Well,its been a long time since my last post and so I thought,what better way to start off again but with an article about a show that has brilliantly (exceptionally, awesomely, unbelievably) introduced and effectively portrayed a whole new idea in the overcrowded zombie genre. Yeah, you got me right. Its iZombie, CW's new zombie show that aired its finale last week on the 9th of this month. And boy was it awesome!!!
So,what wonders worked for iZombie making it one of the most loved TV shows despite its genre teeming with shows stinking with zombiesm?
Yes, the idea that a zombie mini-apocalypse occurs at a boat party and the entire world remains unaffected is refreshingly new. Unlike the other zombie based shows, there is no virus here; instead we have this new drug called Eutopium , that "will fry your brain" and turn you into a brain hungry semi dead creature on ingestion. Or if some Eutopium stoned dude unfortunately scratches you, you become the undead too. That's what happens to the lead protagonist Olivia Moore, the sweet, talented medical resident who has her life upturned just because of this one freaking boat party incident.
And then turns up as one of the undead:
But our protagonist here is a 'good' zombie and hence, in order to satisfy her hunger, takes up a job at the morgue, thus eating the brains of the dead. And to make it even weirder (or cooler, I don't know what to think of it), she starts getting visions detailing incidents from the dead persons' lives that help her finally solve their murder cases. Thus our dear and lovely Olivia Moore or Liv Moore (got the pun?) finds a purpose to her half dead life.
Olivia "Liv" Moore
The protagonist of the show, she is... um, sorry... was a medical resident before getting scratched and turned into a zombie. But she's one of the good ones, as is evidenced by her willingness to solve murder cases of the victims' brains she eats. Portrayed brilliantly by the charming New Zealand actress Rose McIver, the character becomes the balancing point of the entire storyline.
The main antagonist of the first season of the show, Blaine was a drug dealer who happened to scratch Liv after having taken Eutopium. After the transformation, however Blaine's portrayed kind of as Liv's frenemy, despite having literally destroyed her life not once but twice. Portrayed with unbelievable charisma and ruthlessness by David Anders, Blaine also becomes Seattle's (the city where the entire zombie stuff's going on) brain provider for the zombies he creates, thus building up a whole new business, using all kinds of evil means at his disposal to do so.
The "ex-fiance", as the comic stills of the show (another awesome feature) state, Major, played by Robert Buckley, is the most interesting character as he starts out as a nobody and grows into a bad ass zombie hunter. Major has his heart broken when Liv breaks up with him after the boat party night, believing Liv is suffering from PTSD, although things change drastically at the end of the show. He also ends up as the most beaten up (physically) character on the show in his quest to prove that zombies do exist in Seattle and that he would kill every single one of them.
The "partner", Clive is a honest and hard charging yet unbelievably naive cop in the homicide department of Seattle PD. His naïveté allows Liv into fooling him to believe that she's actually a psychic (or psychic-ish ,as Liv puts it) who has visions about the murdered victims. He even unknowingly eats a brain sandwich, much to Liv's horror, although he admits it tastes like mushrooms. Played by Malcolm Goodwin, the character remains an integral part of the show yet contributing very less to the show's plot development. Also, he's the only guy Liv knows that has no idea about her "condition", thinking of it as her "lack of sun exposure" or "highly questionable style choices".
Well,these four basically run the show,but it would be a sin to not mention the other minor characters whose presence amps up iZombie's awesomeness like nothing else.
Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti
Liv's boss, and the first one to fully understand her 'condition', Ravi, played by Rahul Kohli, plays the ally to Liv's zombie adventures and amps up the adorable quotient of the show.
Liv's roommate and a successful lawyer, she kind of remains neglected throughout the season, finally suddenly disappearing at the end of the show, after learning about her best friend's true condition.
A fellow zombie and Liv's love interest, he is a musician who struck a bad deal with Max Rager, the secondary evil of the first season and poised to be the primary villain collective of the second season. He is killed by Blaine later in the show. Also the hottest zombie ever seen on television.
Vaughn Du Clark
Set to be the primary antagonist of the second season and portrayed exceptionally by Steven Weber this guy has all the traits and powers of a classic super villain controlling the entire freak show from behind the curtains. He is the CEO of Max Rager, the energy drink producing company which is under serious investigation due to its drink's weird effects (read zombification). In fact this guy might even force Liv and Blaine to work together, a highly unlikely but unavoidable scenario.
Well,there goes the cast. They certainly are the show's best things,but let's take a peek at the other factors that steered iZombie to the top of the zombie business.
Yup. The guy who gave us Veronica Mars is behind this as well. Although adopted loosely from the iZombie comic series written by Chris Roberson, the series is infused with originality and creativity, all thanks to Rob Thomas. Well, we hope iZombie becomes much bigger and does not fizzle out after three seasons.
Yeah, that kinda did work for iZombie too. AMC's The Walking Dead, undoubtedly the greatest zombie production ever to have been made, was already done with its fifth season when iZombie's best episodes started coming out. Although aired on completely different networks and different days, people still tuned in to iZombie to fill the void of the "walkers" and Rick Grimes.
Direction,writing and acting(duh!)
The show's first season was great in each and every one of these fields. Rose McIver's Liv Moore was brilliant, not only entertaining but also appealing to the viewers. And since we are talking about the show as a whole, let's not forget that it did justice to the popular quote;
All's well that ends well
Which leads us to the next thread of discussion. The finale. I mean, never have I ever seen a rookie show have a season finale so explosive that it literally makes the audience wanna specially mark the date for the next season's premiere on the calendar. Surprises, life changing decisions, revealings and plot twists... everything a finale can offer was offered. Really,really great.
The Comic renderings
No words. Seriously I have no words for this feat. I mean, even AMC's The Walking Dead is based on comics but iZombie is the first show to have done something so weirdly cool like this. Just check it out.
And then, to make things even more beautiful, it morphs into the live action version.
See? Awesomeness throughout!!
Thus, iZombie has become the new hit in town. And given how overcrowded the genre is, especially with pathetic attempts to change or recreate different versions of The Walking Dead (which, I still maintain is the best thing to have ever happened to the zombie TV genre), iZombie packs a mean and fresh punch sprinkled with awesome toppings of badassery and necessary drama. And don't forget the dark,morbid humor. Even the most grumpy ones will laugh.
So, what are you waiting for?Let's kick ass and eat brains! The first season is over but available online and reruns are always there. Else, just wait for the Blu-Ray release, which will be happening soon. Till, then enjoy, read more of my stuff and share the joy!