Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie
Who: “iZombie” is a horror, crime/procedural, comedy-drama series that airs on the CW, typically during the spring.
What: “iZombie,” developed by Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright, is a loose adaptation of the comic book series of the same name created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred and published by DC Comics under their Vertigo imprint.
When: Season One aired from March 14, 2015, to June 9, 2015, with a total of 13 episodes; Season Two aired from October 6, 2015, to April 12, 2016, with a total of 19 episodes; and Season Three aired from April 4, 2017, to June 27, 2017, with a total of 13 episodes, all on the CW.
Where: The action is set primarily in Seattle, Washington – present day.
Why: To find out why individual podcast panelists started watching this show, listen to the podcast episode via the link below!
During the annual Fall TV Preview for the 2014-2015 season, CPU! Chief Kylie picked up this show for CPU!’s review. When I picked it up, I said:
Okay, the name of the show is on the level of ridiculously stupid, and the rash of zombie-related fare is as overdone as vampires (though I enjoy vampires so much more than zombies). Also, this could cross heavily into procedural territory. Yet, there is an interesting twist wherein the main character absorbs memories from brains she eats. I have a feeling it might be better than the name lets on…then again…
How – as in How Was It?
The pilot/premiere rating scale:
***** – I HAVE TO WATCH EVERYTHING. HOLY SMOKES!
**** – Well, it certainly seems intriguing. I’m going to keep watching, but I see possible pitfalls in the premise.
*** – I will give it six episodes and see what happens. There are things I like, and things I don’t. We’ll see which “things” are allowed to flourish.
** – I will give it three episodes. Chances are, I’m mainly bored, but there is some intrigue or fascination that could hold it together. No matter how unlikely.
* – Pass on this one, guys. It’s a snoozer/not funny/not interesting/not my cup of tea… there are too many options to waste time on this one.
iZombie = 4.2, by average of the podcast panel.
Seattle medical resident Olivia “Liv” Moore (Rose McIver) is turned into a zombie while attending a boat party. She abandons her career and breaks up with her fiance, much to the disappointment and puzzlement of her family. She discovers that if she does not periodically satisfy her new appetite for brains, she starts turning into a stereotypical zombie, stupid and homicidal. Instead of feeding by killing innocent people, Liv decides to take a job at the King County morgue and to eat the brains of the corpses she autopsies. Her secret is guessed by her boss, Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli). Ravi soon becomes Liv’s friend and confidant, and as a scientist, he is intrigued by her condition.
Liv finds out that whenever she eats a dead person’s brain, she temporarily inherits some of their personality traits and skills, and she experiences flashbacks of that person’s life. Those visions are generally triggered by sights (events or objects) or sounds (repeated sentences). In the case of murder victims, the flashbacks offer clues about the killer. Liv decides to use this new ability to help Police Detective Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin) solve crimes. Though she initially passes herself off as a psychic, Clive eventually learns the truth about her and zombies. Meanwhile, Ravi works to develop a cure for Liv’s affliction in the hope that one day she will be able to resume her former life.
A group of brave and brainy CPU! regular panelists were ready to get scratched and slightly gourmet to discuss another comic book adaptation with a decidedly cult following hanging out rather comfortably with several other comic book adaptations over on the CW network. Specifically, regular CPU! panelists Kristen, the reigning panel champ; vampire, supernatural, and SHIELD enthusiast Jen (going by Jen S. in this episode); and Original though Not Unfortunate, if she gives you 13 Reasons Why, panelist Jenn (going by Jenn K. in this episode), gathered “Around the Water Cooler” to take a “First Look” at the first three seasons of iZombie. The panelists examine Liv’s initial foray into life as a member of the undead, Ravi’s discovery of her secret and work on a potential cure, and the friends and foes of the first season; to Major Lilywhite (Robert Buckley), Liv’s on/off again fiance and boyfriend (and zombie), taking on the persona of “Chaos Killer;” and to all-zombie military contractor Fillmore Graves and the advent of zombie discrimination, as the Seattle population of zombies increases and becomes known to the decidedly disturbed non-zombie population of the Emerald City.
Ultimately, our CPU! faithful group of panelists thinks that iZombie is a unique, quirky, and fresh comedy-drama addition to the annals of burgeoning zombie fiction, even if it is nothing like fare in the vein of The Walking Dead. In this episode, the first of a catch-up miniseries in which we chat about this show, our panel reflects on and recaps the first three seasons of iZombie, reacting to the various quirky characters and the seemingly impossible situations in which they find themselves, including Liv’s ingestion of “brains of the week,” which produces a decidedly procedural format underlying this program, albeit with a very specific twist.
This episode was recorded in June 2018, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the first three seasons. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!
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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Next Wednesday, we offer the second of our two-part iZombie miniseries, in which we will recap Season 4, which will render CPU! officially caught up to the current season. Stay tuned!
iZombie is recommended overall by our CPU! panel to fans of zombie fiction with some crossover appeal who are not afraid to laugh, keeping in mind properties like Shaun of the Dead; to fans of genre fare like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which readily exploit nerd-core and offer pop culture winks and nods in happy ways; and to procedural TV with a twist, such as Bones, especially those that offer a heaping dose of dark comedy. One panelist cautioned that if a zombie enthusiast is not willing to laugh at their beloved zombies in question, this show would likely not appeal to said enthusiast, particularly if said zombie fan remains purist to zombie fiction’s general horror roots. Chief CP Kylie also compared the humor of Arrested Development to that of this show, in that iZombie is laden with innuendo and meta references and is self-aware without taking itself too seriously, which renders the show all the more charming Further, the panel generally praises the performances of the main cast, particularly McIver, with her different affects signifying zombie brains of the week, and Kohli (Ravi is, unanimously, the panel’s favorite character) as well as the generally inventive writing, though the panel also agrees that there are better seasons than others. In fact, the panelists describe the show as generally “solid” with a noted lull in the third season when the writers aimed for something more topical to current events, in on-the-nose allegory, rather than steering the story in a direction that flowed better within the world that had been organically established and developed up until that point. In any event, our panel universally had and has great fun watching this series and believes that most with an open and slightly nerdy sense of humor will have fun watching it too.
THE FUTURE OF THE SHOW
The CW renewed iZombie for a fifth and final season, which is expected to premiere in spring 2019 (no tentative premiere date has yet been announced). CPU! will next visit iZombie next week for Part Two of this “Catch-Up Miniseries;” the new episode will focus upon the fourth season of the show and will bring our humble podcast to current times, appreciations, and readiness for iZombie coverage going forward and through its announced conclusion following the fifth season. Like, follow, and/or subscribe to the website, iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or our social media accounts to stay abreast of new episodes regarding iZombie as well as new episodes for all of our podcast panels! And, if you feel so inclined, please leave us a review. Thank you! 🙂