Apologies for the lame pun, apologies all around.
So lately I’ve been watching iZombie, the CW show created by Rob Thomas. Not “3 A.M.” or “Long Day” Rob Thomas, but instead the Veronica Mars and Party Down Rob Thomas. If you’re unfamiliar with those shows, they are definitely worth a watch. But back to iZombie.
The basic premise of the show is that Liv Moore (get it?), a young doctor played by Rose McIver, goes to a party and gets infected by another party-goer and turned into a zombie. Her skin and hair turn a bleach white and she develops a desire for brains. Should she go without brains, she begins to feel sluggish and unintelligent, so she becomes a medical examiner and gets a job in a morgue in order to have a steady supply of cerebral matter. She discovers that as a side effect of devouring people’s brains, she takes on aspects of their personalities and can access some of their memories, given the right trigger. She decides to use this power to help solve the murders that come into the morgue.
So that’s the basic premise. It’s a supernatural-ish procedural with a fair amount of undead comedy tossed in, and so far it has been really enjoyable. The cases are interesting, the world that the show is building is exciting, and the cast is all very like-able.
For those who are fans of Rob Thomas’ work in the past, then this is definitely a show you should check out. It has a distinct feel to it that is decidedly Veronica Mars. Though that is not to say that it is a clone of that show. It is its own animal and Rose McIver is definitely not Kristen Bell. Liv is her own unique heroine who is carving out her own story, and it is very different from Veronica’s. And Rose McIver really is a charming and excellent actress. She eats some brains, then slips in and out of the personalities that she takes on as though she were trying on hats, and she is a pleasure to watch perform. Doesn’t hurt that she is cute as a damn button.
As I said before, the supporting cast is also excellent, and of note especially is Ravi, played by Rahul Kohli. Ravi is another doctor working in the morgue and the only person (at first) who knows about Liv’s condition, and is her ally in using her abilities to solve murders. Additionally, when he discovers her condition, he begins actively working on a cure! On top of all that, he is one of the chipperest motherfuckers on television. Great character. Other characters are great, too, but he’s like, Cisco Ramon rad.
And the world they are building is excellent, as well. This is spoiler-y territory, but it’s also the premise of the first season, so whatever. Liv is nowhere near the only zombie that is out there, and what some of the other zombies are scheming, unaware to Liv, is deviously fascinating. Zombies are kind of like vampires in this show in that they’re not mindless (no pun intended) monsters, but are instead more like junkies. They need their fix of brains like vampires need their fix of blood, and they will figure out interesting ways to get their next hit. Also, Liv isn’t the only sexy zombie out there. I mean, this is the CW network we’re talking about here. If it weren’t 90% beautiful people then it wouldn’t make it to air.
So while zombies are kind of played out in my book, this at least keeps the zombies as real characters. They have desires and motivations and they aren’t all just evil lumps looking for more brains. They’re fleshed out characters who understand their predicament and are dealing as best they can.
All in all, I think that this show is pretty fantastic so far. We’re now 7 episodes in and I definitely feel good in adding it to my must-watch list. I mean, it’s nothing ground-breaking, it’s still mostly a procedural, but it is quality television, to be sure. The performances and the over-arcing story keep it from being just another murder-of-the-week show, and I’m pretty pumped to see what happens next episode.