iZombie Season 1 Episode 1 – TV Review
Eye Candy sucks.
Under the Dome ended up being unbelievably terrible.
And Cult, a CW show like iZombie, was a mess.
But hey, Veronica Mars‘ team is in the game for this one. Let’s stay optimistic.
TL;DR A plucky cast, upbeat tone, and fast pacing are early indications of good things to come. The formula for the procedural aspect is already at the forefront, which worries me (this isn’t CBS). But I’ll take a Tru Calling-esque, zombie-led detective squad any day, thank you.
Rob Thomas seals the deal.
Our Tru/Veronica expy this time around is Liv, a promising young doctor who is attacked by zombies while on a party boat. She supposedly dies, before awaking in a body bag and later discovering she’s got a hankering for some brain food. She becomes withdrawn and blonde, dumps her fiancé for his safety, and takes a job at a morgue to feed her habit for feeding. Things pick up when the memory flashes she experiences from her meals’ brains become helpful in a murder investigation. She works alongside a cop to catch a prostitute killer. And they do. Her zombie-ism, naturally, comes in handy. Meanwhile, her enthusiastic coworker has realised she’s a zombie and starts researching the hows and the how-to-cures; Liv struggles with kind of wanting to get back together with her fiancé; she does her best to assure her mum, roommate, and brother that she’s okay; and the mystery behind the party boat zombie outbreak dangles at the episode’s conclusion.
You know. Arcs and all that noise.
The only major issues with this pilot episode are that it’s already leaning on the formula (though, that’s par for the course for a pilot. But it doesn’t make it a great watch), and it only lightly hits most of the important points in an effort to spread around glimpses of everything the series has to offer.
Which, again, is a symptom of a pilot. So I’ll temper my apathy for now.
Why I hate this episode:
But goddamn, if this starts showing signs of heading down the Cult road, then I’ll be coming for it.
The characters are all pretty jolly so far, so I’m finding it hard to flaw them in any meaningful way. The only annoyance is the ex-fiancé, who is way too present in Liv’s life. GTFO, bro.
The case-of-the-week leans on the dead hooker angle, which is pretty clichéd.
The truth about the whole mess is stupid: Hooker 3 stole a ring from Dirty Cop (the murderer) to pawn for money, expecting that Hooker 1 (the dead one) would get the blame for it. Hooker 1 was a klepto, so it would be assumed that she was responsible. Did Hooker 3 really think Dirty Cop would be okay with his ring getting stolen, though? Did she think he’d be like “Aww, shucks. Hooker 1 stole something. Again. What a day.” Like, what? Hooker 3 must have known the ring was valuable enough to be worth pawning (because she stole it to pawn it), so he’s obviously going to miss it. Silly billy.
The specifics of Liv’s zombie-ism are still a mystery. Is she going to heal from the bullet wound she suffered this episode?
Oh, and part of the episode’s early mystery concerns the Jane Doe’s name apparently being Stefani Germanotta (it’s a name she gave during an arrest in Canada in 2008. Zombie memory flashes, you know). I mean, I’m the kind of person who bought (not torrented, bought) Artpop on the day it came out, but I imagine the youthful kind of audience iZombie is going for would have a good chance of picking up the fact that it’s Lady Gaga’s real name. So the reveal later that it was a fake name was a failure.
But it’s not all bad:
There’s a lot to love about iZombie already, and not least of all is its parallels with Tru Calling and Veronica Mars, both favourites of mine. I hope it doesn’t suffer Tru Calling’s fate of being cruelly cancelled just as its really forming its identity.
Aly Michalka found some aged-up hotness in her new hair colour, and she’s Liv’s concerned roommate.
Her mum is an interfering and fun mischief maker. And her ex-fiancé is handsome, yet cute enough to be endearing.
The British morgue coworker is a ball of fun, and had suspected Liv was a zombie when he noticed several corpses sans their brains. Liv takes his curiosity about her to be somewhat selfish, but they later bond when she’s surprised to discover he’s researching her in the hope of maybe finding a cure. Aww.
The cop has a coolly unusual name (Babineaux), and is skeptical enough of Liv’s supposed psychic abilities (how she passes off the memory flashes), but trusting enough not to be obstructive.
The location for the haunted house is the same location as Harper’s Island’s Candlewick Inn. Nice.
Best line of the episode goes to Hooker 2, who is shocked when Liv is able to understand her bitching at her and Babineaux in Romanian. Babineaux then asks what language she was speaking: “Romanian. Romanian Mean Girl.” I loved it.
One of the zombie rules we do know about is that if Liv doesn’t eat brains, she gradually stupefies and becomes more rabid-like. She also shows the ability to go rabid mode when attacking Dirty Cop during the episode’s climax.
Liv rides on top of Dirty Cop’s car and punches in the windscreen during the chase. Girl (zombie) power!
Liv gets the urge to reunite with Ex-Fiancé, but she goes to his house and sees him playing Dead Island with a girl on his couch. I lol’d.
Daran Norris, a Veronica Mars alumnus, plays a weatherman client of Hooker 1.
Oh, and Dr Whale/John Gilbert is the drug dealer zombie who scratched Liv and zombified her. British Coworker speculates that the drug he was peddling could be the cause of the zombies. And at the end of the episode, Liv has a memory flash from a new brain she’s eaten that shows the victim being attacked by the drug dealer in rabid zombie mode. Which means he made it off the boat, too. Ooh.