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Timothy Olyphant Deserves More Credit as a Comedy Star

He looks like a Greek god AND he’s hysterical on Santa Clarita Diet? Sign me up.
  • Timothy Olyphant in Santa Clarita Diet (Netflix)
    Timothy Olyphant in Santa Clarita Diet (Netflix)

    Timothy Olyphant is truly a one-of-a-kind specimen. He’s undeniably one of the most attractive people in the entire universe but also a damn amazing actor. Maybe you’ve seen him before as the super hot Danny Cordray from The Office, one of Mindy Lahiri’s many unsuitable bachelors on The Mindy Project, or even the oh-so-steamy sheriff on Deadwood. But where he shines the brightest is actually in a little Netflix original series called Santa Clarita Diet.

    After three totally binge-worthy seasons, Olyphant has proven that it’s 100 percent possible to be hysterical while looking like an absolute snack. Yes, America’s Sweetheart Drew Barrymore is what lures us into watching the show, but it’s Olyphant and his charm that keeps us begging for more. This silver fox stars as Joel Hammond, the oh-so-sexy real estate agent and human husband to a zombie named Sheila (Barrymore). As partners in life (and crime) the two go to whatever means possible to hide the fact that there are actual zombies in Santa Clarita.

    Joel is a pretty anxious man. How could he not be when his wife is eating their neighbors? But Olyphant’s portrayal is not only totally hysterical but lovable as heck. From the beginning, Joel comes off as a charming guy with a pretty good head on his shoulders. But as the series progresses and tensions rise, Joel’s fuck-it mindset comes front and center. There is certainly no actor who can play anxiously guilty and IDGAF simultaneously the way Olyphant can. And he is hands down THE husband of the year for becoming a zombie fighting Knight of Serbia, all in efforts to make sure his wife never gets hunted. The combination of the sky-high stakes Joel and his family are facing and the end of everything considered “normal,” Olyphant acts as almost any person in his position would. By keeping it real with his reactions and his ability to see the bright end to a very dark tunnel, the comedy just flows out of him.

    As much as Barrymore is the show’s driving star vehicle, Olyphant is one as well. He has been a true joy to watch since Season 1, but it’s Season 3 where this man gives the world everything he’s got. As much as we love all the fun stars who appear in the show (Joel McHale, Natalie Morales, Nathan Fillion) we can’t help but wish Santa Clarita Diet was all Joel, all the time.

    Olyphant’s performance in Santa Clarita Diet only speaks to one facet of his brilliant acting chops. Last week on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Olyphant revealed that even he, the seemingly perfect human he is, gets nervous before appearing on talk shows. Meyers was totally shocked because of how comfortable Olyphant seemed. He walks in like he owns the place and acts as if he doesn’t have a care or vulnerability in the entire world. The true sign of a damn great actor.

    So, if you haven’t caught up with Santa Clarita Diet now is not the time for excuses, people! Get on that! Watch this dreamboat of a man totally nail every scene he’s in and make you actually laugh out loud. You won’t regret it.

    Lauren Garafano (@laurengarafano) is a TV-obsessed writer living in New York City. Her work has appeared on BuzzFeed, Decider, and TV Insider. She also ships Rachel Green with Joey Tribbiani and nothing in this world can change her mind.

    TOPICS: Timothy Olyphant, Netflix, Late Night with Seth Meyers, Santa Clarita Diet