iZombie is a tv show based on a comic of the same name . . . and it’s AWESOME.
Being a fan of the Walking Dead and a meh liker of Z Nation, I have to say I immediately fell in love with this show. TWD is brilliant for being serious and making us truly feel something for the people involved in what could easily be dismissed as “just some silly zombie story.” Z Nation comes across as comedic and fun in a Joss Whedon sort of way (only much cheaper.)
iZombie is beautifully shot with rich color saturation, quick humor and action and a wicked sense of itself as entertainment. If you’re looking for a “show” you can enjoy that’s not as gruesome or depressing as TWD or as cheap as Z Nation, this might be for you.
The story follows Olivia Moore, a medical student who becomes infected and zombified when a massacre breaks out at a party she’s at. Waking up to find herself a zombie she quickly finds a job at a coroner’s office to give her ready access to brains.
Eating brains gives her special insight into how the people lived and died and allows her to help solve their murders.
The characters she meets are pretty awesomely cast. Rahul Kohli is brilliant as her boss Ravi who is simply fascinated with her and with finding a cure. He’s probably my favorite character throughout the show.
Clive, the cop who thinks she’s some sort of psychic is great even if he does seem to solve murders at an amazing rate while never having to deal with court appearances or paperwork.
Robert Buckley is great as the concerned ex-fiance who seems completely oblivious to everything going on around him. (Though to his credit a lot of people seem to miss the obvious in this story.)
The hundreds of pop-culture references are pretty awesome. My personal favorite references were in the same episode when Major has been beat up and is asked about it he jokingly says: “I can’t talk about Fight Club.” And later, “If I get into a fight with a biker gang it should be because I knocked over all their hogs outside a dive bar.” Brilliant Pee Wee’s Big Adventure reference.
This is not a zombie show. This is a vampire show. Take away brains and replace them with blood. Done. The way these walkers act and try to blend in to society plus the way they create new zombies here and there feels much more like a vampire story than a zombie one.
For example in the entire run of 13 episodes we’ve only really seen one full-on zombie. One of the victims of the boat party was trapped down a hole with no brains for food for some time and ended up deteriorating all the way down to a real zombie. Other than that we really don’t see much deterioration, or rot which we normally associate with these stories.
Instead we have a lot of zombies with feelings basically acting in death the same way they did in life. Liv’s still working in medicine and Blaine is still basically a drug dealer.
When Blaine makes people zombies they don’t really seem to freak out about it. They just whip out their check books and go for his hustle. Seriously if he slept with someone and then in the morning mentioned he had herpes and that he could provide herpes medicine the woman would FREAK OUT. Understandably. Here you have a guy who has given something MUCH worse than herpes and the woman he sleeps with not only doesn’t flip out she just agrees to his blackmail right away and whips out her checkbook. That’s hard to sink my teeth into.
Our main character’s aren’t actually REALLY zombies either. They are sick and can be cured. This isn’t the first time zombies have been presented this way. Warm Bodies which is referenced directly on the show had a similar premise. What’s missing from the show is the whole idea of the zombies as an outbreak that could spread and destroy the world. Though this is hinted at and even cleverly suggested in that there are a lot more of them out there that we just don’t know about.
The main character’s name is Olivia Moore but everyone calls her Liv. Liv Moore, get it? Meh.
It seems a lot like other shows I’ve already seen like Medium. Ok, I have to be honest, I haven’t actually watched Medium. It wasn’t my thing. But the premise is a psychic girl who solves murders with her . . . psychicness.
Eating brains gives Liv part of the victim’s memory and abilities like speaking Romanian or doing kung-fu. I’ll buy this as it’s a key part of the show’s mythology and it’s fun even though that just doesn’t make any sense. But I’m going to be a bit of a purist here and say that zombies eat flesh not just brains. The first zombies to eat brains were from Return of the Living Dead and even those zombies ate flesh too. None of the zombies on this show seem to care for flesh at all.
The show often references comics but this doesn’t really seem valid. It’s only loosely based on the original comic anyway. Ok there’s a brilliant reference to the movie Vertigo in the show which is also the company that published the comic. But other than that the comics references outside the title sequence seem kind of pointless. I’d like to read the comic if I can ever get my hands on it but it’s not important to my enjoyment of the show. Forcing the comics thing on us seems like the writers trying to say “Look! Look! Our show is based on a comic just like that other show.” It’s like they are only using it to score a few points of cred with the kids.
One last tiny thing. Why on earth is Liv constantly using chopsticks to eat? She doesn’t look particularly good at using them.