Alright, alright. I can already feel some people judging me for this one, but, yes, I did decide to give The CW’s iZombie a shot. I figured they’ve done such a stellar job with Arrow and The Flash that the least I could do was check this one out, too. And you know what? It’s actually quite a bit of fun. So let’s discuss the particulars of the premiere.
What I liked:
- Rose McIver as Liv the zombie. This show is a lot like Warm Bodies in that it focuses on internal monologues, and, much like Nicholas Hoult as R, McIver is a very charming zombie. She’s a medical superstar gone awry, woefully apathetic following her undead infection, yet always feeling bad about it. She makes for a really fun main character.
- Liv’s sassy friends/co-workers, Ravi (Rahul Kohli) and Clive (Malcolm Goodwin). Ravi is an energetic co-worker at the morgue, and he’s instantly fascinated by Liv’s condition. I can tell he’s going to be a fun, lighthearted buddy. As for Clive, he may not be in the know (for now), but when he pulls Liv in for an investigation, it’s pretty clear they’re going to have an interesting partnership. The supporting characters can make or break a show. Fortunately, I like these guys.
- The delightful humor. I had lots of chuckles over this episode. Here are a couple moments: 1) Liv realizes she’s taking on the personality traits of the people whose brains she eats, and she thinks, “So ‘you are what you eat’ isn’t just a bitchy thing my mother says about fat people.” 2) Liv abruptly abandons a case, and Clive pouts about her leaving, offering up a quip about how they could be called “Cagney and Pasty.” The writing is all very funny and clever like this, and I really liked it.
- The comic book-y stuff. The opening credits and the start of each scene after a commercial break are all animated like a comic book, leading into the live-action scene. It gives the show a pretty nifty vibe.
- The premise. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that. I mean, it’s about a zombie who works at a morgue and helps investigate the deaths of victims whose brains she eats. Like, who came up with this?! It’s kind of wonderful. I’ve heard it described as a mix of Veronica Mars and Buffy, and this seems pretty accurate.
What I didn’t like:
- The beginning is way too rushed. Fortunately, the show does go back and break some of that down a little more, but it was moving at such a fast pace for the first 10 minutes or so that I was kind of taken out of it. Also, while we’re talking about the beginning…
- It seems a little too perfect at first. Almost sickeningly perfect, in fact. Granted, I think the point is to demonstrate two extremes since things fall apart shortly thereafter, but still. Between that and the rapid pace, I was on the fence for a bit.
- So how is Liv not, like, crazy and feral? She seems very, very in control for an undead monster. It’s almost disappointing. But I’m sure there’ll be some bumps in the road, and I’m sure her partial immunity will be addressed at some point, so this didn’t really bother me too much.
- It’s a little silly that Clive brings Liv along to question people. Since when are homicide detectives cleared to bring morgue workers to interrogate victims? Again, this is something that I’m sure will cause problems between Clive and his captain in future episodes, but it seems odd that a rookie cop would be willing to take that risk.
The Potential: Really, iZombie is a lot more fun than it has any right to be. A little iffy at first, perhaps, and definitely geared more toward a younger audience, but the show is quirky and funny with sharp writing and a solid cast. If you can get past the sheer ridiculousness of it, there’s a good chance you will thoroughly enjoy iZombie, too.
My Grade: B+