iZombie 1×1 Review: Pilot
Finally it is here! iZombie is the newest show in the CW’s prime time lineup, and although the network tends to gravitate to programming geared toward a younger audience, this show has a lot of potential for all ages. I found the pilot to be surprisingly refreshing and whimsical which are not usually words used to describe a television show about zombies. This clearly has a lot to do with the fact that the television series is based loosely on the comic book series of the same name.
Indeed, the comic callback was prevalent throughout the pilot, even having comic book-style stills to intro each segment, and the show’s theme is all illustrations. The overall styling of the show is surreal and airy despite the graphic nature of having a main character who eats brains and works in a morgue.
The story itself follows our protagonist, Liv (played brilliantly by Rose McIver), who becomes a zombie after attending a party overrun by other zombies (she wakes up in a body bag!). In this universe, there is no zombie apocalypse, and no one knows that they exist (for real). In fact, when Liv first determines that she is a zombie, she buys Night of the Living Dead and pretty much spends a lot of time researching what being a zombie means. In her pre-zombie life, Liv was on track to become a heart surgeon, but in her undead state, she works for the medical examiner in the morgue, and thus has an easy supply of brains.
Perhaps my favorite part of the pilot was the introduction to the relationship between Liv and her boss, Ravi. These two have great chemistry, and their dialogue is natural and intelligent. I actually believe that the conversations they have could really be between two medical professionals. Plus, their humor and banter brings even more levity to the show. For me, the fact that their humor is not juvenile is a great sign of good writing. Another endearing part of their relationship is that Ravi finds out about the zombie secret in the pilot, and he thinks it is super cool. He also wants to help find a cure for Liv.
When I first heard about the show, I was unsure how it would look on a weekly basis. Based on the pilot, it appears to move like police procedural where there is a mystery that Liv can help solve. When she eats the brains, she absorbs the memories of the dead, and gets visions of the lives of the people when they were still alive. In this episode, she used the visions to her advantage and helped Detective Babineaux nab the killer of the “Jane Doe” whose brains she indulged on. Although I am less excited about the chemistry between Liv and Babineaux, I love the fact that there is a lot of diversity in the cast, and am looking forward to seeing more of Liv’s crime-solving and partnership with the police force.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked iZombie. I found myself laughing out loud a few times, I think the styling is super cool, and I appreciate that the show runners kept it light without getting too intense. I can’t wait to see what the writers have in store for the weekly storylines, and to see how Liv will continue her transition to cope with being undead.
Erin has reviewed many shows over the years including Orphan Black, iZombie, Penny Dreadful, and Killing Eve. She has a keen eye for on-screen chemistry, and loves to tackle the subject of casting. She is also our horror aficionado. She live tweets shows, and loves to share her feelings. Erin has a BA in History, and likes to analyze the lore behind historical fiction. She attends San Diego Comic Con every year and has also attended C2E2 and WonderCon.
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