iZOMBIE SEASON 1

PrintE-mail Written by Ryan Pollard

For the past few years, DC Comics and The CW have become the major heavyweights for delivering some of the best comic book adapted television shows with Arrow (first two seasons), The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow. But that doesn’t mean every single corner of The CW/DC Comics world is full of superheroes and costumed vigilantes… How about crime-investigations involving zombies? Well, iZombie (inspired by the Vertigo comic book series by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred) is the show for you as creator Rob Thomas delivers yet another television standout that’s the perfect combination of Veronica Mars (Thomas’ previous creation) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Like Veronica Mars, this deals with a young heroine who solves crimes and mysteries, and like Buffy, she has her own ‘Scooby Gang’, has supernatural powers, and a true love she’s forced to remain separate from. Like both shows, this is brimmed with snappy dialogue, inside jokes and pop culture references, yet because of how strong and multi-layered this show is, iZombie stands on its own as its own separate entity.

For a first season, it was damn impressive how the stakes kept raising after each episode; each individual storyline developing and changing along the way. When things start out initially, you think you have a good idea what the tone is, who the characters are and where they are at, and where things could possibly lead. However, during the course of the series, the rug keeps getting pulled out from under you as the major story threads loom in, and that’s when things start to change. True, this show does follow a ‘case-of-the-week’ formula, yet this works perfectly with what’s going on within the show. As each new incident rolls in, the characters are developed extensively, relationships are delved into more, and the stories on their own were given time to breathe. Sometimes the cases are one-off’s, whilst some were tied into the main storyline, which made it feel like a natural progression as each character started to tread new uncharted waters.

With this kind of material, each and every actor involved had to be up to the challenge, and the standout that truly brought her A-game was Rose McIver, who was truly the real beating heart and soul of this show. McIver brought out the nuances, the snarkiness and the pathos that drives Liv as a character, and as she digests each brain along with its own unique personality, this brilliantly allowed McIver to show real diverse versatility as an actress. The rest of the cast played of well together too with Rahul Kohli bringing genuine comedy relief as bumbling scientist Ravi, Malcolm Goodwin delivering deadpan charm as no-nonsense Det. Clive Babineaux and David Anders is pure, delicious evil as big bad Blaine. Plus, Robert Buckley was a real surprise as we see different sides to his acting abilities as the character of Major Lilywhite goes to some dark places. 

Whenever a TV show initially starts, there’s usually the case that it wouldn’t be smooth or intricately written at first before things would eventually get better. However, this is not the case as iZombie had an incredibly strong and consistent first season. The light-hearted tone was a welcome relief, the performances were top notch (especially McIver), the writing was strong, the threat got bigger and better, and when it delivered emotionally, it certainly delivered. Even though it was based on an unlikely and surprising source, the result was nothing more inimitably clever entertainment from start to finish.

iZOMBIE SEASON 1 / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR & SCREENPLAY: VARIOUS / STARRING: ROSE MCIVER, MALCOLM GOODWIN, RAHUL KOHLI, ROBERT BUCKLEY, DAVID ANDERS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


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