Review: New ‘iZombie’ show has promising start, suspense

Stephanie Markham, News Editor

Combining the trend of modernizing the plight of the undead with a setup for the murder-solving drama of “CSI” and the “hiding my secret abilities” suspense of “Smallville,” the TV series “iZombie” has gotten off to a promising start.

The pilot episode of the new CW show loosely adapted from a comic book series of the same name aired on March 17 with episode two following on Tuesday.

Episode one introduces viewers to a skilled medical student, Olivia “Liv” Moore, whose life appears perfectly on track until her fiancé convinces her to attend a party with her coworkers.

The innocent words “What’s the worst that can happen?” soon cut to a chaotic fight scene with spears going through skulls, people on fire and Liv jumping from a boat to escape.

She wakes up in a body bag on shore with gashes in her arm, pale skin and hair and a darkened hue around her eyes.

For reasons that were not explained in the first episode, Liv was the victim of a random zombie outbreak and has to adapt to her new “life,” opting to cancel her engagement and forgo her promising medical career for a job at the morgue where she could satisfy her growing hunger for brains.

Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti soon becomes a confidant to Liv, as he is fascinated by her condition, inquiring why a zombie would add hot sauce to a mix of Ramen and brains.

Detective Clive Babinaux is soon established as the character who will likely create tension later on in the series—someone she will have to hide her secret from.

Liv obtains flashes of memories from the brains of murder victims she consumes, which she uses to help the detective solve crimes under the guise that she is psychic.

With the comic book and zombie connections, the plot is relatable to young adults and college age viewers on many accounts.

Liv, played by actress Rose McIver, becomes sarcastic and seemingly apathetic after her transformation and faces conflict with her mother and friends about why she seems to be giving up on life.

These conflicts beg some existential questions as Liv seeks to find meaning in her new state of existence when everything she knows has changed. Viewers can certainly connect with her humor as well as her budding internal and external battles.

Meanwhile, the story, though it seems to follow trends in other stories and shows, still presents a take on popular themes that is interesting enough to want to keep watching more episodes.

Viewers also would be incentivized to keep watching to discover the cause of the zombie outbreak—the one crucial detail that seems to be lacking.

Though some zombie purists might hate the idea of creating an attractive zombie who is tame enough that her mother doesn’t even know she’s undead, the show is admittedly evolving with the trends of popular movies, comics and TV.  Viewers can even catch some classic films played in the background of the first episode as Liv studies how to be a zombie.

The first and second episodes set up the series for a relatable main character, conflicts on all sorts of levels with other characters and with the meaning of life itself.

The show airs at 8 p.m. Tuesdays on The CW.

Stephanie Markham is a junior journalism major.

She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].