If you’ve heard about iZombie already, it was likely in the same breath as Veronica Mars. And how not when the new series is developed by Rob Thomas, the creator of VMars. I was surprised to discover that iZombie is actually based off of a graphic novel of the same name, but so far, the show feels a whole lot like VMars with brains.
Now, that’s not actually a terrible thing, for this show to remind us of our favorite teen PI. Its a formula that clearly works well enough. I’m just hoping that this wears off after a few episodes, because there’s enough to make iZombie successful on its own!
The pilot opens with Liv Moore’s smooth voice over, narrating how her life was before becoming a zombie. She had it all going for her: a position as a doctor, a fiance named Major (yes, really) and a developing rapport with a colleague that had been critical of her. She jets off to a boat party with her newly jovial co-worker at the insistence of Major, “what’s the worst that could happen?” Of course this line seals her fate: the boat party gets crashed by hungry zombies. Liv comes to in a body bag, a streak of white hair already marking her transformation.
Flash forward five months and Liv is under serious scrutiny by her mother, roommate, and strangely, now ex-fiance Major (why he’s still hanging around?). Apparently, becoming a zombie makes you a nihilist, yet her loved ones see it as PSTD. As far as they know, a bunch of murderers attacked the boat party; zombies are not a known entity in this world. But Liv just can’t find the desire to live as she had anymore. I don’t blame her, she has to eat brains in order to keep herself somewhat human-like. Instead of her dream job as a doctor, Liv works in a morgue, where a steady stream of brains keeps her toeing the line between a mindless, angry undead and simply deadpan hilarious.
But the secret isn’t kept for that long, as Liv’s boss Ravi finds her eating brains and is all like, of course you are a zombie! It’s revealed that Liv also has the ability to see flashes of the lives of the people whose brains she devours. This comes in handy when an inexperienced detective comes to the morgue to get info on a Jane Doe. As you might imagine, the show’s major concept is set up here: Liv and detective Babineaux become reluctant partners to solve the murder mystery. We get a whole lot of winks to Veronica here, with our zombie hanging out at the detective’s desk at the station and saying things like, let’s nail this guy to the wall.
Overall, in the pilot Liv’s sense of purpose is renewed, now that she’s able to connect the visions she has from eating brains to solving murders. While this part of the story is interesting, I must admit that mystery moving the episode was kind of lame. It really felt like recycled plot lines from the last VMars book, with View Spoiler »prostitutes being murdered and all « Hide Spoiler. I have high hopes that this will turn around though, as it’s only the pilot. The episode ends with a new chilling vision of someone Liv saw on the boat committing a murder. Do tell!
Underneath the striking similarities to VMars I think there’s a cool show here. I’m on board with Liv and can’t wait to see what comes next. There’s a lot of work to do around developing the secondary characters, and I hope we get to see Liv go full zombie a bit more.
- Liv looks waay better with her platinum locks and dark eye makeup. She was born to be zombie.
- Around the commercial breaks there were comic book styled cutscenes. These were pretty neat.
- Detective Babineaux has a penchant for turtleneck sweaters. It is entirely distracting. Where’d they even buy those from?
- When Liv starts subtly taking on the personality of the person whose brain she ate: “So, ‘you are what you eat’ isn’t just a bitchy thing my mother says about fat people.”
- When Liv goes to see her ex after getting some renewed hope about a cure to her zombieness, she sees him from outside his window playing Left For Dead with a random girl. Double burn.
- Upon seeing Liv’s roommate in her second scene, I realized it was the girl from Phil From the Future and Easy A. Ah! That was driving me nuts. Also, she’s kind of selfish, getting on Liv’s case while she’s zoning out in front of the tv, eating cheesy poofs of some kind: “You’re my freaking heart, so if you could step it up I’d appreciate it.” Way to make her tragedy about you…
- There’s a scene where a different detective goes to investigate a lead, and writes down an address on a note pad and Liv gets a suspicious feeling. My first thought was, do the pencil trick! No joke, Babineaux does this later and Liv quips that it really does work. Get out of my head!
- Psycho motive statement of the year: “I am not going to live in a one-bedroom apartment while my wife gets half my stuff.” Also, how expensive was that ring anyway?
Did you watch iZombie or are you planning to? It is available streaming on CW.com!