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We're Obsessed With 'iZombie,' A Silly Show That Reminds Us Of 'Buffy'
It's been years since we've been able to find a TV show that caters to our love for the supernatural like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the gumshoe detective work of Veronica Mars. Luckily for us, CW's iZombie is here and it combines the best of both worlds.
We'll get this out of the way: iZombie is a lame title for a TV show. The name comes from the Vertigo comic book series the show is loosely based on—you'll just have to trust us that it's worth overlooking the weak title.
You might be asking yourself why we need another supernatural-themed drama when we're already inundated with the likes of The Walking Dead, Supernatural and The Vampire Diaries. iZombie takes a refreshing spin on the genre. Think of it as an addictive police procedural that has smart, witty dialogue with deadpan humor; drama with heart; charming characters; and a very specific and detailed zombie world. It's developed by the team behind Veronica Mars—Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright—so you know you're in for some quality TV.
The premise of the Seattle-based show is pretty zany and far out. Olivia "Liv" Moore (Rose McIver) is our unlikely heroine. She has a sweet life as an overachieving medical resident with a dashingly handsome fiancee, Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley). But things take a turn for the worst within just the first few minutes of the pilot. She goes to a raging boat party and ends up getting attacked by a zombie.
A few months later, Liv is now a full-fledged zombie. Her hair and skin becomes a chalky white. She's given up her dreams of becoming a doctor. Instead, she becomes a medical assistant at the coroner's office so she can get her hands on some tasty brains (because she's a zombie) without feeling too bad (because she's an ethical zombie). We usually see her eating brains chopped up in a salad or in ramen noodles—and always topped with hot sauce. (This isn't a show to watch while you're eating dinner.) Eating brains on a regular basis helps Liv keep her memories and intelligence. But there's a twist: whenever she eats a brain, she temporarily absorbs the personality traits of its previous human and is flooded with the memories of the deceased. This ends up coming in handy.Throughout the season, we've seen her take on qualities from a sociopath and a hardcore gamer.
She has allies. Her new boss Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli) is too fascinated by her powers and interested in finding a cure to be afraid. Seattle Police Department Detective Clive Babinaux (Malcolm Goodwin) takes an interest in Liv, believing her powers can help him solve his homicide cases. Yes, she takes one for the team and eats brains of the recently deceased to figure out how they got murdered.
However, she hasn't told her friends and family about her new hunger for brains, so they just think she's going through a late-in-life goth phase. (Yes, viewers are asked to suspend their disbelief a lot here.) Liv is compelled to dump Major to keep him safe even though she's still hopelessly in love with him. He sticks around as her friend because this is the CW. There's also a zombie villain in the story, but you'll learn more about him as you watch the show.
The series isn't just about the crime-solving though. Thomas told io9 that they wanted something different with iZombie: "We don't want it just to be a 'zombie solves a murder case,' each week. We want there to be a real, zombie mythology and zombie story lines. I would say in Veronica Mars there was always a big murder case that encompassed the season. In iZombie, there's a big zombie storyline that will sort of serve as the same role."
It gets kind of existential. Being undead and all, Liv often questions her very existence, and it's tough for her to deal with such an alienating secret. Though it pains her, she has to watch Major date other women. We hear her narrate the show and share her thoughts aloud. It definitely has CW teen drama written all over it, but we honestly don't mind.
We end up rooting for her in the same vein as serial killer-killing Dexter. Liv is our unlikely hero. McIver portrays her wonderfully, deftly executing quick and clever lines, mixed in with some self-deprecating and dark humor. She's an absolute joy to watch every week. The other characters grow on you, too, after a few episodes.
iZombie is currently about two-thirds of its way through its first season, but there are still four more episodes to go with plenty of time to binge-watch before its finale on June 9, according to IMDB. It also got picked up for a second season last week, so be assured that once you get hooked, you won't have to worry about the show going on the chopping block any time soon.
'iZombie' airs on the CW on Tuesdays at 9 p.m.