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iZombie TV Review – An Urban Fantasy Delight

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THE SHOW: iZombie

WHERE: CW

WHEN: Tuesdays 9/8c

THE CAST: Rose McIver, David Anders, Rahul Kohli, Malcolm Goodwin

THE SETUP: A young medical student becomes a zombie after being infected at a party. Five months later, we find her working at a Coroner’s Office where she eats brains to keep her feeling more human. But, she soon learns that she takes on the memories of the person’s brain she eats which she uses to help solve crimes.


No one was more psyched than me to hear that Rob Thomas of Veronica Mars fame was developing a new genre series for the CW. That show in question is iZombie, a smart TV series similar to not only Veronica Mars, but Moonlight and Pushing Daisies as well.

RELATED: Romantic Moment of the Week: Logan and Veronica

What really works well for this series (besides the awesome Veronica like voice-overs spoken by the perfectly cast Rose McIver as Liv) is the obvious parallels between being a zombie and being depressed or anxious. In fact, Liv isn’t your typical heroine. She’s put into the type of role usually given to male counterparts where she not only gets to kick butt with superpowers, but can also be majorly flawed (thanks partially to side effects of being a zombie). She sits and watches TV all day, she’s lost all of her motivation in life, she eats junk food, etc…

But the show is more than just a satirical look at depression in an urban fantasy setting, it is also really funny situationally. There are quite a few laugh-out-loud moments including the VERY funny sequence of what happens when you choose to go to a party when it’s not really your thing (AKA everyone turns into zombies and then turns you into one as well). It was like the perfect GIF for introverted homebodies everywhere who would rather stay at home on a Friday night reading a book than brave going out to party for fear of a zombie apocalypse.

On top of the clever writing, the zombie mythology is interesting (making it closer to vampirism than zombies), the mysteries of the week entertaining (though not particularly hard to figure out) and the series as a whole fun to watch.

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However, there are a few kinks to work out. Two episodes in and I’m still not completely sold on any of the characters other than Liv yet. Everyone has potential, especially David Anders as Blaine – the bad boy who turned her and her confidante Dr. Ravi, but it’s hard to say at this point which characters will really stick as personal favorites. I admit I’m kind of hoping Anders will fill the Logan Echolls/Spike bad boy role for the series. His character is funny and extremely devilish, yet I still want a little bit more humor from him.

Then there’s the romantic possibilities. While this isn’t a paranormal romance series, the romantic urban fantasy angle is hard to ignore. And yes, I am expecting there to be a good romance in an urban fantasy series. The obvious romance is the one between Liv and her ex-fiancé who she chooses not to be with in the fear that she’d turn him into a zombie. But I’m not sure this is the couple to root for.

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The other possible love interests include Blaine, the bad boy, and Detective Babineaux, the cop. While there’s been no hinting toward the Detective as of yet, it’s clear he’s been put into the role of the investigative partner, which often becomes the love interest in these types of genre shows. If that is the intention, however, I’m just not sure if I see these two having any romantic chemistry. But I could be surprised. Then again, perhaps we haven’t met who could become the “epic” love interest yet.

Also, it’s hard not to make comparisons to Veronica. If I were to put them side by side, I’d say Veronica definitely had the stronger start. The dialogue and characterization just jumped out at you. Plus, the season long mystery arc was front and center. iZombie, on the other hand, only hints at the season long arc (I’m assuming the mystery of the party and how she became a zombie is the arc) and instead focuses on a case of the week. Something that could bog the series down in the future if it becomes too procedural.

Overall, while there are a few kinks to work out, this series is definitely a keeper. Basically, if you love wit and any of these shows – Veronica Mars (obviously), Moonlight, Pushing Daisies, Tru Calling, Dead Like Me, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Forever (or other shows similar to these), then you should give iZombie a try. This series has the potential to reach cult fan status quickly.

Did you watch iZombie? What do you think of the show so far? Do you plan to keep watching or give it the boot? Sound off in the comments!


Photos: CW

OVERALL RATING

four and half rating border

“You had me at hello.”

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By on March 26th, 2015

About Amber Topping

Amber works as a blogger/writer full-time and fell in love with stories and imagination at an early age. She has a Humanities and Film Degree from BYU, co-created The Silver Petticoat Review, contributed as a writer to various magazines, and has an MS in Publishing from Pace University, where she received the Publishing Award of Excellence and wrote her thesis on transmedia, Jane Austen, and the romance genre. Her ultimate dreams are publishing books, writing and producing movies, traveling around the world, and forming a creative village of talented storytellers trying to change the world through art.

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4 thoughts on “iZombie TV Review – An Urban Fantasy Delight”

  1. This show is my new favorite show of the season. Before this it was Jane The Virgin which surprises me because I tend to stay away from the CW and now it has my 2 favorite shows, plus it’s got me hooked into the Originals and now the Vampire Diaries.

    Back to iZombie though, the big plus of this show for me is Rose McIver. I hadn’t really seen her in anything before but I LOVE her in this role. She’s got just the right amount of humor and gravitas to be able to pull it off.

    I do agree that the other characters need to be fleshed out more, especially the ex-fiancé if they intend to keep him around for the long term. I do like the push pull between them but I don’t see them as the couple to root for as long as he’s in the dark about who she really is.

    The unfortunate part is that I don’t really see David Anders’ character for her either. Based on what I saw of him this episode I think he might be too evil for my taste. I just felt like he was playing her the whole time to try to get brains. Unless something changes (like with Spike from Buffy as you mentioned) I don’t see anything happening there.

    I don’t know who she could be with at this point, I don’t really see her with any of them. I think I just need to see how things shake out.

    I do like Babineaux the partner and Ravi. I think what we’ve seen of them has been really fun and interesting and I hope we get some more backstory there soon.

    But there isn’t much I don’t love about this show. I’ve watched each episode multiple times and I’m sure I will continue to do so.

    Reply
    • Yeah, this is one of my new favorites for sure too! But I love urban fantasy. 🙂 I think the CW has changed quite a bit these past 2 years with the new president change. I’ve enjoyed a lot of CW shows in the past, particularly the genre ones, but now the network has made a more clever move in the direction of quality entertainment. I’m very interested in his vision.

      Anyway, yeah, I agree. Rose McIver is great! I saw her briefly in OUAT, but it’s hard to tell anyone’s actual acting talent on that show.

      Yes, it should be interesting to see how they flesh out the characters and which ones stick.

      About Blaine, I’m not sure either. Who wants to root for a drug dealer? That’s kind of icky. But we shall see how they develop him. For now, he’s at least the most dynamic of the guys. So yeah, I don’t know either who she could be with. None of them are screaming out to me. So I’m wondering if they’ll bring in a new character.

      But yeah, great show! Thanks for your thoughts. 🙂

      Reply
  2. I really liked Ravi (as a character, not sure if I want him to be Liv’s epic love… yet) and based on what I saw of him, I did like Major. Haven’t seen episode 2, but the glimpse I had of Blaine in E1 wasn’t particularly favorable. Great review – and fun poll! 🙂

    Reply
    • Ravi’s great, yeah! I personally don’t see him as the epic love. More like the “Wallace” type character from Veronica Mars. The best friend, who really is just a friend! Episode 2 is a lot of fun. Blaine has a lot of potential to be a very entertaining character.

      Reply

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