prankster Mom took over.
I laid it carefully in my daughter’s guinea pig cage and screamed, “Camille! Come quick!” She stared at it for a moment, horrified, but then looked at me in disbelief because she knows me.
Netflix, however, doesn’t know me, because if they did they wouldn’t have recommended The Santa Clarita Diet.
Indeed, they wouldn’t even be showing it.
It’s bad enough that they introduced one of my favorite actors—Nathan Fillion, aka “Private James Fredrick Ryan from Minnesota“—and then had the poor guy disemboweled by Drew Barrymore.
It’s bad enough that they depict disembowelment at all, but to promote a series as deeply disturbing as this one…
To assume it’s okay, you know? Because they attach the warning “Mature”?
It’s not okay and it’s not mature, and there are approximately 89 reasons why I despise this series.
- It’s crass.
- It’s vulgar.
- It’s offensive.
- It’s disgusting.
- It portrays married women as sex-starved and adulterous.
- It portrays married men as sex-starved, pot-smoking and fairly clueless.
- It appeals to the basest level of gross-out humor.
- It’s demeaning.
- It’s disturbing.
You get the idea, no doubt, and if you know me at all you understand why I’m offended.
I should give Netflix the finger back.
Frankly, though, that’s not my style.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not super perfect. After all, I did (immaturely) stick that finger in the guinea pig cage. I do wonder, however, why so much of our culture seems intent on glorifying the gross. I wonder about this and I worry a bit, because this is the world that my children will inherit, and when suburban zombie moms seek to shock…
…well, what next? They just keep pushing it farther and farther, and as a result whole countries have objected, as was the case with Germany and a Santa Clarita Diet billboard.
So it’s not just me.
Wouldn’t you agree?
* * *
Meanwhile, and to end on a positive note, there’s a whole lot that Netflix does offer that feeds my mind without a hint of cannibalism. My husband and I are working our way through Madame Secretary—an episode every other night or so—and I am grateful for this portrayal of a strong female protagonist committed more to family than career.
I’m committed to family too!
Though sometimes I spin them ’til they’re good and dizzy.
What else…what else. Well, I’ve mentioned this show once before, but I’m still a big fan of American Bible Challenge, which I watch with my 7-year-old while making dinner. He does surprisingly well answering the questions, by the way, and wonders if a kid his age could go on the show.
We’ll go on together!
A (conservative) mom and her kid. 😉