TelevisionTalks: iZombie

In the Halloween spirit, and because I forgot to add it to the This is Halloween TV list, I figured it would make sense to write a review on this show. Also because Kristen and I have started watching it again. Mainly it’s again for me, as a friend and I watched a lot of the first season, but Kristen only caught an episode here or there.

Image Source: IMDb

iZombie is a show that was created based off of a comic book by the same name and Rob Thomas, the creator of Veronica Mars was the creator of this show as well. You can definitely tell that it has some similar feel to Veronica Mars, but it definitely isn’t the same show. Also, the comic book background of the show comes through in a big way. It makes a ton of sense for the show to has both of those feels to it though as the premise is a pretty odd one, and there is also the case of the week feel.

Image Source: IMDb

Liv (Olivia) Moore’s life is amazing and safe. She has a great residency at the local hospital, she has an amazing fiance, and family and friends who care about her. Things are going swimmingly until one of her coworkers invites her to a party on a boat on the lake. It wouldn’t be something that she’d normally do, but Major, her fiance, encourages her to cut loose for a night. That turns out to have been a bad plan when a zombie outbreak happens at the boat party and Liv is turned into a zombie. She dumps her boyfriend, quits her residency, and pushes her family away from her. She finds a job at the morgue so she has a supply of brains. There, she figures out that by eating the brains of someone, she takes on some of their personality and sometimes has visions of things that had happened to that person. She decides to use her new found skills to help solve murders.

You find all of that out in the first ten minutes of the first episode. The show is definitely an odd one, but very well done, and tells mostly compelling stories while being a crime drama. There are a few times where the stories aren’t as great, but for the most part it’s interesting. There’s also the story as to what caused the zombie outbreak to happen on the boat that is wrapped up throughout the season. So it isn’t just a plain old here’s a crime and it’s solves by the end of every week, sometimes you come out of it with more questions than you did going in, all with there being a crime solved by the end of the episode.

Image Source: IMDb

What makes this show are the characters, there really aren’t any cardboard cutout characters. Too often with shows you can end up with what I’d like to call “Main Character Syndrome” where the main character is fairly flat and boring and doesn’t really have many issues. The side characters might be interesting, but the main character is a bit of a cardboard cutout. An example of this would be Lost Girl, but in iZombie, and you see this some in Veronica Mars though a bit less so, Liv is an interesting and compelling character who has emotions, who isn’t always right or perfect, and it’s probably a fun role to do, because her personality changes every week. She is a bit overshadowed in the role by the Ravi who is her boss at the morgue, but he’s just so sweet and excited by things, and it’s hard not to like his character, he also gets a lot of the comedic relief moments. While the cases to help progress the story, it’s more the characters, what they care about, and what drives them that keep you invested in the show for more than a few episodes.

Image Source: IMDb

Now, I will say that sometimes the procedural cop show feel does get to be a bit annoying. Especially early in the first season there are a few episodes where it’s a bit predictable as to what happens in the case. It feels like the show was trying to find it’s feet, and while it isn’t bad and there is generally enough other interesting things going on, it isn’t until there is more mystery to unravel through multiple episodes that the show really hits it’s stride. I feel like that’s going to be the case with most crime of the week shows, and I’m not sure about the later seasons of iZombie if it comes back to that, but the two that I’ve primarily watched did a solid job of balancing that aspect, better than a lot of the bit crime shows like NCIS and CSI. This is something that is very similar to Veronica Mars and something that Rob Thomas does seem to balance out well, though you’ll notice a dropoff with it in Veronica Mars, but that’s the CW’s fault, not Rob Thomas’s.

This is a generally very enjoyable show, and while there is some violence, some darker stories, and some things that won’t be appropriate for younger children, it doesn’t take away from the viewing experience. Any show where you can empathize with most all of the characters is a good show. I definitely recommend this show, though, because of the sometimes procedural nature, it probably won’t be a hit for everyone. The acting and character development is going to be enough for a lot of people to enjoy it though.

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