“Complicated” is probably the most accurate word I can find to describe my relationship with zombies. I am fascinated by all things supernatural, gross, scary, or some kind of combination of those three things. This said, I grew up in the Caribbean, surrounded by tales of black magic and random sacks full of fresh meat placed at the middle of every other crossroad. To me, zombies are a little more real than, say, vampires or werewolves. They’re a part of my culture, maybe not as brain-eating devils but as, you know, just undead peeps. So despite trying my darndest not to be ridiculously superstitious, there’s always a part of me who looks at zombies with a strange mix of fear and respect. That, however, started to change a few years ago, when I discovered movies that treated zombies more like very angry, dangerous, sick people than like a purely supernatural manifestation. I loved that a lot. And as it happens, the TV show I’m reviewing today subscribes to the same school of thought – sorta.
iZombie is loosely based off the comic series of the same name. I say loosely because I have only read a synopsis of the comics and it seems like the only thing they kept were the concept of zombies having trouble fitting in with the living. Because of that, I won’t be able to give my opinion on it as an adaptation. As a series, though? Let’s see.
So. iZombie is about Liv Moore (get it? GET IT?), a perfect, type A girl with a perfect, type A life, who becomes a zombie and tries to find her place in the world. To get her daily load of fresh, gooey brains, she works as a coroner, and it so happens that eating brains also gives her psychic abilities and more specifically the power to see some of the dead people’s memories and pick up some of their traits and abilities. This allows her to help Detective Babinaux solve crimes, while her boss Dr Chakrabarti, whom you could describe as a zombie enthusiast, searches for a cure to her illness.
If it sounds neat, it’s because it is. The show has quirky, lovable characters, a butt-tonne of pop culture references, comic-book-like aesthetics, and is set in Seattle. It is a hipster bait that I am taking with glee. The dialogue makes me pull out my “oh you” face every couple of minutes and even though the crimes have been pretty mundane so far, I expect it to get better. Also, as if this show wasn’t already enough of a treat, it makes zombies look hot. This may not be a good point for some of you, who like your zombies just gross and dropping pieces of themselves everywhere, but I am attracted to anything that vaguely looks goth and dangerous. What can I say? It’s great if you’re cute, but it’s even better if we both kind of look like semi-divine nocturnal creatures.
Of course, without a clear threat coming up in the next few episodes, this could get a little boring, but I am confident that creators Rob Thomas and Dianne Ruggiero-Wright have something good in store for us. Names ring a bell? Rob Thomas created Veronica Mars. Diane Ruggiero-Wright wrote on that same show and also wrote the screenplay for the Veronica Mars movie. If you were searching for a reason to check out iZombie, this is probably it. The show itself definitely has that vibe, what with the homecoming queen type character who becomes a crime-fighting badass after a horrific, life-changing event, the crimes that only a really young female genius can solve- you know the drill. It’s a Rob Thomas show. We’re all crazy for Robby.
One question remains though: is iZombie going to live up to our expectations? I’d say that as a Veronica Mars meets Warm Bodies meets Chew kind of show, the chances of it being a success should be pretty high. However, the numbers are not in its favour so far. With only a couple million viewers for the first two episodes, it looks like its fate could resemble more that of Dead Like Me than of The Walking Dead. I really hope that people will give it more love. Who knows? If it works, maybe they’ll actually do Chew next. I would really dig that.
– Anais L