Zombies. There’s been The Walking Dead and Warm Bodies, and zombies are still all the rage. iZombie recently aired (March 17). I heard about it sometime last year and have been waiting for it desperately. I can’t seem to get enough of the whole zombie genre (The Walking Dead is one of my favourite shows on TV). Another big reason I was super excited for this show is that Rob Thomas co-wrote and directed it. He’s well-known for Veronica Mars (another favourite). The iZombie trailer alone reminded me of the flare the show Veronica Mars had—quick-witted, intelligent humour, a likable, strong-willed female character, a colourful and diverse group of secondary characters, and mysteries you can’t wait to be solved.
iZombie is very loosely based off the comic with the same name. In the comic books, Liv is still your main character, but she’s a gravedigger—that’s how she has access to the brains she needs to stay fairly “normal.” She’s also friends with a ghost and werewolf. I personally tried to read the comic, but could only managed reading half of the first volume. I just found it boring and some scenes, like in some comics, come across way too corny for me. In an interview, Rob Thomas mentioned that they changed things up in the show because they wanted to stand out and avoid reminding people of shows similar to it like Being Human and True Blood, where there’s a variety of supernatural creatures. He wanted to keep it simple, strictly a horror-crime-drama with humans and zombies.
The TV show revolves around Liv, a medical student who becomes a zombie. She joins a Coroner’s office to gain access to the brains, which she must reluctantly eat so that she can maintain her humanity. But every brain she eats, she also inherits the person’s memories and habits. She uses her abilities to solve each person’s death/murder with help from the medical examiner, Dr. Ravi Chakrabartian, and police detective Clive Babineaux.
There are a lot of recognizable faces in the show. Rose McIver (Lovely Bones, Once Upon A Time) plays Liv, our zombie heroine. Malcolm Goodwin (True Blood, House of Cards) plays Detective Clive Babineaux.. Rahul Kohl plays Dr. Ravi Chakrabartian, Liv’s ally and totally pro-zombie. David Anders (always loved him as Mr. Sark from Alias) plays undead Blaine DeBeers. Daran Norris (Veronica Mars—excited to see him again!) plays weatherman Johnny Frost. Aly Michalka (Easy A, Phil of the Future) plays Liv’s best friend Peyton Charles. Robert Buckley (One Tree Hill) plays Major Lilywhite, Liv’s ex-finance. And that’s just naming a few! I’m secretly hoping a few more Veronica Mars actors slip into the mix.
Like any show, I feel like the first episode is a write off. Usually, the pilot bombards you with every bit of information about the world you’re stepping into and shoves nearly every character in your face. But, of course, there’s at least one mysterious piece that they dangle like some carrot on a string and stick, tempting you to take the next step forward into episode two. So far, I only really found the detective character, Clive Babineaux, to be annoying. He’s kind of a newbie. He’s been a cop for awhile, working in vice but only just started in homicide. He’s unsure of himself and played the victim card too early—already worried everyone is out to play a joke on him.
Okay, time to show some love. The show makes an effort to keep some ties with the comic book, such as the title and credits are written in a comic book lettering, and the intro and some establishing shots are presented as comic book art. Meanwhile, Rose McIver, who really has a New Zealand accent, speaks with an American accent that sounds much like Veronica Mars/Kristen Bell, which I really love. Is that why you casted her Rob Thomas? I can’t help but compare the show to Veronica Mars since Rob Thomas does have a hand in this and I can’t help but find similarities, which isn’t a bad thing! I still wish Veronica Mars wasn’t cancelled. In some way, I feel like part of its essence is living on through this show. Also, I love the fact that Liv’s secret (psst…she’s a zombie) isn’t hidden under lock and key from everyone. Dr. Ravi Chakrabartian, her colleague, figures out what she is right away (she’s not dead, just undead) and even sweetly supports her, giving her hope that he might be able to find a cure (he’s not sure when—it could be months or years from now, but the point is, there’s still hope).
It’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out and how the show explores questions viewers may already have. Will Liv and Major, her ex-finance, ever get back together? Will anyone else find out that she’s a zombie? Will Dr. Ravi find a cure? If Utopium is the drug that turns humans into zombies, who’s making it and why? When is zombie Blaine DeBeers going to realize he turned Liv?
I’m hoping the show gets better, only time will tell. I just really want all the unnecessary fluff cut out and have a show that can stand on its two feet with ease and confidence. I believe iZombie could be something great and a ton of fun.
I’m even considering writing weekly recaps of the show. Nothing set in stone, but I think it might be cool to follow this story on its journey.
Watch the trailer.
Have you’ve seen iZombie yet? What do you think of it so far? Leave me a comment below.