Warner Home Video
iZombie has a unique take on the procedural formula—zombies as psychic detectives. We’re not talking scary movie zombie—they’re human for the most part—except they just need to feed on brains to keep that humanity. This show is based off of a comic book (what isn’t these days?) that only ran for a few years, but it’s got a strong female lead and some nifty ideas.
iZombie stars Rose McIver (Once Upon a Time) as Olivia “Liv” Moore, who starts off normal enough—she has a hot, funny fiancé named Major (Robert Buckley, One Tree Hill), is on her way to being a star surgeon and has a good family. When one of her fellow residents invites her to a crazy boat party it all begins to go downhill. A bad batch of the drug Utopium creates a few zombies aboard the boat and our heroine manages to escape with only a few scratches, but it’s enough to get the zombie blood flowing.
Everything in her life drastically changes—she dumps the hot fiancé, Major, withdraws from her family and friends and, most importantly, changes gears from saving people by being a surgeon, to performing in a crime lab doing autopsies. It’s the perfect place to feed those brain cravings without actually hurting people—she’s still kinda human, after all. However, her boss in the morgue, Ravi Chakrabarti (Rahul Kohli), is as sharp as a scalpel. He suspects his new intern is a zombie and catches Liv in the act of brain nabbing, but instead of reacting in disgust or fear, Liv’s condition is met with excitement and an enthusiasm to find a cure.
Here’s where the procedural section of iZombie comes in. When she eats a brain, she inherits the personality and memories of the dead. This is usually the key to solving the victim’s murder, so Detective Clive Babineaux (Malcolm Goodwin, Breakout Kings) teams up with Liv to solve crimes and bring justice to the world! Well, to only like 15 people in Seattle so far—but same thing, right? The chasing down of perps part isn’t all that interesting, but it is fun to watch Liv’s personality changes throughout the episode. She’s herself for the most part, but her new personality shines through on occasion and she even inherits new skills like hacking, karate and sniping skills.
She’s not the only zombie out there, though. Blaine DeBeers (David Anders, Heroes) suffers from the affliction as well. He was actually the drug dealer on the boat that tried to get everyone to try the zombie-inducing drug in the first place. Naturally, he sees a terribly immoral business opportunity and he’s the big bad for the season. Blaine is an excellent villain—charismatic and smart, he’s not going down easy. He’s one of those villains that doesn’t hold back and has no qualms about killing to prove a point and further an agenda.
Procedurals, by nature, are all the same thing—just with different people doing the crime solving. In iZombie’s case, the personal stuff that goes on in Liv’s life is what makes the show good TV. Her ex-fiancé, Major, needed to be in the show a bit more. He’s definitely my favorite character, along with Ravi who acts as Liv’s conscience on occasion. It never feels like Liv cares about Clive, which makes the procedural part a bit boring to watch.
The set includes some deleted scenes on each disc and the iZombie San Diego Comic Con panel from 2014. It’s an interesting panel, and it’s interesting to see the cast together before they had filmed the whole season. Anders and Buckley make it worth watching, though—they’re fucking hilarious. You’ll be able to answer most of the questions the audience that asks yourself. iZombie is a weird, cool procedural and a fun time, but isn’t nearly enough to make it worth owning over watching on Netflix.