A few weeks ago, my wife and I saw ads for a newer series called iZombie. She indicated she was interested in seeing it to which I said, “I saw the ads before but didn’t think you would be interested.” And I believed that. She is not really into zombie fiction in book, TV, or movie varieties. To be honest, I’m generally not either. But, iZombie caught our attention. Through the use of the CW’s excellent app we watched the first episode. Then the second episode. Then the third to catch up to where the series was. We were hooked. We now watch it live weekly.
Let’s go over the show’s premise. Based loosely on a comic book series of the same name and from the creative team which created Veronica Mars, iZombie is at it’s core a medical and police drama. But, it is so much more than that. Our main character, Liv Moore, is a promising young med student with a happy life, great fiancé, and a great network of friends/family. She goes to a party with a coworker, gets scratched by some dude after a bunch of them go crazy, and wakes up in a body bag. Her skin has lost much of its color as has her hair. She has become a zombie. She needs brains to survive and, with her medical background, gets a job in a police morgue. She also ends her relationship with her fiancé as she’s afraid of potentially turning him into a zombie. She then uses this to give her access to brains to eat. Without brains, the zombies go insane and lose their humanity. When she eats brains – she gets these visions of the deceased, memories and personality traits, which she in turn uses to help solve their murders. She and lead medical examiner Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti convinces officer Clive Babinaux that she’s a psychic. And it works. The only people to know she’s a zombie is her boss, Ravi, and a few other zombies we’ve met along the way. Her ex-fiancé doesn’t know and neither do her family.
The characters are great. The dialogue is great. And Rose McIver as Liv Moore is great. Having to absorb the personalities of the people who’s brains she eats, she is flexing her acting chops weekly as her character’s core remains but her personality quirks get wildly different. She pulls them off with ease and it makes for a fun, energetic, and engaging show. The overall plot where we find out there are more zombies, trying to discern who is turning them, and how the zombie issue arose in the first place makes for a great back drop behind the baseline crime stories. The mythos created for the show is excellent and it still maintains a comic book feel, even if the plot was substantially modified from the source material.
The material of the show isn’t suitable for children, but I would highly recommend anyone who enjoys crime dramas, supernatural dramas, or well written dialogue. Some have been trying to dub it as the “New Buffy,” but I disagree. Yes, it has a kick-butt and awesome female lead (who was a Power Ranger, by the way). That said, it’s crime solving angle makes it feel like a “New Angel.” That’s a good thing as I loved Angel.
All in all, I would recommend this show. I’m watching iZombie and, frankly, so should you.