iZombie debuted on the CW last night, and before you say that the last thing you need is another goddamn zombie show, this is a series you should most definitely give a shot. It comes from Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars, Party Down) and it’s based on the comic from Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, and it’s goddamn delightful. Rose McIver plays Liv Moore, a type A medical student who loses her ambition and gains a healthy sense of ennui after she gets the zombie cooties.
Besides pale skin, more make-up, blonder hair, and the loss of her drive, however, Liv is unrecognizable as a zombie, which is why her friends and family don’t even realize she’s been infected. The catch? She still has to eat brains, so she trades in her career in medicine for a career in forensic Pathology. She starts working at a morgue, where there’s an easy supply of brains from already dead people. The upside is, after she eats a dead person’s brain, she has flashes of their memories, which allows her to investigate their murders.
The premise sounds a little too bizarre, but it works. In fact, iZombie maintains the snappy wit of Veronica Mars.
Not to mention, it’s playfulness.
It’s also brimming with brightly dark comedy, like Dead Like Me,
and a fondness of food (with brains), like Hannibal.
There’s the charmingly low production values of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
There is a procedural, case-of-the-week format, and — as with most procedurals — it can be a little tiresome watching investigators chase leads and knock on doors, although the procedural framework is more Castle than CSI.
The running storyline that frames each episode — how the lead character manages to get a case of the zombies — is far more interesting.
The supporting cast still needs time to bloom, but her too-charming ex-fiance has a very charming Robbie Amell quality about him:
and her partner in the morgue is a effervescent delight.
It’s the rare show that will instantly hook you, and after one already stellar episode, it still has plenty more room to grow, so long as it doesn’t get mired in the procedural format.