While Marvel has been taking the Movie world by storm, DC Comics and Warner Bros. have been using their many resources to stake their claim on the TV side. With four shows running on three networks (Constantine’s questionable future not with standing) and a few more on the way, it’s easy to forget a show like iZombie that has no attachment to the DC Universe.
Trying to appeal to another audience, this zombie related show launched this week without the pomp circumstance that most comics shows get. That being said, is it any good?
Let’s discuss over a bowl of brains and noodles.
iZombie is a TV series based upon a Vertigo comic created Chris Roberson and Mike Allred and developed for TV by Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars) and Diane Ruggiero-Wright (That’s Life). The story follows Olivia “Liv” Moore (Rose Mclver) a former medical student turned zombie/cornier at the Seattle police department.
Liv was turned at a party where a new drug causes physical and mental changes after it’s use. Five months later, she works in the city morgue and feeds on the brains of the dead bodies that pass through, however once she’s eaten brain she’s given visions of the persons everyday life. After she’s discovered by her boss Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli) the two try to find a way to cure her. But before then, she’ll use her zombie powers to help Clive Babinaux (Malcolm Goodwin), a cop in the Seattle PD with cases that come across the morgue and her dinner plate.
While the show might sound like a basic plot to a Showcase/AMC/HBO show featuring gore and curse words, iZombie is surprising tame due to it’s cable broadcaster The CW. The pilot rarely goes into gruesome detail and avoids showing anything more than a cut up fake brain. In fact the show has little common with the horror genre (or from my understanding the series it’s based upon) in general.
The show feels more like a modern genre switching of Thomas’s Veronica Mars rather than a adaptation of a horror comic. The show features plenty of the narration and snappy dialogue that VMars fans will be more than familiar with. That being said, the first episode is much lighter and doesn’t over load the viewer like it’s sister series pilot which set up three seasons worth of backstories in 40 minutes. Instead the show plays things safely.
iZombie’s pilot is pretty basic in it’s story; give us the backstory, introduce the characters, have a basic mystery that is super obvious and set-up a bad guy to deal with in the later episodes. Past that there’s little out of the ordinary for the show. While the show does add some interesting touches such as comic book inspired intro and scene transitions the show looks and feels a lot like your classic extended cable drama series with basic direction and cinematography.
Adding all these things together and what you get is a more or less a flat and average opening episode to a show that could have done a lot more differently. It’s the writing and concept that will keep people interested, and iZombie needs a little work to make it stand out.
While it played it really safe, iZombie could end up being a fun show with a more drawn out concept. It doesn’t have a long rich storyline to mess up (Gotham), it’s not a more technically produced show (The Flash) and it doesn’t have to lean toward past successful DC Comics projects (Arrow). It’s happy being a mix of different ideas with a light attitude on story. We need these types of shows every now and then.
iZombie is based upon a comic book published by Vertigo as imprint of DC Comics. The show airs on the CW and is produced by Spondoolie Productions, Vertigo and Warner Bros. Television. The first season is made up of 13 episodes.