Before we begin, I’d like to make clear that I have not read the iZombie comic book that The CW’s new show is based on. Part of me wanted to read a few issues before tackling the show, but on the other hand, this allows me to critique the adaptation strictly on its own merits. I recognize sometimes that the source material a show/movie is adapted from is held in higher regards for silly reasons, most of the time simply because it dared to try a few ways to differentiate itself. I find myself being critical of scenes on The Walking Dead all of the time, simply because the way they played out was a tad bit different than it was in the comics. I just wanted to make sure any potential readers were aware of my ignorance of the comics, in case I like, or dislike, something that appeared within those books. So now that that is out of the way, let’s get started.
If you’ve been following along with our DEADtime TV series since we were doing it on The Liberal Dead, I am concerned about taking in new zombie shows/movies. It used to be my favorite genre, but like most hardened horror veterans, once the genre became a pop culture phenomenon, the piles and piles of crap that would follow made me a little bitter, and apprehensive when it comes to that type of thing. It’s not that really solid zombie movies haven’t been released since the boom, it’s just that they’re few and far between. Nine and a half out of every 10 new zombie movies border on unwatchable. Couple that with the fact that it is a new zombie show on The CW, of all places, and my radar has entered panic mode. The CW has grown to have a lineup of several super great shows. But in their early days, and especially when they were The WB, it was a channel known for pumping out pure shit, and calling it entertainment. Even still to this day, their great shows have over-the-top elements of insultingly annoying teen angst. But, The Arrow and The Flash, though!
After sitting through the pilot episode of iZombie, I’m still not entirely sure what to think. It is certainly not the abomination that I was expecting it to be, but it might not be my type of thing, either. Think Warm Bodies mixed with… Medium? I’m not even certain how to categorize it. It’s definitely part of the new wave of zombie films, where the writer of the story is trying to separate itself from the pack by doing zombies a little bit differently. I say Warm Bodies, because this show is about a girl that was turned into a zombie when a party goes wrong, who is also conscious, and aware of the fact that she is a zombie. Unlike Warm Bodies, however, she’s a walking, talking entity that participates in society, and even has a job at a morgue so that she can eat brains without creating suspicion.
Apparently, in addition to being a walking, talking, breathing, working zombie, Liv, the main character, has some sort of psychic reaction to thinks related to a person whose brains she has consumed. In the first episode of the show, she gets roped into a homicide investigation because she opened her mouth after having one such vision. Like I said, I’m unfamiliar with the comic, and I didn’t read a single word about the show before watching it. It would appear to me that iZombie’s story revolves around Liv using her “psychic abilities” to assist the police with homicide investigations, and hey, that’s cool. It’s certainly different. I don’t know for sure if I’m in it for the long haul, but I will say that the pilot episode exceeded my expectations. It helps that I had very low expectations, but I still think there is an audience for this type of show, even if I am uncertain as to whether or not I belong to it. Either way, I’ll be covering the show for DEADtime TV, so you’ll know as soon as I do.