Sunday, October 25, 2015

iZombie, Season 1 (live action TV series), via Netflix

iZombie is a TV series based on a comic book series of the same name. I have yet to try the comic book, so I have no idea how the two compare.

Review:

The series stars Liv, a medical resident who reluctantly agrees to go to a boat party only to end up in the middle of a scene straight out of a zombie apocalypse movie. Liv falls overboard, but not before she's scratched by one of the zombies. When she comes to, she's inside a body bag and experiencing a strong craving for brains. Some time later, Liv has abandoned her efforts to become a doctor and has begun working at the morgue instead, because it gives her easier access to brains. None of her family members know her secret – she even broke things off with her fiance rather than explain to him what she had become and risk turning him into a zombie as well. However, Ravi, her boss, figures things out. Rather than being shocked or disgusted, he's actually pretty delighted (by the way, Ravi is probably my favorite character in the whole series). He thinks that he might be able to find a cure for Liv's condition.

I mostly started watching this because I needed a break from K-dramas. I wouldn't say it's the best show – it has tons of things that don't really make sense, and the “brain of the week” setup gets a little old sometimes – but it made for some nice brain candy after a long day at work.

When Liv ate brains, she acquired some of the memories and personality traits of the people those brains used to belong to. That's the “brain of the week” thing I was talking about. When she ate the brain of a soon-to-be mother, she acquired sudden maternal instincts. When she ate the brain of an agoraphobic gamer, she became an agoraphobic gamer. At the start of the series, this was used as the setup for fairly self-contained mysteries. However, after a certain point the writers decided that the overarching plot took precedence over the littler mysteries – I got a bit annoyed that some of them were not only never wrapped up, but also that Clive Babineaux, the police detective Liv was helping, never said a word about Liv being able to help him close some cases but not others.

I should mention that Detective Babineaux didn't know that Liv was a zombie. Instead, he thought she was a psychic. Although he clearly thought her frequent personality changes were a bit odd, he never once asked her about them, even though it would have made the perfect opportunity for her to say “When I have my psychic visions, I take on a little of the personality of the person I'm having visions about.” Without even this single sentence of explanation, his continued silence about Liv's strangeness was just...weird. I suppose, though, that it was just one bit of weirdness among many others. What, for example, did Liv tell her friends and family about the sudden change in her physical appearance after the boat party?

The overarching storyline involved a drug-dealer who become a zombie and decided to get rich by making more zombies and then charging them to provide them with brains. There was also a corporation that might have been involved in the creation of whatever it was that was turning people into zombies, and Major, Liv's ex-fiance and a social worker, who was looking for some missing teens. While I understood Liv's desire to protect Major, and her fear that he might hate or fear her if he knew what she'd become, after a certain point it became extremely frustrating that she wouldn't tell him the truth. I think that, if she had brought Ravi into the discussion, it actually could have gone quite well – Major would have seen that Ravi wasn't scared of Liv, and Ravi could have explained what he was doing to try to find a cure for Liv's condition. Instead, she let things go on long enough that the season's incredibly messy and awful ending was able to happen.

I may continue watching this, if Netflix adds the next season, but I wouldn't be particularly upset if my viewing experience ended here.

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