For a series that’s built off ideas and concepts that have been recycled for years, iZombie is remarkably fresh and compelling.
It’s got the rapport and wit of Veronica Mars, the outlandish comic book style of Sin City and zombies courtesy of a dozen different movies and series of the last decade, but iZombie somehow comes across as its own kind of animal.
Rob Thomas’ signature style is all over this, and not just in the trademark voiceovers, but in the fast paced dialogue and the way the characters interact with one another so easily. Whether it’s the now zombified Liv sniding detective Babinaux into a corner, or Ravi’s babbling charm pulling her out of her hole of self pity, it makes it easy to get lost in a story that has such a solid team at its core.
The Veronica Mars comparisons are pretty obvious. Liv is the un-dead cousin our favourite teen detective never knew and though she comes up short in the snarky comebacks department, Liv is a great leading lady, and Rose McIver gives the pale ghostly exterior some real depth and likability even when she’s drained of all life. I came away from this pilot already in love with her, and desperate to watch the ex-med student embrace her zombie ways for as long as the show continues, and that’s half the job done on the show’s part.
Naturally story is just as important, and the formula that was established here is solid. I do feel like there needs to be more mystery and intrigue in the long run; as someone who is drawn to serial storytelling, I feel like the standalone format might get tiresome after a few weeks. The introduction of a mystery drug and David Anders’ brief appearance seem like a good starting point for something long term, so I’m curious to see where it all goes.
I like that Liv develops different traits of the people she eats. That has a wealth of comedic and dramatic potential.
Daran Norris! I am so here for more Veronica Mars alumni guest spots.
Didn’t get much of a vibe from the other characters here; Major is cute but didn’t get much screen time, and Aly Michalka’s Peyton already seems like a Skyler White drag.
Not to throw in another comparison here, but did anyone get Tru Calling flashbacks?
He Said, She Said
Liv: “I feel like there’d be some buzz on the street if we were mid zombie apocalypse.”
Though it doesn’t push out the bar for originality or do anything that we haven’t seen before, iZombie somehow makes all of its different styles work in tandem to give us something fun and satisfying that doesn’t take things too seriously. In a TV landscape that's cluttered with dark and harrowing post apocalyptic tales of survival, iZombie is a great alternative.
4 out of 5 brains covered in hot sauce
Originally posted at PandaTV.