This week iZombie closed out its second season on The CW with a finale that was hilarious, brutal, emotional, and balls-to-the-walls insane. The show was recently renewed for a third season so, if you haven't yet, it's worth diving into this underrated gem of a show.
If you have yet to catch an episode, iZombie follows medical examiner Liv Moore (Rose McIver), a zombie who has to eat brains to appear human. In the process, she takes on the the traits and personalities of the deceased as well as gains access to their memories. The show is built upon a basic procedural setup, as Liv uses these memories to solve the murders of the bodies in her morgue, while working with her boss, Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli, who also happens to be the best) to try and cure the zombie virus.
That's the basic concept in a nutshell, but it by no means does the show justice. There are multiple highly engaging overarching plots to keep you interested in the case of the week, often tying into the show's greater story. This mix of procedural and mythological storytelling makes almost every episode worth tuning in for — each offering their own piece of the overall puzzle.
iZombie is insanely charming and entertaining, filled with well-realized characters who are both hilarious and multi-layered. It's not a serious show by any means, taking a far more casual approach to what could easily be a very dark subject matter. It is totally aware of its own insanity and leans hard into the self-referential jokes that only enhance the show's charm. All of the cast have a great chemistry with each other, making it possible to pair pretty much any character together and have it work. It's always a treat to have a cast that work this well together and who are able to throw themselves completely into the most ridiculous scenes. The very nature of a show about a zombie who solves crimes invites absurdity, so the commitment of the actors involved is critical to making it sure it strikes the correct balance. Fortunately, everyone involved jumps both feet first, no matter how silly.
In full disclosure, iZombie's first season showed many of the same teething issues that we've seen before in similar concepts. It takes a few episodes to strike the right balance of story and humor and to work out which characters work best with each other. Similarly to Arrow and The Flash in their earlier years, the show initially keeps much of its cast in the dark about the zombie problem, and the show's logical loopholes stretched credibility and reflected badly on Liv as a character. This kind of secrecy damages every character involved, preventing the ignorant characters from substantially evolving. The more characters that discovered Liv's secret, the better the show became, allowing the larger arcs to involve more characters.
But like many shows, iZombie learns from its freshman mistakes and ups its game for its second year, offering a consistently higher quality of storytelling throughout the season. The story is a lot more ambitious, carrying on almost every story from the previous year while also adding several new balls to juggle. Despite the risk of fumbling, the show is somehow tighter than it was before, continually crossing many different threads again and again to knit a surprisingly well-thought-out tapestry of a story. By Tuesday's finale, it's astounding just how well the various storylines have managed to come together while still setting up plenty of story for the newly secured third season. Almost every character gets a moment to shine and the main meat of the story reaches unexpected heights.
If you're starting to feel a bit of zombie fatigue in current pop culture, iZombie is a fresh and hilarious take on the subject, and if nothing else, is well worth a watch just for the honest charm of the cast and the dark humor that is very fitting for a crime-fighting zombie.
Is it Season 3 yet?