“iZombie” is about an undead medical student that becomes an unofficial member of the local police’s criminal investigation unit. She discovers that being a zombie isn’t all that bad, because it gives her some unusual gifts that helps her solve murder cases. It’s pilot premiered Tuesday, March 17, 2015. You can watch the pilot here.
Yes. I said I gave up reviews in my third year of college, where I once wrote movie reviews for the Drexel Triangle. However, I find that I am following up a glass of Ommegang’s Tripel Perfection, a triple ale with a bottle of Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale, so I guess I’ll give it a shot.
In “iZombie” we have a woman doctor killed in a zombie outbreak at a party that was caused by a recreational drug that has the unfortunate side effect of turning its users undead. She is scratched by a zombie, which yep, you called it, kills her and brings her back to life. She then takes a job as an assistant to a medical examiner, where she eats brains and has visions about the dead, which allows her to help them figure out who killed them. So, it appears we have “Pushing Daisies” meets “Psych” meets “Night of the Living Dead” with a dash of “Dead Like Me” thrown in for garnish.
Rose McIver plays the aptly named Liv Moore, a zombie with a stationary pulse of 10, whom works with Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (played by Rahul Kohli) who has more questions than fear of zombies.
I like the concept that Liv needs hot sauce on everything to get anything to have flavor, and likes her brains with noodles. I have to admit, I also like the tongue-in-cheek attitude of calling our zombie Doctor Liv Moore, and her ex-fiancé Major Lilywhite.
Liv is having a tough time adjusting to life as a zombie. She is very reminiscent of the zombies in “American Zombie” (AZ), that are aware and often in control. However, unlike the shambling dead in AZ, she remembers her life before she died. She still loves her family and her ex; she still has a sense of right and wrong. She also has a love for brains. Dr. Ravi discovers her zombie tendencies by finding about a pound of brain missing from the corpses Liv sewed up after an autopsy.
Liv finds that eating the brains of the dead gives her their memories and abilities, in this case it’s speaking Romanian and being a kleptomaniac.
She is coupled with Detective Clive Babineaux ( played by Malcolm Goodwin), a rookie police detective that’s “low on the totem pole” who finds Liv to be a great help with solving a case of a murdered call girl. He is told that she is a psychic, rather than a member of the Undead. Together, they solve the crime, save a couple of other call girls and put a dangerous criminal out of commission.
Liv’s narration of her life during the show is more insightful than the narration of “Warm Bodies”, and is filled with more angst and turmoil. The monotone nature of the narration fits surprisingly well with the character and the show. She talks about the problems she has, beyond being dead. She has a family that she cannot tell what has happened to her, and who thinks that she is more likely to be on the couch in sweatpants watching “Jerry Springer” than doing something important with her life. Her ex, whom she still carries a torch for, is moving on and she knows it.
Lately, I have been hesitant to invest my time in new television shows. My adoration of zombie movies and “The Walking Dead” led me to watch this episode. I find Liv’s character interesting, yet derivative of the shows that I mentioned at the top. To be fair, it seems to show an intelligence that “Psych” often seemed to lack, and does not revert to broad farce that kept me away from that show. It seems to only take a small amount from “Pushing Daisies.” And, as far as “Night of the Living Dead” goes, she can take a bullet in the chest and still smile about it. Whether she will revert to full zombie remains to be seen, however, it is possible. I will be curious to see how the show handles the concept of decomposition. She has been dead five months, and, so far, nothing is rotting, sagging or falling off.
I will be back for the next episode. I may have to DVR it, or “NCIS New Orleans”, which it is opposite on the schedule.