The CW network is doing great right now. Not that it wasn’t before but when shows like The 100 and Golden Globe wining Crazy Ex-Girlfriend are considered ‘lesser’ programming by the mass public, you know you’re doing fine. One of those ‘lesser’ shows is Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggerio White’s “iZombie” and in my mind it’s one of the finest television shows on the air of any kind.
The story of Olivia ‘Liv’ Moore is an interesting one. When an end of term boat party turns into a zombie infused disaster, her life as a promising medical student with the fiance of her dreams ends with one scratch. To fuel her desire for something resembling her old life, and something to fuel her hunger for brains, she starts to work for the Seattle Police Department morgue. After a while of dining on the decaying corpses of the city, she starts to see visions of the deceased’s life and gain some of their characteristics. She uses this new ability to help one specific detective to solve murders left, right and centre.
I am quite a critical person about most things in life. While there are elements of individual episodes that don’t quite work with me, I genuinely cannot fault iZombie on anything that isn’t trivial details. Every character has a reason to be there beyond entertainment for the viewer, and with the creators of the criminally underrated Veronica Mars behind the scenes I would expect no less.
In terms of genre I would say this fits nicely next to Shaun of The Dead as a RomComZomDram, depending on the episode. Sometimes we’ll have Liv running on sex-obsessed librarian brain and the next on agoraphobic hacker. Having this dynamic allows us, the viewers, to empathize with Liv in a way that no one else can, strengthening the bond between character and audience like very few shows can accurately accomplish. Rose McIver plays Miss Moore, and in a world where everyone fauns over Tatiana Maslany it’s stunning that she hasn’t been nominated for any acting awards. I believe that if you have to change your entire personality episode to episode all the while subtly modifying an accent (she’s from New Zealand originally) then you’re a damn good actress in my books.
As a cast there aren’t any big names unless you’re a massive fan of one David Anders, who you might remember from Alias, Heroes, The Vampire Diaries and Once Upon A Time. He plays the bad guy you love, Blaine DeBeers. Think Spike from Buffy but a bit more evil…and a zombie. The comic relief is led by Rahul Kohli as chief medical examiner Ravi Chakrabati, an English doctor who is trying to find a cure for Zombism while making great puns and having a kind face. Also, Mr Kohli’s Twitter game is very strong.
Rounding out the main cast is Malcom Goodwin, Aly Michalka and Robert Buckley as Detective Clive Babineux, Peyton Charles and Major Lilywhite (yes that is his name, not his rank). Major is the fiance that Liv had to leave, Peyton was Liv’s old college room mate and works in the DA’s office and Clive is the detective who Liv convinces she’s psychic to get on cases.
All of which have moments to shine on their own but this core group have unrivaled chemistry and are all perfectly cast. There are a number of actors I could see as Harrison Wells, but no one could replace any of the main cast of iZombie.
I truly believe that this show can be enjoyed by everyone over the age of 13. I say that as even though everything is kept PG-13, the show is still about zombies and the violence is heavily suggested. There is something for everyone here: comedy from every character, action and drama from the overarching plot, romantic plots and sub-plots that are actually believable and quite tragic at times.
So if you’re interested then check out the show’s first two seasons on Netflix (US and UK/Ireland) or buy them to catch up. If you do then please tweet me @James_SWilson so I can finally talk to people about this show.
I’ve laughed, I’ve cried and I unequivocally LOVE LOVE LOVE iZombie.