This dark comedy puts a comic book zombie spin on the police procedural and brings totally new meaning to the phrase “you are what you eat.” Olivia Moore had a promising medical career ahead of her until one fateful night on a boat party from hell, she contracts a slight case of zombie. To the horror of her friends and family, she throws away her future in order to take a job in the coroner’s office, which makes sense considering her new dietary needs. With a never-ending supply of fresh brains at her disposal, Liv discovers when she eats a decedent’s brain, she takes on characteristics of that person, including their knowledge, special skills, languages they spoke and even gets visions from the victim’s point of view. This gives her unique insight into the murder investigations, and driven by an intense desire to seek justice for the dead (and to make up for, you know, eating them), she teams up with a homicide detective who thinks she’s a psychic and he quips about their new duo, ‘Cagney and Pasty’. He’s very good at his job, but she’s definitely the, er, brains of the operation. Liv’s boss Ravi, the M.E., not only accepts her as a zombie but is excited about the whole thing and thinks he may eventually be able to make a cure. Liv struggles with the loss of her old life and is always fighting to keep from going full on zombie, so part of her desire to be a crime fighting zombie is to retain her humanity by literally being the voice for the dead.
There’s lots of dark pragmatic and irreverent humor throughout and it’s wonderful to watch Liv be a personality chameleon, which has to be fun for actress Rose McIver. This funny but intricately profound show takes the entire genre of zombies and turns it on its head, fighting the stereotypes, exploring new dynamics of interpersonal relationships and giving serious thought to the ethical considerations of living life as a “good” zombie. Not as gory as you might think and definitely worth your time. The show doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is evident from both the main title (a nod to now ubiquitous Apple products) and the cleverly crafted names of each episode. Two examples from the first season are ‘Live and Let Clive’ and ‘Maternity Liv’. Also whenever the show returns from a break, there’s a comic book panel with an amusing caption, which then melts into live action. I heartily applaud these little touches that make watching iZombie a real treat, a marvelous amuse-bouche for the sophisticated palate. – BETHANY
For more on iZombie, visit the Internet Movie Database
Zombie shame eating (Rose McIver).
Blaine DeBeers (David Anders), a zombie with a business plan.
Photos courtesy of Spondoolie Productions, Vertigo (DC Entertainment), Warner Bros. Television and The CW network