Rob Thomas, the creative genius behind Veronica Mars, does quirky, quick-witted, fun writing like few others. He creates engaging characters that resonate with any audience, compelling, immersive plots, and impressively manages to do those things and more within the comparatively restrictive format of television programmes. (Face it, folks. Movies get to have far more fun.) While Veronica Mars has long gone the way of the dodo, despite having a Kickstarter-funded movie, anyone who is eager to sink their teeth into some of Mr. Thomas’ penchant for snappy dialogue and heart-wrenching drama is in luck. iZombie is a show on The CW, and it’s one of the television shows that you most certainly should be watching.
For the uninitiated: iZombie began as a graphic novel of the same name. It follows the adventures of Liv Moore, aspiring-doctor-turned-zombie during a party gone Night of the Living Dead. The similarities between the show and the comic end about there, however, as the comic features a variety of other supernatural creatures beyond zombies while the television show is an un-diluted zombie jaunt.
To clarify: upon Liv’s return to life as a member of the not-so-shambling, relatively well-mannered undead, she takes up a job at the medical examiner’s office. This provides her with all of the brains her insatiable post-life cravings require, but with the curious side effect of causing her to have visions from those brains’ former owners’ lives as well as taking on their personality quirks and characteristics. Liv has been a hitman, a sex expert, and someone with intense maternal instincts, to name only a few her adoptive roles.
The dialogue enjoys the quick-wittedness any Rob Thomas production brings, while the raw, emotional moments really twist the proverbial knife.
Where iZombie succeeds as a show is in its characters and their relationships. The crime drama side is essentially a vehicle to carry a strong cast of major players, portraying well written characters, within something that is too unique to be described as ‘a crime drama’. From the pilot episode, and Liv’s sudden and dramatic change in lifestyle, onwards, these characters present complex relationships with each other, as well as plenty of their own defining characteristics. The dialogue enjoys the quick-wittedness any Rob Thomas production brings, while the raw, emotional moments really twist the proverbial knife, making the programme all the more immersive.
Each episode remains accessible and is enjoyable in its own right.
Each episode takes a crime as its focal point, making iZombie accessible to new viewers who are interested in giving it a shot without backpedaling to the start. The overarching questions that are part and parcel of Liv’s condition are present in each episode, but impressively each episode remains accessible and is enjoyable in its own right. The episode recaps provide enough information to keep things up-to-speed without spoiling the fun. One of the greatest benefits of this show is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, referencing its source material without depending on it as a crutch.
With so much doom, gloom, and grit in television, iZombie strikes a perfect balance of comedy and tragedy. It’s must-see TV at its light-hearted best, and as such it is most certainly a show you should be watching.
By Phil Gorski