First Impressions


Airing On: The CW Network

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                When I first heard about the new zombie series airing Tuesdays on The CW, I was not exactly enthusiastic.  iZombie was touted as being a zombie series for Veronica Mars fans.  Having never watched Veronica Mars, I didn't really know what that meant, so that didn't put me off.  What did put me off was the fact that this particular zombie could talk and was apparently of enough sound mind to solve crimes.  Anyone who is a fan of the zombie genre will now say, "Huh?"  But, in the interest of bringing our readers all things entertainment, I decided to check iZombie out when it premiered on March 17, 2015 at 9pm EST.

                In the premiere episode of iZombie, we meet Olivia "Liv" Moore (Rose McIver), a hard working medical student on the rise to stardom in her field.  Liv had it all - the promising upcoming career, the gorgeous fiancée (Robert Buckley), the looks, the brains - and then she was invited to a boat party.  Liv was not one to go to parties, but, at the urging of those close to her decided she could use a break from studies.  Unfortunately, the boat party turned into a zombie party thanks to a new designer drug being distributed on the boat.  Scratched by one of the zombies, Liv falls overboard, later to wake up inside of a body bag on the beach.

                Flash forward and we now see a very pale-skinned, white-haired, dark circles under the eyes Liv.  No longer a medical student, Liv now works as a coroner's assistant in the morgue.  She has broken off her engagement as well.  Her family and friends believe that she has been adversely affected by the disaster at the boat party and they would be right.  But Liv is not suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Liz is a zombie and working at the morgue supplies her with the brain matter she needs to prevent herself from becoming one of the aggressive monsters she was attacked by on the boat.

                Of course, eating recently dead human brains is likely to have some side effects.  No indigestion, just flashbacks of the life the dead individual lived before.  This puts Liv in an interesting situation when the dead body on her morgue slab, believed to be a suicide victim, ends up letting Liv know that she was murdered.  As Liv attempts to piece together moments in her Jane Doe's life, she comes closer to finding out just who killed her.  Of course, when the Jane Doe is a kleptomaniac, this presents something of a problem for Liv, who finds herself lifting things she could never want or have any use for.

                Okay, zombie purists out there are probably going to get mad at me right about now.  Why?  Because I'm not going to trash this television series based on a comic book published by Vertigo.  Knowing that I love zombie films, books and television series, you will probably stare incredulously at the screen right now.  After all, zombies are supposed to be reanimated dead with no real brain activity other than that needed to help search for food, primarily other live humans.  Well...and don't flick things at the screen when I say this, but sometimes you have to change the rules a bit to make things more interesting.  Look how the media has changed rules about vampires and werewolves in the past to create exciting new characters and series.  This is usually acceptable, though there are some who will grumble about it. 

                Well, iZombie is a series that sort of sets the zombie world on its ear, changing the rules enough to make things interesting...and funny - because this show is definitely funny.  I would say that iZombie is very much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer with the quirky characters and the funny lines mixed in with bits of danger and dark material.  This is a clever re-imagination of the zombie genre and, for that reason, I can't trash it.  I am intrigued and ask those with an open mind to join me in watching the next episode of iZombie airing Tuesday at 9pm EST on The CW.


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