It seems that the undead appearing on your television screen is something that will just keep coming whether you like it or not, but by Jove, do we like it!
Based on the popular comic of the same name (iZombie if that wasn’t clear) by writer Chris Roberson and artist Michael Allred, Olivia “Liv” (Gwen in the comics) is your average mid-20-something with a knack for success in her hospital job, her love life with her fiance in their happy, perfect little relationship, and pretty much everything else. Except for maybe her social life.
When Liv gets invited to a party on a lake by a co-worker, Liv is a little skittish about the offer until her fiance suggests that it wouldn’t kill her if she had a little fun, teasing “what’s the worst that could happen?” Um, how about an unexpected inexplicable zombie outbreak that turns Liv into a brain-hungry undead corpse?
After the outbreak, Liv wakes up on the nearby shore where medics and police search for answers, none of which seem to be present. Liv’s skin turns pale (because she is dead) along with her brunette hair fading in color until it reaches that platinum-blonde look (you know, dead).
Liv fears for her future, and keeps the undead secret to herself, though she raises suspicions when she leaves her promising job, and her fiancée, Major (yes, that is his actual name) for a much more suitable life of working at the morgue (where she can be close to brain food and dead people), and sitting in front of the couch with a “I don’t care” attitude. Liv’s roommates and family are worried that perhaps she suffers PTSD from the slaughter that took place on the lake, and suggest that she gets help.
She should just be glad she didn’t end up like the poor sap behind her. Yeesh.
Instead, Liv focuses on her work and keeps her distance from as many people as possible to avoid potentially infecting them, until she befriends her co-worker and boss at the morgue, Dr Ravi who figures out her condition and begins doing tests on her. What they discover is that her desire to eat brains somehow keeps her from turning into a complete undead nightmare, though the longer she goes without eating, the closer she gets to becoming like a rabid dog. They also discover that she gains memories through the victims brains she consumes, which makes her particularly useful to officer Clive Babinaux, a new cop who has not had much luck on solving cases. When Liv offers up information on a Jane Doe that comes into their midst, she starts seeing visions and clues leading towards the reason behind her murder (because she ate Jane Doe’s brains, if that wasn’t clear). Officer Clive Babinaux begins to think Liv is psychic, much to the entertainment of Dr Ravi and Liv. With Liv’s new ability, she starts to have a little more hope for her seemingly dreary and dull undead life. This causes her to decide that it might be worth it to tell Major that maybe some day they could try again and move forward with their undying love. That is of course until she goes over to his house and sees through the window that the love of her life is with another girl slaughtering zombies in the popular post-apocalyptic survival game Dying Light (which we wrote a review for) on PS4.
As it turns out, life has its ups and downs, but so does death. Regardless of your perspectives on zombies, there is a lot to like about the show. The cast is well-rounded, the acting is spot on, and the story is a unique take on what is otherwise a seemingly overdone anecdote at this point. But what iZombie sets out to do, it does very well, and that is to entertain and make you think… About how lucky you are to be alive.
iZombie premiered on March 17, with positive reviews and is likely to be sticking around for a while. If you missed the first episode, it’ll likely be showing again before its next episode on Tuesday, March 24, or you can catch it on Hulu.
If you are interested in picking up the comic, the complete series is out now in its entirety in trade paperbacks or 4 collectible volumes with 28 issues to its name.