Like that “cold” I caught from “hugging” that “lady” at the Witch’s Ball in 1669, my ol’ pal Shane from The Cathode Ray Mission just keeps coming back! Here’s his latest review — iZOMBIE Season 2!
RELEASE DATE: Available Now on DVD
WRITTEN BY: Various
DIRECTED BY: Various
STARRING: Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, Rahul Kohli
When I first heard about iZOMBIE being turned into a television show, I knew two things about it: 1. It was based on a comic that was published by DC under their Vertigo banner (which I never read) with art by Michael Allred (whose style I’ve loved since his days on X-FORCE for Marvel), and 2. Rob Thomas, the creator of VERONICA MARS (a show I enjoyed), was adapting it. Anyway, I had no real idea what the story was about other than the main character was a zombie of some kind.
For those who are going into this blind like I was, here’s the lowdown: Medical resident Olivia “Liv” Moore (Get it?) is at a boat party when a full-on zombie attack ensues. Liv is scratched by one of the creatures, which, of course, turns her into one of the living dead. She now has an insatiable hunger for human brains without which she will become a mindless shambling husk.
Seems standard enough, but eating human brains also gives these zombies the memories, talents and quirks of that person. So, Liv quits her promising medical career and goes to work in the morgue, where she can get a steady supply o’ the grey matter.
Her boss and super nerd Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti knows she’s a zombie, and together they try to find a cure for her condition. Along the way, Liv puts her zombie talents to good use as she teams up with homicide detective Clive Babineaux, who thinks she’s psychic on account of her knowledge of the cases he’s working on (when in actuality Liv has been eating the victims’ brains when they come into the morgue).
* Word of warning: If you haven’t seen Season 1, there’s spoilers coming up.
Season 1 left off with some interesting things going down. Ravi had developed a cure, but only had two doses. Major Lilywhite (Liv’s jilted fiancé) found out about Liv being a zombie, turned into a zombie to save his life, and then turned back with the cure. Blaine (a drug dealer whose hot item Utopium caused the zombie outbreak that turned Liz, and is the big bad of Season 1) ended up getting the other shot of the cure as a kind of “F you” for trying to be an evil zombie drug lord (seriously, just go watch Season 1 now!!!). By the by, cured zombies can sense that someone is currently a zombie. A new big bad was introduced in the form of Vaughn Du Clark, the power-crazed head of Max Rager, an energy drink company that was interested in zombies.
Season 2 runs a bit like this: While the zombie cure from Season 1 is cool and all, it also wears off and the person turns back into a zombie. The aforementioned CEO of Max Rager is using Major and his zombie sense to eliminate zombies living secretly among us. Also, our ol’ pal Blaine is using a funeral home to sell his drug Utopium … and brains to zombies. Of course it’s up to Liv to try and put an end to all of this while at the same time juggling a romantic subplot of whether she and Major will get back together or not … because, you know … TV.
Season 2 does everything a sophomore season should. The mythology of the show expands, the stakes get higher, and the main characters and their relationships evolve. Speaking of the main characters, there are very few shows where I actually like all of the main characters, but iZOMBIE somehow managed that. For instance, going in, Major was the one character I thought would be a bore, but they’ve managed to make him interesting in Season 2.
The show really steps up the game this season by deftly balancing character moments, the ongoing story arc, and the mystery-of-the-week aspect (although, judging by the way the season ended, Season 3 might not have as much of the police-procedural aspect … but I’m not giving those deets away here).
All the main actors do a bang-up job from week to week. I’m pleased that for the third season they’re promoting Aly Michalka to the main cast. Her character had a lot more going on in the second season, and her chemistry with Rahul Kohli who plays Ravi was dynamite.
Of course, the MVP of the show continues to be Rose McIver as Liv. Every episode she has to play Liv with some new personality quirks while still being the same character, and she’s simply fantastic. If her career doesn’t take off from iZOMBIE, Hollywood is doing it wrong. Also, she’s a former Yellow Power Ranger! So bonus points there.
Along with all 19 episodes of Season 2, there is a plethora of deleted scenes and a fun clip of iZOMBIE’s 2015 Comic-Con panel.
If you couldn’t tell, I really dig iZOMBIE. It has that blend of quirky humor and drama with a cool overall story arc that BUFFY, ANGEL, and, of course, VERONICA MARS pulled off so well. Only HANNIBAL comes close to iZOMBIE for making cannibalism look so damn tasty!